Defintely for kids, but tolerable if you're playing it w/ them for something to do.

User Rating: 6 | Cars Race-O-Rama PS3
Let me state right off that I am neither into racing games nor kids games. However, I always make it a point to review every game I play, so here is my review of 'CARS : Race-O-Rama', since I bought this game for my 4 year-old boy (who is surprisingly better at it than I ever thought he would be!) as something that he & I could play together on the PS3. Since I'm a bit of a trophy hunter, I figured I'd try and get the Platinum trophy on this just for kicks since it looked easy to do and there were only 22 trophies anyway. Well, it WAS easy. Very much so. Except for the glitch I encountered, but more on that later. Suffice it to say before I dive in here, I haven't played this game on any difficulty setting other than the easiest as, like I said, I've been playing this w/my 4-year old. Additionally, the difficulty level doesn't affect the trophies, so there you have it. As for the game itself, I'm going to try and keep things in perspective here and review this as a kid's game (IE, how is this for a kid), since I don't imagine there are going to be too many teenagers or adults who say " Yeah! This looks awesome! I'm all about this!"

THE GOOD : A pretty good bit, actually. To begin with, there's a surprising amount of variety in this game. Not only are there a number of different tracks to race on and events to complete, but there are different locales (cities, countryside, beach towns, etc.), characters you can be, customizations to said characters (paint jobs, wheels, tailfins, hoods, etc.), mini-games and different types of racing. IE, not only will you race as a car, but also as a monster truck, a demolition tow truck and the small 'guido karts'. Naturally, each of these race tracks and vehicles has their own 'feel' to them which affects the overall ease of control over your car, sometimes making it easier, sometimes more difficult (see : guido kartrs). As for making things easy, this game takes its' core audience to heart and plays to them, in that, it's pretty darn forgiving. You can be in dead last place on the final lap of a race and still have a damn good chance of winning it outright, provided there's enough of the lap left and you race well the rest of the way. I guess you could say it's 'encouraging, as anything for kids should be. And this is all for the 'story mode'. There's also an arcade mode which allows you to play different races and mini-games based on, or directly from, the story mode. Events like the guido kart racing, monster truck racing, tractor tippin', for instance. And on top of all this, whatever city you're in, you also have the ability to just drive around the city and collect lightning bolts for additional point value. All in all, it's a pretty simple, straight-forward, 'clean-fun' type of game geared directly for kids.

THE BAD: The one thing that struck me right off about this game in a negative way, was that it's not always clear exactly where you should go or what event to do next. If you don't know that by pressing the start button you can access the map and just select an event from there, you may end up driving around a city or town aimlessly looking for the next thing to do. It's not that you can't figure this out, it just doesn't seem to be as straight-forward as it maybe should be. Something else I wasn't crazy about was the difficulty involved in controlling the guido karts. Again, it's not impossible, they're just very twitchy & sensitive to control. Even on the easiest setting, it wasn't a total walk-in-the-park for a full-grown adult, so it certainly won't be easy for kids. As a matter of fact, my four year-old gave up pretty quickly on this type of racing and opted instead for some of the others, never to come back to the guido karts. Something that my four-year old found disappointing and I found surprising was the omission of one of the main characters from the film : Sally. Worse yet, they had a 'similar' character to Sally in the game, but you couldn't select her which even deepened the disappointment. Not sure what that was all about or why they elected to leave her out considering pretty much every main character in the movie is in the game and then some. One last thing that I personally found irritating is that one of the trophies is glitched and it's not an easy fix. This complaint only holds up if you're a trophy / achievement hunter, but the trophy that requires you to get all the spark plugs from each Gold event (these are the races that actually progress the story along) for some reason doesn't work for some people. Unfortunately I was one of them. Sometimes the fix requires you to race the first Gold event again, sometimes you have to create a new save file and race every Gold race again. That's what worked for me. And for some rare few, sometimes it just doesn't work at all. Again, this is a minor complaint and only worth noting if you're into that kind of thing, but it definitely bears mentioning.

THE BOTTOM LINE : Definitely a game for kids, but tolerable if you're playing it with them as something to 'bond' over. The controls are easy, the racing is easy, there's good variety in things to do & play, the game is exceptionally forgiving and it's a property that kids love. All in all it's a pretty wholesome game and, if you're a kid, there's nothing not to like.