Renzo Racer (PC) Review
Lots of Characters and tracks
Upbeat and positive gameplay
Faulty racing engine
Thanks to a certain Italian plumber, Kart racing has become associated with four things. Quick tracks with tight turns, zany racers, improbable locations, and winged blue turtle shells of death. Even with only three of these things, Renzo Racer manages to deliver an entertaining racing experience. Players can choose one of sixteen unique racers and have the option of twenty different tracks spread across four tournaments and has the added option of either flying solo or playing with a friend. Unfortunately, it suffers from a very generic feel and fails to stand equal with its contemporaries.
Renzo Racer is an upbeat and amusing experience with many unique details. Characters and vehicles are very cartoonish, looking much like a combination of Looney Tunes and Wacky Racers, while tracks appear to be inspired by various pop-culture sources. Though well thought out and fun to look at, textures have a very dated appearance, and the animation is far too rigid. Background music is both upbeat and thematically varied, with each level theme having a matching song. Sound effects, on the other hand, are particularly unpleasant. Engines are a consistent high pitched drone that sounds closer to a vacuum than any vehicle motor. Also, character exclamations are poorly timed, usually happening out of sync with the matching animation, if at all.
Gameplay-wise, Renzo Racer has everything it needs to be successful for its genre. In addition to the standard racing developers have added many extra features to make things interesting. Levels have various traps, ramps, and hidden shortcuts. While characters have the ability to gather power-ups that either boosts their performance or hinders their opponents. They even added water levels with matching aquatic versions of vehicles. That being said, the problems that hold this title back are with the racing itself. From frustrating physics that causes your character to either bounce around or stick to walls and opponents. To a horrible transmission design, that causes you to slow down because of an unusually long neutral pause, as well as rapidly downshift when braking, taking away your ability to drift.
Ultimately, Renzo Racer suffers from its own obscureness. While developers have added plenty to make it enjoyable, nothing was added to make it unique. With a disappointing racing engine and no intellectual property tie-in, there really isn’t any incentive to play. The title is worth a look if you’re curious, but it’s not worth going out of your way for.