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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Neko Entertainment
Developed By: Neko Entertainment
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-4
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: July 6, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Price: 800 Wii Points
Written by: Marcus Prunty

The cartoonish racing arena has just gotten a new entrant to do battle against the Mario kart series. Heracles Chariot Racing revs up on the scene freshly after being ported over from the PlayStation 2 and arrives on the Wii via the WiiWare downloadable game section. Neko Entertainment brings us this Greek version of a kart racer with the main character being Heracles, along with eight other combatants from the Grecian world. You have the choice of a satyr, the sea god Poseidon, a Minotaur, and the lovely lady with snakes for hair, who else but Medusa! There are a few other mythological creatures you can play as that I haven’t until now I have never known about!

The options for this game are good considering that it is a WiiWare title. They have included a single player campaign where your choices are championship mode, which is the equivalent of the cup modes in Mario Kart, a single race mode where you can pick a track and just race, and a time trial mode where you try to finish a track as fast as possible. They have also included a multiplayer mode, which allows up to four players to race at once. The screen is split into four quadrants and everyone races on the same track. Under multiplayer mode you can still play championship mode, except since it’s multiplayer the screen is divided into the number of players. You can also have a single race where you pick a track and race against all of your friends. Then there is classic battle mode where you and up to three of your friends battle on a track full of items that are used to arm attack. When playing battle mode I got nostalgic for Mario Kart, which is a good thing for this game to make you feel. The only downfall of the multiplayer mode is that there is no online support, so you cannot play with your friends around the world or the ones down the street unless they come to your house and bring their Wii remotes and nunchucks.

Speaking of Wiimotes and nunchucks, this game handles very well! You use the Wiimote for accelerating and breaking, while using the nunchuck to steer. There is a little Wii motion control in the game but not that much. If you curve the Wiimote while steering with the nunchuck your chariot will handle turns and curves better. However, breaking and accelerating will take a few track tries until you get the two down pact. I found myself ramming into walls and barriers for the first couple of tracks. There are ten total drivable tracks in the game that you can play on in the different trophy modes --bronze, silver and gold-- and you can also adjust the difficulty level from easy up to hard.

Now as far as actual gameplay, Heracles Chariot Racing is not on par with Mario Kart Wii. The items in the game that you can use against your opponents are cool though. I particularly enjoyed sending Zeus after the other opponents with his lightning bolts while also shooting them with my fireballs. In addition, the fun part is there is no break in the attacking. When I hit someone with a fireball I can just keep on hitting them whereas in Mario Kart they spin out, and while they’re dazed or stunned they’re invulnerable to my attacks. This was a great added feature of Heracles because it allows you to keep dishing out punishment if you happen to get into a rage after someone cuts you off. In terms of visuals, the graphics are in the same cartoonish genre but Heracles lacks the definition and the higher graphics. The backdrops for the tracks you race on are beautiful in their cartoonish way and well designed. Some of my favorite tracks were the Mount Olympus and Hades underworld tracks.

While Heracles Chariot Racing does not include classic characters like the Mario Kart series and is not on par with the visuals as in Mario Kart Wii, this title has solid gameplay mechanics. The controls are spot on and once you get past the learning curve you are good to go and ready to take on anyone. The lack of online play for the multiplayer mode hurts this title somewhat, but the amazing price makes up for it. For 800 Wii points or $8.00 is all this game costs. You get Mario Kart level gameplay, smooth controls, no camera problems, a ton of tracks, and 9 characters!. For that much content for so little price, you will definitely love Heracles Chariot Racing. This is a solid title that gives you that combat racing aspect with chariots instead of carts and with mythological figures instead of Mario universe characters. As I finish writing this review, I plan on playing some more Heracles because to be honest, it can get pretty addicting.


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