The video game industry can sometimes be a very strange place. The fact that a free game from a well-known free-to-play mobile game studio has now released an early access edition that costs $25.99 is no surprise. And nothing would have happened if Gameloft’s Disney Speedstorm had at least been good.

Today, every anime movie, animated character, or game has its own Mario Kart-style racing game, and in recent years the subgenre has been riddled with rip-offs, some better than others. Little Big Planet Karting, Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing, Sonic Team Racing, Crash Nitro Racing, Kartrider, Warped Kart Racers are just a small sample, and now Disney has entered the scene, which is not a surprise. No one owns more rights and has created more world-famous movie characters than Disney, and when just over a year ago they announced they had merged the fictional film Wreck-It Ralph Sugar Rush with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Jack Sparrow, the Beast, Woody and everyone else in a Mario Kart clone, I had no doubt I had to be there to prove it.

Disney Speed ​​Storm
Gameloft borrowed heavily from Mario Kart 8, but left out the good mechanics, charm, challenge, and depth.

Gameloft is a veteran studio, which has developed racing games almost exclusively for our mobile phones, and its Asphalt series of games is hugely popular today, with its ninth installment currently active. With Disney Speedstorm, they largely took over the gameplay of Asphalt 9: Legends, narrowed the tracks and replaced the wreckage with Disney-style minicars, a sort of mix between the ships of F-Zero and the maps of Mario Kart 8.


The configuration is identical to that of Mario Kart. eight pilots, each in a kart, race through short tracks with different types of Disney themes (inspired by different Disney movies and worlds). At four points on each track there are blocks containing weapons and power-ups and of course you have to drive fast, outrun your opponents, pick up weapons and shoot down the drivers in front of you. Super simple and straight out of Mario Kart of course. Gameloft also introduced other elements taken directly from Mario Kart 8, such as the drift function (which is simpler, but activates in exactly the same way) and the ability to walk through walls using energy fields. specific energy (light blue) at certain selected locations on the tracks.

The difference is that Disney Speedstorm is a free-to-play game designed as a live service, which means everything costs money and everything is locked from the get-go. Mickey is available and appears to be the “all-purpose” character in the game, while everything else is locked and must be unlocked during playtime or with real money. And it’s a shame, as always, that there isn’t something as simple as simple, straightforward gameplay where you just pick a driver and drive, without too much hassle.

Disney Speed ​​StormDisney Speed ​​Storm
Paying 25.99 for a free game is pretty steep.

70% of the promised Disney characters are also missing at the moment, which means they will run in “seasons” throughout this year. Personally, I’m beyond tired of these types of arrangements and really don’t feel like sitting around for nine hours playing Goofy.


I also don’t like how this game feels once you’re in the race. The physics are terrible and the car always seems to hover an inch above the ground. He the drift is too simple, lo que lo hace aburrido, y las pistas carecen de todo el encanto, la variedad y los divertidos tricks que encuentras en Mario Kart 8. competition. I feel like the brake is “semi-pressed” all the time, which is frustrating and never happened to me in Mario Kart 8, for example, where even 50cc racing is fun and reasonably difficult.

I don’t really like her look either. The design is nothing that I would call anything other than a failure, as the colorful charm of the Disney universe has become a little too gray and a little too impersonal here. The look of Jack Sparrow or Belle from Beauty and the Beast, for example, is reminiscent of the poorly implemented versions of Disney Infinity, and in combination with the mobile game-like graphics technology, it’s not something you want to applaud. . On PlayStation 5, Speedstorm looks good, although the tracks seem too “wet”. On Switch, the frame rate often drops to around ten frames per second (down from 30), which in my world makes this nearly unplayable on Nintendo’s console.

Disney Speed ​​Storm
In the Switch version, the frame rate drops from 30 FPS to 10 at regular intervals.

I really wanted to like Disney Speedstorm because I like Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, I like Sonic Team Racing, and I really like Crash Nitro Racing. But I can not. It’s soulless, unimaginative, and silly in its design, and is nothing more than a way for Gameloft and Disney to try to make a quick buck from an ever-growing subgenre. My eight-year-old son wasn’t the least bit impressed yesterday, and he got off the couch after just three runs, which in many ways might be the worst verdict this game will receive.

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