After playing through the recent closed beta, Disney Speedstorm is shaping up to be an uninspired racer with some worrying free-to-play trappings and repetition that lets the rest of the fairly enjoyable gameplay down. Despite this, there is one element of Speedstorm that leaves a good impression – its weird trap and EDM remixes of classic Disney songs..
You’ll get your first taste of this music style when you initially boot up Speedstorm, where you’re met with a fairly innocuous beat that’s just enough of a bop to get you nodding your head. However, that’s nowhere near extreme enough to clue you into what you’ll be hearing as soon as you start that first race – to be fair, I’m not sure anything can prepare you for what you’ll be listening to next.
Jumping into the game’s first map, Toon Village, you’ll be struck with a sudden overflow of hefty bass, a couple of quick drops, and a cheeky bit of synth, all while Donald Duck stares blankly ahead into the void. The bass and synth are enough of an eyebrow-raiser, but then lyrics from the 1950s Mickey Mouse Club intro play interspersed with all the noise. It all comes together to form the strangest soundtrack I’ve ever heard in a game. I think I love it.
Games like Speedstorm with tons of IP in them almost always have you racing or fighting to remixes of songs from the licenses they represent, but it’s taken to such an extreme level here that it’s impossible not to admire it. If you told me that playing Disney Speedstorm would be like gurning at some Disney Adult’s underground rave in the Magic Kingdom, I never would have believed you.
It’s not just the Toon Village that’s like this either, as every map in the game has multiple versions of these trap remixes, although they’re mostly just different variations of the same song. The Jungle Book track has a remix of Bare Necessities, the Hercules map will have you popping and locking to The Gospel Truth, and the Mulan stage has the best one of all with an EDM version of I’ll Make A Man Out Of You that emits the lyrics and feels a little less in-your-face because of it.
As strange of a choice as it is to have dubstep remixes of Disney songs, they’re actually quite catchy and work well with a racing game. It’s upbeat enough to keep you wanting to race and it can feel surprisingly epic depending on the track, with both the Mulan and Hercules maps being particular standouts.
The best part about these remixes is that they’re likely to keep being added to the game over time, as they’re tied to each map. The mind boggles at all the Disney bops that might be coming in the future, and it’s almost enough to get me excited about playing Speedstorm. Not quite, but it’s close.
Although I found myself to be quite fond of the music by the end of my playtime with Speedstorm, it’s not perfect, and certainly not enough to save the game. Even though there are several variations of the same song for each map, it can still get a bit obnoxious after more than an hour at a time.
Granted, that might just have been the fact I was doing the same races over and over again with no real variation between them. Still, I feel like even if playing Speedstorm wasn’t so repetitive, then hearing what would happen if Walt Disney had a disco biscuit and got into DJing would still get old pretty fast, and I say that as someone who still proudly raves in his spare time.
I wasn’t expecting to come out of playing Disney Speedstorm more interested in its soundtrack than its racing, but what I’ve heard so far is so ineffably sincere in its belief that “this is what the kids are into these days” that I can’t help but enjoy it. It’s just a shame that the rest of the game is filled to the brim with free-to-play nonsense and samey races that makes it more fun to just look up the tracks on YouTube and play literally anything else. At least you gave me something to show my mates and laugh at, Disney Speedstorm.
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