System: Playstation 2
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Capabilities: Memory Card & Vibration Feedback Compatible
Review Written: May 31, 2001
Ok, when I first heard of this game, I thought it would be something like Destruction Derby or Demolition Racer, where youd race on a track, and try to take out as many cars as you can. But when I got the game, I was on hand for a totally different experience. Will this game manage to gain the interest of me, even though I thought it was something else? Lets get onto the review and find out.
The visuals in this game has its ups and downs. On the good side, the terrains and environments in this game are surprisingly realistic. The games environments of deserts, sewers, and even coal fields are among the most realistic Ive seen in any racing game. On the down side, however, the car models for this game are really simple. Some of them have nice designs, but others looked like they came right out of Micro Machines reject list. Ive seen some pretty bad looking cars in here, some of them are just plain white, and lack of any fancy designs. I really like the fact that the environments are interactive, like you can ram right into a cactus, and then you can see it fly right across the road. With all the action and so forth happening all at once, Im surprised the game runs at a nice smooth frame rate throughout the game. Unlike a good deal of other EA games, this one has some of the easiest navigate menus ever, where you can hop right into a game, without spending much time messing around with the options. Oh, another thing I love are the replays, they are just look wonderful, and I can watch them again and again.
For the duration of the races you barely hear these little background music tunes. Youd think they would make them a little louder for the race, but you could barely even hear them any ways. There arent many sound effects, just the sound of turbo boosts, and cars crashing throughout the races. But whats there is good enough for me. Now there is this announcer that does some sort of commentary throughout all your races, he keeps on saying these one-liners, and you would think they would start to get annoying once they start repeating after playing for a little while, but for some dumb reason his wild antics started to grow on me, and I adapted to them.
Controls are the easiest thing in the world for this game. The buttons operate your acceleration, brakes, rear view mirror, stunts, and using power ups. Whenever you hit a jump you can hold the R2 button, and hold the left Analog Stick in a direction, and if you do the stunt successfully, you get a little turbo boost. Also scattered throughout the tracks are power ups. But they arent wacky power ups like Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing, but theyre a tad wild to a minor degree. You got some that would make other cars get oil leaks and lose speed, others that send them flying, and even other ones that make your car frozen and travel in a straight line. Oh yeah, theres a billion shortcuts on all the courses, and I hate them with a passion, because if you dont land on them right, you can end up behind the pack of cars, instead of ahead of them. The only thing I hate about the game engine is that the computer is insanely difficult, even on the easiest difficulty.
We do have a nice little variety of game modes. For single player we got a Showdown mode where we race against one other opponent on any track, we also got a Stunt mode where you compete against one other car to see who can rack up the most points. There is also Single Race which is just a practice against the other cars. And finally there is Championship mode where you race on one of several circuits and unlock tracks and other cars to be available after placing a gold cup in them. Then for 2 player mode you can race one on one against each other, or go against the computer, and even do a little co-op mode of sorts.
They got a stupid Showcase option where you can see the games opening movie and credits. But Im sure youll never be monkeying around with that. The 2-Player mode is fun to play with a friend for a little while, but the races do get boring for some reason, I think its because they take too dang long to complete. Youll be playing the championship for a long time if you feel like spending hours on end to unlock the dozens of hidden cars and tracks. This game seems like it needed a 4 player mode to complete it.
+: Great environments, Cool Stunts, Fantastic Replays
-: Car models look like they came right from the Micro Machines reject list, announcer repeats himself a lot
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 7.6
Replay Value: 6.5
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 7
There really is nothing too spectacular about this game. It just seems like an average racer, with a couple of nice features like stunts and power ups. But hard computer AI, stupid car models, and some other downers brings down the score of a game. You better make sure to rent this one first, folks.
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