As far as novelty games go, Chocobo Racing had it all. Released back in 1999 by SquareSoft, it was a racing game spin off from Final Fantasy that borrowed heavily from Mario Kart.

The music and graphics were average, neither really stood out though there were some nice FMV cutscenes. It is SquareSoft, at this stage you should really anticipate nice FMV cutscenes. There was no battle mode as you’d expect from a game cashing in on Mario Kart’s popularity but there was a story mode. Here you went through a pop up story book, meeting and racing new characters. Racers mainly drove around in some form of kart but there were others who used clouds, magic carpets and roller blades. The roller blades bothered me; in Final Fantasy a chocobo basically resembles an ostrich but is used like a horse. In normal races within Final Fantasy they run along at top speed but here the chocobo races with wheels. This makes about as much sense as Sonic the Hedgehog racing on a hover board…

Mage begins track in Chocobo Racing

By completing story mode you got to unlock more racers from Chocobo Dungeon and Final Fantasy, as well as some other cameos like Aya from Parasite Eve. Cloud and Squall, the main characters from Final Fantasy VII and VIII were of course popular additions.

There are no mushroom power ups to be found but there are magic stones, an item always found in the Final Fantasy series. With these you can cast spells like fire or ice on your opponents and by collecting more of the same type of the stone, the spell you cast becomes more powerful. Racers could hold up to three of these at a time. On top of this you could also assign a special move to your character before the race started which once they used, had to be charged up before releasing it again.

Chocobo racing on roller blades

Chocobo Racing was released on the PSN in Japan in 2009, but like Ehrgeiz before it, there is currently no word on it being released again in Europe.

chocobo racing European box art

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