Released in 2004 for the PS2, XBOX and PC, Mashed takes vehicular combat to the next level. Mashed is a car battle game in which players can fight to the death, pushing, shoving, blowing up, setting fire to, shunting and generally damaging the opponents vehicles. Designed with multi-player in mind, up to four players can go head-to-head in car battle mash ups. The victor appearing after a number of points have been accumulated. Points are earned when the player destroys an opponent, or drives (literally up the screen) out of reach, points are docked from the player when he gets destroyed. The game is played entirely from a top down perspective.
The controls for Mashed differ greatly to other standard racers, the controls echo that of the old micro machines games for the PS1 and various consoles. Cars react quickly and deliberately unrealistically to directional movements, acceleration is the same in every vehicle and the top down view offers a very different experience to standard racing games. The cars are deliberately designed to replicate toy cars. The differences between the available vehicles cannot be implemented to take advantage in battle, each car must be the same. Different colors are allocated in order to mark differences. This frustrated some for its dumbing down of the experience, though others loved the simplicity of it, Edge Magazine went as far as to say "Mashed will remind you why you got into gaming in the first place."
The main single player mode sets a series of challenges that awards the player with new game modes, new tracks and new cars. Only Angel Peak is available to begin with, but as the player progresses he is awarded with a host of tracks. With each track awarded comes a new car for the player to try out. There are three challenges for each track, marked gold, silver and bronze. In order to unlock all tracks the player must achieve each medal. Achieving all medals in one tracks is not necessarily required to unlock the next one. There are 15 tracks all in all which makes for a total of 45 challenges. Challenges range from free-for-all battles, to team battles, to helicopter chase fights. Different quick battle and multi-player game modes are awarded for medals as well.
Quick Battle and Standard Play
Quick battle and standard play are single player and multi-player modes respectively, though they amount to very much the same thing. Up to four players can fight in any of the unlocked tracks, in any of the unlocked game modes. The different colors available for each player/car are: Red, Blue, Pink, Gold, Green and Black. Up to four cars can play at a time and there are four difficulty levels to choose from if the computer is involved. An additional gaming perk is available in multi-player that comes in the form of an air strike. Players that have been wiped out can have their revenge on one of the remaining cars by sending a homing missile after them before respawning.
Other Game Modes
The same as a standard battle, the difference being that teams are allocated points rather than individuals. The four vehicle limit remains.
A three lap race against the opponents.
Beat the Bomb (Single Player only)
Finish a two lap race before a bomb is set off in your vehicle. Check points with time boosters are dotted along the track.
Chase the Fugitive
Chase down a fugitive within three laps. One collision with the fugitive is enough to catch him.
Kill the Copter (Single Player only)
Chase the helicopter down and destroy it before it destroys you.
You are chased by the other cars. Beat three laps without getting shunted off the track.
Hold the Flag (Multi Player only)
One player must hold on to the flag without getting touched by any of the others. Points are earned by driving out of reach of the opponents. The flag is transfered from one player to the other with each collision.
Tracks, Cars and Characters
There are fifteen different tracks available in this game, each with its own pitfalls and perks.
- Angel Peak
- Khargra Temple
- Fort Gildlow
- Ventura Boulevard
- Kiester Bay
- Polar Wharf
- Tierra Piedra
- Koko Bay
- Silver Creek
- Redpool Tip
- Hattan City
There are several weapons available in Mashed, they are picked up on the roads as tokens or boxes in the style of Mario Kart. Most weapons can only be fired once.
Initially given a 9/10 by UK Playstation magazine; "We just can't stop playing it. All day. Every day, can't get it out of our heads." Edge, as previously mentioned gave it a very warm review. However, it did not fare so well in the international market, re-titled Drive to Survive, with PSM and Famitsu weekly gave it relatively average scores. Some feel the game was incredibly underrated and the initial release was somewhat overshadowed by the follow-up sequel 'Fully Loaded' which feature new tracks, new vehicles and several controversial screen effect options, including the ability to give the game a 'mashed' effect, as if to show the player how the game would appear were they 'stoned'. Although unsuccessful commercially, fans have afforded it some solace in the knowledge that it is a multi-player cult classic as seen by glowing user reviews on mainstream sites across the internet.