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Whilst hardly the most competently realised racer we’ve seen, Hot Wheels at least makes a genuine attempt at innovation by including transforming vehicles – a rather effective move which manages to retain one’s interest where it might otherwise dwindle. One minute you’re a car, the next a boat… or are you? Y’see, certain junctions allow players to elect their next form so some tactical thought is required for the very best performance.
The control and graphic issues of the game are geared more toward high-speed racing than "Mario Kart"-like antics. There's a distinct lack of personality or defined identity for what "Extreme Racing" attempts to achieve. A decent rental, but I'd rather play with real Hot Wheels cars than waste my time and attention on this low-budget misfire.
Good overall graphics but the collection of cars could have been more diverse. The detonating weapons look fine as you watch your opponent's vehicle incinerate. The explosions sound good as do most of the effects but the music is forgettable. The soundtrack tries so hard to be hip and tough that it just ends up sounding forced - like something the Archies would do if they were alive today. This is definitely a renter at best. It's a good entry-level racer but you're not going to want it hanging around the house for too long; you can't even discipline children with it for Pete's sake.
Color me prejudice, but when a game calls itself "extreme" it should include something "extreme." The entire time I was playing Hot Wheels Extreme Racing, I could hear the voice of Poochie (the extradited mutt from The Itchy and Scratchy Show) shouting "To the EXTREME!" Well, if you know your Simpsons, you know that there is nothing extreme about Poochie. Marketing folks have got a serious jones for the word extreme. It's everywhere. Well, I am taking a stand. If you call it extreme, it damn well better be extreme.
Blame me, if you want. I'm just a guy who loves racing games. There's almost nothing I won't forgive a game if the action is good and the cars control well. I don't need fancy graphics. RC de Go had almost cartoonish graphics, but it was fun to play. Some of the prettier games, like Square's game-that-must-not-be-named for PS2, just don't work because of poor controls. If you love Hot Wheels , the time has still not come for your imagination to be translated to the gaming world. Leave it to the LEGO people to do things right. Their racing game may be aimed at a young set, but at least they got the racing part right.
Here's what: the ability to transform your vehicle into planes and speedboats throughout the race to match the terrain, and loads of power-ups and upgrades to improve performance. It's moderately good fun but you can't help but ask, 'What's the point?'.