hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Joy Ride Turbo

Review: Joy Ride Turbo

5:00 PM on 05.31.2012 // Ian Bonds

The kart racing genre is a staple of gaming that each console generation experiences. While Mario Kart may have broken the original mold, several hundred others xeroxed it before the concept broke. But like every copy of a copy, it loses quality as each new version is thrust upon the unsuspecting game-buying populace.

Last year, to usher in the new control of the Kinect, Microsoft Studios showcased a then free-to-play, micro-transaction-funded kart racer, which was eventually scrapped for a retail version called Kinect Joy Ride. Much like those who played it, the game flailed. Now, the company has ditched the motion controls and slapped a "sequel" onto Xbox Live Arcade in the form of Joy Ride Turbo. And I played it.

You're welcome.

Joy Ride Turbo (Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Microsoft Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Released: May 23, 2012
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points

While kart racers can be fun diversions and are often entertaining multiplayer experiences, Joy Ride Turbo is as lackluster as they come. It isn't that it's an incompetent game, rather, it's just not a very fun one.

Gameplay is split up into three modes: Championship Series, Stunt Track, and Single Race, with each having further separation of 100, 200, and 300cc classes. These class separations seem to make no noticeable difference in course or race difficultly, other than how much the racer AI rubber bands on the final race. In Championship mode, there is further separation for muscle, truck, and sport car series, with three races for each car. The fourth race set allows the player select any car class and race in the final three-race tournament.

As you race, you have your standard set of power-ups that you'll collect from crates along the course. Missiles, dynamite, and gas canisters used to increase boost can all be found. Boost plays a big part here, as drifting or doing tricks off jumps (with the analog sticks) builds up a small meter at the bottom of the screen, and boosting helps you power through the course off ramps and hidden shortcuts. In addition, there are also car-part crates hidden around the tracks which, when gathered, unlock more cars to race with. Sadly, this is the first of many problems with the game.

You start with one car of each type already unlocked for races, with four others in each type visible. However, to unlock these, you must gather three different crate types to unlock the car. Then, once unlocked, you must purchase it with coins, earned either from winning races, or gathered along the Stunt Track, which I'll get to later. Further confusing matters, there are also variations on the car types, unlocked in the same manner.

What makes this annoying, however, is that even if you gather all the crates from all ten races (a minimum of four in each) you still may not have the right parts to unlock one full car. You've gathered the wheels from one, but not the shocks or engine. You'll have the shocks and engine for another car, but be missing the wheels. I went through each of the ten races in single-race mode and just drove along and gathered up all the crates in each race, and only unlocked six cars (out of the 45 possible).

Then there's the races themselves. Despite each having various shortcuts and twists and surprises along the way, there is just an overall blandness to each race. The other drivers are innocuous, inoffensive nobodies who don't really pose much threat, even at the higher race difficulties. Thankfully, there's four-player split screen and eight-player online modes to present an actual challenge, but with only ten courses in total, repetition becomes tiresome and there's not enough variety in the courses to warrant more than a few runs per race.

Thankfully, there is the Stunt Track, which is the saving grace of this game. Here, you're allowed to tool around a giant course with ramps and jumps winding through valleys littered with coins. While this mode is also strangely separated into 100, 200 and 300cc classes, the course remains the same and it's not really a "race" even. You're not competing against anyone, just gathering items and exploring. And that may be why it works so well.

Unfortunately, even this is short lived, as there are only two stunt courses. The rest of the gameplay is rounded out with the same boring races from championship mode in "battle," "pro," or time-trial single races. I really have no idea what separates battle mode from pro race, as they appear and function exactly the same, but there they are listed as separate features.

While Joy Ride Turbo isn't a good game, it's not a bad game, either. It's a competent racer that could have benefited from better race and track design to make the experience a bit more enjoyable. Bland tracks, similar variations on popular power-ups, and no real sense of accomplishment for unlocks makes for a very boring racer indeed, and the lack of development into the game's one truly fun mode is a crime. Perhaps they'll release more stunt courses as DLC, but by the time they do, I'm fairly certain no one will care.



Joy Ride Turbo - Reviewed by Ian Bonds
Average - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Ian Bonds, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Ian is Dtoid's resident review monkey. If there is a game no one else wants to review, it usually goes to Ian. As a reviewer, Ian has been writing for close to ten years for various sites, starti... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
The amount of people who still defend Atlus's terrible marketing for their "crossover game" is kind of disturbing...
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Playing MGSV Ground Zeroes reminds me of when I was a younger child and I would play game demos over and over again, creating my own objectives and stories with my imagination. I love it!
Parismio avatarParismio
SFV just revealed Laura's video. She doesn't look that combo-friendly tbh. That just might be the video though.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Apparently some people are upset at Hyrule Warriors Legends calling it "the most expensive DLC", to quote a well known former writer of the site "they're Nintendo fans, that's what they do" complain.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
God damn Xenonauts is brutal on Ironman mode. Oh well, time to start again.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Out of morbid curiosity, whats your favorite handheld gaming machine?
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Who's that Dtoider?! [img][/img]
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Pathologic Classic HD just got announced and holy crap am I excited. If you haven't played the game, keep your eyes on this one. It's the very definition of an underrated title. Though I'm not sure what'll happen to the remake that was being shown...
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My opinion on Tomba has changed, now I dig it again. Stay tuned for updates.
techsupport avatartechsupport
MGO is a blast and after playing for a few hours as each class, I'm glad I stuck with Infiltrator.
CblogRecaps avatarCblogRecaps
So assuming the terrible blog tools functions correctly, soon there may be a nefarious call to arms. So keep an eye out and hope there isn't a typo due to light-grey on white background text.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Gonna have a date tonight ? Here's a song for you. [youtube][/youtube]
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
[youtube][/youtube] And yes, this is video game related!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
"Everlasting. True love. I am yours." -Rule of Rose T^T
Shinta avatarShinta
MGO's pretty fun! I suck at it though. I mostly hang back and just mark enemies and get the occasional sniper kill. It's pretty fun to be semi-useful with a very hands off role like that. Love my avatar character guy too.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Fuck Insecticons
nanashi avatarnanashi
they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Joy Ride Turbo

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -