With excellent 3D graphics, fairly fluid movement, and realistic virtual building blocks, LEGO Racers 2 has the potential to deliver a ton of fun. While certainly a well-designed game, it packs a competitive punch and is not recommended to leisurely armchair racers. The computerized competitors don't go easy on anyone, but the game contains many features that make it finish miles ahead of the original.
Creating and designing original cars and drivers is only the beginning of the fun. A wide variety of differently shaped and colored blocks are available. Each world and its tracks present different environments and road conditions, ranging from snow to stormy weather. As players maneuver through each world in search of tracks to race they will also be accomplishing mini-missions, such as collecting fuel barrels and weather balloons, to help the various characters of each world. Power-ups, including invisibility shields, homing missiles, and deconstructing rockets, are readily available to stall the competition. Each power-up also has advanced uses that create different effects by picking up and releasing items. For example, depressing the "use" key for longer than normal will double the damage to the competition. Winning races and acquiring the golden bricks will advance play to the next world.
Competition, though fierce, makes the game a worthy challenge. While frustration may set in with some audiences, there is a "Catch Up" feature in the main menu that will save the game's difficulty based on how well the racer is doing. Toggling it on or off allows players who haven't honed their skills to have a suitable advantage. Each of the computer racers is diligent in using power-ups and, regardless of skill, the game will remain a challenge to most players.
Though the Adventure mode is the bulk of the game, Time Trial Arcade and Two-Player mode allow for more versatile use of the game, with head-to-head competition making a nice addition. A split screen slightly compresses the track, but minimally alters the view in Two-Player mode. Following the instruction manual's directions for adjusting the controls simplifies things when two players are sitting at the keyboard. In Two-Player Battle mode there is no track to follow, allowing players to freely drive where they want, while acquiring the same power-ups available in Adventure mode. Blasting homing missiles and rockets at their opponent and making clever use of shields and invisibility, the last player with a semblance of a vehicle is the winner. Win or lose, this two-player game is a blast.
Even with occasional glitches in the cars' movement, LEGO Racers 2 still flows and responds well for a keyboard-controlled racing game. Though winning isn't an easy feat, there is enjoyment in the pursuit. Whether racing against the computer or a friend, kids who enjoy the versatility of LEGOS will enjoy this game and the competition.
Graphics: Good 3D graphics and relatively fluid movement with only a few delays.
Sound: Up-beat music accompanied by various sound effects lend to the excitement.
Enjoyment: Depends greatly upon the child, but most racing enthusiasts will enjoy it -- especially the Two-Player mode.
Replay Value: The racing Adventure mode, while fun, may not elicit repeated tries, yet the Two-Player mode allows for extended play with friends.
People who downloaded Lego Racers 2 have also downloaded:
Lego Racers, LEGO Stunt Rally, Lego Island 2: The Brickster's Revenge, LEGO Island, LEGO: Legoland, Lego Loco, Lego Rock Raiders, Lego Alpha Team
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