Sega Rally Championship 2

Sega Rally Championship - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot

The release of Sega Rally Arcade Online for XBLA got my blood pumping for some “arcade-style” racing, my favorite style, as I’ve mention in the past (see Quick Take-Ridge Racer). Not that I have anything against sims, but just popping a quarter (or 2, or 4) into a machine, squishing my ass into the driver’s seat meant for a teenager, grabbing the grease-smeared steering wheel, and hitting the accelerator (what’s a brake petal?), is what video game racing is to me.
Having recently acquired Sega Rally Championship 2 for the Dreamcast, I’ve finally found a little time to see it in action. Being a port of an arcade game, I wanted to see how the DC hardware would compare….and luckily, I immediately felt like I had an arcade cab in my home.

Sega Rally Championship - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
The graphics of SRC2 are tremendous. Jumping right into a game, I noticed the frame-rate is top notch and the backgrounds move fluidly. Didn’t really notice any slowdowns, shudders, or jumps. I was a little worried how it look, but pleasantly surprised. The weather effects look nice, and handle accordingly. Being a hater of the brake petal, I learned quickly that I’ll have to adapt to the elements (ice, gravel).
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the options:

Sega Rally Championship - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot

There are a great number of tracks (a lot will have to be unlocked), but it seems like just under 20. Also, a number of themes, including desert, city, mountains, snow, rainy, etc…. 8 cars to start (some reason I like the Celica), each with their pros and cons, and there will be a number more to unlock (again, somewhere around 20). Add all of that together, and that’s a lot of options. One of my Ridge Racer complaints was a lack of variety, SRC2 doesn’t disappoint there.
Other features:

Sega Rally Championship - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
You can use the 1st-person or behind-the-car looks, as well as split-screen for the head-to-head competition

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There’s the Time Trial mode, the regular Arcade mode, and a 10-year Championship mode that I haven’t yet tried.

You can also choose your “co-driver” who shouts out when there’s going to be a turn or jump, a feature that I found cool and fun. And for those of you who like to tinker with your rides, you can do that as well… modding your tranny, brakes, tires, etc…

Sega Rally Championship - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
I’m just getting into the game, so this is a very “quick” take, but I’ve played enough to know what I like…
To summarize, SRC2 is a beautiful port of a very fun arcade racer, with smooth gameplay, and enough variety in vehicles/courses to keep you coming back.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5kbtwSRDCo[/youtube]

Old Game Reviewer reviews classic and retro games, you can check out more of his great work on his blog here – Old Game reviewer.

Ridge Racer

Ridge Racer - Playstation - Gameplay Screenshot

About 2 weeks after the launch of the PS1 in the USA, a buddy of mine who bought about every console in those days, said “We need to get the new Sony console. I read great stuff about how good it looks. Plus, we can link them up!” I was still pretty heavy into my Genesis, and didn’t know if I wanted another console, but after playing Ridge Racer at the store, I was sold.

Ridge Racer - Playstation - Gameplay Screenshot
A launch title (Namco 94-95), with 7 other games (I bought 2, and will talk about the other tomorrow), Ridge Racer truly felt like an arcade game. The graphics were a huge step up from my Sega product, and with the nifty music blaring on my 26 inch RCA (still have it), I finally had a good-size monitor to enjoy the 3D-goodness.

Ridge Racer - Playstation - Gameplay Screenshot

In Ridge Racer, there were the usual game modes, Time Trials and easy/medium/hard. You raced with 12 cars, trying to beat them (to unlock) and your previous low times. The music pumped throughout, and in a new twist, you could take out the game CD and put in music of your own while still playing. The different cars didn’t vary much, and they seemed to control about the same…except for the elusive Black Car.

