Review by Jack Bankhead
Game provided by publisher
I’m going to be blunt: I hate Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Don’t get me wrong, I like Mario Kart. Just not the latest one. When I saw All Star Fruit Racing, I hoped that maybe I’d receive a grand experience that would be better than Mario Kart. Just like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I came away disappointed, but for different reasons. Gameplay is solid, but the rest of it is incredibly buggy and poorly optimized.
If you’ve ever seen Wreck it Ralph this probably already looks familiar to you. Instead of candy, there’s fruit! There’s some crazy fun tracks because of this motif. There’s a large problem though. The graphics are grainy, jagged and a stuttered framerate, when it could be crisp and clear. (as it runs on Unreal Engine)
Here’s where AllStar Fruit Racing could shine: the gameplay. The mechanics of the game are very solid, a good powerup system, plenty of tracks and modes, with the promise of online modes soon. (for the Switch) I loved the tracks and wacky powerups. I didn’t love the performance, and the voice work.
The racing mechanics are excellent, drifting feels great and powerups are satisfying. I actually like the racing better than Mario Kart 8! Playing with friends was pretty fun, but with the problematic graphics and bugs it wasn’t as fun as it could be.
The sound is okay-ish. The honking noise is horrendous, and the music is bland and ripping off Mario Kart. Not only that, but the announcer and character voices are also awful. Maybe sound is actually awful. It doesn’t detract too much from the rest of the game, like customization of karts.
There’s a pretty extensive kart customization mode. There’s a lot to customize, even down to color. It’s pretty fun to pimp out a kart for a round of racing.
In its current state, I cannot recommend All Star Fruit Racing. I can however recommend it because if the performance and bugs are fixed, I can heartily “Very Recommend” it. I enjoyed it more than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but not by much. All of the problems seem fixable, so I hope with the online patches it will fix performance.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, provided by pQube