Speed Runners is a fantastically fast-paced platform racing game. As you run, jump and swing about in a competition to be the best and with a multitude of characters and power ups to play with, the fun won’t stop until you cross that finish line.
In essence, Speed Runners is a racing game between up to 4 players either locally or online. This side scrolling adventure focuses on the running, jumping and grappling of your character to be the best in the race. While it takes three victories to win a race, there is no obvious finish line. Your goal is to just outrun your opponents and leave them in the dust, meaning no set laps or circuits to complete. The last person to stay within the screen wins, the others perish. Also if the race takes too long to complete (which happens regularly on the harder difficulties) the screen will start to shrink and your view will be restricted, giving a whole other level of challenge to this game. Although dropping out the screen proves to be fatal, this has been seen in other games before. Mario, Sonic and other classic games have previously featured this mechanic but due to the intensity of this game it feels very different, probably the pressure to stay alive and win.
The prevailing mechanics of Speed runners is the dominating aspect and the real success of the game. Straight away you are thrown in at the deep end and given a quick tutorial. Whilst it is a lot to handle in the beginning, the controls are relatively simple and easy to grasp but the timing is what gives you the edge in this game. As soon as you get to grips with when you’re meant to do a certain action then the whole game becomes a lot easier and actually a joy to play.
Luckily, the game doesn’t get boring quickly, even though it is fairly repetitive but that’s more to do with the genre of the game. The more you play, the more experience you gain and the more you unlock. Throughout the game and its varying levels of difficulty, you will unlock new weapons to fire at your opponents, such as, blockades to trip your opponents, fireballs, ice beams, bombs and rockets and many more. New characters also crop up to play as with your friends and online and also new levels to keep testing your luck at (16 in total). The levels get harder as you progress throughout the game, and the AI of the other racers gets better and better until it’s a proper challenge to beat them.
Unfortunately, sometimes the game’s camera can’t always keep up with your character and keep all the characters framed reliably. Especially when the player is in first place and there is a large gap between the rest of the players and sometimes, because of this, you cannot always see what’s coming up. More often than not, you’ll run into some obstacle or miss a shortcut that could’ve won you the game. But memorising the levels isn’t too hard and will come naturally after a while.
On the flip side, there are a lot more positives tot his game than negatives. The art style is wonderfully modern and is reminiscent of 70’s Pop Art, giving the game a vibrant and unusual setting to play around in. The characters are designed brilliantly, all with their own costumes and variant skins which are unlocked as you gain more experience and level up. Obviously each skin is the same as their original counterpart so it’s fun to choose your favourite without having to think which is better or faster than the rest. Also, the soundtrack of the game fits perfectly with the chaotic nature of this fast paced platformer, although it can get repetitive you’ll be too focussed on the racing to be bothered by the music.
In conclusion, SpeedRunners Deluxe Bundle is brilliant to play alone or with friends and has a fantastic amount of longevity and replayablilty due to the fast paced excitement and chaos that you feel when playing. The soundtrack and the art design only heightens the enjoyment whilst playing. Although as mentioned before there are uncommon problems with the camera trying to track all the characters. Apart from that, SpeedRunners is definitely worth a play.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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