Ridge Racer - Playstation - Gameplay Screenshot
The Black Car was the Holy Grail of the game. After you defeated the other modes and cars, you were able to take on the evil one. If you could defeat it, you would own it. Namco’s version of The Crossroads. One of the most difficult ‘bosses’ I ever faced, the only way to win was to run a perfect race…meaning if you scraped a wall, or skidded too much on a turn, the sumbitch would pass you and you’d never catch up. I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into that challenge, and still fondly remember the day of victory. With the powerful engine and control of The Black Car, you could improve your times even more.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPw8-A-k8M0[/youtube]
Other goodies included turning around and driving the tracks in mirrored-look, as well as changing your driving view.

Overall, it was a special game that was needed at that time. The console that (in my opinion) was the biggest jump in technology from the previous ones started off with an almost-perfect arcade port. It was beautiful and it was fun. It may not stand the test of time with a ton a sequels that were pumped-out, but will always hold a special memory for me.

Drift Out

From the screenshots this game probably looks awesome, and it is pretty unique in the way that it moves. Unlike similar games where you simply steer the car around the track, here you steer the track around the car! It's an interesting approach which kind of reminds me of F-Zero on the SNES (although non-3D, obviously), and can take some getting used to. However, Drift Out is a very tough game and it's not just because of this! The courses look nice, featuring the type of backdrops you might expect to see - wooded areas, dusty tracks, desert areas, shallow water, mud, etc, but there are also a lot of roadside objects and it's very easy to become stuck by one of these which pretty much ruins any chance of doing well in a race, and it's this which is Drift Out's main problem.

Drift Out (1991)
By: Visco Corp  Genre: Overhead Racing  Players: 1  Difficulty: Hard
Featured Version: Arcade
Also Available For: Super Famicom (variation)

Overhead racing games were one of the earliest types of games to appear, with their history extending as far back as the 70’s, so as you can imagine the genre has undergone quite a few changes in the intervening years. One of them is obviously the standard of graphics, but there’s only so much that can be done using the Super Sprint style view. The best way to improve graphical quality was to zoom in closer to the action. It might seem obvious but it didn’t become commonplace until the 90’s. Many of the titles that then appeared were rally games, and Drift Out was one of the first. It’s actually Neo Drift Out that I’m personally more familiar with but in the interests of chronological accuracy I’ll look at this one first! I don’t know how well-known it was at the time – I at least never saw it, but it was a very pleasant surprise!

Drift Out - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot

Well, initially at least! As mentioned, Drift Out is based in the world of rallying and is surprisingly realistic for an arcade game. You initially have a choice of seven cars, including such (kind of) familiar names as Fard, Toyata, Subaro, Mitsuboshi, etc. You then have to qualify for the race where each of the twelve racers start in successive increments. Each course is viewed directly from above and from a zoomed in perspective. Fortunately you get warned about each course’s many corners by large on-screen arrows but it still takes a bit of practise to successfully complete a course. As mentioned, each racer starts in increments so you’re strictly racing against the clock here, but if you race well enough or badly enough, you will see other cars and can overtake or be overtaken by other cars.

Drift Out - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot

From the screenshots this game probably looks awesome, and it is pretty unique in the way that it moves. Unlike similar games where you simply steer the car around the track, here you steer the track around the car! It’s an interesting approach which kind of reminds me of F-Zero on the SNES (although non-3D, obviously), and can take some getting used to. However, Drift Out is a very tough game and it’s not just because of this! The courses look nice, featuring the type of backdrops you might expect to see – wooded areas, dusty tracks, desert areas, shallow water, mud, etc, but there are also a lot of roadside objects and it’s very easy to become stuck by one of these which pretty much ruins any chance of doing well in a race, and it’s this which is Drift Out’s main problem.

Drift Out - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot

I can’t tell you how many courses there are here because I honestly don’t know. You can’t choose which you want to race on, the game emulates an actual WRC season, so if you want to see later courses, you’ll have to qualify by performing well in previous courses. Maybe I just suck at this game (and there’s a good chance of that) but I’m confident I didn’t get very far. Every time I think I’m doing well, I end up not taking a corner well and getting stuck against a barrier or rock or something similar. The collisions remind me of the original Ridge Racer or Wipeout where you stop dead and just keep bumping against the obstacle until you manage to free yourself. Okay, it’s not always that bad but it’s very frustrating and, for me at least, ruins what initially looked like being a really enjoyable game.

