Thursday, 27 August 2015

Garfield Kart

Sometimes I love playing mindless first-person shooters, while other times I like playing in-depth JRPGs. It all depends on the mood I'm in, really. Like an avid movie fan, being a gamer means I can play my way through a huge range of games genres. Sometimes they can be fantastic, while other times that can be pretty disappointing. However, regardless of the quality I'm always just happy to play something- anything- new. But there are exceptions. You see, sometimes I love playing mindless first-person shooters, but I have never ever wanted to play an iOS port of a shitty game on the 3DS. But it happened. Yep.

Developed by Anuman Interactive and out now on Nintendo 3DS comes Garfield Kart, a game so bloody bad that playing it for too long would literally melt your face off, you know, like the Ark of the Covenant did to the Nazi's at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Yes, Garfield Kart could essentially wipe out all who come into contact with it- so be warned. Based off the comic strip character created by Jim Davis back in 1978, the game basically uses all of the characters Garfield fans will recognise. There's no story here, and while that's all well and good and kind of expected for a racing game like this, there isn't much of anything else either. Gameplay is terrible, graphics are appalling and it's a giant waste of money.

The first thing that jumps out at you when you first start Garfield Kart are its awful graphics. Considering this game was first released on mobile platforms back in 2013, you might assume that Anuman Interactive would have beefed up the visuals for the 3DS, right? Wrong. Graphics are clunky, uninspired, bland, literally look like an old PS1 game from 1998 and, believe it or not, look worse than what can be seen in the mobile version. Yes, somehow Anuman Interactive managed to make a pretty generic mobile game look worse on the 3DS. Figure that one out. Apart from the character designs and overall nice colourful feel to the game (which effectively where created by and inspired by Jim Davis' comic), visuals are a complete and utter let-down. This disappointment even extends to navigating the game menus too, all of which are done through the touchscreen. Simply put, it all comes across like the developers are treating this 3DS version of Garfield Kart like a mobile game during the menus, but once it cuts to gameplay you need to switch to the buttons. It's ill conceived, lazy and just plain stupid.

Then once you've gotten past that bullshit you'll soon realize that Garfield Kart doesn't have a multiplayer mode. Yep, despite the mobile version having both online and local play multiplayer options, this 3DS version has no multiplayer options whatsoever. Though I didn't play much of the mobile version, the online play did help to add a bit of life into an other wise dead game. Without it everything feels empty, lifeless and boring. There are four main cups to win in Garfield Kart, and throughout each one gameplay feels the exact same, even with there being different tracks available. This level of similarity even extends to the characters and karts you end up racing as. Though at the start you can't really choose many characters, once you've unlocked them all it becomes clear that there isn't much of a difference between them. When it comes to gameplay, graphics, levels and karts, it's an understatement to call Garfield Kart an abomination.

The gameplay itself is generic at its heart, and simply ticks off the basics when it comes to karting games. You'll zip around the track, pick up items to either give you a boost or fire at other drivers and occasional hit pads on the track that speed you up. With no shadow under your kart you'll feel like you're hovering over the ground, and this, for me, was the final straw. I felt disconnected from the f*cking track while playing a racing game, man. They had one job and they failed. Garfield Kart is beyond tedious and barely managed to pull any joy out of me. I need to lie down now.

Garfield Kart crashes and burns. 1/5.

Denis Murphy 

Garfield Kart at CeX

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