Sunday, February 28, 2016

RoadBlasters



Wanna race? Bring a gun!

Road Blasters, an arcade conversion by US Gold that attempts to recreate the speed and thrills of the original. Imagine a Bullrun Rally event through 50 overcrowded highways where you must win each in order to progress on to the next. Yep, nothing new but I'm sure you already know that this is still going to be fun?

What makes this game different from many other racers is a combination of driving and shooting. This means your gleaming red sports car has a mounted machine gun. The easiest targets are the yellow cars which are a quick kill, but the motorbikes are a pest because of their tiny size. Occasionally, several jeeps will swarm around you like something from a Mad Max movie for a hair-raising moment - so react quickly and viciously!!


Bubble City sounds like a cool place - I must drive there!


Carmageddon!

Watch out for other hazards like oil spills, roadside turrets, bullet-proof purple cars and those darn proximity mines. Fortunately, you do seem to have friends, a futuristic aircraft frequently flies by with power-ups: speed boost, extra weapons, shields, etc... However, it takes lots of practice to precisely collect these goodies!

At your disposal is a limitless supply of replacement cars but they are all fuel-greedy, so if you run dry then it's game over. Luckily, fuel pods are available and can be collected by simply drive through them for an instant top-up. Your car is also equipped with a reserve fuel tank which should only be relied upon as a last resort, but the good news is that it's replenished at the end of each race. Well, depending on your performance of course.



Fast cars and guns. What more could you ever desire?


Input & Output!

The controls are sharp with responsive steering that retains an arcade experience - as much as is possible with a joystick. No complaints here, because I found the car handled excellently and instantaneously took to it.

Visually, this is an older generation of racer and more like a Crazy Cars 2 than the third or, say Lotus 2. I never expected arcade-quality visuals but it retains a good feeling of the original whilst not being the best you'll get from an Atari ST. It's colourful but also a bit bland in decor and with stodgy sprites. But I like it, sorry, not sorry!

The sound effects are pretty good and better than Lotus Turbo and I really enjoyed the music. Nuff said.



Now is the time to drive like Knight Ride to collect those goodies from above!


The CryptO'pinion?

I've loved this old arcade speedster, it might not be perfect but at least it's nothing like that dreadful Outrun. And we're armed so that's basically one hell of an added bonus and is probably the best of that ilk on the Atari ST. Having spent several nights playing this, it's certainly got that "just one more go" factor. A much-underrated game that deserves more attention because it's fast, fun and the car has a gun. What more could you want?


There is a fantastic hdd version to download or
the floppies if you desire that authenticity!

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