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Wacky Races was a popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran on Cartoon Network. It was one of my favorite cartoons and I wouldn't miss a single episode as a kid. Naturally, video games feeding off its success had to appear and there were quite a few of them, but the one I'll focus on is the one by Infogrames, released for both the Sega Dreamcast and the PC - we'll talk about the differences in just a moment. Now despite loving the cartoon, I hate this game and I'm not alone - many review websites give this title a low score. Honestly, there's really not much to say - it's not Need for Speed Underground or something like that. No, it's an average racer with some serious flaws. The first thing that bugged me as soon as I started the game was the stock music: I mean was there any reason NOT to use the intro theme from the cartoon on the menu screen? Also if you expect to hear any soundtracks from the cartoon anywhere in this game, then prepare to be disappointed again because the game only has stock music. That doesn't mean the music is bad - it's actually pretty lively and cute (you'd be better off buying a CD with the OSTs rather than the game), but the point is they had this huge selection of memorable songs from the cartoon and they didn't adapt a single one. My only guess is that they were either in a great hurry to release a Wacky Races game, or they couldn't get the necessary rights, which I doubt, because if they got the rights to produce a game based off the show, they could have done the same with the soundtracks, therefore I blame lack of effort. So once you get past the audio gripe, the next letdown is that not all the characters from the show are present in the game: out of 11 cars, only 8 are in the game - numbers 8, 10, 7 and 3 are absent and that pissed me off the most, because number 3, Professor Pat-Pending was my favorite character ! How can you make a Wacky Races game and not use all the characters ?! That's like having a Mario game with no Bowser or Princess. The strangest thing is that the Dreamcast version actually has all the cars ! Yes, the PC just got its ass handed to it by a console ! Both games were released by the same company, so what was their reason for removing 4 characters from the PC game ? It's not like a computer was incapable of handling the extra programming...what happened here ?! I can only blame the rush to release the game as quickly as possible with minimal costs and work. There IS a way to unlock Dick Dastardly, if you finish 4 championships in first place, but why not make the other 4 characters unlockable too ? Let's think about it: there are 5 championships and 5 missing cars, including the Mean Machine, so if you unlocked one car per championship it would have been spot-on! Anyway, we could cut some slack if the gameplay makes up for the flaws mentioned so far...but it doesn't. The first thing that sucks about the gameplay is just the fact that it's...boring: the 3 laps seem to last an eternity, especially since some of the tracks are very long and the cars don't move very fast. On top of that, you have to compete with the other 6 cars, which leads to another annoyance: it seems no matter which car you choose, the others will always be faster than you - regardless of what the "speed" and "grip" parameters on the car selection screen say. You can be two miles in front and an opponent with a seemingly weaker vehicle will still manage to catch up with you somehow, which feels cheap ! There's no driving skill involved whatsoever - it's pure luck whether you win or not. To make matters worse, scattered throughout the track are orange, blue and purple powerups which give you various weapons. It may sound like a good idea to be able to attack your opponents in some way, but the other cars can collect these too, so every time you shoot someone, you get shot too almost immediately and get sent back to the last place...and once you're there you might as well just restart, because there's no way you'll make it back, so using weapons against the other cars doesn't gain you much of an advantage, since they'll fire back at you only seconds after passing them. The only powerup that's truly useful is the speed boost which you can get by collecting one of the blue wrench icons. Activate it when you find a good stretch of land and it will propel you forward at great speed. Just be careful not to run into another car or a wall because no matter how fast you're going, you'll always come to a dead stop if you bump into anything, which is another thing that completely pisses me off: how long it takes for the car to accelerate. So yeah, the game is mediocre at best and the lack of characters and songs from the show further brings the fun factor level down. That and the fact that the race is highly biased will annoy you just enough that you'll want to play a better game. I say just stick to the reruns of the show on Boomerang !