Turbo: Super Stunt Squad – E3 Preview

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E3 has its fair share of hardcore games, but there are also a few family friendly titles lying around – like Turbo: Super Stunt Squad, which I checked out at the D3 Publisher booth. It has snails, racing, stunts, Snoop Dogg and, surprisingly, a pretty fun time to be had.

Turbo: Super Stunt Squad is a high velocity stunt game that puts you in the shell of Turbo the snail. Turbo has longed to go fast and, after a freak accident with Nitrous, he now has had his wish granted. Now Turbo, along with his gang of friends, are out to trick out with the best of them. The game is worked very closely with DreamWorks and features most of the snails from the movie and some of the locations.

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Turbo: SSS is a single player or 2-player split-screen game that is completely local, sorry all you online people out there. Once you load it up, you are given a snail to pick from, with each snail being different in their starting attributes of Speed, Trick, Jump, Handling, and Special. You can also upgrade these skills through completing objectives and finding collectables. Aside from the skills, you can also customize your shells and paint jobs, even place stickers on your shell. These two choices also add to your abilities, with some shells or paint jobs giving you more speed or better jumping.

After selecting the characters, the demo then went to the level select. There are five different environments to choose from and two different types of gameplay. The two modes are timed and free play. Timed mode is like its name, where you have 3 minutes or so to pull off as many tricks as possible, rack up points and complete objectives. Objectives are where this game makes its living, with some of the levels having north of 100 objectives. While there are only 5 levels to choose from, the amount of objectives guarantees that you will have a fair amount of replay value. The levels are also huge, with each one expanding upward as you gain levels to unlock new areas.

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The gameplay is basically a stripped down Tony Hawk or Skate game but with snails instead of skaters. You can speed up to ramps and jump off, twisting and turning to your delight. You use three of the face buttons to do different grabs along with grinding different areas of the map. Two player gameplay is done through split-screen, with each player trying to get the high score by the time the time runs out. The controls are pretty easy to pick up but the moves don’t feel that great, with most of them looking the exact same.

Graphically the game looked rather bland. The environments were vast and detailed, but didn’t look overly good. The characters also look about the same. It really would have been nicer to see a bit more polish but as this is a kids’ game, I can kind of understand. On the audio side, they were able to use most of the voices from the movie including Snoop Dogg, which was nice.

Turbo: Super Stunt Squad is a game that will lend itself perfectly to kids out there, as it is pretty easy to pick up and there is enough there to be able to spend a fair amount of time in. Other than kids though, this is a title that adults will probably want to pass on, as I could see it getting a little stale after a few timed modes. Turbo: Super Stunt Squad releases on PlayStation 3 and other consoles July 16th.