Maybe Global Star was inspired to develop Ford vs. Chevy from those imitation Calvin and Hobbes window stickers that depict young Calvin mischievously urinating on either the Ford or Chevy logo. If so, the developer was most likely somewhere in the Deep South, behind a suped-up pickup truck that was sporting a Confederate flag in the parking lot of a Waffle House. And priced at a meager $14.99 and based on the "intense" rivalry of top American automakers, the Waffle House clientele is exactly the wife-beater-clad demographic that may take enjoyment from this mediocre racer.
For those seeking to answer the age-old Ford Focus versus Chevy Cobalt debate, Ford vs. Chevy is your game. The game features 48 contemporary and classic models, ranging from trucks to muscle cars and thankfully, the car-models look great. The reflections are excellent and the models take visible damage that will need to be repaired in the garage in order to perform to top specs. Sadly, that's where the greatness ends in Ford vs. Chevy.
For some cockamamie reason, Global Star decided that instead of racing in the mean streets of Detroit or something more appropriate, the Ford vs. Chevy debate should take place in the fictional small town of Westington. The story as we know it: "When Westington was settled in the 1800s, the two rival families of the Bakers and the Williamsons nearly wiped each other out in their quest for gold. When the rush was over, they had nothing to fight over. That all changed when Tyrone Baker bought his first automobile, a Ford Model T. Eddie Williamson went out and got himself a Chevrolet 490 and the feud was reborn. Now you can't cruise the streets of Westington in a Ford or a Chevy without being challenged to a race."
The family rivalry takes place in the living room of Old-man Baker as he crows to his old nemesis Old-man Williamson about the dominance of Ford and vice-versa. This takes place in cutscenes that are almost humorous until you realize you have absolutely no reason to care about the fictional pot-hole that is Westington. In fact, you would be better off renting Grumpier Old Men and chewing cyanide pills than watching these two farts go at it.
Out on the streets, the cars perform like Ford and Chevy, which is to say they are very slow. There is a terrible lack of speed on the streets of Westington, and, despite a boost button and speedometers that occasionally top 100 mph, Burnout this game is not. There is a small fuzziness around the periphery of the screen that may be placed there to resemble motion blur but ends of looking instead like fog on a pair of old ski goggles. But maybe the lack of speed is intentional? It's not like we were playing Porsche vs. Ferrari or anything. Still, there are times when the accelerator is floored and you struggle to crack 80 mph. Even a Focus can hit 120 without serious trouble.
The controls feel very floaty, a sensation that increases throughout the game as you work your way up to muscle cars, which can feel impossible to handle at times. The boost meter is filled by performing various stunts like "Big Air" (more than six inches off the asphalt) or "Two Wheels" (inevitable from lack of control). The boost meter is its own problem. When activated, the screen shakes and the camera pulls back to indicate super acceleration, but check out the speedometer. There's such a minor increase in perceptible boost that they should have just called the meter the "Screen Shaker" meter or something.
There is a nice variety of races, like sprints, team races and even drag races. In team races, you can ask your two teammates to attack or defend by pressing up or down on the D-pad, respectively. When they attack, they try and barrel the opponents into the walls, and they try to block the competition when asked to defend. There are about seven races for each class of car and you must attain a gold star on each before moving on, kind of like kindergarten. Each set of races is staged in a certain area of town, so you'll end up racing the same track a few times in a certain class, which gets monotonous. Perhaps this wouldn't be an issue if Westington didn't have a layout about as exciting as a string of cow pastures.
In the garage, you can trade in your current car for an upgrade with the points you've earned in races. The differences in attributes between cars in the same class are slight. They seem to handle and accelerate the same with the only perceptible change being in top-speed. You can also customize your ride by choosing a color and purchasing more than 100 licensed products, like Edelbrock intake manifolds or a Bosch stereo, although none of these upgrades seem to translate to the track.
The soundtrack is one of the most annoying in recent memory because of a lack of songs and a play list that repeats itself constantly. Sorely missed is the ability to build a custom song list from your Xbox hard drive, and it won't be long before you permanently mute the fake little punk band that sounds like a poor man's Blink 182. Of course, this is just a matter of opinion and it's quite possible that you will fall in love with such hits as "Rock On Roll Off," and "Hill-billies," especially if you have no taste in music.
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