Chocobo GP Review thumbnail

Chocobo GP Review

Racing that's just o-kweh

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🏁

Chocobo GP is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

Kart racers aren't as popular as they were at the turn of the millennium but this feathered fellow is back in the super-cute Chocobo GP.

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Chocobo GP screenshot 1
Does Clair have the cutest kart? Yes!

Back in the '90s, I was a huge Final Fantasy fan and couldn't wait to get my hands on Chocobo Racing for PS1. When it finally released, I had an absolute blast playing as my favourite Final Fantasy characters and I played it so much that I unlocked everyone including the unbeatable airship S.S. Invincible. Who would have thought that all of these Final Fantasy characters from Cloud Strife to Squall Leonhart and even Parasite Eve's Aya Brea would star in a kart racer together? Just the idea of it still has me excited. v1d30chumz 3-237-29-69

With that in mind, now that I've played Chocobo GP, I must say that I think Chocobo Racing still holds up and is more enjoyable to play nowadays. Of course, the modernizations like an online component and much better graphics are excellent but there's a certain charm to Chocobo Racing that makes playing it a ton of fun, especially with its 2D sprites that rotate with the camera in the 3D world that it takes place. I also think that Chocobo GP has an inferior selection of tracks because they're not tailored all that well to the gameplay with turns that don't complement drifting well and short designs that feel flat and uninspired. However, it thankfully does some things right.

Chocobo GP screenshot 2
It's too bad that local multiplayer is restricted to only a couple of modes

For starters, Chocobo GP's online component is great fun. I thoroughly enjoyed jumping into an online tournament only to try my best to make the cut after each race. It's just awesome that you can jump in like this without any hassle and I never got disconnected or anything like that. Meanwhile, the story mode is filled with silly dialogue scenes and playing it is the primary way to unlock the cast of playable characters with some stand-out ones being Terra who rides Magitek armor, Vivi with his adorable tent-shaped kart, and Cactuar who frantically runs. It's all presented in an exceptionally adorable way with cutesy voice acting, bubbly music, and bright visuals.

Of course, anyone can enjoy Chocobo GP and I'd say it's obviously geared towards children considering how simple it is to play. You essentially just accelerate, steer, and tap shoulder buttons to drift and use items. Now that I mention it, the power-ups can be quite brutal as once you're struck with one, you'll be knocked down for far longer than in other kart racers which is frustrating to say the least. In fact, it's so irritating that I often felt bad using them against other players. I hope that this gets patched at some point.

Finally, Chocobo GP features premium currency and a mind-boggling complicated unlockables system that honestly had me scratching my head while trying to figure out how to unlock things. I'm not going to explain it in-depth because; well, it's complete gobbledygook mumbo-jumbo hogwash. There are essentially tickets, magicite, gil, level-ups, and prizes that come together to make for one confusing progression system that failed to compel me in the slightest. Why can't it just be simple? Why can't I merely complete objectives to unlock things? It annoys me just thinking about it and on top of that, I'm concerned that easily-manipulated folks will pour their hard-earned money into this game for very little content. Anyway, I should wrap this up before I ramble too much about this system.

Chocobo GP screenshot 3
Gilgamesh is such a sore loser

Chocobo GP made me realise how great of a game Chocobo Racing is. The new graphics and online component are indeed cool but 1999's racer is simply more fun with its challenging gameplay, unique tracks, and tighter controls. In fact, I think I'll boot it up now.

  • + Simple and intuitive kart racing gameplay that gamers of all ages can enjoy
  • + Adorable presentation and characters
  • + Online component is very enjoyable
  • - Overly complicated unlockables system that pushes premium currency
  • - Tracks could be much more complex
  • - Power-ups are more irritating than fun
5.9 out of 10
Gameplay video for Chocobo GP thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Chocobo GP
Final Fantasy VII Trivia

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