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Reviewed: Demolition Racer
Author: Chris Kim       Date: October 29th 1999
Page: 2

With a title that just screams out carnage, Demolition Racer really proves to be a game of all out rampage and carnage. Of course, being an arcade racer that focuses on combat and the destruction of other cars, Demolition Racer tends to be weak on the the simulation features such as a racing model, physics, and a few other things, but just because there are a lack of simulation features doesn't mean that the game isn't fun! In fact, that is totally the opposite of what Demolition Racer is. The game has five different modes of play, each of which are a bit unique and provide a different challenge to all gamers. In game there are eight different cars to race from and ten different racing tracks to play on. There are also three last man standing tracks to play on as well.

Rain + Speed = Bad
Three Car Pileup!
On the Walls

The base structure of the game is around the demolition league racing championship, which is the game mode that most gamers will want to play. The demolition game mode is where the player controls one car and races around a track for a certain amount of laps while trying to accumulate the most points and getting the highest ranking position as well. There are ten different tracks to race on, while not the most diverse set of tracks to race on, are fairly well designed and laid out. Various weather effects can affect the traction of the roads and slip up cars during the race. From the ten cars to choose from, all of them are very unique in design, but they all have a simplified driving model, which all of them follow by the same one, but who cares? The game itself is so intense and pulse pounding action, that even the most hardcore simulation junkie will forget all about driving physics and driving models. The game is simply pounding, crashing, and bashing into other cars for points, while at the same time trying to get the highest place on the track. The cooler thing about the tracks are the various things on the road that hinder and block the performance of the car and forking roads, which can be used as shortcuts or used as surprise attacks.

Physics wise, the game is a bit on the relaxed side. Cars will spin out fairly easily and realistically, turning on the roads, the weather will have a slight affect on the turning abilities of the car. Cars will have a sense of gravity, but sometimes defy gravity on jumps. Typically speaking, physics are usually believable, but not every move in the world. Some maneuvers such as collisions into walls and various other cars are distorted or not acted out at all. Sometimes, the player can drive into a solid concrete wall at 180KPH and just stop dully at the wall even when the car was just side clipped. Other times when the player hits an opposing car at 80KPH, the car will totally ricochet and bounce in opposite directions. But typically, the physics will remain true.

Into the Fence
Flip, Flop
Walking In the Shadows...

The way that the scoring system works is by having a varied style of hits and dents into the opposing cars that the points are rated by. The harder the hit, the more points it will bring to the player. A bump in the rear of a car will typically bring five points, while a 180KPH hit into the side and flipping the car into the side of the wall with a 360 spin will bring fifty points for the hit, twenty five points for the spin, and then another five points for the wall hit. All of the banging into other opponents cause a lot of points to be racked up. The most attractive and coolest "attack" in the game is easily the jump land move, which gives the player five hundred points and an instant scrap of the opponent the player landed on. The player, however, must remember that all destruction and bad place in the race, and high finishing in the race, but low points is not a good combination. The way the final ranking is accumulated is that the whatever rank the player finishes in, they will receive a multiplyer that multiplies their total score accumulated during the race. So there needs to be an equal balance between racing and attacking, which really adds to the strategy of the game. However, there is a slight problem with how the points are scored, there are the most common hits that are direct, but some hits aren't counted at all. Points like figuring out how cause and result crashes aren't taken into consideration is a big bummer. A player could send a player into a large set of racers and cause them to all crash, but the player will only get credited for the direct hit. Sometimes the scores are skewed a bit to the point where points aren't even tallied for direct hits such as when a car is toppling over.

::Cough:: Thick Smog...
High Flyin' Cowboy!
NO! That's a $150,000 Car!

The damage model, which is taken into great consideration, is a crucial aspect about Demolition Racer. Alike many other games, which require the player to avoid as much damage as possible, Demolition Racer is the same way, with only one major difference. The player must cause as much damage as received, hence the saying "Do unto others as thy do unto self". Cars hoods will fly off, fires will be started, flippant actions from the cars such as blowing up, flipping in the sky, or other psycho effects can occur from the track.

On the track, there are several powerups and bonuses that can be accumulated as the race progresses. There is a bonus box, which gives the player some bonus points according to what the player's current points total is, a repair box that fixes some of the damage made to the car, a TNT destruction box, which when touched on contact blows up and damages the car a lot, and lastly there is a shield box, which gives the player invulnerability upon where the player can do anything for a short period of time without getting any damage taken to the car at all.

The various game modes available to play differ on a wide scale. As state before in the review, there are five different modes of play, demolition, chicken, last man standing, suicide, and chase. Demolition was described above, so it won't be discussed here again. Chicken racing, is rather unique, you race against the fifteen opposing racers, but instead of racing with them, you race going the opposite direction. Last man standing, is an all out brawl of the deadliest and whoever can stay alive the longest is the winner. Suicide is a simple game to play, but is kinda stupid in that all the player does is destroy their own car fastest. Chase is a race mode without any destruction, just racing. So any gamer will find what they want in the package.

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Added:  Friday, October 29, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 2/5

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