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Yaris

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Yaris
2100008-box yaris.png
How not to make a licensed game revolving around cars.
Genre(s): Racing/on-rail shooter
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release: 2007
Developer(s): Backbone Entertainment
Castaway Entertainment
Publisher(s): Backbone Entertainment

Yaris was a Toyota-licensed game that was released for free on the Xbox Live Arcade in 2007 and was later delisted in 2008 due to the Toyota license having expired.

Why It Sucked

  1. Despite being an attempt to advertise the Toyota Yaris brand, it fails to do in several ways;
    • The YARIS trademark logo isn't even used, which makes the advertisement look like it's ashamed of its product.
    • The so-called Yaris cars are just shameless product placement. In fact, you could replace the Yaris cars with something else and nothing would change at all. Also, the Yaris brand was discontinued in america by 2018, which renders the advertisement obsolete.
  2. Racing is "automatic", advertising when you don't control it still does the turns at a constant speed.
  3. Instead of a racing game that stars the Toyota cars, we instead get an on-rail shooter where you drive around on space pipes and shoot down enemies.
  4. Enemy designs are nothing but absurd. There are giant MP3 players, toasters, flaming wheels and Mexican wrestlers riding bikes, which actually gives the game a completely nonsensical tone. In fact, most of the enemies come from behind, which makes dodging them even more artificially difficult. It feels more like a slap-together experimental video game that someone would put on GameJolt than something that would advertise a car brand.
  5. Enemy animations are also basically animated loops, especially in the enemy/object gallery section.
  6. Low-quality graphics that are around PlayStation 2 standards with barely any hardware rendering into them.
  7. For a racing game with some shooter elements in it, it is very unforgiving, as you cannot shoot backwards and only forwards. Most of the enemy attacks, like the flying aliens' swirl bombs and the flaming trails from the snake wheels can chain-strike you to death within a few seconds, as they can register a ridiculously high amount of hits/damage sounds per second and drain all of your health. This is a form of bad enemy design where you can die in a second from 10 hits because you don't have any recovery time. Sound familiar?
  8. Awkward death animation which is shown by your car spinning around and then stopping without any damage shown at all.
  9. Only two soundtracks used in the majority of the game, one being for the menus, one being for the gameplay which both focus hugely on throbbing bass.
  10. Upgrades for tires, colors and bodies are pointless since they don't really affect the gameplay at all.
  11. Grinding for upgrades requires you to play through the same race over and over just to grind coins. To add insult to injury, there is an achievement that requires you to farm 1,000,000 of them mindlessly.
  12. It has the need to shoehorn messages like "Even Yaris needs insurance." in the credits.
  13. Multiplayer isn't any better, as you can choose to either hinder each other or help each other at the same time using abilities assigned to the buttons. While the ability to heal each other is very useful, there are even negative abilities combined like the ability to drain shields which makes you die much easier, and the ability to lose coins. This is why you don't put in abilities that can hinder players on cooperative multiplayer.
  14. Despite being a free-to-play game, it feels more like a bad Xbox 360 Indie Game in terms of graphics than a proper Arcade Game. In comparison, Aegis Wing, which was also free on the Xbox 360 Arcade, had better looking graphics even for 2007 standards and didn't rely on gimmicks.

Reception

On GameFAQs, Yaris had a rating of 1.67/5, making it the 5th lowest rated racing game on Xbox 360 and the 111th lowest rated Xbox 360 game. On Metacritic, Yaris has a score of 17/100 reviving an “overwhelmingly disliked” review score from critics, making it the lowest scored Xbox 360 game in the site. Scott the Woz regarded it as one of the worst video games of all time due to its low score on Metacritic.

On GamesRadar article The 50 worst games of all time, Yaris was ranked 33rd. It was described as "too expensive, even for a free game".

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