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Cars: Race-O-Rama is one of several racing games based on the Cars series, released on everything from Playstation 2 to Xbox 360. The game serves as a sequel to Cars: The Video Game and Cars: Mater-National Championship, sharing the same basic gameplay while introducing a number of unique characters and features.
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After the events of the original movie, Lightning McQueen now teaches a new generation of racers at the Doc Hudson Racing Academy. During a practice race, Lightning and his students are confronted by old rival Chick Hicks, who now runs his own racing academy. Chick and his students challenge Lightning to a series of races across the country, culminating in a grand finale back in Radiator Springs.

Cars: Race-O-Rama contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: The one in Tailfin Pass makes a comeback with an additional tunnel added in.
  • Ability Depletion Penalty: Fully emptying the boost meter causes it to recharge slower than it would normally.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Radiator Springs and the surrounding areas of Ornament Valley and Tailfin Pass return from previous games as one large, connected map with a few new areas to explore, such as additional tunnels in the Tailfin Pass mines and Sarge's Boot Camp.
    • The Radiator Springs Stadium from the previous game returns as a fully explorable area, when it could previously only be visited during certain races.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Characters like Mater, Sheriff and Guido are playable in their own special races and minigames.
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  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In addition to the series-usual alternate paint jobs for each character, you can now unlock new parts such as hoods and spoilers to customize Lightning's design even further.
  • Boss Banter: Opponent racers love to brag as they pass you, and Lighting is quick to do the same.
  • Bottomless Fuel Tanks: A common element of Cars games.
  • Canon Foreigner: New to this game are Chick's new sidekicks Candice, Stinger, and El Machismo, and a group of identical robotic cars called The VINs. Several original characters from the other games also make cameos.
  • Collection Sidequest: Finding all the paint jobs and kit parts hidden each of the explorable open worlds.
  • Continuity Nod: Lightning McQueen's Racing Headquarters and the Radiator Springs Stadium from Mater-National Championship are still around. The latter has even been revamped for this game.
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  • Crate Expectations: Crates and barrels can be found littered all over the place, though they serve no real purpose aside from just being fun to knock around.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: VINs, who started out as Chick's students, lose any sign of personality they had after their transformation.
  • Eternal Engine: The huge Motor Co. factory in the center of the Autovia desert. It's even shaped like an engine!
  • First Person Snapshooter: Paparazzi missions have you pull off impressive jumps as Lightning (or other characters in arcade mode), then switch to the perspective of a photographer to get a picture of them in midair.
  • Follow the Money: Collectible lightning bolt pickups show up all over the place while in free roam, sometimes leading the player down new routes.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The VINs, students of Chick's racing academy transformed into identical white robot cars.
  • Metropolis Level: Motoropolis City, home of the tuned-up muscle car Stinger.
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: While the graphics have certainly evolved from the first two games, there's still many assets recycled from those games.
  • Nice Hat: Mater dons one of these as El Materdor.
  • Nostalgia Level: The original maps from the first Cars game return here, with just about all of the familiar landmarks intact.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: Averted. Unlike in the previous two games, the pause menu now conveniently tells you where to go between races.
  • Palmtree Panic: Santa Carburera, a lovely beachside town complete with a boardwalk and ferris wheel.
  • Pre-Character Customization Gameplay: Lightning McQueen's alternate parts have to be unlocked, so the player has to do a race or two with his default design to start off.
  • Product Placement: The Mack Track Challenge minigame is based on a real-life toy of the same name. It's even advertised on the back of the game's box!
  • Racing Minigame: Even though the entire game is about racing, it still manages to work in one of these by way of Guido's Mario Kart-style "mini-car" races, compared to the (relatively) realistic mechanics of the rest of the game.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Chick's students being turned into robots is never brought up again once it's introduced.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Like in the other games, deliberately crashing into NPC cars causes them to say something along these lines.
  • Where It All Began: The first race and the final showdown with Chick take place in the same stadium.
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