Disney Speedstorm Closed Beta Takeaways - Gamer Journalist
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Disney Speedstorm Closed Beta Takeaways

It has all the potential in the world ... now, let's see if it delivers.
Image via Gameloft

Before I get into the meat and bones of Disney Speedstorm, let me set the stage. I am a massive fan of what I like to — affectionately — call the “cartoon mascot racing” genre. It’s a surprisingly deep sub-genre that is made up of more than just Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, despite Nintendo’s insistence. In fact, as much as I enjoy dominating the competition as Toad, my favorite is Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

I bring this up because, based on the first chapter of Disney Speedstorm, it has the potential to become a new contender. It’s a fast-paced, chaotic racing game that fulfills my desire for pandemonium on the race track. I found myself regressing into a goblin-like creature, obsessed with getting gold stars on each track.

Who Can You Play As?

Initially, the sole character available is the O.G. himself, Mickey Mouse. There are 11 other characters on the roster, though they’re all locked at first. Included is Belle and the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” Hercules and Meg from “Hercules,” Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Mulan and Li Shang from “Mulan,” Mowgli and Baloo from “The Jungle Book,” and Donald Duck.

I was concerned — at first — that characters needed to be bought in order to unlock them. Speedstorm will be free-to-play, so it’d make sense if the only way to unlock racers was through microtransactions. But, given that I unlocked Elizabeth Swann before I hopped off to write this, it appears new racers can be made available simply by completing chapters.

I was a big fan of special courses where you can play as specific characters for that course only. In the first chapter, there are unique tracks that allow you to play as Hercules and Jack Sparrow, respectively. Both of these characters have abilities that add both a challenge and a handicap to players of all skill levels. Plus, it’s these levels that help you to know which characters you’re most suited for.

Get Your Head in the Game

The races in Speedstorm are uproariously fun. It takes some cues from contemporaries such as Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and Team Sonic Racing, putting them together in a way that is wholly unique. In my short time with the game, I recall using my car to grind on rails, utilizing powerups that helped me zoom to first place, and screaming (playful) obscenities as other racers ripped first place from my cold, dead, grasp.

I like that the focus is less on powerups and more on the race itself. In fact, there were times I grabbed a powerup, but either forgot I had one or accidentally threw it away. It’s neat, though, that every time you make a hit with a powerup, the experience slows down a la “The Matrix.” It made my squirrel brain feel good every time I managed to somehow land a hit.

Related: How to Sign Up For the Disney Speedstorm Closed Beta

I’ll admit: when it was first announced, I wasn’t convinced by Disney Speedstorm. But, now that I’ve gotten my paws on the closed beta, it very seriously has the potential to become my new favorite. Take the closed beta for a spin by requesting access via Steam. And, be sure to stick with Gamer Journalist for more on Disney Speedstorm as it’s made available.

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