Review: All-Star Fruit Racing
The Mario Kart franchise is making karting games extremely popular and everyone is eager to grab a piece of the pie. Recently a new karting game has been released called: All-Star Fruit Racing. Does this title build on Nintendo's already excellent recipe?
All-Star Fruit Racing is a racing game similar to Mario Kart. Different types of karts, playable characters, power-ups and boosts by drifting etc. The game is now available for Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One. We tested the game on a Nintendo Switch.
If you are familiar with Mario Kart, this game will not take you long to get used to. The control buttons are configured slightly differently, but the general controls work exactly the same. Drifting provides an extra speed boost and on the track you can collect different power-ups. However, these work slightly differently than you will be used to.
In All-Star Fruit Racing, the power-ups are spread over different fruits. You have a kind of fruit tank in your kart. This will fill up with the fruit you pick up in the circuit. Each fruit type has its own special attack, but now comes the trick: You can combine fruit. Pick up enough melons and bananas to completely fill both tanks and you can combine your melon ability with the banana ability.
You can choose your own abilities this way if you collect enough fruit for the desired moment. There are four different fruits in each circuit and you have four tanks to store these fruits. If you're patient enough to fill all four tanks completely, you can do a super ability. The nice thing about this is that it differs per character. Everyone has the same fruit abilities, but the super ability is different for everyone.
Tune your fruit truck
Of course customization is an important part of racing games. This is also the case in All-Star Fruit Racing where you can combine your own kart in more than 32,000 ways. From different body types, to wheels, and flags. You can set everything to your own taste. The colors of each part can also be filled in according to your own wishes. Of course you will first have to unlock various options by playing the game. Then you can save your favorite styles to easily switch if you feel like a different look.
Split screen fun
The game offers enough game modes to keep you busy. Especially with friends or family it is good old-fashioned laughter to do a race in between. You can play up to four players in Split-screen and here too, players can choose their own character to pick a desired Super-ability. If you're not a fan of the in-game fruit mixer, you can also set up races that default to using a random ability when you pick up fruit. This makes it look a bit more like a game you already know. Unfortunately, not everything will be immediately playable in this mode and you will also have to unlock new tracks and areas the old-fashioned way.
Sounds good, right?
One kind of Mario Kart but on all platforms, what more could you want? Well. It might be close, but on the other hand, it's just not. The biggest loss of All-Star Fruit Racing is the tracks you race on. Most circuits are very boring and can look alike. Apart from your opponents, there are hardly any obstacles in your way. Even though everyone claims to hate these in Mario Kart, you should be glad they're there. If you're constantly in the lead and you don't have to worry about anything, the fun wears off quickly.
VerdictAll-Star Fruit Racing knows how to approach the genre with a fresh fruit look and even throws some new flavors into the mix to develop their own style. Although the game is fundamentally very good, the alignment is not perfect. Here and there boards are missed, which in some cases could have been easily adapted since the game offers a lot of customization. The new additions to the karting genre, on the other hand, are very well thought out and we would therefore like to see them come back in a next karting game. All in all, this karting game offers some new features on a accustomed basis. Whether you want to deviate from this basis remains the question and that is at the same time the charm and the lack of All-Star Fruit Racing.
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