Saturday, March 03, 2018

Racer 2


I thought it was about time I introduced more 32-Bit games to AtariCrypt especially as AtariMania's Marko Latvanen has promised to give me his next Falcon - Muahahahaha!! For now, I'm happy with Hatari as it appears to emulate this powerful bird pretty well on my old Mac. So what better than to begin with Dune's Racer 2 which was released at Silly Venture 2014 for the stock 16MHz Falcon running with just 4MB Ram in lovely 320x240 true-colour.

 
Tracks are so varied: keep the pedal to the metal when things get spooky and don't stop to look at the beach girls!

For me, a driving game needs to be an interesting road trip with the thrills and excitements to keep me coming back for more. Racer provides its motor fun with three different types of gameplay: championship, challenge and the good old arcade mode. Each can be played using three levels of difficulty from the beginner to an ace driver!

Racer feels a lot like Lotus with similar styles and physics that work very well through either a manual or automatic gearbox. I wasn't long before I was whizzing around the tight corners thanks to the effortless controls which are easy to pick up. You can choose either the keyboard, joystick or a JagPad - even my old creeky joystick did me proud.

Championship events are incredibly tough and definitely put this gamer through his paces so don't expect to complete it on your first attempt. Both arcade and challenge modes offer a great way to quickly practice the laps with also the potential to further yourself by unlocking numerous extra tracks. I probably enjoyed Challenge mode the most.

Optional bonus items can be collected for a myriad of cool effects: freezing the timer, increase speed, eject your closest opponent, flattening opponents tyres, and more. However, joystick-players might find reaching for the keyboard each time too much hassle? Perhaps I should try my Jagpad? Oh wait, I've no Falcon... Marko!! lol

  
Perhaps I'm boring but I turned off the Bonus feature... New Race Unlocked? Yeah, I love seeing this screen!!

It was the graphics that first enticed me to play this beautiful game and they are knockout, easily on par with other machines available at the time. So many different environments and each is accompanied by their own unique graphics, drivers and background tunes. Framerates are constantly superb and can be increased further by disabling the lovely textures. If I had to be picky, I feel that the player's point of view is a tad too low as there are times my rear-end got in the way! Also, it's a shame so few frames are displayed when cornering the bends.

  
Some tracks are certainly different to what I expected whereas others can take on a more traditional look.

What a freakishly awesome game. In fact, I could end my review right now but let's waffle on for a little longer...

To say I've enjoyed this is an understatement but it isn't without faults. Slamming into a roadside object can stop you dead - even if that object is a spectator! Starting off from zero can feel rather lethargic, almost as if you're behind the wheel of a Skoda, but the strangest is when the timer starts its countdown before the green light is shown.

However, let's stop nitpicking because Racer is a stonker with great graphics, roaring sounds, unique tracks, and perfect controls which all add up to one utterly addictive experience. One of the best driving games I've played and one which certainly proves the power of the Falcon. To think this isn't even commercial... Extraordinary!!

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