Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, Racing
Developer: GameMill Entertainment
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment, Bamtang Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix – Review

Site Score
6.9
Good: Drivers, Content, Unlockable items
Bad: Bugs during jumps, Some dodgy visuals for certain characters, Sound design
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

In 2018 we played the train (kart) wreck called Nickelodeon Kart Racers. It’s clear that Nickelodeon wanted to somehow get younger children to play through a Mario Kart clone, making some older cartoon franchises relevant again. Sadly, the game was absolute rubbish and didn’t offer a fun experience for both young and old. The game only had a limited number of characters, the controls were horrible and the overall experience was very bland. Nonetheless, it seems that Bamtang games wanted to have a second go at making a proper kart racing game with fun (older) cartoon characters. Expecting to dive in a literal river of snot again, we had low expectations, but ended up being quite surprised with this new iteration of the franchise. It seems that the developer took a lot of negative feedback at heart and tried to present us with something decent this time; albeit with a few rough edges still.

Story

Even though this second installment has a lot more content present in terms of tracks, available characters, mechanics and such, it still doesn’t have a story mode, or some background for the characters. It also feels a bit random how they composed the cast of characters, as some franchises are overrepresented, while others barely have any stage presence. Those remarks aside, games such as this don’t need an elaborate story to be any good.

Graphics

Graphically Kart Racers 2 is a big step up from the previous game. While we tried out the first one on the Switch, the comical nature of the game should still be very doable on Nintendo’s less powerful console. This game feels more alive, and not only because of nearly triple the number of drivers you can pick. While all of them feel very nicely animated, have fun poses and so on, there are a few that are dodgier than others, and feel as if they were not designed by the normal team behind this production.

The tracks are quite diverse, there are more of them in this new game and they are actually a blast to drive through. While some wonky mechanics may occur (more on that later), the backdrops are very nicely done and every stage very much respects the source material it’s based on. It was quite enjoyable driving through the game’s different circuits and for possible sequels, we’d love to see even more tracks.

Sound

This might be the game’s biggest flaw as the sound design is somewhat horrible. While the tracks will not be that excruciating to listen to during short sessions, the menu tracks loop after mere seconds and the in-game music doesn’t always suit the track you find yourself on. The soundtrack feels very generic as if it was a high school project, rather than done by a professional artist, or musician for that matter. The game is also void of any voice acting to boost the characters’ presence in this title. The latter feels like a huge missed opportunity.

Gameplay

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is a typical kart racer that somewhat copies the base mechanics of Mario Kart, which is still the staple of the genre. The game will offer a lot more content than the first title, as it allows you to play through single races, Grand Prix tournaments, challenges, battles and so on. Overall things are quite straightforward in terms of controls and such, but there is a lot of content to be unlocked and many customization options available.

The game does have a lot of content compared to its predecessor, and it has a lot of items you can unlock just by playing. You have many customization options for the different karts, ranging from different engines, wheels and exhausts to more abstract things like supporting crew members, new drivers and a special ability that triggers when you use your driver’s special skill. The latter can be activated when your drive through enough slime to have your special meter filled. Nonetheless, the number of things to unlock really motivates you to keep playing, and in this iteration, the A.I. isn’t all-powerful like it was in the first game.

While many improvements have been made, not everything is really that impressively handled. The game does have a fair amount of hiccups, especially when having to make bigger jumps with your kart. More than often you will inexplicably not make a jump, tumble down, and lose precious time in a race. Sometimes it was of course our own fault because of a faulty approach, but most times it was just a random punishment while perfectly approaching a ramp or driving more than fast enough. Other bugs included being stuck against walls or even toppling over when nothing hit us.

Conclusion

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is a massive improvement over the first game. While some annoyances still remain and even with the horrible sound design, we very much enjoyed the experience this second game brought us. We were presented with a lot of content, many customization options, a great cast of drivers and overall an appealing looking game. We cannot rightfully give this game a very high score yet, but if the developer keeps improving in this fashion for a possible third installment, we could have ourselves a proper competitor for Mario Kart, CTR and the likes.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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