Super Toy Cars 2 Switch Review – Big Action On A Small Scale
Super Toy Cars 2
Developed By: Eclipse Games
Published By: Eclipse Games
Racing, Arcade, Sports
Super Toy Cars 2 is a fast-paced arcade racing game where you control miniature cars that speed across amazing tracks made of supersized everyday objects
Small But Mighty
Super Toy Cars 2 is an action-oriented arcade kart racer in the same vein as the Micro Machines franchise. Thematically, however, is where the similarities end. Super Toy Cars 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the previous entry that launched way back in 2014 on the Wii U. Developed and published by Eclipse Games, they have a new machine to unleash their mayhem on, the Nintendo Switch. But how does it measure up to its predecessor? Read on to find out.
In Super Toy Cars 2, you take your pick of a diminutive vehicle from one of five class types. Whacky, Muscle, Gran Turismo, Supercar or Open Wheeler and compete in Career Mode. Within this mode is a choice of cups that are locked to each specific vehicle class, if you wish to compete in them, you will be required to purchase a vehicle of that class.
The exception to this rule is the Motor Mayhem Cup. For this tournament, any car goes.
You’ll want to complete as many of the cups as possible as this is how you earn your money and collect points to unlock better faster cars, paint jobs and subsequent cups. Naturally, the higher you finish, the more cash and points are awarded to you, expanding the content as you go.
Each cup consists of four random races from the following types;
Race – A simple 2 lap circuit race with power-ups active.
Clean Race – The same as Race except for no power-ups. This one will test your raw racing skill!
Death Race – This is a race with power-ups active, only this time you have to win the race without being destroyed or it’s game over.
Eliminator – A straight up elimination-style event. Those unfortunate enough to find themselves in last place when the countdown reaches 0, will be knocked out.
Time Trial – You’re given a set number of laps and sometimes a unique car to set the best lap record.
Destruction – Speed around the track whilst destroying as many CPU “Beetles” as you can, using power-ups or brute force before the timer expires. Score big and win the race.
Demolition Derby – This is the ultimate mode for maximum carnage. You and your rivals are dropped into an enclosed arena and you have to take out as many of them as possible.
Aesthetically speaking, the best part is the car selection and designs. Unlike many other games within this genre that opts for very generic designs, Super Toy Cars 2 goes one better. Whilst they don’t have any licensed vehicles or any form of real-world brands, it really isn’t hard to see where the inspirations have been drawn from.
The myriad of paint jobs that can be unlocked for each vehicle is also very well done. Ranging from simple colour changes, but then changing up a gear to iridescent and crazy types of body vinyl and themes.
Each track is also themed very well, from American style diners to BBQ cookouts to playrooms and everything in between. The true-to-life influences are depicted with a lot of attention to detail.
Sadly, that’s where the good points end. Despite each track itself being designed well, I felt from an environmental standpoint that they all felt a bit too cluttered. Add to that the rather low resolution and you have a recipe for frustration. It was difficult to tell whether the devs were trying out some depth-of-field techniques, but it did start to get a little tricky to see things on the horizon.
This clutter was a lot more pronounced in the Demolition Derby races where not only were there weapons being fired all over the place, but there were lots and lots of toys and paraphernalia which made it quite difficult to see my opponents. So bad was it, I abandoned the idea of smashing into them and chose solely to grab as many power-ups to fire at them as I could.
Performance-wise, it wasn’t as bad. I only noticed minimal frame drops in both docked and handheld, which still wasn’t great for a game of this art-style running at 30fps. I feel that if they could’ve limited the amount off obstacles and litter on the track, they might have been able to get it to 60fps for an even better experience.
One of the standout features of the audio design was the music. From the title screen to the in-game tracks. There is a nice selection of music here covering 3 different genres. Alternative, Pop and Electronic. There really is something for everyone, but the coolest feature is found in the Extras menu. From here you can find the Music Config tab. This gives you the ability to tailor the soundtrack to your liking. You are able to choose which songs to favourite, play normally or disable altogether, essentially giving you the power to build a playlist.
This, I feel is a very underused feature in games these days so I found it a very welcome addition to Super Toy Cars 2. In terms of sound effects, I found them rather hit and miss. The weapons themselves were a little played-down, whilst explosions and crashes sounded great. Another oddity was the engine sounds. While most of the motors sounded as you’d expect. The whiny high-revving open-wheelers, the powerful roar of the V10 supercars and the deep rumble from the V8 muscle cars were all as to be expected. However, some of the engines sounded very muted and barely audible in some instances.
At first, I thought it might have been the sound settings for my Switch, not set up correctly, but after playing around with the sound settings for a bit, it didn’t seem to make much difference. I am hoping this is just a simple sound glitch that can be patched out after launch, as this did break some of the immersion for me.
Thou Shall Not Pass!
In terms of the controls, it is pretty standard fare when it comes to the layout. You have your triggers to accelerate and brake, B to fire your weapons and A for drifting. Drifting is very similar to the Mario Kart games. Simply enter a corner and hold down A to slide. It does take a little getting used to at first, but once you’ve upgraded your car a bit, it does become much easier. The longer you hold the drift for, the boost you get when you let go.
As you would expect in these types of kart racers, the controls do take a lot of getting used to but stick with it and will start to get better with upgrades and better cars that unlock later in the game. The one thing I wasn’t a fan of, however, were the barriers on each track. The barriers were extremely punishing, even for minor taps and scrapes. I found quite often that they would kill a lot of my speed, causing me to lose some races or spin me out altogether. I’m not sure if this is a clipping issue that can be fixed, but the barriers do feel extremely rubbery and unforgiving.
Speaking of clipping, there were a few issues I did encounter. This usually involved clipping through rival cars or going under the race track completely. On its own, this wouldn’t be that much of a deal-breaker as most games have some clipping errors. But when you’re adding it to the sound bugs and the bouncy barriers, my playthrough experiences were a bit sketchy at best.
The Final Lap
In all, Super Toy Cars 2 is a mixed bag. It doesn’t always get it right, yet it brings back features that are long forgotten in games these days. It has all the makings of a great game and shows a lot of potential, yet it struggles to get off the line. With a few post-release patches, or ideally a little longer in the oven, I feel this one could have been a serious competitor to the already very saturated arcade racer market on the eShop.
At £9.99 or $11.99, you are getting a significant chunk of content for your cash. The career mode is nice and meaty with plenty of cars, cups and vehicle upgrades to unlock. You’re getting a quick race mode where you can brush up your skills in each discipline, whether on your own or 2 player split-screen. Unfortunately, there are no online multiplayer or leaderboards of any kind. Then there’s that awesome playlist editor, which I felt is a nice touch.
With some extra tweaking and polishing, this one could have been an easy recommendation, however, until then it’s….
Not Quite There
Did you enjoy this review? Check out our reviews of Ion Fury and Saints Row The Third! Do you enjoy what we do? Check out our Ko-Fi, and consider dropping us a coffee! If you want to do what we do, we’re looking for new writers and editors! Fill out the form here if you’re interested. Thanks!
Game reviewed by Micramanic on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Eclipse Games.