By: Casea Smith | @coffeewithkrow
On one fateful Thursday, Nintendo dropped a Direct that sparked many conversations. From the teaser-hailing Brewster’s return to the Animal Crossing franchise, to the announcement of the Mario movie cast, there was a lot to behold (and meme, for that matter). However, one thing that made my jaw drop was the news of Chocobo GP. What a wild card that was, it had completely flown under my raider and not at all what I would have guessed to get a sequel within the Final Fantasy franchise.
Fast forward to today as we are nearing the release of Chocobo GP (the exact date of which is 10 March 2022), and I can’t help but linger on the nostalgia I feel for the game.
For those of you who don’t know, its predecessor, Chocobo Racing, was released in 1999 on the first PlayStation. I was 6 years old and immediately fell in love with the adorable yellow bird on rocket-powered rollerblades. The game is simple: Pick your racer, pick an ability, and zoom along the racetrack amidst all of the frenzy. At least, it was simple enough for my brain to enjoy the cute visuals and accept my chaos-ridden fate.
Anytime I have shown this game to a friend, they have ended up disdainfully claiming it’s unfairly difficult in a way that sucks the fun out of it, or saying it’s too stressful to enjoy playing any more of it. As I have gotten older, I can see why that is the case.
Chocobo Racing (1999) can be very chaotic, to the point where it’s as eventful as “Baby Park” from Mario Kart, except if that mayhem was spread throughout all of the other race tracks. Mix that with the highs and lows of playing a game of luck and betrayal like in Mario Party, and the sparkling charm of its visuals begin to fade in the eyes of many. Although, I was thoroughly pleased by the comments I’ve seen praising the announcement of the sequel as they express how criminally underrated Chocobo Racing has been as it’s a solid racing game. A sentiment I have always aligned myself with, as you may have guessed by this post.
Now, does Chocobo GP look like it will have the same level of infuriating havoc as its predecessor? Based solely on what I’ve seen so far, it certainly has a lot of potential for it!
There are definitely some changes (such as characters and vehicles) that, at first glance, seem like it appeals more towards those who have only experienced Mario Kart 8 Deluxe rather than the demographic of people that played the first Chocobo Racing. But, I think that first impression will help bring in more of an audience while retaining its older fan base because it still keeps the defining mechanics of the original game intact.
There even looks to be some additions based on the trailer, such as new characters with new abilities, that will only create more mayhem on the course and more enjoyment in the struggle to beat everyone else!
This all leaves me with a sense of childish giddiness that the game I hold dear will soon have a sequel to carry the torch onto a new (and different) console and into a new generation of gamers. I’m certainly looking forward to its release on the 10th, and with the free demo released, it will hopefully entice more people to give it a try!
If you haven’t planned on trying it before, I hope I’ve convinced you. So, will you be demoing it too? Or buying the game like myself? Let me know!