Out of all the games that I played preview demos for while at the Natsume Games booth, Gotcha Racing was the one that grabbed my attention the most. Gotcha Racing is a neat little game that will resonate with anyone who played with Micro Machine toys when they were younger. While it is not the most ideal racing style game for the 3DS handheld because of a few absent features, this racing game has the basis for a great experience to have on the go. I spent a lot of time exploring all of the features that Gotcha Racing had to offer and was pleased with what I had found during my session with the E3 2015 playable demo.
Developed by Arc System Works and published by Natsume Games, Gotcha Racing utilizes both screens on the Nintendo 3DS system to display your car and what is ahead on the track. The perspective is an overhead view similar to older racing games found on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, where the cars appear like small toys driving around on a toy race track. You gain currency in the game from completing races both in single player circuits and Ghost Trial Races.
You can customize your cars by unlocking different car parts from completing races and purchasing capsules from the Capsule Shop in the game. You unlock different body types and wheels that can influence the attributes of your race car, all of which can be purchased, sold, and even combined to gain better parts.
The single player content in the game looked pretty meaty with content in the demo I played. There are a total of twelve different race tracks to race against AI computer opponents. This is fun and can allow you to open up the majority of car parts in the game for your personal race car. The AI of the computer did not appear to be too challenging to race against, nor was there a sense of “rubber band” like difficulty after taking the lead in a race.
Controlling my car in the demo seemed to be solid enough, as most of the car attributes are based off the parts you equipped before entering a race. Depending on what you have set, your race car will have better or worse handling, top speed, acceleration, and even drift ability.
The biggest omission I noticed in the demo I played was the absence of any real multiplayer mode. The game has StreetPass capability, in which you can gather the ghost data of other players and race against their times in your own game. But Gotcha Racing doesn’t even have a local multiplayer mode, which is a real shame.
The game is held back from reaching its true potential by not having any multiplayer mode, racing or otherwise. The customization of the cars and tracks are ideal for players to interact with each other in a multiplayer setting, and would be a great opportunity to allow players to trade and exchange car parts.
Gotcha Racing is a fun and simple race title for the Nintendo 3DS that just misses out on being a great game. The absence of multiplayer races or online modes is a huge detriment and disappointment to me. I really enjoyed playing the E3 demo and liked the basic ideas of car customization on a handheld racing game. Yet none of this can be truly relevant if I’m never allowed to share my race car with other players in some fashion beyond Ghost Data races. Hopefully these important features can be tweaked or added upon the final game when it is released in Summer 2015.
Does Gotcha Racing look like a cool game to own on your Nintendo 3DS? Interested in other features you would like to see in the game before release? Leave us a comment below in the comments section!!!