20th Jul2018

Digital Shorts: ‘All-Star Fruit Racing’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at All-Star Fruit Racing, a new kart racing title now available on the Nintendo Switch.

as-fruit-race-screen

With its vibrant colours, fruit-facts and light-hearted tones, I thought that All-Star Fruit Racing would be a contender to the Switch karting crown, but a choppy frame-rate when in big-screen mode, odd enemy AI resulting in unreliable difficulty and uninspired tracks make this more in line with the recent Rally Racers than Mario Kart.

As above, I initially really wanted to love All-Star Fruit Racing. I liked the fruity vibes and joyous approach, from being bombarded with world-wide fruit facts and seeing that the characters and tracks were all completely fruitified all really worked for the game and made it feel cohesive, especially as the weapons are all based on the four seasons, giving a sort of unity to the game world. However it was upon playing that the cracks really began to show. Initially playing in a big-screen environment, the frame-rate really felt choppy and only worsened in two player mode. It’s more fluid when played as a hand-held, but even then I couldn’t really get hips deep because the tracks felt bland and even worse, the music seemed to be on a short loop, rendering it tiresome within minutes. The characters also squeal the same squeals as they roam around the tracks making the audio a bit of a let-down in general.

I liked how each character was female with their own vehicle and some unlockables thrown in, but as they all feel so similar, it’s really only in the aesthetics that they differ. There are a few different modes and the ability to set up your own custom championship, allowing you to choose which tracks and how many laps on each will be played but the weapons feel unsatisfying to use and the other racers AI feels off. It’s one of those games (much like Rally Racers) where the AI will either all be constantly all over you like Oliver Reed at an Oddbin’s sale or they’ll be missing corners and hurtling off the track randomly….like Oliver Reed after he has drunk all of his Oddbin’s purchases.

A lot of the issues here also popped up in another game I’ve reviewed the above-mentioned Rally Racers (although that didn’t even have a two player mode, which was a catastrophic omission), I really love Kart racing games and still think it would be great to see a viable alternative to Mario Kart, but it pains me to say that All-Star Fruit Racing isn’t it.

Even if future patches fix the frame-rate issues, the plain tracks, random artificial intelligence and generic audio still drag down what promised to be a great game. It feels like there’s something great under the rind, but at the moment, the fruit is bittersweet, making this tough to recommend.

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