Drift Out - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot

The presentation is very nice here though, it’s one of the reasons why first impressions of the game are good I guess. The title screen is laid over a rolling demo of the game and all the menu/presentation screens are nice. There is no music, either in game or otherwise, with Visco Corp instead opting for realistic car noises, but strangely they seem totally out of sync with your performance. It’s almost as if it’s just a recording of a rally car! The graphics are very nice with much or the roadside featuring impressive detail, and the cars all look authentic. It’s just a shame I didn’t get to see more of the game. I realise arcade games are generally pretty tough in order to get more of your money, but you’d have to spend a fortune practising each course here before you saw everything!

Drift Out - Arcade Gameplay Screenshot

Despite the frustrations involved, I have had some enjoyment playing this. Steering the course around the car is tricky to start with but it’s satisfying to do well (satisfaction I felt all too rarely!), plus this game provides a rare opportunity to race a ‘Fard’ Sierra! There are some great ideas here but ultimately it’s just too frustrating. Still, there are a couple of sequels, maybe we’ll have more luck there…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqbFZDyqlXI[/youtube]

RKS Score: 5/10

F-Zero X

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

F-Zero X (1998)
By: Nintendo EAD Genre: Racing Players: 1-4 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Nintendo 64
Also Available For: Nothing
Download For: Wii Virtual Console

Despite being a highly accomplished racing game, the original F-Zero was perhaps most highly regarded for its admittedly impressive technical prowess. When news of a full sequel (F-Zero 2 was more like a ‘data-disk’) on Nintendo’s brand spanking new 64-bit powerhouse emerged, mouths began to salivate at the prospect of what wonders might befall gamers. However, when it finally arrived it wasn’t as instantly mind-blowing as many gamers were expecting. After the bar-raising the original did, a similar advancement was expected here, but the graphical detail was actually notably inferior to most of the other N64 games that had been doing the rounds, nevermind markedly better. This was apparently done on purpose by Nintendo so they could achieve a constant silky-smooth frame-rate of sixty frames per second. Their decision wasn’t met with much enthusiasm at first though. Was it worth the risk?

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

Questionable graphical detail notwithstanding, if there’s one thing that F-Zero X is, it’s bigger. Bigger and better than F-Zero in pretty much every area. The objective remains the same – to win races – but the courses over which this is done really are something else. One of the few criticisms levelled at the SNES game was that the courses were all completely flat. That situation has been rectified here and then some – I’m pretty sure there’s not a single flat course to be found in F-Zero X! They are all suspended high above the surface of their respective planets and their features range from gently twisting roads with slopes and the usual chicanes and hairpins to full-on roller coaster-style courses full of downhill plummets, uphill climbs, huge banked corners, corkscrews, massive ramps, loops, tunnels and everything inbetween!

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

The single player game modes available here include Grand Prix, Practise, Time Trial, and Death Race, and a majority of your time will most likely be spent on the first of these (in single-player, at least). Grand Prix’s are contested by thirty racers, each with their own distinctive ‘machine’, over one of the leagues. There are initially three available – the Jack, Queen, and King Cups, with each of them consisting of six courses. Points are awarded after each race based on your finishing position, from first down to thirteenth, and successfully winning the three initial leagues will open another one, the Joker Cup, which has six more courses. There is also a fifth and final league – The X Cup – but unlocking this takes a bit more work. It’s worth it though as it’s a test for even the most talented of racers as its courses are randomly generated each time you race so there’s no opportunity to learn them first!

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

The Practise and Time Trial modes are self-explanatory, although it’s worth mentioning that the latter lets you race against staff ghosts. This way you can see if you’re better at any given course than the people who actually designed it (and I’m sure a few obsessed individuals have devoted a lot of time to this pursuit)! The Death Race takes place on a basic course and sees the aggression level of each of the thirty racers cranked up a notch! Using your machine’s meagre attack moves (it can charge to the left, right, or perform a spin), the object is to take out as many opponents as you can while they all try to do the same to you (and each other). Another criticism the original game received was its lack of a multi-player mode. This is another area in which F-Zero X bests its forebear thanks to its fantastic Vs Battle mode where between two and four racers can compete at once.

