James Ireland On February - 23 - 2011

One thing that the Xbox Live service has been yearning for has been a party racing game that really does pack the competitive punch. Unfortunately games like Things on Wheels, Mad Tracks and a few other hybrid racers haven’t done is fulfilled that real competitive spirit. On the PSN that market has been filled up due to games such as Smash Cars and Supersonic Aerobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars. So the gap was there to be exploited on the Xbox Live platform but have Keen Games managed to capitalise on this?

tntracers1 TNT Racers Review

One thing for certain is that the games price is on the friendly side, hitting at a very affordable 800 Microsoft Points, it looks like a very attractive purchase on the service. With 17 courses and the ability to have 4 player online and offline play, it certainly does appear to have all the credentials to give us that Micro Machines/Mashed love that we are wanting on the service. Courses range anywhere from being in the middle of the Aztec Jungle straight through to being out in the snowy mountains, so variety is certainly something you’ll come across. Then there is the massive plethora of weaponry that is available at your disposal to pummel your opponent. Weapons base from anything to Space Rockets, Confetti Mines and Candy Cannons. They are without a doubt some of the more unique weapons that I have seen on racing games.
In terms of the different game play options that there are available you can either win events by having the most points, out running the other racers or by winning lap based races classic style. If you are playing multiplayer and have someone who is decidedly shit at playing games, they can also be a shadow racer, which enables them to stay entertained whilst they aren’t making a dent on the leader board. The single player game offers over 40 odd challenges which is great value – value for money is something you are getting here. However it is not all good, so let’s finish the review talking about what is actually bad about this game and why.

Firstly, this game is not as good as Empire Interactive’s Mashed: Driven to destruction – plain and simple. It lacks the atmosphere, it lacks any voices that the in-driven characters have and whilst graphically better it’s arguable that the track designs simply are not as inventive. What’s so bad about TNT Racers is both the handling and the A.I’s elastic band effect. You could be leading a race then for some unknown reason your opponent is back in front, that and the fact that your opponents are often greeted with the most powerful weapons at the conveniently right time. The upside is that the single player challenges do have a progressive difficulty, so you won’t immediately tearing your hair out, but that moment will come and will feel particularly unfair.
Moans aside it’s a solid game if you take out the NPC’s and pit people together on human skill alone, unfortunately the online servers are about alive as John Major’s sex life. If you have friends locally or are prepared to get a group together to purchase the game then TNT Racers is a real viable choice, in fact i’d recommend it – but the game is only worthwhile with the right variables. You’ll also have to come to terms with the ropey handling, something that’ll take a good few hours of learning the track layouts to counteract the fact that your car will power-slide around all the corners.

Overall then, it’s a slightly over average racer and beats Things on Wheels and arguably doesn’t quite give as much satisfaction as Mad Tracks. To give this game a green light for purchase would be too much, proceed with caution – get the trial going first before you commit to buy.


Great graphics, powerups a plenty, good value for moneyRopy handling, bullshit A.I, not as good as Mashed

Categories: Feature, Xbox 360 Reviews

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