Phillip Chapman (5-7-00) - As I write this review, I've had Muppet RaceMania for a couple weeks and this PlayStation game is everything you would hope it would be. In fact, we may look back on this game as the Muppet release for 2000.
From a purely gaming perspective this is a great game, very challenging, with lots of hidden extras and bonuses. Add on top of that, all of your favorite Muppet characters and I mean ALL of them (more than 30 are included) and you have a fantastic game. It's obvious that a lot of people who love the Muppets just as much as you and I, spent the necessary time and research to make this a great product. While plans for this game have been in the works since last year, EM.TV expressed interest and excitement about this being one of the first products released after the Henson buyout in February.
There are six different levels and each includes 4 different tracks. Each level is based on a Muppet film and the tracks are inspired from the movies themselves. For example, you can race in the swamp or the ghost town from The Muppet Movie. Each level also has a battle course where you try to survive with the least amount of hits from other opponents. Every level also has a stunt course where you have to complete a particular mission in your Muppet racer. There are also 4 bonus courses, 6 courses awarded for completing the game, 32 original music tracks, 28 Muppet movie film clips, and more than 15 game modes. One of the bonus courses even includes a trip to Fraggle Rock!
What really makes this game shine however is that there are more than 25 Muppet characters. From Kermit to Beaker, Scooter to Rowlf, Dr. Teeth to Janice, and Sal to Pepe, everyone has their own unique vehicles that fit the characters' personalities. Each character has unique speech and sample moves. All in all, there are 625 character/vehicle combinations and also 9 playable Boss Muppet characters throughout the game. There are even Doozers in this game that you can "unlock" as you play. Once you do, even a Doozer will race along with you throughout your mission.
All in all, this is a great game and is up there with the 1996 Muppets Inside PC game as the best releases we've seen so far from Jim Henson Interactive. I'll meet you at the starting line!
As you race, concentrate on getting as many fruits and stars as possible. Don't worry about what your place is amongst the other racers at first. Getting the most fruits is the key to zooming past your competition or stopping all other cars temporarily. Learning the track will come after awhile, but getting all the fruit is the key to succeeding quickly.
If you race once in "Tournament" mode you'll unlock the first race on each of the six levels.
Be sure to save your progress after you complete a race, so you can resume where you left off.
Learn and experiment with the different Muppety pickups to slow down your opponents: fish, bouncing bombs, chickens, and penguins.
Always watch where the other cars go. There are numerous shortcuts on each level. Some are more obvious than others, so be sure to watch the flow of traffic to help you discover these secrets. After a lot of trial and error, if you cannot win a race, it is likely that you are missing an important shortcut.
As you complete more and more races, check out the "Status" mode to view your progress. For each race you complete, you receive a tick mark. However, everything is not complete until you receive a "Gold Star" on each course. This is how you know there is more left to be done and other secrets that still need to be found.
When you complete all the races, battles, stunt courses, and tournaments check out the adventures on each race. Complete the numerous tasks and solve puzzles to complete the adventure mode and unlock extra features, courses and characters. Each course has its own unique challenges (including a Doozer on every track, more movie clips, and hidden Muppet cars that you can race once you find them).
There are multiple endings to this game, so even if you do finish it, experiment and you'll discover even more hidden surprises.
The Studio Track
Fraggle Rock Track
The End and Six Overhead Tracks