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Cars 3: Driven to Win Review in Progress Part 1

It only took a couple minutes for me to fall in love with Cars 3: Driven to Win, and although I can easily say it’s no Mario Kart – and really, what cartoon racing game really is – I think it’s an equally good alternative for those who perhaps prefer Cars over Mario, or those who do not own a Nintendo Switch. We are looking at the game on both of Nintendo’s current platforms for this review: the Nintendo Switch, and the Nintendo Wii U!


Right out of the gate, I have to say I wasn’t impressed at all. Graphically, things look pretty dated on the Nintendo Switch, and after loading up the Wii U version of the game, there was almost no difference between the two, making me think this game was developed for the Wii U, and ported to the Switch. That was my first initial disappointment, when playing through the tutorial. My second issue was with how poor the tutorial actually was. Sure, I learned that ZL was used to accelerate, A was used to drift, tapping down on the right stick would let me drive backwards – more on that later – and pushing B would allow me to jump. Unfortunately, that is where the tutorial information stopped.

Generally, I like to get into races quickly and begin winning right away. Because of the lackluster tutorial, I was forced to learn a lot on the fly, causing me to focus more on the in-game hints telling me what to do, as opposed to attempting to win the races. In real competition, I had to learn about side-bashing, tricks to gain more turbo, driving on two wheels, using weapons, and more. It made the first hour or so very frustrating, as I consistently finished 3rd or worse.


After getting use to the controls, however, things definitely turned around for the better. Let’s take a peak at a few of the modes I was able to try in the last 10 hours or so.


There are a number of standard races you can complete in, including single map challenges – where you will earn stars (1 to 3) based on your position at the end of the race. There are also cup challenges that test your consistency across multiple tracks. Again, a star rating is given based on your performance throughout.

Stunt Showcase

Stunt Showcase sets up like any other race, but where you place is not important at all. The winner is the person who will perform the best tricks, scoring the most points across a set time limit. While I somewhat enjoyed this mode, the tricks quickly become repetitive. I’m not sure what type of playability this will have over the long term.


Battle Races

These races are much more akin to Mario Kart than the rest of the game. Unlike the traditional race where your ability to take tight corners, use your turbo at opportune times, and be smart on the straightaways will earn you victory, the Battle Races will test your ability to load up on weapons and take down opponents in a bid to win the race. Sure, all the aspects of regular racing are important here, but with an added dose of BOOM!


This is probably my favorite mode from what I’ve played so far. You will race around the tracks provided in the game and attempt to take down ‘bot’ cars that are driving ahead of you. The cars are in front of you in waves, and you need to complete as many as possible before time runs out.


The number of waves you complete will determine what star rating you will receive, so it’s important to be constantly blowing up the cars you see ahead of you. I quickly realized that drifting around a corner but not using an equipped weapons is never a good idea. When you get a weapon, use it! It could be the difference between finishing 6 waves or finishing 7 waves.

The final two modes are Best Lap Challenge and Playground mode, neither of which I’ve had the opportunity to play yet. We will have a lot more on Cars 3: Driven to Win, including a look at the achievement system that helps unlock new modes, new cars, new tracks, and a whole lot more!


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel