has an incredible cache of games but it seems to be
running out of steam in this, the third compilation
of arcade treasures. To that end the company has decided
to make this a theme compilation of some of its best
racing games. It's certainly worth a spin around the
block but I wouldn't be so quick to take a two-week
road trip with it.
are some hit and miss titles here that drag the overall
score down. The physics and control vary wildly and
no more is the lack of consistency apparent than when
compared to other racing games in this anthology.
Some games are so different you would think they were
developed by different companies.
this is a collection of nothing but racing games,
certain ones such as Stun Runner look awful when compared
to Rush 2049. And I'm not just talking about graphics.
The gameplay, the control system, the mechanics are
sloppy and dated. Some of these older games should
have been sandwiched in with other compilations that
are more general in scope.
San Francisco Rush series steals the show. The other
games are just filler compared to it. Although I did
spend a lot of time playing Race Drivin' in the bar
that I frequented for a number of years, it just couldn't
hold my interest. The trip down memory lane was short
and sweet but this is costing me money so I need a
lot more out of it than just a nostalgia trip. The
excitement just wasn't there.
arcade experience isn't easy to re-create. Sometimes
it's more than just the perfect emulation of a game.
There's the psychological aspect of being in a place
other than your home, possibly with friends or interacting
with strangers. The fact that you only have a dollar
and you have to make it last might generate more excitement
than unlimited continues. Maybe there's the prospect
of talking to some hot girls or getting into trouble
with a few of your buddies at the movie later that
evening. These are feelings and emotions that can
be associated with some of your favorite games. Playing
them out of context can sometimes result in disappointment
because they can't convey those experiences as deeply.
When you strip all of that away you might find that
you just don't care for the game.
Francisco: The Rock is an updated version of the original
game. It's good enough to make some memories of its
own. In it you drive like a maniac through the crowded
and hilly street of San Francisco launching yourself
off of ramps hundreds of feet into the air. With a
cartoonish look and pure arcade physics it's reminiscent
of Crazy Taxi. It's faster than the original and contains
new shortcuts but it doesn't have a multi-player mode
the other hand, Rush 2049 is loaded with a variety
of modes including Stunt Mode, Ghost Mode and a four-player
deathmatch in Battle Mode which is played in split
screen. It's a mechanically solid game that runs at
a smooth and consistent framerate of 60 fps.
Thunder has its moments but there are so many other
off-road racing games out there that you'll feel like
you're on the appetizer impatiently waiting for the
main course. For a slight diversion, Hydro Thunder
takes you off the road completely and lets you skim
the surface as you race your craft on the open water.
The physics is very one-dimensional. It may have been
innovative in its day but it's too dated now to make
a good impression.
those trying to elicit an emotional attachment to
these games are likely to get anything out of all
them. The rest of us will just have a mediocre time
and will have to hunt down a few cases of Pepsi and
chips to fill that emotional void.