Walt Disney World: Magical Racing Tour Review
When I heard from Eidos that they were going to publish a Disney title on wheels it didn't pinch my brains at all. I felt as if a title based on the Disney license can never hold a place on the Playstation market. Developed by Crystal Dynamics (who was responsible for Soul Reaver), this game is one of a kind . Karts are not the only things you get to control here though, there are snowmobiles and water based vehicles as well. Trying to play like Crash Team Racing, Magical Racing Tour puts you into the role of Chip and/or Dale. This is a first for the Walt Disney license to sport wheels in its game. Although this game should be called Chip 'n' Dale's Magical Racing Tour, Eidos decided to throw in the Walt Disney World title just because it is more recognizable. See how this kart racer did against the others.
When I look at this game there is a mixed look on my face. On one side the overall visuals look pretty good but the game needs some special effects to complement it. Many of you may remember Crash Team Racing's awesome visuals, the game had everything to push the PSX to the limits, a flawless four player battle mode, lush visuals, and tons of special effects. MRT does some of that but misses on the others, for instance the game has no four player battle mode, and the game lacks any nice special effects. The best part of the visuals has got to be the Toy Story like CGs that Crystal Dynamics put into the PSX, and those really impress me.
The gameplay is nothing like Crash Team Racing but is more on Nintendo's Diddy King Racing. I say that because in the game not only do you drive karts but, ships, logs, snowmobiles and more. MRT puts you in the shoes of Chip 'N Dale, who once came across a Magical Machine, they accidentally dropped their acorns into the machine's slot and the machine blew up. The Magical Machine was part of Disney World's main attraction and it blew to pieces, now it is up to Chip and/or Dale to find all of the pieces and build the machine back together. You have a choice of 13 racers 10 from which are new Disney members you have never heard off. Jiminy Cricket and Chip and Dale are probably the only ones who you will recognize from the pack. The best aspect about the gameplay is it's courses. You are thrown into Epcot's Test Track, Space Mountain, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, The Animal Kingdom and of course Disney World itself. The tracks aren't as innovative as CTR's and they don't feel as nicely designed, but I guess I've been spoiled by Sony. Like any other kart racer or any racer for that matter, MRT also has tracks with shortcuts as well as hidden characters. And finally the thing that disappointed me the most was that the game only featured two player combat instead of four. We have seen tons and tons of games for the last year that supported four player support, and it is a shame that Eidos still doesn't know PSX's every nook and cranny.
Imagine that you are six again, what type of music would you most likely listen to? When I was six I enjoyed the classic Disney tunes and so did many other people and I'm pretty sure of that. Get ready to re-live your childhood all over again, Crystal has thrown in many of Disney's world famous tunes that have backed their cartoons up ever since. I personally am not disappointed by that choice, Eidos and Crystal know that they are aiming this title towards younger gamers and it was a smart move to implement classic Disney tunes into their game. On another note MRT also features voice acting which is mostly done by Pinocchio's little friend Jiminy Cricket and the quality is great.
When playing this game, think CTR's control scheme. The layout isn't much different than CTR's but the Disney title only supports one analog stick and that is the left one for maneuvering. Like CTR you can also turbo boost out of powerslides. That is about all, remember think CTR.
In the end I wasn't completely dissatisfied with Walt Disney World: Magical Racing Tour, though the game isn't anywhere as close as Crash Team Racing is, it is still a fun title that gamers of younger age will especially enjoy. If you have the pitter patter of little feet, and they have some experience with the PS, then you should be a nice parent and pick them up this title.