|2012-03-02||Wii||Racing||E (Everyone)||Storm City Games|
Storm City's Ram Racing is a hard game to judge. On the one hand, it's a nostalgic trip down memory lane, bringing back memories of Test Drive Off Road or Cruis'n USA with its incredibly simplistic setup and budget price. On the other, it's a game with outdated graphics and too little in the way of content.
Ram Racing offers just seven tournaments, spread across six individual tracks. The tracks themselves are themed, with one taking place across Egypt and another dropping you deep into a tropical jungle, as two examples. To say this is a limited selection is an understatement, even when compared to other arcade racers. Adding only slightly to the variety, you'll be able to play tracks backwards, but the design of the tracks themselves leaves a lot to be desired. That is, a track may either have too many sharp corners or narrow alleys, causing unnecessary frustration as you slam into invisible barriers, or it can be far too wide, straight and even boring.
That being said, there's no penalty for wrecking, and therefore no reason to avoid slamming into your opponents to make a move. You can bounce off of a wall and keep going, all the while taking no damage to your limited selection of vehicles. In the game's competition mode, each truck is faster than the last, but all handle in the same manor, with incredibly sensitive controls. Holding the WiiMote horizontally, it's far too easy to send your truck careening into a wall by over-tilting the controller, and then even easier to overcorrect and end up on two wheels or worse, while your cheap AI opponents go racing by (if nothing else, you'll frequently find yourself spun out by the computer racers only to never be able to catch up).
The game's multiplayer mode allows you and a friend to race each other locally, but there's just so little content here that a hardcore racing game fan is likely to be disappointed. Even if the game's content offered more in the way of variety, the graphics certainly don't impress. These aren't up to the standard of what even the Wii console can provide, and the amount of texture pop-in is downright jaw-dropping.
Still, Ram Racing's simplistic setup and even those outdated graphics do a lot to help the game with its overall "feeling." The game plays, looks and feels like a classic PS1/PS2 racer, with no bells or whistles. If you're looking for something modern, polished and extraordinary, you definitely won't find it here. However, if you're a Wii-only household, have a child that would benefit from such simplicity, or simply want to take a modern-day trip back to your youth, you can pick up Ram Racing for under $15, and could definitely spend that on worse games.
Special thanks to Bruce Kain and Storm City for providing a copy of this title.