IGN Review of Kawasaki Snowmobiles
Data Design has the Kawasaki license, so they're gonna keep cranking out terrible excuses for games and slap that Kawasaki logo on the box. So far the publisher has inflicted Kawasaki Quad Bikes, Jet Ski, and now Snowmobiles on us. A quick glance at Kawasaki's official website reveals it manufactures many more vehicles, including motorcycles and utility vehicles. Who knows how many more of these calamities are in store for us. But for now, let's focus on the problem at hand: Kawasaki Snowmobiles.
Data Design's latest is presented in the same fashion as its previous racing games. Assets have been reused from Quad Bikes and Jet Ski, included the back-of-box template, in-game menus, and even the announcer that begins each race. The game uses poorly-implemented tilt controls to steer snowmobiles around uninteresting tracks in unrealistic snow.
The controls make it nearly impossible to stay on track. Gameplay consists of bumping into walls and other riders, getting stuck, and awkwardly trying to get back into the race. As with other games in this series, players aren't given the option of different control schemes. This is all tilt, all the time. The box proclaims "intuitive, pick-up-and-play" controls, but anyone who picks this up is going to be immediately frustrated.
I bet riding a real snowmobile is a lot of fun. Videogames that ask you to virtually participate in something we can all do in real life need to throw in some extra incentive to play. Sure, not everyone owns a snowmobile or lives in the appropriate climate. But if what you're offering instead is an ugly, frustrating experience that controls nothing like the real thing -- what's the point?
Modes on offer include Single Race, Time Trials, Stunt Trial, and Championship. At the beginning there is only one engine class available and two riders to choose from. But as you win races and pick up K points along the way you'll unlock new riders, courses, and engines. Of course, unlocking this stuff means you have to play the game, and nobody wants that. There is also multiplayer, but if you value your friendships I wouldn't let them near it.
I suppose it would be too much to ask for my snowmobile to actually interact with the snow. Here, the vehicles don't leave tracks or carve paths in the powder. The snow dust kicked up behind the snowmobiles looks really cheap. And the riders are apparently bolted to their seats -- even if they crash and tumble they never leave their seats or take their hands off the handlebars.
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