|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Paon Corp.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 8, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As far as play modes go, Barrel Blast is a very bare-bones title. Included are the obligatory tutorial, practice, time trial, cups, and challenge modes. The various cups are set up just like a Mario Kart title's, having you compete in a series of races where finishing in the top three overall earns you a trophy. Candy's challenge mode will give you varied objectives to complete in order to be victorious. These challenges aren't particularly imaginative, ranging anywhere from collecting a certain number of bananas during a race to finishing above a certain position for multiple laps. These two modes are where the meat of this title's gameplay comes from, but it still doesn't take very long to complete them.
Once you're done with all of the cups and challenges, what is left? In the end, all that remains are some very developed and sore arms and a massive feeling of disappointment. You can play offline multiplayer with up to four players competing in races, but it isn't that entertaining and does little to keep you coming back.
Graphically, Barrel Blast won't be winning any awards either. All of the characters look like we've come to expect but with very few additional details. The racetracks also maintain a serious lack of detail throughout. While the track itself is littered with barrels, enemies, and power-ups, the backgrounds are all fairly bland. If you take a moment and look around at most of the backgrounds, you will see there is very little going on, making it seem like the tracks could have just as easily been placed against a blank screen.
While it is short and somewhat disappointing, Barrel Blast did make interesting use of the Wii's motion-sensing controls. Although they didn't work as well as they should have, they still made the game a unique experience. There are no other games out there that let you race around with rocket bongos that are fueled by arm pain. Perhaps that is for the best. Still, with just a slight reworking of the controls, more modes, and a better multiplayer component, this really could have been a great game. As it stands though, this is just a fairly lackluster and easily forgettable title.
CCC Freelance Writer