How lovely kart racing games are. It doesn't seem that this is one of those sports genres that will ever catch on here and who is to blame for that? Probably Nintendo. But before all of you Nintendo fans jump on my case, let me explain. I think Nintendo has hurt that part of the sports genre with their excellent MARIO KART games, because literally, no other kart game can even touch that series, and especially not FURIOUS KARTING.
Trying to steer clear of the mascot type karting games that we've seen from Nintendo, Sega and Sony, Infogrames tries to shoot for the more edgier, realistic look at the "extreme" sport (how this can be called an extreme sport I don't know. I raced go-karts when I was like 13). Well, on some levels it goes for the more realistic look. I don't remember ever throwing chickens at other people when I rode around.
The game plays like you would expect a normal racing game to. The right trigger makes your kart go, while the left one brakes. I'm sure you can all figure out how to steer. One of the bigger additions to the game is the ability to move your driver around in his seat. This is the way most of the tricks are performed in FURIOUS KARTING.
One of the cool (at times) features of FURIOUS KARTING is that there are two different teams within the game: the Yellow Sharks and T.N.T. As a member of either team, your main concern is that someone from your group wins. Yes, you heard that correctly. It doesn't really matter if you win or not, as long as someone wins it is okay. One example is that you are way behind in the standings but one of your teammates is way up there. Your coach will tell you to let them win. So your job is to keep others from winning. If you happen to win though, the game is over. Kind of strange, but it can be fun at times.
Combat is fairly basic. The B button swings your weapon, and the A button fires power-ups (like the aforementioned chicken, and also speed boots and oil slicks). The weirdest of the power-ups is the spring. From what I can tell, it really has no use at all. When you use it, you flip into the air and that's it. It doesn't do anything but flip you. Which brings me to another point.
What is the deal with fun points? Is it possible to actually gauge how much fun you're having while driving a kart? For those of you wondering, let me explain. When you do a trick, you'll get a message that is like "You received .34% fun" or something like that. The more fun points you get, the faster you do tricks. The faster you do tricks, the more fun points you get. Other than this (which is worthless anyway), these fun points have no use in the game. You also get Karma points for beating up enemy drivers. Don't worry if you accidentally hit one of your own (even if it was intentional), you can just hit the apology button and they won't be mad at you anymore. Also worth mentioning are speed points, and you can guess what those do.
The graphics for FURIOUS KARTING actually aren't too bad. The game is bright and colorful, which makes the game interesting. Unfortunately, the level designs aren't the best. What makes racing around in a mall furious or extreme? Nothing. The racers themselves look different at first, but once you join a team, they all look the same. While it may be realistic, it isn't very cool.
Rejoice though, because you can use your own music tracks to make your own customizable soundtrack. But be warned: the music changes according to what team is in first place and you cannot change what the other team's music is. So, to listen to your own music, stay in first place and you won't have to listen to the garbage on here. And what is with the voice acting? Every single person on this game sounds like they're from another country and with them shouting phrases like "Raise the roof!" it really gets detestable to listen to.
In multiplayer, there is the normal race mode, but there is also a mode called Jam Battle. While it could be fun, you basically just try to get away from whoever you're playing against. You have an icon on you, and if another person runs into you, they get the icon, and so on. Somewhat fun with four players, but it's a shame the game itself isn't.
FURIOUS KARTING isn't that furious, or really that extreme to me. The game may appeal to people who love kart racing, but to others, there are a lot better racing games out there to pick up.