Nostalgia can do crazy things to the memory sometimes. It can paint a game in a more positive light than it should be remembered and perhaps even help you overestimate the game’s quality.
There are racing games like Gran Turismo and the Forza series and then there are racing games like Crazy Frog Racer 2 for the PlayStation 2.
Distributed by Valcon Games and developed by Neko Entertainment, Crazy Frog Racer 2 opens with a pulsing techno beat and the weird never stops from there. The player can choose from a Championship mode, Single Race, Time Trials, Chase, or Mini Games. The main character of the game is appropriately called The Annoying Thing, both spot on and generic.
That music, by the way? It might have driven you insane by this point.
With 9 racers to choose from in the game, none of them stand out particularly and some are downright bizarre – who is this Michel, for instance? A mad scientist and part-time chef? In terms of visual appeal, the graphics are nothing to write home about but they are also not so bad that you need complain too much.
The music is, again, consistently bizarre but always high energy. I’d rather kill myself than listen to this soundtrack, mind you, but that doesn’t mean someone out there won’t like it. Strangest of all is that the game treats these characters as if they are iconic, known quantities – like the Super Mario Bros. roster. It is Crazy Frog Racer “2” after all. Something definitely came before, but I have never heard of any of it.
Mimicking Mario Kart’s winning formula, Crazy Frog Racer 2 is also a kart racer. That’s where the comparisons end. Upon release in 2007, the game was critically panned and relegated to the trash heap of gaming. And from my description above you might think this was the right move.
But users seem to love the game on MetaCritic, what gives? Are they trolling?
No, they aren’t. The game is solid for what it is – a late PlayStation 2 indie game. Sure it’s not polished, but a lot of retro titles back in the day that are now considered classics were far from polished as well. Perhaps nostalgia has buoyed the game beyond its execution. Certainly not terrible but definitely not a life changing experience here.
A huge selling point is the game’s unforgiving difficulty. Crazy Frog Racer 2 will prove challenging for even the most skilled kart racing fanatic. Characters aside, there’s nothing even remotely interesting going on here. The tracks kind of bleed into one another and the action is either stand still or lightspeed.
Really Crazy Frog Racer 2 is perfect for a weekend experiment or for a livestream. It’s the right amount of hard as heck mixed in with enough wtf to make for not only a comical but enjoyable experience. Not taking the game too seriously is key to enjoying what it has to offer.
If you dare – check out the Title Theme of Crazy Frog Racer 2 below…