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The Cars Video Game

I saw the film Cars soon after it was released to theaters back in June 2006. I enjoyed it very much, and soon afterwards, when I was at the store one day with my family and saw the GameCube game based on the movie (which is also named Cars), I asked my mother to buy it for me, which she did.

Unlike many other video games I've played, with the Cars video game, I played it intensively for a stretch of probably two to three weeks back in late June/July 2006, and thereafter never returned to seriously playing it again. (I recall that I did play it again once or twice later on in 2006 or sometime during 2007, but by then I had already completed the story mode, and so those play sessions were quite short.) This certainly does not mean that I found the game to be boring, or that I have no fond memories of it, but rather that it has, in my opinion, not much replay value.

Admittedly, much of the game's possible replay value for me was reduced because, back when I was playing this game for the first time, I was in a particular stage of my life during which I found much fun in entering as many cheat codes as possible for whatever video game I was playing. I can still remember searching online for cheat codes for this video game very soon after I began playing it, and eventually stumbling upon a Cheat Code Central page listing all cheats for the game, which I then proceeded to copy and paste into a blank Microsoft Word 2003 document and then print out. I would have this printout next to me whenever I played the game, as some codes needed to be entered every time the game started. (Amazingly, after all these years I still have this piece of paper with me, and was even able to track it down when I was writing this page.)

Although the story mode, races, and mini-games are fun, and the racing mechanics are solid, the real appeal of the game, I think, lies in other things: the fact that it is based upon the movie and therefore set in the world of Cars, including the opportunity for the player to directly control Lightning McQueen and other characters from the film, is definitely a delight for any fan of Cars; the open world environment, complete with day/night cycles and other characters moving around in it on their own, which allows exploration of the in-game Radiator Springs and the surrounding areas; and the game's soundtrack, which is excellent and very memorable. Some of my warmest memories of the game are ones in which I would be speeding around or exploring sections of the game's open world as Lightning McQueen, being amused whenever he said a funny remark, and all the while listening to the genuinely good music that would always be playing—my favorites are the songs C'mon Let's Go, Free Ride, and especially the Radiator Springs theme (which would also play on the game's main menu) and its night variant.

I particularly like the Radiator Springs/main menu theme (go listen to it; you will enjoy it). Hearing it today still manages to remind me (more than the other songs) of the various feelings of joy, relaxation, and excitement as I played this game on our big-screen TV while sitting on our artificial-leather couch back in the summer of 2006, when I was finally on summer break from school again, with the house's air conditioner running but with me still feeling occasionally hot, and not having a single care in the world.

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This page last modified on 28 March 2021.