Setup & Timing
The interface is one of only two strong parts of the game, with meanus that are easy ton read and navigate, short opening credits, and appropriate download times.
Menus & Navigation
The only other strongly-executed portion of Homie Rollerz is the menu system: reactive, accurate, and with accurate tap readings. (It appears the strong team was assigned to menu design and implementation instead of gameplay.)
Ease Of Use / Play Control
There are a lot of problems with Homie Rollerz and gamplay is one of the big ones. The game features bad steering. The button control scheme is unusual (and uncomfortable) with no option to set up your own control scheme and no option to have touch controls. The auto-driving correction removes a lot of the game's potential challenge. Despite the game's tendency to automatically turn you a little bit in the right direction, the game's AI characters are almost impossible to beat (in Single-Card Download mode). The smallest movements result in huge direction changes. Some of the "short cuts" take longer than the regular track! Then, as if all that weren't bad enough, you'll have to do tricks (which slow you down) to fill your meter enough for a turbo boost and the turbo boost often won't make up for the slow down!!!
Some of the people that were part of this project had good intentions: the game has Single-Card Download play for up to eight players on multiple tracks. Unfortunately, those folks were no longer involved once production began. Parts of the game have severe pixelation. Some on-screen objects are indistinguishable from others. Replace the repeatedly annoying "tube horn" music with... almost anything.
Look, this game makes no sense, starting with the decision to spin a game off from the Homies, a franchise of toys originally distributed by via vending machines (with no TV series, movies, or other tie-ins). It still could have been a fine game, but there are plenty of things in this game that don't make sense. When you hit a train head on, why is it that you simply spin out (you don't even fall over)? Why does hopping your car/vehicle around allow you to speed up? What's the point of earning respect in Single-Card Download mode if you don't do anything with it?!? Yes, it's terrific that the game is bilingual (multiple languages are standard Europe but not in North America). But before you go bilingual, try getting the game made correctly in one language first.
I usually try to stay unbiased and (for the most part) respectful but, in order to do that, there has to be something to respect. There's no question that this is the worst game I've reviewed to date (see the list below), and this is inexcusable, especially considering that the Nintendo DS system series is about to turn four years old (much longer than an average game's production cycle. The total lack of respectable balance between being challenging yet possible, combined with nonsensical/ineffectual controls, makes Homie Rollerz a game that wouldn't hold anyone's attention for very long (unless you really love bad games). All I can add is the following...
- Shame on you, Webfoot, for programming this game and not working the bugs out (or for not arguing for more time).
- Shame on you, Destineer, for publishing this (and, if it's the case, for forcing the game to market in this condition).
It's really too bad the game can't earn any respect in real life.
Repair the steering system to where it resembles at least "cartoon reality" (seriously).
Reset which buttons do what, allow users to designate their own control scheme, and offer touch screen controls.
Remove the auto-driving correction.
Decrease the difficulty for younger/more inexperienced players in Single-Card Download.
Balance out the "direction pad-to-actual-steering" ratio.
Allow other methods of earning turbo boosts (besides doing tricks that often slow you down).
Increase picture resolution to remove pixelation.
Put a graphical focus on fine details.
Replace the music with several new songs so that they don't continuously repeat.
Improve collision management. (Trains make you "spin out"?)
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 23 / 100 (a.k.a. 11.5/50)
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