Originally Posted by squarezero
Alright, I've only played through the first cup and I feel like I can say something about the game. I should first note that I'm not a huge kart racer fan: in fact, my first one was Crash Bandicoot (heresy of heresies!), which I found to be a lot of fun. I picked up Krazy Kart with high expectation, but ended up very disappointed. (This is not the thread to go into it, but suffice it to say that even though the game was bigger and deeper than CB, I felt it was a lot less fun). Then came the surprise of the year: Cocoto Kart Online, which not only is a lot of fun, but nicely polished, with a great online infrastructure, and cheap as heck to boot.
How does Gameloft's entry compare to the competition? Well, as far I'm concerned, Cocoto is still the champ, but Shrek Kart brings enough to the table to easily best Krazy Kart and make it a fun game in it's own right. First of all, even if you're not a fan of the movies (I'm not), you will likely find that the characters are well designed and distinctive enough to make it worthwhile to try all ten of them. Not only do the karts have different stats, each character has it's own special power that can be used at any time during the race (though it takes a while to recharge). I've only played Puss in Boots so far, as far as I've seen in competition each power relates nicely with the character (Puss in Boots throws his hat, Shrek farts, etc). The courses are also well designed (at least the ones I've seen of far), with many jumps, shortcuts, hazards, and goodies. I've only tried the tilt control, which I would agree is a bit wonky, but there's also a nicely implemented drift ability that kind of makes up for it (one clever feature: the longer you drift, the bigger a speed-boost you get when you come out of it). Gameloft also added some depth to the gameplay by allowing you to jump-off attacks and showing you when you are being targeted (so you can try to maneuver/jump away from the attack).
The main thing that is missing, of course, is online multiplayer. I've never been a big fan of online gameplay, but Cocoto has kind of made a convert of me: I love being in the middle of a single-player match and getting a invitation from someone to join a battle. You can jump on for ten minutes, get your butt kicked a few times (if you're like me), then jump out and go back to single player racing; it makes for a different experience every time you boot the game. I can imagine that if Gameloft does follow through on its promise to add online multiplayer (and if it's as well implemented as Cocoto's) it will definitely add to the fun and value of the title.
It will not, however, make it a better game than Cocoto. For all it's bells and whistles, Shrek Kart has a lower framerate than Cocoto, provides less of a sense of speed, and, for that reason, feels less like a full console title. Also, in typical Gameloft fashion, the game is not as challenging as Cocoto -- I won that first cup on my first try in normal difficulty, and that's just not right. The biggest issue I have, though, is the lack of voices, which seems like a huge wasted opportunity in a game based on a film property. I understand it if they couldn't afford to hire the stars to do some voice-over work, but they could have easily brought in decent stand-ins, or at the very least pulled a few choice lines from the movies themselves. Again, I'm not really a Shrek fan, but that just seems like an obvious omission.
All in all, though, considering the amount of content, the depth of gameplay, and the overall polish, Shrek Kart is definitely worth $4.99. If you had to choose only one Kart racer, I would say go with Cocoto, but I'm definitely glad to have both on my iPhone.