Cars 2

Cars 2 is a colorful and varied racer that's a lot of fun to play with friends and family.

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Short Description

Cars 2 is a colorful and varied racer that's a lot of fun to play with friends and family.

Long description

Regardless of whether you enjoyed, endured, or avoided seeing Disney Pixar's Cars 2, the racing game of the same name is a fun drive. It's also an unusual one. This is a racer in which every vehicle is equipped with a jump button, using the reverse gear is a legitimate race strategy, and thoroughbred racecars rocking machine guns compete alongside mine-dropping camper vansLike you, those friends should have no problem picking up Cars 2's controls; they're unconventional, but they're also uncomplicated and nicely explained in a series of brief tutorials that precede the career mode. Using a button to manually trigger your powerslides might feel unwieldy at first, but it works well enough that you're unlikely to switch to the automatic option. Similarly, using the right stick to instantly perform a 180 spin while simultaneously slamming your ride into reverse might take some getting used to, but it's a great system that makes dealing with pursuers especially satisfying. Vehicle handling is floaty to the point that none of the 30-plus playable characters ever feel like they're connecting with the track, but even this initially off-putting flaw is easy to overlook because, when all's said and done, it doesn't make the game any less fun. Starting up Cars 2 for the first time, you might be disappointed to find that none of the game's multiplayer options are available from the outset. You have to unlock them by progressing in the C.H.R.O.M.E. Missions career mode, which spans some 40-plus events. All's not lost if you've got friends on your couch that want to get in on the action, though, because all of those career mode events can be enjoyed by up to four players simultaneously. Not all of the five event types that show up in career mode lend themselves to multiplayer, but having friends along for the ride is rarely detrimental to the experience. Even regular race events in Cars 2 aren't as straightforward as you might expect. All of the cars are equipped with a turbo, but to acquire boost, you have to powerslide around corners or perform tricks. Powersliding is effortless because you're afforded a great deal of control while sliding; with practice, you might find that you're able to hold a single powerslide around multiple corners and even along straightaways. Powersliding is one of the easiest ways to accumulate boost, but it's also one of the slowest; the more adventurous and varied your driving is, the quicker your boost meter fills up. Driving in reverse is a pretty easy way to get boost as well, though losing your concentration for even a moment and forgetting that your steering controls are reversed can be costly. The biggest boost payoffs come when you perform flips and spins in midair by flicking the right analog stick after a jump and when you successfully navigate the slaloms located on every track while driving on two wheels. The right stick can also be used to deliberately hop sideways into other cars, though this tactic is best employed against opponents that are smaller than you.

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