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Reviewed: Demolition Racer
Author: Chris Kim       Date: October 29th 1999
Page: 3

One of the major downfalls of this game is the lack of multiplayer support. The game totally screams out for large gaming feasts over the internet, hopefully, a patch will address this issue.

Driving aside, the game wouldn't be any fun if the opponents weren't smart because of the lack of multiplayer now would it? On the bright side, the intelligence of the game isn't too low, but it isn't exactly the brightest game ever. The opponents will race with a definitive style that is in correspondence to what the game mode currently is. For say in demolition mode, the opponent will try to bash up other players while racing at the same time. The opponent will also attempt to dodge and avoid striking hits and bashes from opposing players at the same time. In chase mode, the opponents will be focused on speed and racing the track rather than attacking opponent cars. However, there is a small problem that seems to encounter all the parts of the game, the AI doesn't have enough intelligence to actually do special maneuvers that a real racer would have, such as speeding collisions and bouncing off a wall without losing much speed. But the AI is sufficient for what is in the game.

With several modes of the play available, all the games provide a different challenge. But the first and foremost feature that must be played is the demolition league mode, all four leagues must be finished with the rankings needed to unlock the tracks, cars, and gameplay modes. The game provides a great amount of challenge in the demolition modes, with an equal balance of trying to win the race and getting enough points to support the rankings. Players will often find themselves playing tracks over and over again, while beating other tracks in an instant. This can lead to some unwanted frustration. But, the game does get increasingly difficult as the leagues progress on, which is good.

Head On Collisions Suck
Passing Opposite Directions
Crashing in All Directions

For the most part, controlling and pickup up the controls of racing games are fairly easy. This game is no exception with the relatively few controls used in the game, mainly consisting of accelerate, brake, turn, handbrake, horn, and camera angles. Moving the car around is responsive, handbrake works quite efficiently in making those difficult 90 turns and 180 spin moves in the last man standing modes. The game works well with nearly all game devices, keyboard and gamepad alike, but the game tends to be a bit sensitive to devices that don't have an extremities control (i.e. keyboards, certain gamepads), and the sensitivity is a bit high. A joystick or steering wheel would be most appropriate for the fine tuning. An extreme settings like those found in Viper Racing would have been great, unfortunately, that game is the only one I've seen that has that control.

Being a near direct port from the Playstation version that was released about a month earlier, Demolition Racer tends to be on the console side of things for the interface, but with the incorporation of a mouse control makes it feel almost like a PC interface. The interface is simple to navigate with menus all aligned on the center accessible through either the mouse or the keyboard. The load times are excellent, they are very short, and the installation isn't too large either, which is a great plus for those with smaller hard drives.

Death Bowl '99!
On the Side of Things
Major OUCH!

Another part of the game that suffers from being a near direct port of an inferior gaming machine (in terms of raw processing power), the graphics in Demolition Racer tend to suffer more than a game that was developed strictly for the PC. That didn't mean that Pitbull Syndicate would neglect the graphics, no sir! The graphics engine allows for high resolutions and high color depths as well. The textures used in the game are clean and don't have any major problems. The terrain used to depict rocky cliffs, hills, adamant objects like trees, rocks, and boxes look nice. The car models themselves aren't exactly the greatest, but they work. They don't seem to have enough shadowing work on them; they seem to be in stark contrast with what the rest of the game looks like with their flashy colors and bright reds and greens. But once the damage starts rolling in, the cars look much more realistic and truer to what they should be. The special effects like wobbly tires, broken and hoods, shattered glass windshields, burning engine fires all add to the realistic environment in the game.

Till Death...
Hey, Shatters in the Windshield
Zooming By

Most racing games sound effects are all pretty much the same, collision sounds here and there, a consistent engine rumble that fills the air. There is nothing special in this game either to write home about. The music, though is something unique. The game has a unique soundtrack, that was even sold separately that consists of several heavy metal bands and artists that do some pulsating sounds on the game. The beats are nice and match fluidly into the rest of the game.

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Added:  Friday, October 29, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 3/5

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