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

One of the first things you’ll notice about F-Zero X is that it’s fast. Very fast. The Dash Plates make a welcome return here, as does the Super-Jet (or ‘Boost Power’ as it’s now called) and, unlike F-Zero where you only got one boost per lap, you can now use them as often as you want after you’ve completed your first lap. Each time you use it drains your machine’s energy though, so keep a plentiful supply of this by visiting the pit areas regularly. It seems that the various pilots have modified their machines since the last game too. They are faster anyway but you also now have the option of changing your engine settings by altering its top speed / acceleration ratio too. This combined with frequent use of the Dash Plates and your Boost Power, especially in conjunction with one another, can see your speed reach quite staggering levels, even hitting four figures on occasion (my current speed record is 1,527kph!).

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

There’s quite a lot to F-Zero X for an arcade-style racer but it would all be for nothing if the widely-criticised graphics kept gamers away. Personally though, I can’t see what all fuss is about! I asked earlier if Nintendo’s decision to sacrifice graphical detail for increased smoothness and speed was worth the risk. Well, in my opinion it was an excellent decision. The backgrounds may well be somewhat sparse but they are colourful and varied but that’s not hugely relevant anyway – the on-track action is so eye-meltingly fast, you’ll barely even get a chance to look at the backgrounds unless you come off the track and plunge into them! That said, it is impressive to see the horizon rolling around as the track meaders all over the place, or to be staring straight at the ground as you plummet down a collossal ramp (see the Fire Field screenshot!).

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

In addition to being really fast, each race is chock-full of action. The N64 throws the thirty racers, each in their own distinctive machines, constantly jostling for position, around the courses with apparent ease. A mere six of them are available to use at the start of the game (including those from the first game) but winning the various leagues gradually unlocks the remainder, each of which has differing grip, boost power, and body strength. They all look really nice too (plus you can change their colours!) and you can quickly build up genuine rivalries with many of their pilots, some of whom are more agressive than others. The game has a fantastic atmosphere which is helped considerably by the awesome rock soundtrack, featuring wailing guitars and thundering drums, and the courses that share names (but little else) with those in the SNES game are also graced with superb remixes (yes, including Big Blue!). It’s those courses though, that keep you coming back to the game.

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

Any game featuring jet-powered hovercars racing over tracks in mid-air is likely to feature lavishly-designed courses, and the opportunity here enabled the designers to really go to town! To this day, F-Zero X still features the best-designed courses I’ve ever raced on. Each of them is distinctive and memorable, and they really are thrilling to race on, something helped by the extremely precise controls afforded by the N64’s splendid analogue controller. Everything is so smooth and zooming along, weaving in and out of the other racers with pixel-perfect accuracy is exciting and great fun. There are also four difficultly level and, thanks to the X Cup, you’ll never run out of new courses to race on! The game builds up a fantastic sense of competition too, but there’s not really any one thing that makes this such a great game – it’s just a perfect blend of everything. Still probably the greatest racing game I’ve ever played.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-zcvM0b9VE[/youtube]

RKS Score: 10/10

Games to Buy: Console Edition: Nov 21 2010

video games store
video games store

A new name and a new way of doing our weekly report on games coming out the following week. With so many games out there the fact is some will be worth the cash and some will not be. Beyond that some games may be worth picking over the others and so we have come up with a dollar sign rating system. One $ means it can wait until it’s in the bargain bin and five $’s means you should be waiting in line to purchase it.

This week we have a good mix of new games and classic games being released, in fact pretty much every game is either a follow up of the old or a remake of an old game. This is just more proof of how important classic games are. So sit back enjoy the trailers and commentary and get your wallet warmed up.

