What season is it? Wabbit? Duck? XFL?
The video game industry seems to think that every popular character on the face
of the planet needs to be in a game. So one day, an anonymous genius asks, “What’s
the quickest, easiest way to incorporate a character into a video game?” Answer:
Throw them into a car a have them race each other. Thus we have the birth of the
kart racer in all its glory and companies everywhere begin to lick their lips
in anticipation of profits to come.
With the bazillion and one kart racers around town, it’s really a big surprise
that the Looney Tunes characters are just now getting their turn at the wheel.
Few pop-character racers have been worthy of their stars and in most cases,
the games are only good as coasters or mini-frisbees. With Looney Tunes Space
Race, Infogrames hopes to follow the path of success blazed by their first
kart title, Wacky Races. But with so many games
available in this genre, it’s gonna be an all out ‘toon war.
ACME, our favorite manufacturer of dependable products, has decided to sponsor
a race and the Looney Tunes gang has accepted the challenge. Players will race
through twelve different tracks with one of eight characters in order to win
the grand prize- a lifetime supply of ACME stuff. Hmmm… that’s one prize I know
I could do without. So, without further ado, may I present
the Space Race!
Naturally, there’s Race mode, Time Trial, Challenge (for those times when
a certain character wants to kick your patootie) and Multiplayer. While most
of these modes are pretty standard kart racing fare, the new ‘Acme Events’ are
a little something special.
While the goal of the mode is still to finish first, the Acme Events will
put you in a state of looney racing madness. One race involves objects constantly
falling out of the sky while another provides you with an ample supply of random
weaponry. This mode is easily the most interesting of the lot and all you have
to do to get it is unlock all the events through the main Race mode and Time
Thankfully, unlocking all of the good stuff isn’t that hard. Actually, it’s
pretty easy… a little too easy, if you ask me. The younger siblings and
cousins probably won’t have too much trouble getting started…
…that is, if they have the patience to endure the lengthy pre-race load
With some excellent 3D renderings of our favorite characters, Space Race
rises up to the pinnacle of kart racing graphics. The classic pranksters we
all know and love look great in their 3D bodies. Backgrounds are filled with
color and perfectly fit the looney theme. Infogrames sure knows how to make
cartoon racing look good.
A mere eight playable characters grace the Space Race lineup, making
for a somewhat small selection. Lots of famous characters – including Pepe le
Pew and the Road Runner – are mysteriously absent. In another bizarre turn of
events, Taz and Granny appear as computer controlled opponents, but turn out
to be unplayable. I’m still praying that there are some super-secret characters
locked away somewhere, but after completing every mode in the game, my hopes
are being squashed like a 100 ton anvil on Wile E. Coyote.
small selection of competitors is worsened by the lack of individuality. Each
of the original six characters seem essentially the same. Speed is the same,
handling is the same, and the weapons are all the same. So it really doesn’t
make a difference who you compete as, since there don’t seem to be individual
strengths and weaknesses for each of the racers. This is a shame and really
cuts down on the replayability.
Course design is also a problem. You would think that a Looney Tunes course
would be filled with gags, shortcuts, and other zaniness, but unfortunately
with Space Race, this just isn’t the case. The twelve tracks in the game
are pretty straightforward with little to nothing in the way of shortcuts. A
few jumps are exciting as things get, leaving an empty feeling in your funny
bone. C’mon folks, this is supposed to
At least the weapons in the game stay in character. You’ve got your falling
anvils, black holes, super-extendo boxing gloves, and much to unleash upon your
foes. There’s also the dreaded pink stunt elephant, which could decide the outcome
of the race. The classic umbrella gag is missing, but there’s still plenty of
other classic avenues of destruction to choose from.
One little interesting option that needs to be mentione is the selectable
language. Ever want to hear the Looney Tunes speak Spanish? French? C’est tres
So in the end, Looney Tunes Space Race comes out just slightly better
than your average ho-hum kart racer. It’s got sweet graphics and the Looney
Tunes, but not a much beyond that. So, until