Edwin

LR1 LEGO Races Vs. LEGO Racers 2

Recommended Posts

Edwin

I think I'd prefer the first LEGO Racer, but that might be because of nostalgia

Which do you think is better? From a critical standpoint -- NO nostalgia -- both games evaluated in the context of their respective release dates.

And when I say better I mean better as in "If I hadn't grown up playing any of the games, I would have preferred this one" better.

Which has the better tracks? Graphics? Gameplay? Customization? Music?

Is the open world in LR2 a better choice than the menu system in LR? Does the story take too much place in LR2?

And finally: Are any of them good games compared to other (kart) racing games?

This should be interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ben24x7

As a sequel, I feel LEGO Racers 2 falls a bit flat compared to the first game.

Spoiler

 

Building your character and vehicle feels more 'limited' in terms of character parts and brick limits, and it is INCREDIBLY annoying that you only get one chance to build, or pick a vehicle in the story mode (the original LEGO Racers allowed you to edit custom cars at any point).

 

The open worlds are a good addition, alongside some mini-games and collectables to do or search for as a break in-between races. The race tracks, on the other hand, are unfortunately repetitive. The pathway/track does vary from race-to-race, but it is basically a modified version of the open worlds. You might say it was a good idea, since you could 'practise' the races in the open world, but instead the racetracks are boring to look at and play on (except for the final race with Rocket Racer).

 

LEGO Racers would just let players go and do their own thing, racing CPU opponents or beating time trials, with no story to bring it all together, and that was great. It let the player form their own story of their successes and failures.

LEGO Racers 2 tries to incorporate a linear story which is forgettable at best and completely dissapears when the player is able to leave Sandy Bay;

 

To access each world from Sandy Bay, you need a set number of Gold Bricks (except for the Xalax portal, which requires you to beat all world's bosses), and that sounds fine, it works as a barrier to stop players from rushing through the whole game in one sitting, but it is horribly flawed.

When I first played LR2, I went to Dino Island, collected a bunch of Gold Bricks there and gained access to the Mars Mission world, collect Gold Bricks from that world and gained access to the Artic world. All that and I had not beaten a single boss, and it took me several months to figure out I had to beat them in order to progress.

 

Actually, about the Gold Bricks, they serve practically no purpose other than stuff you can find around the island, and guess what you get for spending many hours finding and reaching all 24 of them? Fireworks (at least, from my experience that was all that happened).

They could've given you a reward like a car or break brick limits when building vehicles, but nope. On Sandy Bay a bunch of wimpy fireworks fly into the sky every four seconds, and it is a small touch, but it provides nothing but a visual effect and an annoying endless sound.

At least the mini-games actually give you upgrades for your car...

 

 

It is very likely what I've written is incorrect, and there is probably stuff I missed out, but I only played LEGO Racers 2 five or so years ago, so there may be things I've forgotten about over time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xir

I'm feeling all too tempted to rant right now, but not here, not now, not on mobile just before bed. :P

(P.S. My browser crashed 3 times trying to post that.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terrev

I think it's worth noting they're very different games that were trying to do very different things. Very intentionally, I might add - here's a quote from ATD's old website:

 

Quote

Firstly, we want to say that we had NOTHING to do with the development of LEGO Racers 1 on PSX, N64 and PC - that was by a totally different developer and has no similarity to our game, other than it was also based on LEGO!

 

When this subject has come up before, the results seem to come down to which sort of games each individual prefers.

 

I got them both at the same point in a 2-pack in 2008 thanks to TT's 2007 re-release, so I don't have any nostalgia for one over the other - not much nostalgia for either of them, really. I played through them at the same time, alternating between them each play session, as well.

 

LR1 is a typical 90s kart racer except you can build your own cars and characters. Due to how LEGO structured theme/faction releases back then, they had tons of source material to work with, so there was a lot of variety in the tracks even though it only used four themes (Pirates, Adventurers, Castle, Space). And that's really all it was - I don't say that negatively, it was just very focused on being what it was. You built cars, raced three laps around colorful themed tracks, unlocked more stuff if you did well, and continued until you beat the game. Plus there were time trials for an extra challenge and unlocks. The cheat codes and hidden shortcuts were pretty fun too. Plenty of freedom in character and car building. Music was obnoxious but fittingly video game-y.

