On the colorful, cartoonish race tracks of Gameloft’s free-to-play kart racer, Disney Speedstorm, one monster has become a menace. One monster can’t be stopped. That monster is Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. And while fans want this green little speed ball nerfed, Gameloft has no plans to do so anytime soon.
Disney Speedstorm, which released in April of this year, is a kart racer that plays a lot like Nintendo’s popular Mario Kart games. Players drive Disney characters around various tracks based on different movies and collect power-ups that let you damage opponents, boost your speed, or protect yourself from attacks. You’ve likely played this kind of game before. But while it’s not the most original idea in the world, it’s executed well in Speedstorm—it’s a lot of fun and perfect for Disney adults who have the need for speed. However, Mike Waszowski from Monsters Inc. is frustrating a good chunk of its players.
The main issue players have with Mike is his special ability. In Speedstorm, each character has a unique ability that can be triggered when you pick up a special power-up token. These abilities are often powerful, helping you catch up if you fall behind or take out players who might be closing in on you. Mike’s is arguably one of the best, as he spawns two doors ahead of him. If he can reach these doors, which is very easy to do most of the time, he gets teleported far down the track, extending a big lead or passing other racers without them being able to retaliate.
But that’s not all! Mike’s doors also linger on the track and other players have to avoid them or drive headlong into them and crash, losing speed and likely falling behind. And as pointed out by some frustrated players, not only is Mike a speedster class racer with a very fast kart, but his doors can’t be blocked by shield power-ups like other obstacles. So yeah, it’s clear why so many players (myself included) are maining Mike in online and single-player races.
Pop on Disney’s Speedstorm’s largest subreddit and you’ll find posts from the last few weeks that all mention how annoying or OP the green, round monster from the hit Pixar film is. One post, simply titled “Mike is ruining the game” lays out a lengthy argument as to why the character is broken and how he could be fixed. Other posts, while not as lengthy, share the same belief: Mike is OP and the devs need to nerf him.
Gameloft is unwilling to nerf Mike in Disney’s Speedstorm
However, it doesn’t seem like Gameloft agrees with its players. The company recently updated its FAQ for the game and included a new section specifically about Mike which basically answers players’ calls for a nerf with a bunch of words that amount to “Not right now.”
As Gameloft points out, “Mike Wazowski is unlockable early for all players” and the current season is built around Monsters Inc. characters, so it’s easy to upgrade him. That, coupled with his strong ability and fast speed, makes him “extremely popular with players.”. But it seems Gameloft is unwilling to nerf the monster at the moment—even though it does say that its own data shows Mike players winning more often in ranked matches—as the devs want all characters to be viable. This is so fans can play as their favorite character without worrying about the meta.
The studio also thinks things will balance out in the future.
As players upgrade other Racers to match Mike’s level, we should see other Racers and Racer Classes become top picks for players to compete with. Additionally, as more players unlock, upgrade, and become comfortable with more Racers and Racer Classes, we expect to see the gameplay experience naturally balance out and a more varied set of Racers on the winner’s podium. We will continue to monitor the situation and update players.
For now, your best bet when dealing with a bunch of Mikes in your next Speedstorm race is to either join the fun and play as Mike or maybe smash the green monster before they reach their powerful doors. Good luck out there folks. (And please don’t hate me too much for being a Mike main.)