Traveling back in time to the days of classics R.C. Pro Am and Micro Machines, Bang Bang Racing lets you relive the glory days from your childhood – as well as remind you why you broke so many controllers in process. The design of the cars was the first thing that caught my eye as the game booted up. The resemblance to the penny toy cars I used to send flying across my parents kitchen floor, as a kid is unmistakable.
Winning is the only thing that matters in Bang Bang Racing. There are no upgrades, no experience points, nothing else matters but winning – the game must be Charlie Sheen approved. Winning! The simplistic approach to the title works in the favor of the developers as the addictive nature of taking the checkered flag takes over.
Racing on nine different tracks with 20 different cars. There is just enough variety between the races to keep it from feeling stale. The cars are broken down into four different types each with a dominant statistic such as having a faster top speed, able to withstand more damage or having a better boost. I would ignore the boost stat on the cars as you will learn early on it is almost useless against the AI. I’ll go into more detail further on down the page.
If you can’t coax your friends to cram together on your couch, since online multiplayer is nowhere to be seen you will be spending most of your time in the campaign mode. The relative uninspiring campaign starts off slow and uneventful, but at the end half it does make things more interesting with inclusion of oil drums and exploding barrels that are placed perfectly for you to crash into on a turn. The exploding barrels once hit will explode after a delay of a few seconds, making them useless if the race is neck and neck. The oil drums however explode on impact and make proper turning near impossible. The AI will mostly avoid the oil spills so if possible I wouldn’t even bother going after them. Try hitting the boost as you go through the oil spill and you will leave flaming tire tracks. If the game included a DeLorean the effect would be complete.
Bang Bang Racing may not just look like a classic racer, but it has the AI from one as well. The game uses some of the worst rubber banding I have seen in any racer. Mario Kart would be consisted tame when compared to this game. As soon as the race begins the AI blast off in front of you even if you are holding down the boost button the entire time. The AI cars are simply faster than the player and have what seems like an infinite amount of boost available to them, while you are forced to wait for yours to recharge. I have lost count the amount of times I was leading a race into the last straight away with a full boost tank being used only to have the AI come from behind and win. You may feel safe for one turn, but come into the next turn and the AI will be all over you.
What starts off, as a nice nostalgia trip to the classic racing games of my childhood, turns ugly when you realize it includes everything you hated from racers of that time as well. The lack of online multiplayer surely feels like a missed opportunity. Cheating, rubber banding AI can only be tolerated for so long, before reaching the breaking point of throwing down the controller in disgust. If the rubber banding was absent and online multiplayer was included, Bang Bang Racing may have been the go to satisfy your old school racing urges.Note: Bang Bang Racing was reviewed on Xbox 360. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.