Title: Beach Buggy Racing
Platform: PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Vector Unit
Publisher: Vector Unit
Release date: May 29th 2015
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
First off, Beach Buggy Racing features a huge amount of content for players to tackle. Players can race a cutesy and story-less career mode where you main goal is finish first in each races in order to obtain the maximum coin reward. As long as you finish in the top 3, you get either one, two or three stars and a set amount of coins. The former unlocks other courses in the championship while the latter allows players to pimp their ride and improve such things as top speed, acceleration, handling and strength. Career features 9 different championships and the more you progress, the more challenging the A.I. gets. It also “forces” players to upgrade your car because after the first, easy, championship, the difficulty ramps up right up from the second championship. Although the races are overall fairly well balanced, omitting to upgrade your vehicle will insure you to be in last place.
To keeps things fresh, championship races from Career mode will differ. You’ll either have to race straight against five other races, do a time trial, elimination race (where the last one gets eliminated after X amount of seconds), shooting gallery or boss race. Shooting gallery requires speed and precision. You’ll drive through a familiar course picking up rocket and you need to shoot down targets and other drivers in order to reach the necessary score for either 1, 2 or 3 stars. Its a fun and different way to tackle a race. While Boss races are usually the final race of one of the career’s many championships where its you one on one with a single racer and beating him or her will unlock him/her as a usable driver.
Races, whether championships or single races, are spread across 100HP right up to 1000HP. Much like Mario Kart, the higher the horsepower, the more difficult the race is. Cars can also carry over onto the next tier. Once you’ve maxed out your car’s four characterics, you’ll have the option to upgraded to the next horsepower level, so all these coins spent don’t go to waste. Although if you upgrade your car to 250HP and want to use it in a 100HP, the game will knock off the final upgrade so you’re on the same level as your opponents. Also Power Ups are actually really fun and inventive. Never gets old when you can turn one of your opponents into a giant block of ice or see them get thrown into the air after driving over a trampoline.
Each of the unlockable drivers has a Special skill that can be used only once per race. It automatically activates itself after a while and its up to you to decide when to use it; adding a bit of strategy to the mix. Do I use Rez’s speed boost midway through the race or wait until the last stretch, hoping to pass the lucky few in front? The game only features 12 tracks spread across the 9 career championships; variation come in terms of weather or day/night cycle. So having to replay previous championships to gain additional coins will make some tracks boring after a while; luckily, races lasts about 1 to 2 minutes early on in Career mode.
Considering this is a arcadey “kart” racing game, breaks can only be used in “do or die” situations. You can noticed the attention that went into making that game as each buggy have a different feel to them. One can feel floaty as hell, and I mean Grand Theft Auto IV levels of floaty, and others will turn a corner on a dime. Players will need to mix things up and switch cars in order to successfully move through a championship. Having a fully maxed out car won’t ensure victory on every race. If you have the wrong car for the type of terrain, things will be very badly. This, unfortunately, requires to replay previously won championships in order get more coins to upgraded your new car.
Beach Buggy Racing is easy to pick up and play. Simple mechanics and fun racing is sure to be fun for the whole family. Gas, brake, special skill, item usage; anyone can pick this game up and enjoy it for a single race or for hours on end. The races are fun and goes by quickly. Unfortunately, the game has a hard time being properly balanced. Either you’ll be overpowered or you’ll barely hold on to the 5th place; which requires a lot of trial and error by testing out different vehicle in races you’re having hard time in.
The game has a cute kid-friendly visual style and has an equally cute soundtrack; sure nothing really will grab your attention but then again, when players, kids or adults alike, are focused on racing at the top of the racing chain to the finish line, music is the last thing on your mind. While the visual is sure to hook younger players in your home. Environments are cutesy as well, but the Sun and Rain effect are pretty amazing looking; you will get blind when driving around the beach or be tempted to wipe your screens from the raindrops.
Beach Buggy Racing is a must play experience for the gamers in your house. Casual or hardcore, kids or adults, everyone will find something to enjoy in this fun little racer. Despite it abrupt difficulty spike and having to replay championships in order to upgrade every car equally, the wide variety of characters, cars and races will have players coming back for more.
- Can be played in short bursts
- Easy to pick up and play
- Lots of unlockable
- Replay value through the roof
- Floaty cars
- Narrow paths can be hard to drive through
- Abrupt difficulty spike
Beach Buggy Racing is rated E for Everyone. The game features mild fantasy violence and use of tobacco. Its cute visuals and friendly controls are perfect for every single person of your family, from your kids to your grand parents.
GGS was supplied a copy of the game by Xbox UK for the purpose of creating this review