Street Racer
System: Playstation
Publisher & Developer: Ubi Soft
Released: 1996
Genre: Racing
Capabilities: Memory Card & Dual Multi-Tap Compatible(up to 8 players!)

Review Written: June 7, 2001

************Gruel's 200th Review*********

Oh, my, I reached another milestone. Review number 200. I never thought I would do that many reviews here at GameFAQs. I’ve been asked a few times which game I’ll review for my 200th review. Well, to disappoint some of you, it won’t be for some hit Final Fantasy game like a lot of people wanted. And it’s not going to be one of my infamous “Featured Reviews,” but instead it’ll be for the PSX version of my 100th review, Street Racer. And as much as I hate the Playstation, I’ll still review one of it’s games for my 200th review. And to hopefully surprise a few more, I’ll do this review for one time only in the format I hate the most, the essay format.

For the very few of you who remember this game, it’s a Kart Racer from the fine folks at Ubi Soft that was released on the Super Nintendo back in 1994. Ubi Soft later thought the game was so good, they re-released it for the Playstation and Game Boy. Now I got the GB and SNES versions of the game, but not until a few months ago until I finally found the game for sale on Ebay, did I get my paws on this version.

I was hoping for Street Racer to provide brand spanking new graphics, and a new 3-D environment to race on in this PSX version, but instead, I got the same SNES graphics, minus the flickering, plus a lot more detail, and minus the slowdown. So instead of 32-bit graphics, we got updated 16-bit ones, but that’s not a bad thing. Everything in here is detailed great, from the colorful characters, to the wacky levels you race in. The game’s menus were updated for much easier navigation, and don’t look as cluttered as the one’s in the SNES version. And the rumble mode has also been redesigned, and it looks like a circular arena. Also Ubi Soft decided to give us a cool looking FMV to introduce us to the game. As for the rest of the stuff in the visual department goes, the load times are minimal, and the frame rate is always running at a smooth rate, even with 8 players racing at once.

The sounds for the games aren’t the greatest. The games background music during game play and menu navigation certainly isn’t something to die for, but it’s not something that’ll make you hit the mute button either. The sound effects in the game here from the engine acceleration, to slamming on the brakes, sound decent and get the job done. So overall, the sound in this game isn’t anything that’ll win an award, but it’s bearable.

The game controls are simple, and just like most other racing games. The game was released back in early 1996, before the dual shock was out, so it uses the control pad to steer, which is pretty responsive and easy to adapt to. X is for gas, Square button for brakes. And you do basic punches with L1 and R1, and do one of your characters’ special attacks with the L2 and R2 buttons. My only gripe with the controls is that the jump and reverse buttons are configured to the up and down parts of the control pad, parts that I usually accidentally hit a lot, causing for a lot of goofed up turns. But after a couple of races, I adapted

The game races a lot like Mario Kart, but the tracks are a lot shorter, and instead, you have to complete 10 laps, instead of 3 in Mario Kart. Also instead of the standard power ups you find in Mario Kart, all the drivers here are equipped with 2 special attacks with the use of the upper shoulder buttons. The characters can also punch with the lower shoulder buttons. And just like all these other fantasy racers, there’s plenty of oil slicks and other obstacles in the way.

The game has quite a few nice modes. For the single player, you can race in practice mode, so you can get a feel for the cars before racing in championship, where you race in a circuit type mode with a point system, ala Mario Kart, to unlock more tracks in the game. After the races you can also do playback your own races and watched them from a cool, fixed, camera view. Then you got some cool multi player modes, such as a standard simple head to head race, or the two of you can team up in the championship. The two of you can also team up in the unique Rumble mode, where you and all the other racers in the game race in a circular arena surrounded by a barrier. After bumping into the barrier a few times, it disappears. Then it’s a battle royal where you try to bump out the rest of the cars out as fast as you can, with the last one surviving, the winner.

One thing that did upset me a lot is the fact that for some dumb reason, Ubi Soft, didn’t include the great soccer mode from the Super Nintendo version of the game. Man, I loved that mode, and would’ve loved to see it in updated form on the PSX. It really disappointed me that it wasn’t included. But for what’s here, there’s still plenty to keep you playing this for a while. Like trying to beat all the circuits in championship. Plus the Vs. and Rumble modes are great to play for hours. So there is something to play this game over in this game.

So Street Racer is a really great Kart Racing game. And if you happen to run across this rare game, I strongly recommend you purchase it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’d only be $5 at the most. This game may not be nowhere near as good as Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing, but it’s a worthy substitute. Oh yeah, I also suggest to get the SNES version more, it has the soccer mode, and I like it a tad more in my opinion.

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 7.3
Sound: 5.2
Game play: 7.8
Replay Value: 6.7

Overall: 6.7

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 7

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