A little set up here so you know why I’m so excited about a game that is so far known as GAS. Back in 2000, before the niceties of streaming video, I downloaded a lot of files. Being simultaneously “employed” at GameFusion, Core Magazine and the All Game Guide, I felt the need to see as many new games as possible. Despite being written in French (again, without the nicer things like Google Translate), JeuxFrance was an indispensable resource for fast and exclusive videos. They also posted commercials airing across Europe for games we would never even know about here in the States.
This is where I first saw Mashed, or rather a commercial for it. A few shots of the game were cut with “friends” blocking each others view, disconnecting their controllers and ultimately distracting one of them by pouring a Coke in his lap. I got the vibe that these were “real” reactions, or at least not entirely scripted and was intrigued to find out what kind of game could incite soda pants sabotage.
My favorite course and a good example of what Mashed was like
Mashed turned out to be a top-down racer where the goal was to spam powerups and outrace your friends until you got just far enough ahead to win the round. Reset the cars on the track and do it again until someone had an incredible lead. Pulling the game out of the bargain bin were two great features; one being a player-controlled missile that could be launched after getting knocked out and the other being character voices. Not so much a feature as a hilarious bonus, each of the colored cars had an equally colorful personality and you could unleash a quip at the press of a button. There were several insane and potentially offensive phrases uttered by non-native english speaking voice actors, my favorite being the insult: YOU DAMN CANCER!
Long ass story short, I loved Mashed (and its Fully Loaded expansion) and have been praying for a downloadable sequel since 2004. The small scale, simple concept, and quick action would be perfect for Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network. Last week’s XBLA release — TNT Racers — is a surprisingly similar game, albeit aimed at kids. No cancerous smack talk here! But it finally motivated me to track down the Mashed guys at Supersonic Software and see what was up. Joy of joys, a very very Mashed-y game is in the works (previously known as GAS: Fuel for Fun) and though they’ve hit some snags at the publishing end, the game is still on track for a downloadable release this year! So watch that video and if you’re in town, what the hey, let’s play some Mashed while we wait!
Oh, and a PlayStation 2 version did make it out here in the U.S., along with a direct-to-download PC version. Insert shameless Amazon affiliate link here.