Gran Turismo 5

With over 1000 cars and 71 courses to choose from Gran Turismo 5 is a racers wet dream. Sure, there has been a ton of delays for this game but with the way it looks now it seems to be worth the wait. Of course you will be able to race basic cars from Honda and Ford, but you will also be able to get behind the big boys like the Lamborghini Murcielago and McLaren F1. A ton of brand new tracks have been added including the Top Gear test track and many more tracks offering night driving and the new dynamic weather system. All in all if you are a racing fan or just a car aficionado and have a PS3 then you have to pick up this game.

Buy Worthiness: $$$$

Donkey Kong Country Returns

I have to bow to the Wii on this one because I loved the original DKC and this version looks incredible. Donkey and Diddy are back and you have never seen two apes go through so much for some bananas. The game is as massive as it is beautiful offering various lands including a jungle, beach, ruins, caves and a forest. As with the classic Donkey Kong Country the environment matters from knowing where and when to jump to the assortment of enemies on the screen and in the background.

This game brings back all the love and frustration of the original. Honestly, if you are not a pro platformer or haven’t played DKC before you might have a hard time because this game is tough. The mine cart level alone can drive you as crazy as Ninja Gaiden did me. In addition, even the boss fights will not be simple and it takes timing and recognizing the right pattern to win. However, it is totally worth it and with the visuals, the music and the awesome controls Donkey Kong Country is a must have for fans of the series and platform game lovers.

Buy Worthiness: $$$$

Splatterhouse

If you love beating the holy hell out of demons and monsters then this game is for you. The folks over at Namco Bandai have taken a bit longer than expected to release this game and they have gone through some troubles, but all in all the new Splatter house looks to be a fun game.

The game pretty much is a reboot and you play as Rick who was murdered when his girlfriend Jennifer was kidnapped by the evil Dr. West. As you lay dying a demon mask bonded with your body brining you back and now the two of you need each other. Rick needs the masks power to make his way through the horde to his girl and the mask needs rick to feed it the blood of pretty much anything.

The visuals look really good and the game is more than just blood and guts, though that is most of what it is. There is also a puzzle component to the game and you have to take time moving through some levels. However, what makes the game is the gore and you can pull of spectacular murder moves on your enemies and use the environment to take them out as well.

All in all if you liked the original and have a flair for eviscerating people then this game is worth a pick-up.

Buy Worthiness: $$

Honorable mentions

We have a bonus this week, two classic games that are sure to give you some enjoyment.

Crazy Taxi

The incredibly fun taxi driving game from the Dreamcast is back. Choose your driver and transport your passenger across town in the craziest manner possible. This game is loads of fun and it’s good to see this Dreamcast game coming to the 360.

Worms: Battle Islands

War on an epicly small scale, take control of your worms and battle against your friends using tons of different warfare tactics. Believe me, don’t let the cute voices and visuals fool you. In Worms you have to have some strategy or you will be…err worm food.

Low Balance

So that’s this week’s top buys. We will be back next Tuesday with another rundown on what games to buy.

GAMES COMING OUT FOR CONSOLES: NOV 16TH 2010

EbGames rack
EbGames rack

Ah, turkey time is almost upon us and though we are still playing our way through Black Ops there are a few good games being released next week that are ready to suck the cash right from us. This week we are looking at three games that are worthy of a purchase, but let’s take a look at them first and then decide.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – PS3

What is better than an assassin, a team of assassin’s.  In Brotherhood we continue where ACII left off with Ezio Auditore da Firenze and a new villain who is the son of the villain from part 2. There have been a number of changes to combat and added horse-riding moves and abilities. In addition the Desmond storyline continues with promises of real answers and some conclusions being given. The graphics look even better this time around and the city is like three times as large. If you liked any of the other Assassin’s Creed’s you should definitely pick this one up.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

EA and the development team wanted to bring the NFS franchise back from the dead. They admitted that the last game was just not what it should be and blamed it on a number of things including how long they were allowed to work on it. Now with more time the team has put together a game they hope will restore NFS to its former glory.

