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M&M's Kart Racing

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M&M's Kart Racing
M&Ms-Kart-Racing-Wii.jpg
Think about making an already bad rip-off of an already good racing game. Think it'd be unnoticeable considering that Mario Kart Wii was released after this game?
Genre(s): Kart racing
Platform(s): Wii
Nintendo DS
Release: Wii
NA: October 25, 2007
AU: November 29, 2007
EU: April 25, 2008

Nintendo DS
NA: March 24, 2008
EU: April 25, 2008
Developer(s): Frontline Studios[1]
Publisher(s): NA: Destination Software
EU: Zoo Digital Publishing
AU: QVS International
Country: Poland
Series: M&M's
"I don't care what anyone says guys. M&M's Kart Racing wasn't good. I'm never eating an M&M ever again."
Scott The Woz


M&M's Kart Racing is a kart racing video game released in 2007 for the Wii and Nintendo DS, based on the M&M's candies. Developed by Frontline Studios and published by Destination Software in North America, QVS International in Australia, and Zoo Digital Publishing in Europe.

Why It Approaches the Crap Barrier

  1. Making a racing game out of M&M's is an extremely questionable idea, since the characters in that food brand themselves, while they can have potential for a video game in general, however don't for a racing game. Therefore, it is pointless to make a kart racing game out of M&M's, especially when it actually turns out to be an obvious Mario Kart rip-off, just like some other racing games, like Crazy Frog Racer and its sequel, just to prove how the developers/publishers were unoriginal. The game plays very similarly to Mario Kart, only with a lack of items and other elements stolen from the original game itself then remade so poorly.
  2. Incredibly unresponsive controls. This makes the game pretty difficult to complete, no matter how many times you will press the button that controls your M&M. The unresponsive controls are on par with Sonic Free Riders.
    • The turning is so inconsistently sensitive because it’s either way too sensitive, or not sensitive enough, which makes the narrow turns even more of a pain.
    • Some weird kart control design choices, such as when you’re going down a ramp or jump with your kart, you can’t turn at all, this is especially a problem in the Mountains course where you’re supposed to turn when going downhill.
  3. Dreadful camera angles, which can often fly away from the player, eventually hiding the gameplay.
  4. Abysmal graphics that belong to an early fifth generation game more than a early seventh generation game, the textures are very muddy and low-quality, and the colors are very bleak and washed-out compared to the colorful design of the M&M’s brand, Mario Kart 64 came in 1997, a decade after this game, looks five times better than this, and that was an early N64 game.
    • Ugly, outdated and blocky models. They look like they were actually made for the PlayStation, at least in 1995, despite this is a game from 2007 to 2008. No matter which model of M&M you will see, they will still look ugly.
    • The shadow lighting is very inconsistent, there are times where there are shadows reflecting, but other times, the shadows are non-existent, with the most notable instance is when on the character selection screen, where the M&M’s lack model lighting.
    • Low-quality textures.
    • The visuals look poor, most notably the water in the Beach track, which looks like static, and the sand in the same track, because it looks way too pale for sand.
  5. The voice-overs are very irritating and will get on your last nerves, since most of the time, they say the same things over and over again, most infamously is the quote “APPROACHING SOUND BARRIER!” for when you reach full acceleration.
  6. Long loading times, lasting for about 15 seconds. Even the game's official website had to put a screenshot of the loading screen.
    • Not to mention, it uses the Comic Sans MS font, which is just plain laziness.
  7. Much like Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, the framerate is very inconsistent and can’t decide what it wants to run at, with some areas feeling like it’s running at 60 FPS, but for most of the game, it’s locked to 30 FPS or lower.
  8. Incredibly generic music even for a racing game released for the Wii and DS.
  9. The multiplayer mode doesn't support more than two players, similar to the PlayStation port of Lego Racers, despite the PS1 supporting multi-taps to allow more than 2 controllers to be connected to the console. The Wii is capable of supporting up to 4 players for multiplayer.
  10. Numerous bugs and glitches, one of which involves you bouncing another player's car up a window in multiplayer and driving into it, causing the game to crash, as demonstrated by Peter Knetter.
