Friday, March 18, 2016
Just over 20 years ago, Psygnosis and designer Nick Burcombe brought a little game known as WipEout to life on the original PlayStation. It was a game that had an enormous cultural impact at the time, and now Burcombe is back making yet another combat-based racer, although this one is less WipEout and more Mario Kart via Micro Machines. No bad thing.
A console version of the mobile hit, which since launch has clocked up more than 9.5 million downloads, Table Top Racing: World Tour is billed as a complete reinvention. Immediately, it's evident that TTR on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has been built almost entirely from scratch. The eight-man team at indie developer Playrise Digital has clearly gone to great lengths in ensuring that the game not only looks good, but feels good too.
There's also a vein of tongue-in-cheek humour running through the game in its take on iconic car marques, like Fauxrari (Ferrari, obvs), McHandful (McLaren) and Baguetti (Bugatti), or individual models like the Braking's Bad RV, whereas the dynamic circuits are not only bold and colourful, but offer all manner of shortcuts and alternate routes to keep things interesting. Add to that the ability to upgrade and boost each of the game's 12 micro racers across three categories of increasing difficulty, and there's plenty of added depth beneath the visually inviting surface.
As a weapons-based racer, obviously there are also fiendish power-ups to unleash against enemies, picked up via weapon bubble icons scattered around the track. Mines and missiles are the staple explosive weapons, but you're also able to clear mines or disarm and scupper opponents with an EMP blast, or deploy a boost to increase your lead or catch up to the rest of the pack. You can also dump green goo onto the track to slow rival racers, or launch a frosty projectile to temporarily turn them into an ice cube. Time it just right and you can send a frozen racer sliding off the edge of the track, which never gets old.
There are eight weapons in all, with six different 'wheel weapons' to choose from prior to each race, including Bling Wheels that earn more coins as you skid around corners that can then be spent on upgrades, and Peacebomb Wheels that strip your opponents' weapons at the touch of a button. Centurion Wheels enable you to shred alongside your rivals to slow them down, while Boing Wheels let you bounce to otherwise out of reach shortcuts and hidden coins. Drift Wheels make skidding around corners far easier, but obviously reduce traction, and finally Shield Wheels deploy a temporary shield to deflect incoming attacks.
Which wheels you opt for is all part of your strategy, although I found that going for the Shield Wheels and throwing up a protective bubble at the beginning of a race was a great way to avoid the initial chaos and ramming on the starting grid in the game's 8-player PvP modes. And there are twenty circuits to try out across the game's five themed locations, which include a Yo! Sushi restaurant complete with discarded raw fish dishes and conveyor belts.
Enormously enjoyable against aggressive human opponents, World Tour also has a lot going on in the solo stakes, with a Championships mode spun out across several different race types like hot laps, pure races (no weapons), combat races (with weapons), time attacks, drift events and elimination races. In total, there are 86 events to complete, with coins to be racked up in order to unlock upgrades and new cars from the three classes on offer: Cult Classics, Street Racers and Supercars.
Table Top Racing: World Tour is shaping up rather nicely then, with accessible handling that's perceptibly different from vehicle to vehicle and a pleasingly solid, colourful and cartoony style. The result is something that'll conjure fond memories of Micro Machines with its dinky toy racers tearing past billiard balls and oversized food, and of Mario Kart and WipEout, with its range of projectiles and such for messing with your rivals. In a nutshell, it's a racer that's almost guaranteed to provide ample fun and enjoyment.
Table Top Racing: World Tour is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Q2 2016.
Friday, March 18, 2016 @ 07:08 PM
Saturday, March 19, 2016 @ 12:57 AM
Sunday, March 20, 2016 @ 09:01 PM
Monday, March 21, 2016 @ 12:48 AM
Monday, March 21, 2016 @ 10:34 AM
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 @ 07:17 AM