Dropping By the Party
Can you tell me what makes a great party game? I suppose an excellent party title will need to center around a theme. Party games are usually very colorful and give the player no shortage of fast-paced gameplay. In the case of such games like Mario Party and Super Smash Bros., they are best played with friends. Perhaps that is what makes a great party game; the ability to play with others.
Tazmainian indie developers Giant Margarita knows how to party. In their latest title, Party Crashers, they take the fast-paced action of racing and combine it with the chaos of live weaponry. The result is a high-octane title that is more than just a racing game; it is a blast!
Let’s take a closer look at the neon nightscape of Party Crashers.
Driving Along the Neon Roads
When I started playing Party Crashers for the first time, I immediately noticed how unique the world of this game is. The neon cityscape surrounding the track shines in the distance as the illuminated vehicles ready themselves for their race. Even the track itself reflects a Tron-like aesthetic that glows softly among the action that takes place on it. It is very evident that the developers have put quite a bit of time into making this game shine.
When the players start the game, they can play only one mode initially; the elimination mode. After selecting the mode, they can then pick which vehicle they want to drive through the fray. They can pick neon cars, trucks, golf carts, and many more odd vehicles. I personally like the giant banana.
Elimination mode itself allows for the players to adjust themselves to the speed and style of the gameplay. This game is quick, and so are the rounds. For a player to win, he must get 500 points before any of the other players do. As one of the fours racers, it is the player’s job to get rid of each other racer by any means possible, thus earning points in the process. That is why it is good that weapons are scattered all over the race track. Players can pick up various cannons, guns, missiles, and Tesla coils to obliterate their opponents.
Beyond Elimination Mode
The developers were generous enough to give me the open Beta to play, so I thought that I was only able to play one mode. However, as I continued to play the game I saw that I could unlock the other modes by playing more individual events. I eventually unlocked the three other race modes; Race, Time Trial, and Battle. As I continued to play each of those, I continued unlocking more features along the way. New tracks, game modes, and cosmetics are unlocked after each completed game.
All four of the race modes are fun, but it was the Battle Mode that I thought provided the best party experience. In this mode, the race track is done away with and replaced with a simple arena. Drivers race around the arena grabbing power-ups and weapons in a Mario Kart style shootout that proves to be more fun than all of the other modes provided.
Some Fun With Great Limitations
The neon roadways of Party Crashers may provide quick action for a small group of friends, but there are significant limitations with this title. Firstly, this game does not have an online feature; everything must be played locally. Giant Margarita has ensured players that online play is on its way, but that may take some time. In the meantime, players must play side by side in a four-player mashup that often causes more frustration than it does entertainment.
I found out about the high frustration factor of this early on. In my opinion, the elimination mode is weakest of the four because it is simply too difficult to navigate. Typical racing games place the camera behind the vehicle so that it will follow the racer as he weaves around difficult turns. That is not the case for elimination mode. The camera moves back and forth at different angles at different times, which caused me the drive off the track more than it aided me in taking out my opponents.
Even after the other modes are unlocked, the replay value of this game is not very high. Party Crashers provides fun races and battles for a time, but after a while, everything feels the same. The neon landscape starts to look like every other race track in the game, and that is because it really is like every other race track in the game. There is no variety among tracks and landscapes, which does not provide a great deal of depth to the experience.
As far as party games are concerned, Party Crashers fits quite nicely into anyone’s collection. It is a fast-paced and fun title that is best experienced with other players. The neon landscapes provide a unique aesthetic to this title, and different modes give the players plenty of ways to bring the pain to each other. With this game hosting quite a bit of repetitive gameplay, it is a title that is best appreciated when played in spurts and not in long gaming sessions.
Coming to the finish line, I give Party Crashers 7 bouncing bullets out of 10. If you ever find that you are falling off the edge of the track too much, just set your tracks to always have walls; that will make elimination mode much more tolerable.