First off, they didn’t go the open world route which so many racing games are doing these days. Instead the team focused on making sure the tracks were designed to the max from the ground up to look stunning and have the fun factor that racers want.  The game is about chases and it goes both ways. Play as the cops and the racers and level up on both ends in single player and pick your side in multiplayer. With a ton of awesome cars and incredible locations to race em this game might just put Need for Speed back on top.

NBA Jam

Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing and that is the motto used in creating this new NBA jam. If you played the old arcade versions the only differences you will notice is new NBA players and updates to the visuals. The thing is that is a good thing. NBA Jam was fine the way it was and now you can continue the legacy of over the top dunks and full court jump shots. Put together your perfect duo by choosing from 30 NBA teams all licensed and trademarked. Sure, it is not 2K11, but it isn’t supposed to be. This is NBA Jam, home of the BOOM SHAKA LAKA.

Insufficient funds

Those are the top picks this week and we are sorry you will yet again be inviting your girlfriend over for chicken hotdogs and a bittorrent movie. However, with all these great games who needs a girlfriend, that’s why they invented X-Tube.

Nils-Holger Henning: Bigpoint

Bigpoint logo
Bigpoint logo

Name: Nils-Holger Henning

Company: Bigpoint

Profession: CCO

Favorite Classic Game: Need for speed

Quote: Need for Speed is one of the first 3D Racing games and even today this game makes a lot of fun. The sequel titles runs on different platforms like PocketPC´s and Playstation what makes this game a very cool game.


F-Zero Commercial

F-Zero SNES box cover
F-Zero SNES box cover

Now you are playing with super power indeed. There is no doubt F-zero brought a whole new type of racing to gamers and the key was speed. In this commercial that point is pushed to the limit. Funny, I didn’t know F-Zero could help you lose weight I’ll have to remember that.

You can check out our F-Zero review and strategy guide to get more information on this classic racer.

Obsolete Intros: Test Drive 2: The Duel

[youtube id=”dX5ZCfjhDN0″ width=”633″ height=”356″]

Obsolete Intros: Test Drive 2: The Duel

Test Drive 2 The Duel cover

It may seem silly now with the crazy long, CGI filled intros of today, but when I first hear the intro for Test Drive 2 it really got me into the game. It was the cool beat, the seductive woman’s voice and the sound of the car engine that just made we want to tear it up on the open road.

I first plated TD2 on my cousins Amiga which he had connected to his stereo system so it sounded even better. What was funny was a few months later I heard the intro on a 386 system and almost fell over laughing.

Stunts (a.k.a. 4D Sports Driving)

When I was just a young boy and have seen today’s review’s game for the first time on my friend’s Amiga I knew I had to have it. In fact I wanted it more than badly! I needed it as one needs to find a toilet after a huge plate of burritos followed up by a gallon of sweet cider… It’s obvious however, that when you’re that young and have cravings for something, you have your ways of getting it… Begging parents to buy it for you, borrowing money from a friend or even be it finding a way of obtaining an illegal copy… Whatever means were necessary, for this game were well justified!

4D Sports Driving

Stunts (in Europe known as 4D Sports Driving – now how dull & silly sounding title that one is!) was one of those games that revolutionized its genre by being well ahead of its time, but I’ll get into this in a minute. The game was developed by Distinctive Software and released by Broderbund Software on PC & Amiga in late 1990. Just like my little sister, developed by my father and released in 1990 by my mother… Just like that! ^__^

Anyway, who has at least a vague knowledge of personal computer history, knows well that it was still the time when Amiga was the „King of the Hill” and packed most gaming power of all early 90’s platforms. PC VGA card’s 256 colour mode was not extensively used yet, so Amiga games stood out as better looking ones out of all 16bit Computer ports… Stunts was a fresh breeze of „new” in already well established by then Racing genre. What we expect to find in games today and feel as if it’s usual to have it was not as common in 1990 and Stunts by bringing a plate of those little changes to the racing games table changed the way we „dine” forever…

First of all there were multiple cars to choose from – all with various stats and specs, and all handled different to one another. There were not 40, 50 or 60 of them but more than a typical by then – „three or less”. 11 to be precise. It’s obvious that just having a bunch of cars thrown into a game does not make for an awesome racer but people at Distinctive Software knew that well and made sure that Stunts was not only a car showcase but also a bottomless bag of goods for all speed freaks…

