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Planet Hot Wheels

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Planet Hot Wheels Loading Screen 3

Planet Hot Wheels was a a racing-oriented Massively multiplayer online game. It was created in 2000 but the site was taken down in 2004, and the stats is unknown if it would ever come back on the website. Planet Hot Wheels, apart from the various games it had, was used for the purpose of a social networking website akin to MySpace and later, Facebook, with message boards for users to chat in along with a news section generally dedicated to motorsports. Despite that and the various flash games it possessed, its main attraction was the 'World Race' multiplayer game used to promote the Highway 35 World Race series in 2003.

Gameplay

Planet Hot Wheels was made one of two Hot Wheels games to promote the 2003 Highway 35 World Race series, the other being Hot Wheels: World Race. Unlike the World Race game, Planet Hot Wheels replicates the style of racing seen in the cartoon miniseries and movie, which is a point-to-point sprint in various different locations, usually annexed by portals at the beginning and end of each race, quite unlike the 6-man circuit racing of World Race. The game uses a heavily modified version of the gameplay engine used in the previous Stunt Track Driver games, which can be easily seen in its sound and visual effects. This engine was later used for the Turbo Driver game, which showcases a similar premise to the World Race series. By default, the game has features of a 'kart racer' game like Turbo Racing and Extreme Racing, with various power-ups from lasers to smokescreens that can drastically alter the experience depending on how they are used, though this can turned off. A unique aspect of this game that sets it apart from other MMO's of this kind was that the online aspect of the game was restricted to Local Area Networking, which, in general, cut off any opportunities for worldwide multiplayer, but allowed up to 16 players to play in a self-sustained server. Apart from the 16-player limit setting itself further from the console World Race game, all 35 cars from the Highway 35 series are playable from the start of the game. And unlike the World Race console game again, all of the licensed vehicles, along with some of the more 'impractical' cars (Mainly Moto-Crossed, Red Baron and Wild Thing) are in the game, completely unaltered from their original depictions in the toyline and animation. The game was apparently made to run concurrent with the show, as a couple of assests from it, like Dr. Tesla's Cube and the design of the portals was reused for Planet Hot Wheels. Also, the game used five 'episodic' tracks each themed around a racing team from the series. However, only the first three tracks in the game are actually based on the show, a notable example being 'The Shortcut'. The other two tracks, 'Ocean Vista' and 'Urban Sky' are respectively based around the Wave Rippers and Street Breed teams, with elements of their sections from the Ultimate Track Set, which was produced as a limited-time reward for obtaining all 35 cars in the series.

Cars (In numerical order)

Tracks

  • Ring of Fire: The first 'episode' in the game, it is the first track in the game numerically, and is themed around the Scorchers team. It's based off the cartoon series episode of the same name and is one of three tracks in the game to follow that trend. It takes place in a volcanic track that was the first leg of the World Race. Despite it having those features, it doesn't bear much resemblance to the actual leg, due to it missing a key feature in the leg, that being the giant loop that was used to gain speed for a massive jump, otherwise known as the Greatest Loop. Instead, it has a giant segmented jump near the end, along with an alien from the Alien Attack track set appears to eat a section of the track.
  • The Shortcut: The second episode in the game, it is again based off of an actual Highway 35 episode, this time being 'The Shortcut', the second episode. It is based off the second leg of the World Race, specifically the short cut Banjee Castillo and his team, the Road Beasts take, which signifies this level as theirs. It is the only level where the end portal doesn't appear at a jump. Instead, the portal appears at a hairpin turn guarded by the two-headed raptor from the Raptor Blast track set, though it doesn't behave like a hazard. Like the previous track, it differs from the actual leg, due to its lack of the Greatest Challenge, which requires the driver to jump through a spinning wheel at upwards of 150 miles per hour.
  • Desert Heat: The third episode of the game, it is the last episode based on an Highway 35 episode, that being 'Desert Heat' and by proxy, the Dune Rats. It takes place in an Egyptian Desert littered with the ruins of tombs and pyramids, along with some minor details that differentiate the track from he leg, like the ability to drive in said tombs in pyramids. One such example is when the players drive into a tomb with a stone cat head with eyes filled with various unidentifiable souls. Unlike the previous two tracks, this one shares one of its features with the leg in the animation, which is the stone T-Rex Dune Rats members Rekkas, Mojave and Brian Kadeem drove up, along with Road Beast Ricky Bell and possibly, Street Breed leader Kurt Wylde.
  • Ocean Vista:This track is one of two tracks in the game not to be based the Highway 35 animation. Instead, it is based off two tracks in Hot Wheels: World Race, respectively called Deep Zone and Submerged City, all of which are based on the Wave Rippers team. The track takes place in a series of underwater complexes set near an island nation, as evidenced by the various tribal decorations in the level. Apart from the various tunnels interconnecting the track, the episode's signature obstacles are two jumps that start from a downwards corkscrew leading into each other.
  • Urban Sky: The second of two tracks not to be based on the animation, this one is based off the Street Breed team. Unlike Ocean Vista, which was based off the World Race console game, this one draws inspiration from the Hot Wheels City featured in the movie's end, and the Street Breed's section of the Ultimate Track Set, which is a multi-directional booster themed after said team, that is connected to the rest of the track. Staying true to its name, this level is a flying city filled with various neon signs of the 5 teams in the series. Its major stunt comes near the end of the track, where the player drives up a building to help set up the ending jump.

Gallery

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Planet Hot Wheels

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