Review of Shrek Smash N' Crash Racing for Nintendo DS
The basic controls for the game are quite simple. You use the arrow keypad to control your character and their vehicle, as you guide them through the race courses. You use the A button to accelerate and the B button to go in reverse when necessary. The L button is used to activate the power ups when you have one. The R button is used to do tight turns, although personally I find it useless, but if you can learn to master using it then it can be useful on some courses. Another move that can take some mastering is the attack button, which is X, and can be used to knock out a player for a few seconds if they are near you.
There are a total of 12 characters for you to have to use as your racer. The unlocked characters you start with are Shrek riding a green monster-like creature, Donkey riding a dragon, Princess Fiona with a bathtub looking chariot, and Gingy riding a cupcake horse. There are eight other characters to unlock including Puss in Boots and Prince Charming.
There are several different available power ups you can get to help you in the race. You get a power up when you go through one of the gray barrels with question marks on them. Power ups include fairy dust that gives you a speed boost, birds to knock out other players, green spiky bombs to knock out other players, and freeze a player.
In this mode you race in a several cups in a row trying to come out on top. By doing good in this mode you unlock more cups to play in the Cups Challenge mode. Playing against the computers can be tough. To be successful you must figure out the shortest way through the level, as there are races where if you chose the wrong way you are significantly adding to the length (and time!) of your lap.
Cup Challenges Mode
In this mode you can chose between the cups you have unlocked to try and come on top in the three races. There are cups that you do not have to unlock like the Swamp Cup. Others you have to unlock by playing in tournament mode, such as the Dragon Cup. There are a total of eight cups to unlock and try and dominate. The Cup Challenges can be a great place to practice in order to improve your timing for playing in the tournament mode or against your friends.
Quick Race Mode
In this mode you can choose to do a race on any of the tracks you have unlocked. This is the best place to practice courses that you are having trouble with, so you can do better at them when in the tournament or cup challenge mode.
Time Trial Mode
In this mode you can try and get your best times on the tracks you have unlocked. The tracks are from the different cups. This can be another good place to practice, as you can actually see if you are improving or not based on your best times.
You can race against other people wirelessly if they have the game and their own DS. You can only connect between DS systems locally, i.e. this is not a multiplayer Wifi capable game. You can play Tournament, Cup Challenge, or just do a Quick Race with each other. You can only start Cup Challenges for ones you have unlocked in Single Player Tournament mode, although I believe you can join a game with cup challenges you have not unlocked as long as the host has it unlocked on their game cartridge.
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