There are licensed games with no meaning and licensed games that make a lot. While Multiversus is surprisingly good, we’re not convinced we Requirements Shaggy Shaking Batman. But what about a race featuring the four-wheeled PAW Patrol in karting? This makes sense. It might be a money-making machine (haha!)), but it’s one that has a right to exist.
It is easy to see why the Xbox is a console for playing video games. while not short on karting games, isn’t particularly well stocked with karting games made for younger players. Race with RyanHowever, it is a poor and lazy attempt. Grand Prix PAW Patrol takes aim at the bullseye and doesn’t get far from it.
It’s time to sing its praises. The auto-drive mode of PAW Patrol’s Grand Prix is available. This is a lifesaver for anyone with a three-year-old who loves to watch family play together and wants to be a part of it. It drives forward for her, and occasionally course-corrects so that she doesn’t see Adventure Bay from behind a crash-barrier. It’s not new – Mario Kart 8 pioneered it – but so few games adopt it. Bravo to PAW Patrol: Grand Prix for including it here.
All the PAW Patrol karting experiences your little ones would want are available. The main cast of pups are here, plus Ryder, and it doesn’t take long to unlock Everest, Tracker and Rex. There might have been room for Liberty from the latest movie, or some of the peripheral characters (Chickaletta only gets to sound the starting bell, natch), but it’s the heavy hitters, plus a few more, all in their famed, recognisable vehicles.
They are all sung in English by the UK cast. You can watch PAW Patrol on YouTube. It’s easy to see that there are many regional voices. Mayor Humdinger does not sound right in the US version. This video shows that these voices were correctly recorded. They only appear in short interstitial cutscenes, but it gives PAW Patrol: Grand Prix some authenticity.
Best of all, PAW Patrol: Grand Prix is four-player, and it’s couch co-op to boot. As long as you have four game pads and the equal number of willing pups, you can all play together, and you’re not sacrificing much as you do. It’s the bare minimum for a karting game, but you’d be surprised how many let this hurdle twonk them in the face.
Chase is the core of the team, but Chase is less reliable than the rest. There aren’t many ways to play PAW Patrol: Grand Prix, for example. The Adventure Mode is a limited mode that is very close to a campaign-style grand prize or Mario Kart-style grand prix. Here, you can play seventeen tracks in a row, but you can only play them single-player, and they’re not broken up into smaller chunks. You can return to your save at any point, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to break these up into manageable bites in some form?
There are also quick races that you can use to choose the track or character you want (again bizarre: what discerning PAW Patrol Fans would do). wouldn’t want to choose their character), and finally – and thankfully – a Custom Race, where you get to choose the track AND character, as well as play multiplayer (but only locally, which makes sense considering the age rating).
Twelve tracks can be selected with the option to change them to day or night. We would prefer to use a mirror mode. These 12 tracks have four tracks. ‘themes’It was spread over several fairly similar layouts. Jungle, Adventure Bay, snow and a kind of beachy flavour are all you get here, and it’s not really enough. They can improve the feeling of repetition, despite being flat tracks that are often difficult for younger players. You will feel familiar with Adventure Mode when you play these 17 tracks in succession. It’s a bit like watching the episodes in adult mode.
There are some shortcuts to make the tracks more fun, even though they can be tedious. The controls are solid. The cars handle well, and they handle even better if you work out that RT is a power-slide with a boost as payoff; the game doesn’t actually tell you that it’s there. There’s a neat dual-weapon system too, which echoes Outright Games’ other racer, Fast & Furious: Spy Racers Rise From Sh1ft3r. You can collect Mario Kart-like weapons, such as boosts, jams and tornadoes that circle your kart, but you can also accumulate pup treats which will eventually unlock your dog’s signature attack.
Ryder has a shield to stop attacks (a typically non-committal attack from ol’ goody two shoes), while Skye has a flying helicopter boost and Tracker uses his toolkit to grapple the person in front. Each pup has a character-appropriate ability, and while they do range in quality (Tracker’s only works if someone is in front, which isn’t great in first place), they are varied and give the pups some individuality.
That said, there is a blue shell in PAW Patrol: Grand Prix, and it sucks as much as it does in that Mario game that we’ve referenced too much already. It’s a tractor beam that slows you down to a crawl which, as it turns out, is more infuriating than being hit. Moving at 2kph doesn’t feel good, unsurprisingly.
It is not surprising to see more rubber-banding at PAW Patrol Grand Prix. We found the three difficulty settings to be too difficult as seasoned karting enthusiasts. Marshall or another dog, no matter what our choice, would be there to help us if we were struck by the blue shell. Tractor beam? Sorry. PAW Patrol: Grand Prix is definitely prone to a little didn’t-deserve-to-lose-itis, which is fine, if not great, if you want little’ uns to have a chance of winning, but makes it unsatisfying if you are chasing the perfect Adventure Mode for an achievement.
Nothing in the arsenal of weapons is particularly outstanding (a confetti bomb is a cute articulation of the screen-smothering weapon, but that’s about the height of it), but we have to keep rewiring ourselves: this is a kid’s game, and kids are nowhere near as discerning. Looking at the beaming face of our three-year old as she clears the finish line in second place with Skye, well, that’s kind of priceless, innit?
Grand Prix by PAW Patrol is the ideal choice for a younger player looking to jump into a Marshall-powered fire engine. It can handle four players at once; it’s all the right pups with all the right voices. It has an automatic drive function, which is the best part. The analogue stick is all that your little one will need. This is not to be taken for granted: it’s incredibly rare.
For everyone else? Perhaps we shouldn’t care. There’s enough here to make playing four-player anything but a chore, and so what if it doesn’t stand up to an adult’s single-player scrutiny? It wasn’t made for us. No.
Take the testimony of two PAW Patrol fans in our house – PAW Patrol: Grand Prix is on a roll.
You can buy PAW Patrol: Grand Prix on the Xbox Store
There are licensed video games that are both cynical, and some that make perfect sence. While Multiversus is surprisingly good, we’re not convinced we needed to see Shaggy shanking Batman. What about a karting track with the four-wheeled PAW Patrol? That makes more sense. It might be a money-making machine (haha!)), but it’s one that has a right to exist. What also makes sense is that the Xbox, while not short on karting games, isn’t particularly well stocked with karting games made for younger players. Race With Ryan is a flawed and shonky attempt at it, but…
Review of Grand Prix Review from PAW Patrol
Review of Grand Prix Review from PAW Patrol
- Local co-op available for four players
- All the dogs you could wish for
- A solid karting experience
- There is a bizarre dearth of modes
- Extremely familiar feeling
- Really only joyful for young ’uns
- TXH is sincerely grateful for the complimentary copy
- S. Xbox One PS4, PS5, Switch. S. Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch.|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
- Version reviewed – Xbox Series X
- Release date – 30th September 2022
- Launch price from – £34.99