Anything with a motor is anything but fun – Destructoid
Pro Tip: Mines can be used to attack people behind you
This weekly Kusoge is courtesy of a request from Destructoid’s favorite kid, Wes Tacos. I mention it to bring out the fact that he is a facilitator. When kusoge reduced me to a bitter envelope of human being, the intervention is going to be really awkward. I’m gonna point at it and yell, “that’s what you wanted, isn’t it!?” before diving out the nearest window and escaping into the desert.
Anyway, I don’t know who Jimmie Johnson is. I thought maybe he was making sausages, but realized I was just mixing Jimmy Dean and Johnsonville brands. Try to get that association out of your head.
Turns out he’s a NASCAR driver. I’m both Canadian and female, so my only intersection with NASCAR was making the telling observation that they just go around in circles. Fortunately, Everything with a Jimmie Johnson engine is a cart racer and doesn’t feature many cars of the NAS variety. Unfortunately, the new tracks of Mario Kart 8 just dropped recently and I would much rather play this.
I never really strayed from the Mario Kart Games. I think Wacky wheels is the only other runner I’ve played, and I didn’t expect to make such a deep cut. I’m sure I own several sonic the hedgehog racing games about six times each, but I’ve never played them. And yes, Crash Team Racing folks, it’s when your monocle jumps and falls into your wine glass because I never touched them.
So the closest to a bad cart racing game is to play Mario Kart Wii with motion controls enabled. It feels like its own little neighborhood in the city of Kusoge. I could explore M&M’s Kart Racing or… Uh, there is a Woody Peak Race. It feels like the embodiment of everything I stand against.
James Stephanie Sterling, back in the days of Destructoid, took care of it. Their closing argument was that “few video games can claim to be ‘good in a bad way,’ but Anything with a motor definitely getting closer. Although I respect my senpai, I have to disagree. I find very little in Anything with a motor which I would consider actually useful.
Let me take a step back and say I don’t think Anything with a motor is a bad game, it’s just underperforming in every way. There have been times during a standard run where I thought to myself, “this is not too bad,” then a time trial or an endurance race would come up and I would think, “this is what the hell has in store for my putrified soul.
The tracks are good. Some of them suck a little, and because they’re all built like they’re tracks in a stadium, they feel flat, but they’re not the worst. I never really gelled with any of the drivers. They are all conceptually stupid. There’s a guy who drives a bathtub in an old-fashioned spacesuit, but he’s a jerk. There’s an incontinent sumo wrestler, and I don’t know if I’m offended because I’m not a fan of toilet humor or because it’s denigrating sumo wrestlers. I ended up playing the vampire because she has big tires.
Weapons are just as good. They are mapped to the four face buttons, and each pilot has essentially the same ones. They look different, and I think they have different efficiencies. However, if you select a new driver, you don’t exactly relearn everything. You gradually build your armaments by gaining the approval of the crowd, which is a neat system. However, that doesn’t make for the most chaotic of races.
Where the game starts to get intolerable is with the elastic AI. I found it amusing that Mr. Johnsonville told me that “every lap counts” in a standard race when you might as well ride until the last lap. The opponents stick to you, and if you fall behind, you will noticeably move up in the peloton. A few well-placed rockets and nitros at the end are enough.
The worst part is when you race Jimmie in the last event of each cup. Anything with a motor is determined to keep the two of you glued together. I wouldn’t even use the turbo in the first two laps because I would automatically gain speed the further I got away from the sausage man. I would save my rockets, then make his life miserable for the last round. Has worked every time.
It’s not the most blatant rubber band I’ve seen in a racing game, but it’s a lot cheekier than it should be. It may be necessary because the pilots aren’t that aggressive, but I don’t think it has to be so blatant and easily manipulated.
I especially hate time trials, which give you an ideal track and a chevron instead of an actual ghost. Then there are the endurance races where you accumulate points as you progress through each lap. It’s monotonous. There are matador races where half your opponents run the track in reverse, but that usually makes it hard to tell how close you are to qualifying.
Then there’s voice acting, which I turned off. They have these announcers commenting on your runs, and they’re not silent. Just imagine Mario Kart where Toad’s hoarse, chain-smoking voice tells you that a mushroom can help you get ahead of the pack. It’s like that. The only guy was very insistent telling me what the mines are for at least twice per round. I get it, man. They are good for cleaning people off my tail feathers. They deter hookers. I was amply aware of this over the past twelve races, maybe cool that on the unsolicited raises.
Oh, hilarious, there’s an anaglyphic 3D mode. I think there is also a standard 3D-TV mode, but my Playstation TV is in storage, so it was time to bring up my red and blue branded Blockbuster Video. Wow, that sucks. I mean, it’s not. It works as expected, but I found myself unable to make out small details like flares in that weird colored haze my eyes make when trying to reconcile the two colors they see. Kinda funny, though. brings me back to my Rad Racer days.
As I have said, Anything with a motor isn’t terrible, I don’t know why anyone would play it unless Wes asks. Who is it for? NASCAR fans? Jimmie Johnson is the only NASCAR driver (I think). Is there a lot of crossover between NASCAR fans and karting fans? I do not know.
It’s rare that I feel like I’ve wasted my time playing a game, but this is one of those times. I haven’t accomplished anything. I only learned that Jimmie Johnson doesn’t make sausages. It’s the time I spent that could have been put to better use Mario Kart 8 new tracks. Anything with a motor reached that level of excitement-free, harmlessly bad that I didn’t know existed. I’m going to put this back on my shelf and be apathetic from now on.
For previous weekly Kusoge, check out this link!