In our current age of genre-bending games, perhaps none is as weird
as the CAR-PG. Pro Race Driver and Car Battler Joe
explored this sub-genre in their own ways, but neither matches the
sheer depth of ChoroQ. Of course, neither matches the
plodding pace, saccharine sweet music, or retina-burning graphics
In ChoroQ, the cars are the stars. That’s right, the cars
are actually sentient beings. The game starts out with the player
as the new kid (car) on the block, equipped with only the most basic
parts available. The player then earns money racing, which in turn
is used to purchase even better parts. There are a ton of parts
that can be upgraded, including wheels, bodies, engines,
accessories, and many other types. Some make more of a difference
than others and money is limited in the early going, so upgrading
smartly is the key to succeeding and advancing up the ranks.
Since this is being touted as a role-playing game as well as a
racing game, there’s obviously a fair amount of dialogue to be
found. However, almost all of it is poorly translated and kept to
the bare minimum. Talking to random NPCs usually reveals a
conversation like this:
NPC: “Do I know you?”
The good RPG stuff lies in the fact that there’s a lot to do,
including 200 vehicles to acquire, 160 different tracks, 100+
different events, 30 mini-games, and an ample story mode. The
events and mini-games usually take place in the overworld, made up
of a number of different connected cities. These contain the
aforementioned NPCs roaming around, various shops to purchase
upgrades, and a variety of other types of buildings (schools, cafes,
etc.). Like I mentioned before though, talking to almost anyone
other than someone important to the storyline is a waste of time.
As far as the story mode is concerned, most important information
comes in the form of letters, which arrive at the player’s garage.
The garage serves as the home base, allowing the player to shop over
the in-game Internet (only shops visited in person), read
letters, get various information, customize, and save the game among
other things. It’s also here that the player can go directly to
So the RPG part is pretty good, but the racing is not and as
a result makes the good stuff nearly worthless. Even far into the
game, ChoroQ never really develops a decent sense of speed so
there’s very little payoff for progressing in the storyline. This
problem is compounded by the fact that races often fall into two
categories: those in which the player blows away the competition and
those in which the player gets blown away by the competition. Very
rarely are races actually close, meaning for the most part the
player is stuck slowly rounding each track by himself. Boring.
While there is a wide variety of courses and terrain types, the only
real difference between them is that some require a different set of
tires or other accessories to navigate them properly. Forget
actually wrecking either, as these cars simply bounce around until
they correct themselves.
The graphics certainly don’t help, as they’re barely a cut above the
best the PSone had to offer. Everything is bright and cheery, with
a heavy usage of primary colors and cute characters. Buildings and
other environmental objects are almost always simplistic, made up of
flat textures and a minimal amount of polygons. Virtually all
buildings are identical with NO furniture or other objects inside of
them, only differentiated by a different kind of wallpaper and
Ditto for the sound, where almost every piece of music sounds like
the stereotypical happy-fun music you’d find in the opening city of
a RPG. It isn’t even that good either. The sound effects are very
basic blips and blops that do nothing to enhance the experience.
Tons of parts to customize, tracks to race on, and events to
The story mode is somewhat interesting.
The graphics are barely above PSone level.
The music is almost always generic Japanese happy fun pop, which
is bearable in short spurts but not constantly.
Dialogue is horrible.
The racing never develops a good sense of speed, opponent AI is
basic, and most races are spent alone either in front or back of
the pack depending on current equipment.
I really want to like this game for it's depth, but just can't.
After all, what good is having a lot to do if you don’t enjoy doing it?
ChoroQ provides a deep customization system and some interesting
RPG elements, but fails where it matters most: the actual racing.
The result is a game that won’t quite satisfy racing fans and won’t
quite satisfy RPG fans. There are other racing games available that
already provide everything this game does (possible exception being
a deep story mode), and are actually fun to play as well.
EB is already offering ChoroQ for $14.99 before the game
even ships (the original MSRP is $19.99) isn’t a good sign either.
ChoroQ might make a decent bargain purchase for younger
children (who won’t care about the lack of speed) or RPG fanatics
(who’ll get a lot more out of the RPG elements) looking to try
something new, but everyone else should probably steer clear.