3D Pixel Racing brings pixelated racing action to your Wii console. Will this downloadable game from Microforum have you racing to the finish, or just hoping to be finished?
3D Pixel Racing fits the standard racing game mold to a tee. You have your choice of several different game modes, most of which are pretty standard. You have Championship mode, which takes you through five different races in a fight for the top spot. You have Time Trial and Capture the Flag, which are exactly what they sound like. In a bit of a deviation from the norm, you have the Hot Pursuit mode, in which you are being pursued by a police car that apparently hasn’t heard that police brutality is a no-no nowadays. You must get away from the police, obviously, but the coppers will be trying to ram you the entire time. Acquire to much damage to your car and you’re “busted”. You also can choose Single Race if you just want to get one quick race in. This is actually fairly necessary, as the other game modes take you through a series of races, and you aren’t able to exit out (as far as I can see) without completely exiting the game.
Once you have chosen your game mode, you get to try your hand at a little customization, “little” being the operative word here. You can select your car from various blocky models (some are locked from the beginning), and then you can select a color. Select manual or automatic transmission, and your car customizing time is over. You also get to choose a character, which seems a bit unnecessary since you never really seem to him after your initial selection. The characters are, well, kind of goofy looking floating heads that bob up and down. Choose from goofy floating head with shades, goofy floating head with eye patch, goofy floating head with beard….you get the picture. Your choice of character name is pretty limited. Basically, you select one character (these range from letters and numbers to smiley faces and symbols), which will be placed in front of “up” to form your name.
The races themselves take place in various countries, with the surrounding environment changing with the country. Each race will also have a pre-selected weather pattern, such as fog, sun, rain, snow, etc. The thing about the weather that never failed to crack me up was its inconsistency. The race would begin, telling you it was raining for instance, and then all of a sudden it would be sunny and bright. Fall off a cliff, and the rain comes back. It really seemed to follow no pattern whatsoever. Each race plays out with 8 racers, 3 laps, and pit stops on. However, you can tweak this in the settings, as well as changing the difficulty level.
What you can’t change, though, is the control scheme. You must use the WiiMote’s motion controls to steer your car, and the steering is very touchy. Very small movements send your car careening, so you have to be very precise in your movements. There are drop-offs at various points on the tracks, and of course if you fall off the track you’ll be rest to a few feet behind where you fell off. You will also be rest if you cut any corners, at all. There are many points in the races where you are turning hairpin turns with no walls between them. You must stay on the track the entire time, or you will be reset, over and over again. However, no matter how many times you are rest, or how far ahead the other cars are, you get to finish each race. It won’t end the race early if all the other cars finish, as some games do. You can also choose to turn off the CPU cars in favor of players only, which is a nice option when playing against friends and family. 3D Pixel Racing is playable for up to four players, so everyone can get in on the action.
The graphics on 3D Pixel Racing are, as you’d expect, highly pixelated. Think 3D Dot Heroes pixelated. This is kind of fun, and gives it all a bit of a Lego look. It does make it difficult to make things out at times, but I didn’t find it to be a problem on the whole. The colors are a bit dull, but for the most part it is an interesting take on the racing genre.
3D Pixel Racing is a pixelated take on the standard Wii racing game. While the gameplay doesn’t offer much in the way of innovation, it offers solid racing action in convenient multiplayer form. I would have liked more control options, both for variety and for personal preference. I give 3D Pixel Racing a 6.5 out of 10, and recommend it to 8 bit fans looking for some race day fun.