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One of Mattel's most famous toy lines (that doesn't feature the color pink) can now be played on the television screen in Hot Wheels Turbo Racing for the Nintendo 64. While the little die cast models are now full-size cars, there are still plenty of opportunities to practice flips, barrel rolls and 360 spins on tracks filled with loops, jumps and similar stunts.
As the title suggests, this is a racing title that has you driving one of 40 classic Hot Wheels models, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, in three different fantasy worlds. There are also five modes of play, starting with an Exhibition Race that has players challenging a friend or the computer on one of the available tracks. Other modes include the Airtime Challenge, Hot Wheels Cup, Practice and Practice Airtime.
The Hot Wheels Cup is a tournament spanning a series of races with a point-based system used to determine the winner. There are multiple circuits to compete in, and players can also unlock hidden tracks and cars by placing first overall. The Airtime Challenge and Practice Airtime modes involve trying to accumulate as many points as possible within a certain time frame (Practice Airtime offers unlimited time) by pulling off stunts.
Two players can also compete head-to-head as they try to outscore each other by performing flips, spins, rolls and staying in the air as long as they can (called airtime). These stunts can then be linked together to form combinations for even more points! The final mode, Practice, allows players to get accustomed to each track as they try to learn the various shortcuts available during the race.
Hot Wheels Turbo Racing also features eight types of power-ups at various points along the courses: the Car of Steel (allows you to ram cars without suffering damage); Gyros (cars will have added spin during stunts); Rubber Cars (cars that ram into you will bounce away); Stick Tires (improves traction); Super Brakes (stop on a dime); Super Handling (improves handling); Turbo Boosts (adds to your Turbo Meter); and the 4X4 (allows you to pass through mud without slowing down).
Turbo Boosts are an important part of the game because they allow you speed away from your competition and help increase your airtime for pulling off stunts. Each stunt will also give you extra Turbo Boosts so you'll have an extra edge over your competition. Use them wisely and you might win the race!
A Controller Pak with at least 28 free pages is required in order to save best times, Hot Wheels Cup progress and unlocked secrets, but players without such a peripheral are free to use the passwords offered at the end of each race. Options include adjustable difficulty levels, custom control configurations and the ability to set the song for a particular race. Speaking of which, the game offers a soundtrack with such artists as Primus, Mix Master Mike and the Reverend Horton Heat! ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide