Chocobo GP, the preview for Nintendo Switch

Chocobo GP, the preview for Nintendo Switch

Chocobo GP

Chocobo Racing was a small cult in the late 90s, when it came out on PlayStation at a time when kart games were much less popular than today: only in the following years would they multiply in the wake of the success of Super Mario Kart and the its sequels, often drawing inspiration from other franchises in the exact same way. And so over time Sonic Racing, Crash Team Racing, Mega Man: Battle & Chase and many, many others have followed, while Chocobo Racing ended up in oblivion and very few managed to repeat the incredible success of the Nintendo title. And so it was a bit of a surprise that Square Enix announced Chocobo GP for Nintendo Switch, also because it had already tried around 2010 to renew the franchise on Nintendo 3DS, without completing the development of the game. In this preview we will try to understand what is special about Chocobo GP and why Final Fantasy fans should keep an eye on it.

The legacy of Chocobo Racing

Chocobo GP, the Alexandria track There really isn't much to say about a kart game, since the gameplay should be obvious: whoever gets to the end of the track wins, then obviously there are several rules that change depending on the game mode selected. Chocobo GP will have at least four: History, Series Race (Grand Prix), Custom Race and Chocobo GP. The latest should be the online elimination multiplayer mode complete with an international ranking, while Custom Race will allow you to customize tracks and matches as in most modern titles. Series Race should be a kind of arcade mode to play alone or in company, although we don't know if Chocobo GP will include some form of split-screen that allows you to nudge friends to make them lose.

The Story mode might seem like a strange addition to a kart game, but in reality Chocobo Racing did quite well in 1999. In that title, the player faced a series of races justified by a bizarre narrative context that it expressed itself through a series of cinematics in the form of a pop-up book. It was a very unpretentious story, but fun and carefree, complete with a final boss and secret options to be unlocked upon completion. Everything suggests that Chocobo GP will work the same way too, especially since we saw many new characters in the trailer, net of some important unjustified absences compared to the original: it is difficult to imagine that in the new title there are no drivers like Cloud, Squall and company, but at the Similarly, it is believed that Square Enix can fill the game with paid DLC. Thinking badly makes you sin, however ...

Chocobo GP, we will be able to change the car and customize it Coming to the actual gameplay, Chocobo GP will be played like its predecessor and like practically every other kart game on the market. The combination of acceleration and braking near the corners will allow you to drift and gain speed, but some tracks are made up of bottlenecks, steps and platforms that can put novice players in difficulty: as always, try and retry each track to memorize it and mastering it will be the key to victory.

At a certain point we will also unlock the possibility to change the car or customize it, thus affecting the parameters that characterize it such as control, acceleration, speed, and so on. It seems that the game for Switch will allow you to customize the cars also aesthetically, by applying stickers and the like.

Chocobo GP, there is also Gilgamesh with all his weapons Chocobo GP however is not a simple driving game: just like in Super Mario Kart, the tracks are littered with power-ups that we can use against the our opponents or in our favor. Called Magilite, these crystals contained in the so-called "magic new" are real spells on consumption that recall Final Fantasy: Ignis, Aero, Ultima and so on. Collecting more crystals of the same type unlocks more powerful spells (the classic -ra and -ga) that can have the most disparate effects on opponents: they slow them down, make them smaller, stun them and so on.

The The big indicator at the bottom left also represents the special skill of the pilot we have chosen. Each character has a different one: it is literally a "super move" that loads over time and that we will have to strategically decide when to use. The effect changes depending on the character - Gilgamesh, for example, rains swords all around him, slowing down surrounding opponents - and can literally turn the tide of a race.

Fanservice at will.

Chocobo GP, protective spells protect against opponent attacks Chocobo GP has been announced as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, and if this choice may seem strange, it must be considered that the hybrid console of the big N has centralized the attention of fans of kart game thanks to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, considered by many to be the best of its kind. Chocobo GP will probably not reach the same level of quality - on a technical level, to say, it already appears more Spartan and low budget, however colorful and fluid it is - but it could represent an excellent alternative for those who are tired of the Mushroom Kingdom and want challenge friends and strangers on different tracks.

In this sense, it is clear that the Square Enix title is aimed above all at its fans with an exaggerated amount of fanservice: if the '99 title already abounded, the only one Chocobo GP trailer revealed all the care and affection towards Final Fantasy.

Chocobo GP, a look at the Gold Saucer In addition to a host of more or less known characters, starting from the protagonist in his Alpha version of Final Fantasy XIV Online to pilots like Ramuh, the aforementioned Gilgamesh, Camilla, Steiner, Cid and many others, the game takes place in tracks that recall the most popular locations of Final Fantasy: we have seen Alexandria from Final Fantasy IX, but also the Gold Saucer of Final Fantasy VII and Zozo of Final Fantasy VI, and of course we expect many other tracks that remind us, in details and small tricks, of the role-playing games we loved so much.

Chocobo GP may not make its mark on the Switch library as the best kart game in circulation, but it will certainly make the joy of all Final Fantasy fans who love this genre. Colorful and full of adorable characters, the new Square Enix title would also seem nourished on the content front, with some interesting modes to play both alone and in company. The release is scheduled for 2022 and we will talk about it again as soon as new information leaks.


A riot of references to Final Fantasy The original was a fun alternative to Mario Kart DOUBTS Gameplay and balancing of tracks and Magilites to be evaluated by hand Technically it seems like a title with a tight budget Have you noticed any errors?

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