Racing and action may seem like a weird combination to some, but games like the popular Wipeout series or even fun cart racers like Mario Kart has shown that it can work. Today we are checking out a racing action game based off of Cartoon Networks popular IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix under the same name for the Playstation 2. So how does the game end up? Read our full review to find out!
Now I will admit to all of the fans of IGPX that I have never sat down to watch an episode of the show. In fact, I have just briefly heard about the show before I heard they were making a game for it. However doing some research it seemed like a match made in heaven. A futuristic setting, cool racing machines, and fast-paced action seemed like this could all translate into a great PS2 game. But how does the final product end up doing?
The game itself on paper just sounds absolutely amazing. It is a team-based racing experience that goes at high speeds involves a lot of action and is based off of a popular TV cartoon series. The game starts off giving you like three tutorial races, which teaches you all that you are going to need to know about the game. The initial three races are really pretty self-explanatory, and some may feel like it is a bit of overkill but nevertheless it is good to have anyways.
The biggest problem is that although IGPX sounds great, and the game itself even seems to hype up the whole ordeal, but the actual races are not all that interesting. This has a lot to do in part to the controls of the game, which are extremely limited. Instead of being able to accelerate and break when you want, your mech actually accelerates on its own. Your primary job is just to move right and left and seldom break. While this simplistic and friendly control scheme may be geared towards younger gamers, this right away puts a sour taste in my mouth, as much of the excitement that is usually brought in by racing is taken out by this control scheme.
The combat in the game does not manage to fair much better. Although the controls work better then the racing aspect of the game, the combat just doesn’t really add all that much into the experience either. The game has a very simplistic combo system that works, but really doesn’t bring any excitement into the game. As much as I thought the idea of this game was going to turn out really well, the game disappoints on a number of levels. The controls are overly simplistic, the races are uninteresting, the story elements are thin, and the game itself just doesn’t have a whole lot of meat on its bones. And finally every race feels exactly the same, and they even have the same tendencies race in and race out. The idea for IGPX is just ripe with potential, but unfortunately the gameplay doesn’t make use of any of it.
One thing I am a fan of is the visual styles that developers usually use with anime style games like an IGPX. This game just has a great look to it, that unfortunately doesn’t hold up that well throughout the races. The game looks great at the starting line and at some of the slower points of the game, but unfortunately doesn’t hold up all that well when the races start going. The game tries to give you a sense of speed (300mph of it), but it becomes quite a bit sluggish, and this unfortunately doesn’t make for the best looking PS2 game we have seen.
There are so many games that come out that are just like IGPX, in that they have just a great deal of potential, an already extensive fan base, and a good gameplay idea that could work to make a game a surprise hit. However then reality sets in and you have a game that just does not have enough going on in it to make for an enjoyable experience. The parts are all there, but the developers just didn’t put it all together in an enjoyable package. I would have rather had more control over my mech in the racing and less of the combat, and that would have at least helped the experience.
IGPX is a game that has all the potential in the world but unfortunately the final product is nothing to write home about. The game is more disappointing than anything, and although it’s not completely broken the game just does not allow you to get involved in the action in a more interesting fashion. If there is another game based on the series I just hope you get to take more control over the racing, as that what really breaks down this game from being good.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.