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Saturday, March 03, 2018

Racer 2



Dune race onto the Falcon!!

I thought it was time to introduced more 32-Bit games to AtariCrypt, especially as AtariMania's Marko Latvanen has promised to give me his Falcon - Muahahahaha!! For now, I'm happy with Hatari as it appears to emulate this powerful bird pretty well (even 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 and just 4MB Ram in 320x240 true-colour.

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!


Creepy!! So keep the pedal to the metal when things get too spooky for you to handle.

Hey, I saw that you naughty boy. Don't stop to look at the pretty beach girls!!


Let's race!!

This feels like Crazy Cars 3 or Lotus 2 with its arcade styles and handling. It works well using either a manual or automatic gearbox so it wasn't long before I was whizzing around the tight corners thanks to the effortless controls. They're dead-easy and you can choose either the keyboard, joystick or a JagPad - brilliant!!

Championship events are 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 effects: freezing the timer, increase speed, eject your closest opponent, flattening opponents tyres, etc. 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 help!!


Perhaps I'm boring but I turned off the Bonus feature...

New Race Unlocked? Oh yeah, I love it when that happens!!


32-Bit Aesthetics?

It was the graphics that enticed me to play this game - they are knockout and easily on par with other machines at the time. So many different environments and each is accompanied by its own unique styles, drivers and background tunes. Framerates are constantly superb and can be increased further by disabling the lovely textures. If I had to be picky, the point of view is a tad low and it's a shame so few frames are used when the car is cornering.

Audio is... well... it's an Atari Falcon so it's gonna be nothing less than gorgeous. The selection of music is incredibly varied and suits each track's style perfectly. All sound effects are made using awesome samples so, whether you're skidding, bumping or tearing up the road, it's amazing. Love it all, especially that smooth engine noise.


Some tracks are weirdly different from what I expected...

...whereas others look more "traditional". Don't worry, all are great!


The CryptO'pinion?

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 roadside objects can stop you dead - even if that object is a spectator! Starting off from zero feels lethargic, almost as if you're behind the wheel of a Kia. The strangest thing is when the countdown timer begins before the green light appears...

However, let's stop nitpicking because Racer 2 is a stonker with great graphics, roaring sounds, unique tracks, and superb controls. Yep, this is one utterly addictive experience and one of the best arcade games I've played. It certainly proves the power of the Falcon and to think this isn't even commercial... An extraordinary racer!!

Falcon peeps should download Racer 2 right now!

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