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While there are a number of hiccups in ChoroQ, mainly due to the awkward menus and even more cumbersome story mode, there's a solid racer to be found here, and one that really shows its value when not played alone. It's also a game that both parents and kids can both enjoy together without either group feeling too bored or too frustrated. That's a rare thing, especially at a budget price.
If all ChoroQ intended to do was offer something new to drive, its quick race mode satisfies that count. A few laps could easily lull you into the misimpression that this was just a simple but serviceable little racer aimed at the kids market. You would never expect that starting the story mode would open the door to a toy story of expansive proportion. But like a Pixar film, the refusal to take a 'dumbed down' approach delivers a smart, sophisticated adventure that elevates ChoroQ well above the ordinary. From the humble beginnings of selecting a starting body springs your story as a young ChoroQ in a toy fantasy world with dreams of rising to the top of the racing circuit.
ChoroQ is a mixed bag. Part of the game looks like it was built for younger players and part looks like it is adult-oriented. But the graphical glitches, the lounge background music played too loud, and the AI that switches modes very quickly and seem to be working as a team to box you out of a race can all add up quickly to a racing title that can’t compete with some of the other titles on the market. ChoroQ has its charm, but when it comes to racing games, dynamic physics in car handling and approximately strong race conditions outweigh charm.
To be quite frank, I absolutely love this off-the-wall concept. The tracks, while graphically challenged, are equally as wacky. The only think that truly holds this title back is the racing. It's just way too slow and clunky. Regardless, this is still a novelty title for the ages. Collectors take note.
ChoroQ is a game about toy-car-racing with a unique although not spectacular racing system that chooses to imbed this racing, like an egg, inside a pretty bland and lifeless RPG that features toy cars that yell at you for coming into their house. It's not for everybody. It's not for most folks, actually. But it's got heart, and that definitely counts for something.
Despite some fun track designs and a reasonably high level of customization, ChoroQ can’t escape unforgiving race mechanics and the mind-bending awfulness of its role-playing side. Skip it.
The redirected focus on racing makes ChoroQ a vastly different game than its PS2 predecessor, Road Trip. For gamers that's one step forward, but two steps back. The racing action can be a kick, but it just doesn't compare to other racers -- gameplay or presentation-wise -- available for the system. The accent on racing also takes away from the story-driven RPG elements that made Road Trip so unique. It's not a keeper, but rent it to try to figure out why the series is so popular in Japan.
Though ChoroQ may seem like an arbitrarily peculiar Japanese racing game to American eyes, in Japan this series has served as a digital extension of the superdeformed ChoroQ toy cars, and both the toy cars and the racing series have enjoyed great popularity in that country for many years. However, if you don't already have an established love for Takara's customizable line of toy cars, you'll find that ChoroQ has little in the way of redeeming qualities.
If nothing else, respective props must be given to Atlus USA for having the courage to bring a game like ChoroQ over to North America. After all, most of those crazy games from Japan never really do that well in the United States, assuming they’re brought over at all. Of course, there are notable exceptions like Katamari Damacy, but those games are just that- exceptions. They can have all the fantastic production values in the world, but sometimes that isn’t enough to make a game a success because they’re just too weird. Unfortunately, ChoroQ is a game that fails on both levels, with too many problems in its core design to really be rectified. It has its moments, but not where it counts.
It's not often that IGN editors will gather around a single desk to gaze in horrified wonder at a game so preposterously awful that it's actually capable of annihilating sentient life. This particular black hole of a PlayStation 2 title happens to be ChoroQ, the thousandth in a series of other unfathomably lame ChoroQ games. Right now it's sucking in the universe and bending light.