Chocobo GP is an entertaining diversion that lacks staying power – Review

Chocobo GP is a Nintendo Switch game that features racing with Chocobo, the titular magical bird. Longtime fans of the franchise will be happy to see new content and familiar gameplay, but this title’s lackluster story and lack of replayability make it hard to recommend.

Chocobo GP is an entertaining diversion that lacks staying power. The game is a good time killer and is a nice change of pace, but it’s not the type of game you’ll want to play for long periods of time.

When you think of the Final Fantasy series, you probably envision a rich world filled with fascinating characters, thrilling action, and a unique tale. Chocobo GP is a lovely and sickly sweet take on the genre that is both funny and family-friendly. Continue reading, kupo.

Final Fantasy Kart is a game developed by Square Enix.

Chocobo-GP-is-an-entertaining-diversion-that-lacks-staying-powerSquare Enix provided this image.

Chocobo GP, for those who don’t know, is a Mario Kart-inspired racing game. While it borrows heavily on Nintendo’s efforts, Chocobo GP is distinct enough to stand out. You can employ magic, much like many other Final Fantasy characters, however they’re used as items in this game. You can use fireballs and ice spikes to knock your opponents out or freeze them in place for a few seconds. Another fantastic feature of Chocobo GP is that as you go through the narrative mode, you’ll be able to employ additional spells and characters. With a total of 24 racers to pick from, the roster of characters is sure to satisfy.

The magicka concept is an interesting spin on a tried-and-true genre, but Square Enix could shorten the recovery period. I’ve lost races many times because of numerous spells striking me at the finish line. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, several of the special powers and boosted spells behave as a vicious blue shell that’s almost hard to avoid.

Beautiful music, yet…

1646412042_675_Chocobo-GP-is-an-entertaining-diversion-that-lacks-staying-powerSquare Enix provided this image.

Despite being limited to the Nintendo Switch, Chocobo GP’s colors are vibrant. As shown in this kart racer, the city of Alexandria from Final Fantasy IX has never looked more gorgeous. You’ll pass through a beautiful town and see a spectacular castle, gilded sculptures, and a lovely castle. As they race, each character is packed with of personality. For example, when it executes a performance in the air, the Chocobo glances back at the camera with happiness.

Ifrit’s Hellfire, for example, seems to be stunning as a wall of fire appears on the track ahead of him. The enormous wheel-like beam that fires in front of Racing Hero X is also impressive. Even in handheld mode, Chocobo GP maintains a steady frame rate despite the amount of activity on screen.

When it comes to racing, things might become a bit hairy. As you drift around curves, it maintains seamless control, and handling the car is a joy. Some of the tracks, however, are poorly planned. Returning to Alexandria, the track is a little too horizontal at points, and the bends aren’t as smooth as they should be. Cid’s Test Track, on the other hand, includes twists and curves that will surely drive players off course, resulting in dissatisfaction. While the tracks are beautiful, Square Enix could have put more emphasis on track design.

A children’s narrative mode with iconic characters

For those that play Chocobo GP on their own, the narrative mode is the meat and potatoes. The writing itself is a bit of a mishmash. There are a few amusing moments, but the screenplay seems to be geared more at youngsters than adults. It’s odd considering the protagonists in this game are well into their twenties. It contains Vivi and Steiner from Final Fantasy IX instead of more modern heroes like Noctis, Alphinaud, or even Lightning. Its playful tone also sets it unique from most Final Fantasy stories. As a result, for a fan of the mainstream games, it’s a welcome change.

Additionally, Chocobo GP has a surprisingly awesome voice cast with Erica Mendez (Hunter X Hunter, The Seven Deadly Sins) as Shirma and Cristina Vee (Sailor Moon: Eternal, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir) as Racing Hero X, among many others. They all perform well to the vibe that Chocobo GP is going for, but the lines are uttered in an irritating manner, due to its childish tone. The story is nothing to write home about, but it will keep you entertained.

There isn’t much to do.

1646412043_915_Chocobo-GP-is-an-entertaining-diversion-that-lacks-staying-powerSquare Enix provided this image.

Chocobo GP is a short game. The narrative mode will take you around three hours to finish, and there are only nine courses to ride around on. It also has an Extra (new game + style) Mode in which you must always finish first, and instead of unlocking characters, you receive other vehicle designs. However, there is a surprise at the end that we will not reveal.

You also have a Time Attack option, although it isn’t really innovative.

Chocobo GP will most likely be a fun diversion from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe rather than a direct competitor. Hopefully, the season pass features will entice players to return. Otherwise, the online mode may be doomed from the start.

The music is a bit of a mishmash. First and foremost, the main menu music will most certainly drive you insane. It’s so peppy and cheery that it might become bothersome. The sickly sweet aspect is introduced by the high-pitched singing combined with the annoying music. Some of the stage music, on the other hand, is a different story. Alexandria has a fantastic remix of Final Fantasy IX’s “Melodies of Life.” I particularly liked Chocobo Farm’s version on the “Chocobo Theme,” since it’s a nice nod to the mainstream series we all know and love.

At the time of writing, I wasn’t able to test the game’s online capabilities, but the major mode you’ll most likely play is the Chocobo GP mode. Players will compete in rounds to decide who is the best out of 64 participants in a tournament format. It sounds thrilling, and there’s a ranking system in place to keep you interested. We’ll update this review after we’ve seen how the online system functions at launch.

The Final Word

Chocobo GP is an excellent kart racer in general. Its use of magic rather than things is novel, and the narrative mode is engaging enough to keep you playing until the finish. Unfortunately, despite their beauty, some of the tracks aren’t as well planned as you’d want. In comparison to its plumber competitors, there aren’t enough elements to keep the game entertaining for a long time.

+ A fascinating reimagining of the characters and locations from the Final Fantasy series.
+ Using magic as objects is a clever notion that works well here.
+ Fantastic cartoon-style graphics
In a kart racing, the stages aren’t as well constructed as you’d want.
Chocobo GP has little staying power due to its short narrative mode and lack of levels.

I was given a game code in exchange for an honest review.