With loads of different cars a Real Player needs variety in tracks as well, to keep him/her occupied. Devs could just drop a bunch of those on players and keep them happy for a relatively long time but they didn’t. In fact there was not a huge number of those but it made no difference nonetheless as Stunts took another, as time proved, much better route. There may have been only few tracks to choose from but they were really smartly laid out and what’s even more important & crucial here…

…they were ridden all over by numerous obstacles like ramps, corkscrews, loops, jumps, iced paving and many more to keep the game more challenging and raise the gameplay excitement in the same time. Sounds fun? It is! But you know what? There were many games that were fun and never made it big… Many! So, what exactly could push Stunts to stand out by a long mile ahead of the competition? Well, maybe…

…first EVER racing game Track Editor? Maybe? Nah! For sure! It was simple yet a powerful tool that allowed user to use all elements available in official tracks in their creations. Needless to say many of those quickly sprout out amongst players who challenged themselves to make the most daring or challenging tracks to play. By today (nearly 20 years later), there’s several thousands of these and the game whilst being only 8 years younger than me is still as playable as it was on a day of its release and much more fun than I could ever be. I wanna hear a loud „Hell Yeah!” here. ^__^

If that all was not much enough, Stunts also introduced something of similar characteristics to well-known achievements of today’s games. A player was not allowed to use all the cars from the beginning or play against all opponents, he had to slowly work his way up the „Racing Food Chain(tm)” to unlock tougher drivers and better rides. Now, ain’t that a lot of fun!?

Stunts was also first game to take place in full 3D environment with everything being built out of 3D polygons – tracks, cars, jumps, trees & buildings… You get the picture by now, I hope. ^__^ Now, in 1990 it was not a common practice… In fact, most people even did not think possible of having a 3D game running smoothly on a vanilla Amigas, yet alone a racing game. But then somebody (who knew nothing about that notion) came and just done it. Figures! Well done Distinctive Software, well done!! As one would expect from a truly „Groundbreaking Wind of Change(tm)” in Gaming World all that can be seen from various camera views and recorded as Replay to share amongst friends or prey on their weaknesses by showing them your Mad Gaming Skills… And nothing says more „Great Game” than being able to destroy your friend’s self esteems by beating them time after time in an awesome racer on tracks that you have made yourself just for the purpose alone! It’s like taking a Lolly Pop from a child, but more fun.

I know it may appear as if I am a bit over excited but just imagine for a second that it’s not 2010 no more, but humble 1990 and most games (Stunts alike) run in 16 colors in 320 x 200 resolution and not 1920 x 1080 in 16 Millions of shades with 3D acceleration, Depth of Field, Z-buffers, Fog and other numerous graphical effects which names tell me no more than a calorie count on a box of Rice Crispies… Also, try to visualize what one gets to experience after playing countless hours in racing games on flat gray surfaces filled with 2D sprites with three or even no cars to choose from (and usually they only looked different but handled identically) when one’ve seen Stunts in its full 3D glory!? I, for one was stunned at seeing Stunts and could not say much more than „awesome”. I know, I know, I’ve overused this word by now in my previous reviews and that’s alright as all those games were in fact awesome as well. But did they change their genres for years to come to the same degree Stunts did? I think that you realize by now that the answer can only be… No.

Need for Speed World Trailer

NFS was classic racing and now Electronic Arts are working on releasing Need for Speed World which will be an MMO racer based on the NFS series. NFSW will feature single and co-op racing teams and something they are calling “epic online pursuits” which nobody seems to know exactly what that is yet, but we assume it has to do with chasing people across the game world. Nevertheless it sounds pretty cool.

Need For Speed World logo
Need For Speed World logo

 

The official website has a ton of new screenshots and information, but the real news is the beta. You can head on over to their beta sign up page by clicking here. Now for the trailer which comes to us from the official Obsolete Gamer YouTube page.