On condition that he’s an web icon as of late and the star of numerous memes, it’s a little bit of a shock that it’s taken this lengthy – 12 full years, actually – to discover a technique to get Shrek into one other online game. The final title to characteristic the onion-layered ogre was DreamWorks Super Star Kartz, launched by Activision in 2011 for the Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, and 3DS. It’s considerably becoming, then, that he would return in one other DreamWorks karting recreation, and equally becoming that it too feels two generations previous.
DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing is the most recent providing from Bamtang Video games, which was beforehand answerable for the Nickelodeon Kart Racers trilogy (which began weak on Change, bought higher with the second game then misplaced its approach once more with the final entry). Sadly, whereas this DreamWorks-themed racer has a variety of first rate concepts, the execution is as sloppy as a Bergin consuming a Troll.
The roster is first rate, with 20 characters to select from, eight of which can be found from the beginning. Most massive DreamWorks franchises are in there, and whereas Shrek is represented probably the most with six racers (Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, Puss in Boots, Lord Farquaad, and Kitty Softpaws), there’s nonetheless illustration in there from the likes of The Boss Child, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Trolls and even Megamind.
Not each DreamWorks manufacturing is in there, probably both as a consequence of licensing causes or only a basic lack of recognition, so if you happen to’re a fan of The Croods, Rise of the Guardians, Antz, Monsters vs Aliens, Over the Hedge, and the like, you’re going to be disenchanted. And if you happen to had been a fan of The Highway to El Dorado, you’re in all probability too previous to be wasting your gaming time with this form of guff anyway.
There are some positives right here. There’s clearly been some effort made to make this an genuine DreamWorks karting recreation, slightly than a generic racer that’s simply had the lion from Madagascar and the annoying child from The way to Prepare Your Dragon dumped into it.
The tracks cowl a bunch of places from the flicks, which means Shrek followers get to race by means of Far Far Away and Shrek’s Swamp whereas Trolls is represented by Pop Village and Bergen City. From the observe set contained in the Child Corp constructing to the one within the New York Metropolis Zoo, we respect the trouble that’s been made right here.
It’s only a disgrace that every little thing that takes place in these places detracts from that effort, not least the voice appearing which options among the worst soundalikes we’ve heard in a recreation. Naturally, we weren’t anticipating the likes of Mike Myers, Jack Black, and Ben Stiller to lend their voices right here, however given you may throw a stone on TikTok with out even wanting and hit 30 individuals doing Shrek impressions, it’s virtually inspiring how this recreation managed to search out somebody who sounds so awful (and Shrek is the worst of a typically unhealthy bunch).
What’s much more disappointing is that the sport does really do a intelligent factor with the dialogue, in that every racer has a set of character-specific strains that they’ll utter after they go somebody. So when Kung Fu Panda bumps into Alex from Madagascar, he’ll say “Look out, Alex.” It is a good contact, it is only a disgrace that he sounds much less like Jack Black and extra like Jack Black’s cousin. Not the one which seems like him, the opposite one.
Whereas the voice appearing can at the very least be turned off, the identical can’t be mentioned for the course design, most notably the annoying grime patches which might be discovered scattered in a few of them – not simply off the observe, however generally on it. The sport’s drifting feels a bit on the awkward aspect as it’s, however if you drift over one in all these grime patches the drift is killed immediately (versus most karting video games the place the drift continues however you decelerate massively).
Not solely does this take away the pace enhance you’ve been charging up – which might be irritating however very a lot a ‘git gud’ state of affairs – however as a result of drifting typically entails holding the Management Stick in the wrong way it additionally ceaselessly ends in you wildly veering off the observe the second you hit the grime. Add to this the truth that the sport seems blurry and exhausting to see at the perfect of occasions, and that these grime patches can seem with out a lot warning because of this, and it may be massively annoying.
The facility-ups are additionally fairly underwhelming. Though there’s a Assist display screen on the primary menu which explains all 16 of them, even after just a few hours of play we stored forgetting what they did as a result of they’re so unremarkable. It’s not such as you don’t get a lot of an opportunity to make use of them – the extreme rubber-banding makes certain you possibly can by no means actually get too far forward of the pack so that you’re all the time in amongst the ‘motion’ – they’re simply too boring for any of them to lodge in your mind as ones to look out for.
Above all else, the factor is simply clunky past perception. Even on the quickest of 4 pace settings, the sport can really feel painfully gradual if you aren’t hitting boosts, and whereas the body price makes an attempt to hit 30 frames per second, there’s an actual jankiness to issues which means it’s hardly ever constant. We additionally often discovered annoying ‘damaged’ bits, similar to a piece the place we hit a leap incorrect and slowly floated all the way down to the bottom as an alternative whereas our opponents raced off into the space.
In the end, it’s tough to suggest DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing to anybody however probably the most die-hard DreamWorks fan, or probably the most affected person karting fan who’s prepared to miss all its shortcomings in return for some new tracks to race round. When there are quite a few far better examples of karting games already on Switch, you’d should be the form of one that usually listens to the Trolls soundtrack on Spotify to correctly get pleasure from this one.
In a approach, it’s unlucky that the sport options ‘All-Star’ within the title, as a result of all that does is make us take into consideration the Smash Mouth music synonymous with the primary Shrek film, and remind us of higher occasions. This recreation, however, has us wanting sort of dumb, with our finger and our thumb within the form of an ‘L’ on our brow.
Until you are one of many largest DreamWorks followers on the planet, you may battle to fall in love with DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing. Its makes an attempt at authenticity and its quite a few references are admirable, but it surely actually lets itself down on the observe with irritating design selections, unstable efficiency, and a forgettable vary of power-ups.