|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Farmind||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Eidos||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 17, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Wacky Races: Crash & Dash is based on the vintage cartoon Wacky Races that is celebrating its 40th anniversary. It was the original kart racer, featuring a series of outrageous cartoon characters with outrageous vehicles doing outrageous things to win a race.
Even though the show was loaded with recurring characters, the undisputed stars were the adversaries, Dick Dasterdly and his hench-dog, Muttley. Unfortunately, you dont get to play as the bad guys in Crash and Dash; youll play as the other characters in this game.
Wacky Races: Crash & Dash, as a concept, has been done to death. Its little more than your average kart racer and a poor imitation of Mario Kart. Weve seen Wacky Races games released on various systems over the years and include the Dreamcast and the Game Boy Color. The improvements on the DS are remarkable in comparison to the GBC, but even the sophisticated graphics engine cant save the redundant and predictable gameplay. And to make matter worse, the gameplay is marred by the control system. In an attempt to utilize the DSs unique interactive features, the results do little more than turn this into a clumsy novelty game.
In a series of cross-country rallies, you will be able to play as your second favorite character from the original show. Each character, or team, comes with his or her unique vehicle. Each vehicle has different characteristics which you can exploit to win the race, but youve got to watch out for Dick Dasterdly and Muttley, as they spring a variety of traps on you and your vehicle. Theyve got the fastest car in the race, the Mean Machine, but usually they are so busy sabotaging the other racers they fail to take advantage of it. P>
Other vehicles include the Slag Brothers Bouldermobile, which is a Flintstone-like vehicle made of stone. Then theres Penelope Pitstops Compact Pussycat, loaded with all kinds of cosmetic gear that can be used as offensive weapons such as the powder puff that creates a smokescreen effect. A team of Munster and Adams Family-inspired characters drive a horror-themed vehicle called the Creepy Croupe, which contains bats in the belfry and a dragon on board. The Convert-a-Car is the invention of Professor Pat Pending and is capable of riding on land and water as well as being able to take to the air.
All the characters and vehicles are playable right from the start. Theres no waiting and nothing to unlock. It kind of takes the incentive away to keep playing because after youve tried a few different vehicles, you begin to realize there isnt much appreciable difference among them. All the vehicles are controlled by the stylus. Its placed in front of the vehicle where you attempt to outline its path. This is not only highly unusual but it doesnt really serve any useful function other than as an excuse to drag out the stylus, which youve probably already lost by now. Placing the stylus in front of the vehicle not only feels awkward, like dragging a wagon, but at times your hand will be at angles that will actually limit your view of the screen.