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Konami Krazy Racers

Once Mario Kart came along, countless other game developers tried to get in on the kart racing gravy train. Even Konami got in on the act with Krazy Racers for the GBA, creating a game that starred a number of characters from their various series. There was a dozen to choose from, a number of different courses and circuits to zip around, and on the whole the game was a very well put together kart racer for Nintendo’s handheld.

Gamers in the West may not have recognized all of the characters present in the game. Some of the options included mascots from Parodius, RakugaKids, and even Goemon. So, there were a lot of characters from games that were more on the obscure side. However, there were still folks like Gray Fox from Metal Gear Solid, so the game had a few characters that Westerners would recognize. That being said, the roster could serve as an introduction to new games for the more import-minded individual. In any case, each character performs differently on the track with some having great acceleration, others corner better, and so forth.

Meanwhile, courses are themed around various Konami games. There’s an outer space level for Gradius, a course up in the clouds from Twinbee, and so forth. Each track is quite well designed with a lot of twists, turns, and jumps strewn throughout them.

There are items players can get during a race to use on opponents as well. These range from missiles to bombs to lightning strikes. There is definitely a good mix of them here. One will find plenty of opportunities to make use of them. So will AI racers, so be careful.

As one would expect, there are a number of circuits in the game, each more challenging than the last. First players will need to win the basic circuit. Next they must pass a license test to unlock the next circuit, with the game following that pattern as one progresses. There is also a shop where players can build simple item load outs for their vehicle, which is a nice little touch.

While racing, players will notice that the AI controlled vehicles are not pushovers. Even if you get into first place, you’re often going to have to work at holding that spot. There will often times be one or two cars right behind the player, waiting for a mistake to capitalize on. Building a commanding lead and maintaining it is much harder in Krazy Racers compared to a lot of other racing games out there.

Visually, the game looks great. It has a bright color scheme that pops off the screen. It is a Konami game after all, and that’s something the studio really had a knack for, especially with 16-bit games. As a result, the graphics give off a very cheerful vibe while blasting down the track.

People looking for an interesting, lesser-known kart racer would do well to give Krazy Racers a try. The tracks are well-designed, it looks great, and the game has a lot of meat on its bones. Whether one wants to whittle away an evening or just have a quick racer, there’s plenty to enjoy here.

- IroIro
September 29, 2019
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Racing
Platform: GBA
Released: 2001

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