 

LR2 tried to be a lot more in terms of scope, beyond just "race lego cars around tracks". By that point LEGO had shifted into their current theme model; factions were out, single themes were in. I don't know how much that had to do with the resulting design of the game, but regardless, the direction LR2 took was to completely map out each theme/world into a full place you could explore. And given my tastes, that's a major plus. Collectibles, exploration, characters to talk to, hidden minigames to find, or just cool stuff to see in the world - I greatly enjoyed it. It felt a lot more alive than LR1's sterile "racetracks with themed wallpaper". They also took a lot more freedom with some of the boss races - I loved the race against Riegel's mech. Customization was mixed; the car builder I found much, much more interesting (what with the addition of hovercraft, treaded vehicles, skiing vehicles, etc) but the minifigure customization was far too limited. Music was mostly forgettable. The car destruction system and powerups were a lot of fun - I found knocking out an opponent's car much more satisfying than what LR1's powerups were capable of. It also enabled the addition of the multiplayer battle mode, which I also had fun with.

 

As I generally gravitate most towards games that have places to explore and things to find, I ended up enjoying LR2 the most as I played through both games. If you want more of a tight racing gamey video game, LR1 excels in that regard.

 

If you go for the question of "which game did a better job of being what it wanted to be", instead of "which did you enjoy more", I'd say LR1. It was laser focused and did what it wanted to well. LR2 could have definitely been executed in a much better way, but it was still good enough at what it was trying to do for me to enjoy it.

 

Also - both games have severe exploits that greatly reduce their difficulty - the realization that you only really need (and can exploit the hell out of) green powerups in LR1, and engine car upgrades in LR2. Both had some super weird physics quirks too - LR1's idea of powersliding was bizarre, but at least consistently bizarre, while LR2's handling varied a lot between chassis. So I'm gonna call them equally flawed in those regards. ;P 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Edwin
5 hours ago, Ben24x7 said:

 

The race tracks, on the other hand, are unfortunately repetitive. The pathway/track does vary from race-to-race, but it is basically a modified version of the open worlds. You might say it was a good idea, since you could 'practise' the races in the open world, but instead the racetracks are boring to look at and play on

 

 

At the same time you could argue that the tracks in LR1 are repetitve. They may vary more in theme, but after the first three tournaments they're just making you replay the previous tournaments, but in reverse order and with mirrored tracks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pereki

I really can't evaluate these games without nostalgia. LEGO Racers is flat-out the reason I'm a LEGO fanatic, so its no question for me which one wins in a fight. Weirdly though, for me personally, the game functioned mostly as a catalog of 90s models, themes and figs. The racing is fun, but I've never really come to video games for their mechanics or gameplay. Maybe if I did, I would like LEGO Racers 2 more. And I certainly don't dislike the game! But its rather uninspired storytelling (and its unfortunate circumstance in having to rely on less interesting themes) didn't inspire nearly as much imagination in me. Not that the first Racers had much story at all - it was more about suggesting a world of possibilities. I was eager to fill in the blanks it left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Avery

There are things I like and dislike about both games.

 

LEGO Racers 1

Pros:

  • Features a nice variety of 90's themes
  • Unique powerup system
  • Decent character/car customization
  • Easy controls
  • Drivers can be edited during any point in the game

Cons:

  • Absence of other 90's themes (i.e. aquazone, wild west, ninja)
  • Most songs are 30-40 second loops.
  • Your only actual competition is the circuit host
  • Warp turbo makes races way too fast and easy
  • Circuits 4-6 are just mirrored tracks in reverse order.

 

LEGO Racers 2

Pros:

  • Stunning environments
  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Races are longer, somewhat challenging
  • Bonus games
  • World bosses
  • Each track is unique
  • Story-based

Cons:

  • Less interesting themes
  • Awful controls
  • Upgrades leave opponents far behind
  • Very limited character/car customization
  • Final race is disappointing
  • The game doesn't connect well with its predecessor in terms of gameplay
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
origamihero
5 hours ago, AaronBurner05 said:

LEGO Racers 2

Cons:

  • Less interesting themes

You think the Adventure theme or the LoM theme are not interesting!!!???  I..I don't know what to say to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xir

Be prepared: My post has x4 more stuff about Racers 2 than Racers because I've played it x10 more.

