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Gamer Tuesday

January 11, 2011

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights

Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour

PS1, Dreamcast, PC, Game Boy Color

Developed by: Crystal Dynamics

Out of all the Mario Kart-like games I've played in my life, the one that stuck with me the most was Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour, released in 2000 for the PlayStation One, Sega Dreamcast, PC and Game Boy Color. The game plays a lot like Mario Kart in that you are racing karts, with the objective being to be the first to reach the finish line. To add to the excitement, you can use weapons to take down your opponents. Mean spirited, I know, but all is fair in the kart racing circuit.

The big difference is that rather than racing on generic locales, you get to race around the Walt Disney World Resort! Why Disney allowed people to race around the parks I will never know, but if you are a Disney fan (especially a fan of the Disney theme parks) the game will be a delight.

The story behind Magical Racing Tour is that Chip and Dale, in their innocent curiosity, have inserted acorns into the magical fireworks machine, and have sent the parts flying around the theme park. You then must race around the park in order to find the parts before the start of the nightly fireworks show.

All of the tracks are based on a famous Disney attraction, such as Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion and even some of the more obscure attractions like Test Track and Countdown to Extinction/Dinosaur. The attention to detail is great. The development team made sure the game was a certified Disney product. All of the karts in the game are based on the vehicles used on the attractions, so you will be racing around the Haunted Mansion in a Doom Buggie and a log on Splash Mountain. But the highlight of the presentation is the music. The team went the extra mile to include actual songs from the attractions for some of the tracks. Not re-interpretations or remixes, but the actual tracks you would hear when riding the attractions. So expect to hear the contagious “A Pirate's Life for Me” when racing on Pirates of the Caribbean.


Other details that adorn the game are item balloons that are shaped like Mickey, Cinderella's Castle makes an appearance on some of the levels, and “It's a small world” plays while the camera flies around a digital replicate of Main Street USA.


The 13 playable characters are based on different aspects of the Disney fandom. Bruno Biggs, for example, is a big Mickey Mouse fan, and proudly wears Mickey ears and a t-shirt with the letters M on the front. Amanda Sparkle is a big fan of the Disney princesses, while Tiara Damage (get the pun?) loves the Disney villains (and is even dressed like the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). There are some Disney characters, though: Chip and Dale in their Rescue Rangers getup cause mayhem around the park, and Jiminy Cricket brings his warmth to the racing mayhem. While the absence of characters like Mickey, Donald and Goofy is slightly disappointing, the fact that they decided to pay tribute to the different Disney fans via original characters is a nice touch. And if you look at them close enough, you will see that they look a bit like classic Disney characters.


Save for Adventures at the Magic Kingdom for the NES, there is no Disney game like Magical Racing Tour. It's a fun game everyone can enjoy as they reminisce about their own adventures at the theme park thanks to a presentation that celebrates and respect the Disney World legacy and pays loving tribute to the dreamers that set foot on this magical land each day.



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