M-I-C…"C" ya at the Racetrack! K-E-Y…"Y?" I have no idea.
Mickey’s pet Pluto has been kidnapped by the Weasel gang. And to add insult to injury, Mickey just gave Pluto a diamond collar (worth several million dollars, I bet). That collar’s been nabbed with the mutt! And apparently, the only way to get Pluto back is to run kart races with Mickey and his pals in locales all across America.
Right. That makes sense.
Hey Mickey! Ever heard of the police? Why not send them after your pooch?
And why the heck did you put a diamond collar on your dog? It just goes beyond all forms of common sense. Is Mickey so concerned about the bling-bling that he has to show off so…moronically? He doesn’t even treat Minnie that well. What’s next? Pearl earrings for Chip and Dale?
Though Chip and Dale aren’t in this outing. Unlike the dismal Magical Racing Tour, Mickey’s Speedway USA features a gaggle of famous Disney characters. Mickey and Minnie. Donald and Daisy. And Goofy, all by his lonesome. Won’t any Disney characters date Goofy? Just to foil things up, ol’ Pete has brought along his kart, too.
This "story" is severely stretching things. These weasels are supposedly going all around the country dragging Pluto with them. Somehow, driving circles around various racetracks will get him back. Did I miss something? Hey, next time something gets stolen, let’s go to the Indy 500 and run a few laps. Lost wallet? No problem.
Actually, the Indy 500 is but one of the many locales you’ll visit on your American adventures. Other notables include San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and the Everglades. There are representative graphics of each region, like the Space Needle for Seattle and a Mickey Mouse Statue of Liberty for New York.
The tracks aren’t unique or special, and are mostly derivative of earlier predecessors like Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing. Unlike these other kart racers, there isn’t as much to interact with on the tracks. No giant Thwomps will be crashing on your head while you’re cruising across the heartland of America.
This is a kart game, pure and simple. It’s simple to maneuver and easy to get into. Kart racers generally have a control mechanisms for power slides. Here in Mickey’s world, you just hit a button and you slide. It’s kart racing brought down to its most basic roots. It’s just too easy for seasoned gamers, but I can see how someone new to kart racing will enjoy this feel.
The first few levels are a cinch. Harder levels are still relatively painless. The harder difficulty setting makes the smallest mistake disastrous, but still, the difficulty range is good for the younger crowd.
Like all Kart racers before it, there’s the mandatory Kart battles. The battle arena designs look eerily familiar *cough* Mario Kart *cough*. Seriously, these tracks look downright stolen. But the non-violent weapons, like baseballs and RC cars, are much more kid-friendly than the missiles of Crash Team Racing. Unless, of course, kids start throwing baseballs at each other.
The graphics just look too blurry. Sure, things are bright and colorful, but it could look so much better at a higher resolution. There are some nice touches in certain regions, like being able to see the Golden Gate in SF from far away and then actually being able to drive up underneath it. But for the most part, not much here impresses.
There’s tons of speech with all the classic Disney voices. Gosh’em gee! With other kart racers, you’ll find insults and challenges, stuff like, "Move out of my way, idiot." Not here. In Mickey’s world, these racers actually apologize to one another, "Sorry, about that Donald!" "Careful now, Mickey!" Yes, it boggles the mind. But don’t forget, these guys are just out to save Pluto, not find any old excuse to run laps around a track. That would be silly.
The rest of the sound is appropriately cartoony. It’s right out of any old Saturday morning – what more do you need for a Mickey Mouse kart racing game? A concerto? A rock ballad?
Mickey’s Speedway USA is a kart racer for the young-uns. It’s just a bit lacking compared to the elder Mario Kart. Kids will enjoy the easy to master controls and Disney characters, but there isn’t enough meat for the older, discerning gamer. However, Mickey’s Speedway USA makes for a much better present for junior compared to that ‘other’ mouse (or whatever it is) in Hey You, Pikachu.