raytay286's Pocketbike Racer Review
- The first three minutes of Battle Royale
- Courses are unclear sometimes
- Courses are generic and repetitive
Before I start this review, I want to get something straight - I did NOT buy this game. A friend gave it to me.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, lets jump right into this game. Right from the main menu, its obvious that this is going to be a downhill ride. The main menu shows the Burger King king smiling stupidly while a video from the back of a car plays behind him. I actually had a friend at my house so I jumped right into the multiplayer. All players choose a character from many BK characters that I had never heard of and then choose a bike. Player one can choose the class from 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc, suspiciously similar to Mario Kart. Finally, player one chooses from five different courses. They include a BK parking lot, "The King's Garden", the horrendous construction site, a neighborhood, and "Fantasy Ranch". I started with the parking lot.
Another Mario Kart Clone
The game works kind of like Mario Kart. Players drive around the course and use powerups to kill other players. However, to use powerups you must drive through sets of cones. These raise your power meter by a small amount. The power meter has several icons representing different weapons. Pressing X will fire the weapon that the meter has been filled to, but also depletes the meter. Weapons are generic. The weapons from bottom to top are Shield, Rockets, Dynamite, Guided Rockets, Blinding Flash and the all powerful guided D-Weapon. I suppose that you need these to win, but I always had trouble getting enough on some of the shorter courses.
Speaking of courses, they are about the worst I have ever seen. The parking lot, for example, is bland, repetitive, and shoving the BK logo down your throat. The other courses suffer from a horrible syndrome that will almost kill a racing game: Unclear Course Direction. These courses have serious issues with communicating the next turn. The neighborhood also has issues with defining where you can't go. Sometimes you can drive off the path a little ways, and sometimes you are instantly punished. The level also doesn't have blocked off streets, so it's not easy to tell if you can go there. But that't not the worst. No, the construction site is the worst. It's very hard to figure out where to go with all of the scattered construction materials and multiple paths. Also, the course is mostly vertical. Although driving off the edge into oblivion is bad, falling back to where you already were is worse. The game doesn't see it as going off course and therefore doesn't reset your position. This forces you to drive your way back up the cluttered track to try again. This is really, really bad, and this alone would almost be enough to can this game.
But just when you think that the game has nothing worse to offer, something more unveils itself to you. In singleplayer, players start with only two bikes, with serious balance issues. You can have 5 points of handling and 8 top speed or 4 handling and 15 top speed. The choice is easy. However, try as I might, I still fail to get a place higher than 7 in the very first course, and unlocking bikes takes a very long time, as you will see when you try a tournament.
There are several types of tournaments, the main part of the game. There is regular racing, Battle Royale, Cones, Time Trials, and Hardcore racing. Regular racing is self explanatory, along with time trials. Hardcore racing is racing without powerups. Cones is where the goal is to drive through all of the cones. The only one that I found fun was Battle Royale. This is like Mario Kart's Battle Mode but with normal courses. The goal is to get six hits on anyone.
This Abuses You
Now, I generally try to beat a game or at least play it for a while. I started writing this when I had only played it for 30 minutes. Then I stopped and decided to play it for two hours straight, to try to beat a Battle Royale tournament. I was on my fourth out of five battles when I felt sick and left. The problem with Battle Royale is they take at least 15 minutes to do, because there aren't enough drivers and it takes so long for a used set of cones to be reusable. This gets old really quickly, and after three full battles, the abuse was too much. I felt like I had the flu, and I'm not making that up. It took about ten minutes of running to get it all out of my head so I could continue writing. I literally can't imagine doing that for all of the classes. It was bad enough for the first one, and I'm not even finished with it.
About the Game
To conclude, Pocketbike Racer is a cheap, very poorly executed "advergame" designed to promote Burger King. There were three games, and they were sold with any value meal for an extra $3.99. I genuinely hope that the other two were better, because they all sold almost as well as Gears of War. All I can say now is that if something's cheap, people will buy it. It promised racing with no backache, but it did give me an awful headache. I guess the back of the box doesn't always tell the whole story.
Battle Royale is fun for two minutes of the 5+ hours needed to complete the game. That's the only bit of fun.
It looks like a GameCube game. In fact, Mario Kart: DD looks better. Low res textures, overcluttered courses, and a low polygon count make this game's graphics awful.
By far the best part of the game. The controls are fairly standard for racing games, but a few crucial changes hurt the controls considerably.
The sound is awful and will give you headaches. The only soundtrack "song" remotely good is the main theme. However, all of the other sound drowns this out.
This is the worst game of all time. It contains about two minutes of fun. Do not, no matter how little it costs, tarnish your interpretation of gaming with this title. Trust me, you will regret it. If there was only one video game in hell, this would almost surely be it.