REVIEW – Cars 2 (3DS)

A review by Jeremy Hardin

Game – Cars 2
Version – 3DS
Profiles/Save Slot – 3
Multiplayer – Yes
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Disney Interactive Studios

[Spoiler Alert!]

If you have seen the movie, then you know the story.  In a nutshell, Lightening McQueen is invited to participate in the World Grand Prix, sponsored by the alternative fuel company, Allinol.  Really, the WGP is just a front for an operation by Dr. Z and the former oil tycoon Miles Axlerod, now a green power advocate.  Their plan is to use a device disguised as a television camera to fire a laser at the cars using the Allinol.  The chemical reaction causes the cars to break down or be damaged beyond repair, thus casting biofuels in a bad light and bringing crude oil back to the forefront.  Boy, this sure does seem like a politically motivated plot!

[End of Spoiler]

Gameplay and Controls
The game consists of several races as Lightening McQueen either in a 3 lap race to 1st place or a knock out race which eliminates the car in last place every 30 seconds or so.  The races are broken up by spy missions in which you control Mater, Finn McMissile or Holly Shiftwell.  To help you out there are 3 nitro tanks at your disposal plus a special move which you can use once every 20 seconds or so.  McQueen has the ability to leap through the air and get ahead of his opponents, whereas Mater can drive backwards.  I’m not sure what the advantage of this move is, other than it looks funny.  Finn McMissile and Holly have a cloaking mechanism which allows them to escape detection for roughly 5 seconds.  The gameplay is so incredibly monotonous and boring, I had to push myself to finish the game for the sake of the review.  There are a few options on the archaic looking menu which you can choose from, here is a quick breakdown.

  • Story Mode – It is what it is, a story mode.
  • C.H.R.O.M.E. Mode – Simulate races and field missions and earn awards.
  • Quick race – What can I say here, it’s a quick race.
  • Profiles – Yes, up to 3 people can save their progress on this game.
  • Options – music and audio volume and control layouts.
  • Extras – view awards and trophies and cups.

I guess it’s a bonus to anyone who chooses to buy this game, but Streepass functionality has been included which unlocks hidden content.  Also, local multiplayer has been included, but with a game of this caliber I’m going to wish you luck in finding anyone to play against.

Visuals and Sound
Both the visuals and sounds are quite lackluster and not a single thing stands out to me in these categories, save for how bad they were. The animations look cheap, the level designs are generic, repetitive and overly simply, the voice acting is decent, but sparse. I’m really disappointed, but not totally surprised by the quality of Cars 2 for the 3DS.  The only segments of the game I enjoyed, although briefly were the races and the enjoyment waned just as quick as it started.

Concluding Overall Impressions
Cars 2 is repetitive, has little to no challenge, can be beaten in less than 5 hours, the unlockables seem to be nothing more than an afterthought to inflate the games content and the graphics are atrocious.  Plus, there is hardly any replay value.  The only redeeming quality I can find is that the game features the like-able Cars characters and their easily recognizable voices and even that isn’t enough to warrant a purchase.

Final Score: 2 out of 5

About the author:

Jeremy’s love of gaming, especially Nintendo started in the late 80′s when his parents bought him and his older brother an NES. Many hours were spent playing Mario and Duck Hunt. Eventually Jeremy graduated to bigger and better games and systems, like the SNES, GC, Wii, 3DS, and finally to the Wii U. Ask him what the defining moment of his childhood gaming was and he’ll answer, “the day I beat Zelda 2.” To this day that game holds a special place in his heart. His favorite types of games are platformers.

Jeremy started blogging for NintendoFuse in October 2010. He started off as a lurker on the forums who won a free copy of And Yet It Moves on WiiWare. From there he realized he liked the forums and the site and wanted to remain a part of it. He was brought on board shortly thereafter and has helped post news and reviews for the past couple of years. Currently Jeremy has taken a step back to focus on family and school. He assists in minor back-end site maintenance from time to time.

Jeremy – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


  • Xreppa

    It’s a nintendo DS game … not a 3ds … what a shame for this studios, ugly game

    • http://www.wiinintendo.net Jeremy Hardin

      Yeah, it’s just a DS game with tacked on 3D visuals which are minimal at best.  It really is ugly and quite boring.