 

I had Racers 2 first, with Racers being obtained a couple years or so after - still both qualifying the nostalgia range. I definitely played Racers 2 a lot more though as a kid, and even to this day as an adult. This was likely due to the open worlds and the freedom of being able to do other things aside from just racing. I remember as a kid having several silly sessions with my siblings in Racers 2, sure there were times we did battles and races where battles were usually more interesting due to the lack of AI on races, but on those goof-off times sometimes we'd do things like finding interesting or bizarre places we could get to as a minifigure (I remember thinking going on the inside of the tubes in the rejuvenator on Mars was the most awesome thing in the world!), or doing something like pushing all the mobile objects off the edge of the map or into kill zone places. For Mars' case it was the lava rivers - and due to an incorrectly made kill box on the one lava river which allowed you to drive into it without respawning there became the rare cases where we'd try to push them back out again because that was a challenge. In Racers this freedom wasn't there. You have a straightforward track and it is either race or don't race, nothing much else to do.

 

My favourite features from both:

Racers: The racing style.

Racers 2: The open world exploration with a touch of story - the in-game instructional is a bit overdone though, i.e. you get reminded of the same thing for every single world even though you should know the drill by now (you know manuals aren't just for aesthetics and super extra information right?).

The vehicle customization never really bothered me too much on either, the only real issue was the lack of characters parts on Racers 2.

 

My least favourite features from both:

Racers: Half the game is mirrored tracks.

Racers 2: Baby difficulty, and too hand-holdy.

  • For the difficulty - you can become OP for the entirety of the game in 5 minutes by just doing one bonus game and getting the power bonus. I once did a very crappy (now deleted) let's play that consisted of me not getting any power bonus and by golly the game was definitely a bit tougher! (especially Rocket's race, which I only won due to well timed double shockwaves). The AI is generally very lacking for any sort of challenge, all racers follow the same path. At least in the first Racers each AI had their own path. To add to this I think there was a reason AIs weren't made progressively harder/faster, and it was that they weren't programmed very well. See this video as a reference to what I mean - sometimes similar things happen when your vehicle gets taken control of after crossing the finish line too, in that your vehicle may sometimes fly off the track because it doesn't know how to control it.
  • For hand-holdy - The in-game instructional is a bit overdone, i.e. you get reminded of the same thing for every single world even though you should know the drill after the entry of the 2nd world, since as of this point nothing in the format of the game changes. In Racers you weren't even given instructions, you just had the option to look at the controls if you didn't know them already (or you could just experiment and figure it out for yourself), and then you just customized and raced, with no customizing instructions, it was that simple. For Racers 2 it was destined to be information loaded, (you know, for the simple minded. We even get Sparky talking during customizing - I don't think anyone ever reads that, right?), you even get a 30 second speech on simple movement controls and a test-drive you make sure you're capable enough of driving when you start an adventure so you didn't have to use a brain cell to figure it out for yourself (what, you mean not everyone wants forced tutorials?). Oh, and because I need to be as reminding as the game, for every world starting after Dino Island I get to remind you of the exact same thing I just told and you were already doing in the last world, and I'll continue doing this going for every world up till the last! (At least one thing they did right was use NPCs and hints on what you should be doing or where to find the golden bricks). Oh and another thing is, because it doesn't looks like you were capable of follow the barriers of the road, maybe because you were driving too fast (oh, so we're suppose to be that much faster and ahead of the AI?), or maybe it is just because you're just too lazy to learn the track layout, we'll give you a guide arrow to show you back to your next point! Not that driving into the water won't get you back quicker if you've already gone that far out. (I might going a bit overboard mentioning the arrow, but still.)

 

 


Reply time!

 

On 2016-05-23 at 3:04 AM, Ben24x7 said:

the racetracks are boring to look at and play on (except for the final race with Rocket Racer).

Personally, I found Rocket's track one of the least interesting. It's like driving in a curved straight line while just avoiding stationary walls and useless ramps.

 

On 2016-05-23 at 3:04 AM, Ben24x7 said:

and it is INCREDIBLY annoying that you only get one chance to build, or pick a vehicle in the story mode

Speaking of, why don't we have a save game editor that allow us to change that yet? Hex editors won't do unfortunately, as the game has a magic detection for modified save files (it might use a code in the save file(?), just as Soccer Mania does - although at least Mania TELLS you the correct code [red screen] that needs to be inputted, thankfully).

 

On 2016-05-23 at 10:10 AM, AaronBurner05 said:
  • Awesome soundtrack

You'd think with the amount I like Racers 2 that I'd love the soundtrack too. The truth is I don't enjoy it too much, especially the dull menu/hub song that plays everywhere. I usually end up just putting in custom music - and most games I'm satisfied with the music enough not to be bothered to change it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
  • Preview Post