Crash City Mayhem Review

Originally released as Runabout 3D: Drive Impossible by Rocket Company in Japan, Crash City Mayhem wants you to drive and create as much destruction as possible along the way, with as many different vehicles as possible, however does the game live up to its name?

Crash City Mayhem basically speaks for itself in which you go around a city, completing objectives and essentially smashing through as many things as possible. While the game tries to tie some sort of narrative together, it really doesn't make sense and essentially doesn't really add anything to the gameplay overall.

As soon as you get the game started, you’re required to go through Driver’s Ed. This mode teaches you the basics of how to handle a car in the game. You’re literally taught the absolute beginner stuff such as moving the car and steering, and then later going into more advanced manoeuvres such as drifting. It’s essential to do this from the beginning as you can’t pick anything else until you go through it, however it does provide the information you need to actually play the game and while it may seem obvious to the more adept of us; those who are new to titles that involve driving will find it very useful.

Ooo the pretty rainbow! Woops... should have been watching where I was going...
Crash City Mayhem plays its segments out in episodes with each one representing a mission you have to complete. You can only use one car during the tutorial but when playing the episodes; you have access to three other vehicles from the beginning, each with a different feel depending on its type. You’re also able to pick whether you want to go for it automatically or manually. You change gears using the D-Pad although for a more seamless experience, I suggest sticking with automatic.

As you go through the game you have the ability to unlock more vehicles, even going as far as driving a tank! You can also equip extra parts to your car such as a siren to keep the police away or nitro tanks for that extra boost of speed you may need. At the end of each episode you’re scored on a variety of factors such as how many bonus tips you picked up and the highest speed you were moving at over a certain period of time. Also once you finish the first episode, you unlock “Play Data” which essentially lets you view your records for each mission and each vehicle used.

The game uses an old school navigation system something pretty similar to one other crazy vehicle game, Crazy Taxi where you basically follow a big arrow situated right above your car. This tells you where to go and points in the direction you need to turn while driving. While saying this there are always faster ways to reach your destination as the navigation system doesn't point you towards shortcuts but the map on the lower screen shows them.

Ok... now its on!
The AI is pretty terrible and barely tries to stop you on your path of destruction (for those of us that can’t drive straight). The AI is represented in the form of police and the most they’d do to obstruct your path is ram right into you; and that’s only possible if they’re actually coming at you in a straight line! If it was a one shot finish, I would understand and it would more than likely have become a more interesting challenge to try and avoid it, instead once they hit you, they themselves get destroyed and you just carry on your merry way.

Graphics/ Sound
Visually Crash City Mayhem looks about average when compared to other Nintendo 3DS titles, so there’s a lot it can improve on. The cars themselves actually look good but the in game characters that you come across that look like they’re missing a polygon or ten. Even the animations for these characters look totally wacky for example, when they initiate a walk it looks like Michael Jackson’s moonwalk… except forwards!

The 3D itself is brilliant and really puts you into the game. Yes for once a game makes use of the function and actually does it to a good standard. At maximum 3D you can see the bumper of your car and the navigation arrow sticking out of the screen, also there are several levels to it so if you can’t handle it at its strongest, tone it down a little.

You know the car is wrecked but it looks great on the outside,
The sound does its job in keeping you on the go during those high speed runs. Some of the background tracks remind me of the old school spy/ secret agent movies, whether this is a good or a bad thing is for you to decide but for the most part, it does what it needs to do and keeps your mind on increasing that acceleration.

While all the action takes place at the top, the bottom screen is used for your map, car and to initiate any equips or camera changes. It was a good way to separate the two and allowed me to focus on playing the game without breaking that immersion through pauses to see where I'm going.

Just as the title implies, there’s a lot that you can crash through from lampposts, to stalls and other cars on the road. However at times I felt that there were areas which I should have been able to smash through with my car such as a fence but couldn't. This is obviously something limited to the game’s design however I think it would have been better if there was a way to distinguish between what you can destroy and what was off limits. Yeah my truck couldn't take down a fence.

One way you can lose in the game is by taking too much damage. This is done either by crashing into other vehicles or the surrounding environment which isn't breakable. While the car itself takes damage, it’s actually not shown on the visuals itself which I believed to be a low. Maybe this is a limitation of the hardware since you can break quite a few things while driving around but even on a basic level it would have been nice to see.

Final Verdict
Crash City Mayhem is a game that I feel could have been a lot better. I felt that there could have been an interesting narrative developed should they have taken the time to work on it however the end result is more like one of those cheesy spy movies. Gameplay itself is pretty fun and I did feel the challenge of returning to episodes on a higher difficulty however even this didn't make the AI do any better, which is something I really hoped for. Crash City Mayhem lets you crash through a city but oddly enough doesn't encourage you to do so.

Gameplay = 6/10
Graphics = 6.5/10
Design = 7/10

Final We Know Gamers Score = 6.5/10


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