Hot Wheels Interactive - Bash Arena
Children of all ages are going to love to get behind the wheel of Hot Wheels Bash Arena. Not only can you drive around brilliant obstacle courses but you also take part in fantastic smashes and crashes all with one aim in mind, to be the last car left, and become the Hot Wheels Champion.
Installing the game was easy. Bash Arena has a minimum system specification of a 233MHz Pentium II, 64MB of RAM, 4MB Video RAM, 250MB of Hard Disk Space and a 16-bit sound card, so even if you haven't upgraded for a while, you'll still be able to play this game and you don't need to have a 3D graphics card. It does require DirectX 8 but this comes on the games CD, if you need to install it. When you start Bash Arena for the first time, you enter your name to create a profile and decide which difficulty setting is right for you, choose from Rookie or Expert.
Bash Arena has a single player Tournament mode or a Multiplayer mode over a LAN or the Internet with your friends. In Tournament mode, you can choose to Race for Glory (smash all the other cars first), Collect Letters (to unlock extra cars) or Gather Cups (win silver and gold Trophies). A little strategy is needed here, as the arena will finish as soon as all the enemy cars have been destroyed, so remember to leave at least one until you have finished collecting letters or cups.
In Tournament mode, you have access to two of the six arenas in the game Practice and Junkyard to begin with. The others will have to be unlocked but as the game is so enjoyable, this won't be a hard task. There are also 20 authentic Hot Wheels cars to drive, but again only two are available at the start, Hooligan and Muscle Tone. Each vehicle is rated to show you how well the car performs on speed, acceleration, defence, attack and handling. Any of these ratings can be upgraded in The Workshop, where you can exchange the points that you earn in the arenas for extra upgrades to improve your car.
Hot Wheels Bash Arena looks great. The effects that are used within the game are brilliant, not only do you want to bash into crates to earn points but also just to see them smash or explode. It's very satisfying to ram the enemy car and watch as you cripple their vehicle.
There are numerous icons used throughout Bash Arena to tell you about traps, hazards, help, special powers, powerups or even secret arenas. The manual that comes with the game gives a detailed explanation of each. Pages 14-19 list all of these icons, such as a fire extinguisher that will help you if you are exposed to fire in the arena automatically. To use your Special Powers, you will have to press the Special Power button, by default the spacebar. Powerups will be used as soon as you have collected them, such as Invisibility. Invisibility is a brilliant weapon to use against your enemies, a small outline appears on the floor to show where you are but the other cars can't see you. Just think of the damage you could do to their car.
There are no problems here for deaf gamers; the previous paragraph highlights the visual information that is used in the game. All of the games' instructions are given in text and were clear and easy to read.
Game Rating: 9.1/10