Where’s the magic?
I love DisneyWorld, don’t you? All the magic and childhood wonder you’ve ever
experienced in your lifetime wrapped up into one gigantic theme park that will
never die. Ever. The whole Disney crew has been delighting fans both old and
new for ages, so what would make a better game than Disney Racing? You
know, people could become one of their favorite characters and drive around
the different attractions at Disney World. Kids would love it, grown-ups would
love it, and as long as it made money, Michael Eisner would love it.
It has taken a while for game companies to pick up this idea, but finally Eidos
has signed on to tackle this Disney dream racer. Sounds like child’s play, doesn’t
it? Well, apparently not.
Before you even start to race, you’ll notice a grievous error committed by
the designers. Where are the Disney characters?!? Let’s play a game. Name one
of the thirteen Disney characters in Eidos’ Walt Disney World Quest Magical
Racing Tour. Nope, no Mickey… um, no Donald… no Goofy, either… no
Pluto and none of the other guesses you just made. In fact, there are only three
characters you might recognize: Chip, Dale, and Jiminy Cricket. The other ten
characters are just scabs, as the real Disney characters we know and love seem
to be on strike. Either that or they’ve had one too many shots of that pure
mouse liquor and weren’t cleared by the DMV to participate in the game. In any
case, it ought to be illegal to make a Disney game without a mouse, a duck,
or a man-dog-thing.
The graphical representation of Disney World isn’t too stellar, either. To
put it bluntly, the Dreamcast version of Disney Racing looks like the
Playstation one. While the textures are decent, characters and backgrounds are
often blocky and unrefined.
The camera also isn’t that great, offering up a mere three options. There’s
one angle “behind the vehicle,” one angle slightly behind the “behind the vehicle,”
and one showing the front of the car that makes absolutely no sense at all.
I like to call it the “deer vs. oncoming headlights” view, as you can see your
headlights and not much else. None of these angles work particularly well and
an angle that is able to show more of what is coming up would have been very
On a positive note, Disney Racing moves along at a blazing pace. It’s so fast that you barely have time to sit back and enjoy all of the familiar Disney scenery that you cruise through. Races are fast and furious and you’ll need to keep your eyes glued to the track at all times to keep ahead of the of the computer characters (who you’ve never heard of).
won’t be that hard, though, as the majority of the track layouts aren’t very
difficult to negotiate. Most of them are very direct, with shortcuts that really
aren’t that short.
Beating the others racers isn’t difficult. It just takes half a brain and
plenty of weapon pick ups to send your opponents back to the hellish drawing
board from whence they came. These weapons are your run of the mill kart items
with the exception of the ‘frog spell’ that will magically transform your opponents
into a mystery animal. (*nudge, nudge, wink, wink*). Still, it really all comes
down to one weapon – the acorns, baby.
Despite all its faults, Disney Racing does contain some small redeeming
details. For starters, vehicles are track specific. Head over to Big Thunder
Mountain and you’ll drive a train-kart. Over at Space Mountain, you’ve got a
rocket-kart. At the Pirates of the Caribbean track, there’s even a pirate ship-kart.
This feature is a nice little aesthetic touch to keep in the whole theme park
Then there’s the music. This is where you’ll find the best little goodie of
the entire game. Disney Racing contains a boatload of familiar tunes
from “It’s a Small World” to “Yo, Ho! Yo, Ho!” It’ll have you singing along
in no time. Just be careful not to piss off your next door neighbors like I
Overall, Disney Racing is a ho-hum title that definitely doesn’t do
the Disney name any justice. If you’re a Disney fan, look for something else.
After all, what’s Disney without the mouse? On the other hand, if you’re willing
to overlook the absence of the main characters, have a really open mind about
kart games and are under the age of ten, you’ll probably enjoy this one.