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Ram Racing Review

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On 06/06/2014 at 12:00 PM by Matt R

Need for sleep.

There aren't any noticeable glitches or clipping issues, which is commendable. I'm sure there were far worse sports/minigames on Wii, but this one is so wholly unworth anyone's time to come anywhere near a recommendation, not even for kids, not even for a few bucks.

This review is part of the 2014 Sh*tty Game Review Fest - read about the event here.

Believe it or not, the Dodge Ram license is the least offensively bad part of this bargain bin shovelware detritus that came out on Wii a few years ago. I'll grant that it's a fairly novel way to grab the attention of the idiot masses, and it's never been done before. Now that the good aspects are covered, it's all downhill from here.

The real problem is that it's animated by the spirit of “un-thought.” The most basic aspects of a racing game, and the most basic conveniences that one would expect, aren't implemented poorly, they simply do not exist. They either weren't thought up, or a corporate policy one can only describe as Absolute Minimum At All Times (AMAAT), was strictly enforced.

The AMAAT-inspired main menu makes it clear that you're getting your money's worth and not a single penny more: championship, 2-player, and time attack is all there is to do. Wooo. I suppose you could race in mirror versions of each cup, but that was hardly enticing back in Mario Kart 64. The pause menu is just unpause or return to main menu, and the only thing in the options menu (found in the main menu but not the pause menu) are sound effect and music volume, and whether you want your speed listed as mph or kph. I bet they really busted their game-coding humps working on that one.

Even the act of pausing is worse than every game ever. You have to point the remote at the screen and click to unpause, rather than pressing the pause button again. D/F were they thinkin?

The graphics are totally retro, I guess. Ever play a beta of a late-'90s racer? No? Oh. Well if you did you'd feel right at home since there aren't any people on the sidelines (or in the vehicles) and there's no mud splattering effects. Plus, the backgrounds “tear” into existence like I haven't seen since way-back-when. Come on, even Waverace 64 had cardboard cutouts of fans watching from the sidelines.

Every track feels too long, yet they only last between 2.5-4.5 minutes. It doesn't help that they are all video game cliches (forest, desert, snow, etc.) that should have died out in the stone age 20 years ago, or that all 6 of them are recycled in different orders ad naseum, or that all the CPU trucks are the same truck but different colors, or that all the trucks sound the same no matter what speed, steer the same, accelerate the same.

Nearly every last bit and pixel of Ram Racing was created in the aesthetic void of un-thought, but one part of it that was clearly planned is also an insultingly bad idea: there are guardrails and an invisible wall around every square inch of track. You can't try to cut corners to get ahead or look for shortcuts like every other racing game ever, and most of the roads are barely a few vehicles wide. The worst thing that can happen is getting knocked facing the wrong way. Recovering from that requires a time-consuming three-point turn and fighting an annoying camera that zooms in closely on your truck as soon as you go in reverse. Ain't nobody got time for that in the middle of a race.

I soon learned to relearn any preconceived notion of physics. I breezed through the first cup by slamming the side of other trucks to get them out of my way. Then in the second cup onward, that no longer works; the CPU trucks all suddenly become rock solid and trying to shove them against the wall is impossible. Getting to first and staying there is more of a curiosity than a work of skill. I felt cheated by the AI, and I was never quite sure how. Driving carefully around turns seemed to help, other times the AI would speed ahead for no reason.

They did a decent enough job with the motion controls, but heaven almighty they somehow stumbled into an upside-down dimension and ruined the d-pad controls. Every time you press left or right to turn, it causes the truck to make a skidding noise, which I eventually noticed also causes a loss of speed. As a result, it's impossible to get first place with the d-pad.

Games like this gave the Wii a bad reputation. It insults the intelligence of adults and kids alike, it does nothing original, it makes not a single positive contribution to the racing genre, it does nothing competently or thoroughly, no part of it is fun or entertaining, and every single aspect could've been improved with a little bit of thought. I don't care that it was released at a bargain price or that it was aimed at a younger audience because even at its best, Ram Racing is just boring.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Matt Snee Staff Writer

06/06/2014 at 07:52 PM

ha ha wow this sounds terrible. 

The Last Ninja

06/07/2014 at 12:47 AM

So this one hurts the Wii's reputation? Thank God for Mario Kart!


06/07/2014 at 10:13 AM

I pity the poor kid that was give this game or any similar of its ilk. I really sounds boring as fuck. Atleast there's other Licensed racers that do a better job (ever played Ford Racing 3?).

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