Review by Ofisil
"Want a good high-speed futuristic racer? Play F-Zero X"
Extreme-G is a futuristic Racing game developed by Probe Entertainment. High-speed futuristic racers are the dream of many racing fans. Why? Because they promise above average speeds along with some new gameplay concepts in difference with the realistic racing games where no matter how different they are they are pretty much the same. However the promise of high velocities isn't enough to make a game fun and Extreme-G is proof of that.
Replay Value: 3/10
Like it or not I will make some unavoidable comparisons between this game and F-Zero X which, in my humble opinion is the best high-speed futuristic racer on the system. So what does Extreme-G offers? In this game you take control of a high-tech motorbike and drive at insane speeds while you are blasting your opponents with all kinds of weapons. Sounds great doesn't it? Well the actual implementation of this concept is what disappoints. First of all, the speed concept. In F-Zero you could actually feel the speed of your vehicle, leaving you at the edge of your seat with sweaty palms. Furthermore we had excellent controls and course design, with the first one helping you enjoy the game without any problems and the second one leaving you some space to do your thing. In Extreme-G the speed concept is meh I never really felt it, but more importantly the controls while certainly not bad where a tad too sensitive. Finally the routes, which in F-Zero where fabulous and with a nice variety, here are simple straightforward roads, devoid of any originality and exciting designs and a bit to narrow in my opinion making you bump a lot.
Next comes the battle part. Of course I won't make any comparisons with F-Zero here since that game didn't implement weapons. But guess who did? Mario Kart! While I don't like the N64 Mario Kart it was better in that field. Why? Because it had better and more varied weapons. In Extreme-G we have a lot of weapons but there are very small differences between them and they aren't that exciting to say the truth. Some rockets, some mines and so on. Nothing special. The final nail in the coffin comes in the low Replay Value of the game. The available tournaments can be completed in less than 3 hours and the Time Trial mode, which has always been my favorite mode in Racing games is quite boring here, since the game it self is boring. In other words play F-Zero!!!
It's good sure, it's good, however I'm not exactly impressed. The bikes have nice designs and the levels have a certain dark, cyber\futuristic atmosphere that fits like a glove to the game's theme although they aren't that exciting caves, cities, industrial complexes and stuff like that. The special effects from your weaponry range from good to plain decent ones but the rest of the game is almost devoid of other effects. The most important thing however is how Extreme-G handles speed. F-Zero X is great at that not only can you feel the speed but also the framerate is very satisfying. Extreme-G on the other hand isn't so good at that. You'll only feel the immense velocities when you use one of the 3 Nitro available and even when you don't do so the frame rate is simply beyond average especially when one or more explosions occur from all the fighting that's going on in the game. Having said all these does Extreme-G has bad graphics? Naaah just a tad disappointing.
The sound effects were really disappointing since I expected something much louder in order to make me feel the carnage and velocity that was going on in the screen. Unfortunately the sound effects were pretty dull, especially those of your engine and additionally there was no feeling of direction and distance. A bomb could explode near you or far away, behind you or in front of you, but it would still sound the same. The music was far better with some nice Techno tunes that fit like a glove to the futuristic atmosphere of the game. This is another field that F-Zero X is better at though and that not only because I like rock music better but because the themes of Extreme-G while fast paced and well composed lack that catchiness needed they are good though.
-Drive at high speeds while blasting opponents
-Good techno music
-Controls a bit too loose
-Below average framerate
Crash Bash (PS)
Extreme-G 2 (N64)
F-Zero X (N64)
Super Mario Kart (SNES)
Wipeout 64 (N64)
In conclusion, Extreme-G was a nice idea done wrong. Got some cash on your pocket and want to buy a high-speed futuristic racing game? Well, better look elsewhere, preferably towards F-Zero X.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 02/27/12
Game Release: Extreme-G (US, 09/30/97)
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