  11. The karts make an ear-scratchily annoying sound when the player crashes into a wall, just to kill your ears and go to the hospital to get them fixed. Even GP vs. SuperBike's sound when the player crashes into a wall is not annoying.
  12. Some of the power ups are inconveniently placed so that they boost you into a wall if you run into them by accident.
  13. The tracks are both bland and horribly designed, most of them have very tight and narrow turns which are so short, it’s sometimes impossible to even get through the turn, all of them have very linear and cookie-cutter track designs which aren’t interesting, there are some tracks where there’s a lot of obstacles with small breathing areas, which like the narrow turns, could be impossible to get through, the Beach track is the biggest example of obstacles with small breathing areas, with most of the track being filled with random obstacles that are nearly impossible to get through unless you master the controls.
    • Not to mention, the tracks can contain very narrow passageways and very tight turns.
  14. You cannot perform manual drifts at all, which is unacceptable because drifting (depending on your view) is a staple in racing games.
  15. For some reason, if you unlock a car, you only unlock it for that specific character, for example, if you unlock a new car as the Orange M&M, you have to unlock it again for the Red M&M, which could be considered artificial padding.
  16. Awful voice acting. It is clear they only had 2 actors, which is one for all the male M&M’s, and another one for the Green M&M, and the voice acting for the male M&M’s and the Green M&M barely sounds like the original voice cast. Even M&M's Shell Shocked managed to get the original voice cast and that was on the PS1.
  17. There is no item system whatsoever, and the only Power-up you get is a cappuccino, which acts as a brief speed boost which is sometimes hard to control.
  18. There is also no minimap, which is strange for a kart racer, though you wouldn’t need it because the track design is so cookie-cutter.
  19. Some characters you race against, like a grasshopper and a fox, feel out of place for a game based on M&M’s. If they used different coloured M&M’s, it would make sense, but with other creatures, it doesn’t in this game.
  20. The DS version is even worse than the Wii version for the following reasons.
    • The graphics are even worse, that look like an Atari Jaguar launch title instead of a DS game, even Mario Kart DS (while it hasn’t aged well) looks better than that.
    • The tracks are so painfully long and boring, and there’s not that much challenge to it either.
    • Characters say the same 2-3 voice-overs over and over, which gets annoying after a while.
    • Speaking of the voice-overs, all of M&M’s share the same voice overs, meaning you will hear the voice overs from every character, all the time!
    • You can only do one lap in every track instead of 2-3 laps, and there’s no way to change it.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The soundtrack for both versions (while generic) are decent and catchy, and they use different styles, for example, the Wii version uses a mix of pop and rock, while the DS version goes for a disco-themed style.
  2. Two of the fifteen tracks are pretty creative.
  3. The part at the end of the race, where the player’s M&M accidentally crashes into a wall, is unintentionally funny
  4. Although making a racing game out of M&M is a horrible idea, It was pretty innovative.

Reception

M&M's Kart Racing received tremendously negative reviews. The Wii version holds a score of 22.50% and the DS version a score of 22.33% on GameRankings. GameZone gave it a 2 out of 10.

It was also awarded as the lowest rated kart game by Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2011, stating that the game's nearest rival is Shrek Swamp Kart Speedway, which has a score of 26.40% on GameRankings. It was ranked #32 on GamesRadar's The 50 worst games of all time article.

Gameplay footage of the game was featured as Joystiq's "Today's most hilariously atrocious video", stating that the gameplay footage "is a true testament to the wrong way to build a kart racer".

When PolarSaurusRex saw the cover of the game on Twitter, he felt that it was a meme because of how it actually looked like a fake game, especially since its cover felt like it was made with images copy-pasted with Photoshop, and stated "Why would they make a kart racing game based on M&M's?".

Trivia

  • The game spawned the "APPROACHING SOUND BARRIER!" meme.

Videos

References

  1. Additional work by Calaris Studios for the Wii version.

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