Review by gloBal enemy

"One of the BEST future races around.."

Introduction
Extreme G was my first console game EVER. So I thought I might as well review it.. It was also on the first console I ever received/purchased (the Nintendo 64).

Extreme G stands for EXTREME GRAVITY (based on my understandings). The game is set in the far away future where there are high-speed capable bikes which can somewhat defy gravity in nearly every way possible. There really is no story except that you are to finish every 3-lap track (total of 13 tracks available) using one of the bikes.

To ensure your survival (and to satisfy those cheaters), there are a number of options for your method of winning. There really is no ''winning line'' in this game as the game goes too fast for you to even move your bike to your winning line. Instead, you should aim to just knock all the other bikes off using a special array of weapons and items you may find along your travels.

Gameplay
The controls are EXCELLENT on the Nintendo 64. I've rarely said any game has good controls but I repeat, this game has EXCELLENT controls. The Z-trigger acts as an accelerator, the control stick controlling your futuristic-and-cool bike, the B button acting as a break, with the A button controlling the one of three weapons which your Bike is designed to use. The C-Right controls pick-up weapons/items such as mines, missiles, binds, or anything. And the C-Up controls view change (Bike view, Bumper View, Flying Camera behind, Further back Flying Camera behind). The analogue stick's responsiveness is excellent for bike control and with a speed game like this, the tuning of the fluid movements is EXCELLENT.

The design of the tracks are quite simple at first, and the tracks are grouped into groups of 3 all focused on a certain planet theme of some sort. Each track has at least two routes to the finish and include all sorts of extreme gravity defying (hence the title) loops and jumps. I cannot stress how well the tracks are designed but the flaw is you cannot make a U-turn and you cannot go beyond the tracks (even if you could, you would just fall down and die anyway..).

The bike designs and names are quite unique and each bike focuses on a different area/specialty. Khan, the beginners bike, is an all-rounder where the Grimace is more focused on Attacking and Defending rather than Acceleration, Top Speed and Braking. The Khan uses the bullets to shoot where the Neon (A super bike which can be unlocked - advertised on back of packaging) shoots a bright red laser. The bullets of course actually penetrate the bikes in front's defence and shields whereas the laser just does minor damage to the shields but slows down the enemy bike.

Computer AI in this game is rather ''knocking''. They are easy to win against but on occassion they will do something to you such as throw a missile or mine somewhere. But they never actually target you really.

At the beginning of each race, each bike (assumingly) starts off with 3 nitros (well, you do..). These 3 nitros are turbos and when used with certain cheats, can make you really really dizzy. The game's intensifying speed really pushes you.

The multiplayer design of this title is quite good when racing but the idea to create something similar to MarioKart64's Battle was not quite achieved. Due to the bikes not having ''such superior'' handling and small turning circles, the bikes take a while to turn and thus, having a battle is near impossible. The battle tracks were designed to allow for this but even then, it is still difficult to have a decent face-off. Anyway, the multiplayer racing is a blast to play except for that occasional slowdown in the frame-rate.

The RUMBLE PACK works extremely well with this game. Perfectly timed for when you slide in the side against the walls or when you shoot missiles or even lay a mine.

Graphics
For a racing game similar to the likes of Wipeout on the Playstation, the speed of the framerate is very important. The frame-rate will stay high 99% of the time. The only time the frame-rate ever drops is either when you shoot the cannons (I am not sure whether this is on purpose or because its just slow), or when you and a friend or so in multiplayer shoot cannons at each other. Huge explosions (only avaliable in multiplayer - as AI do not shoot much) from missiles and cannons can slow down the game but not to an extent where it is unplayable. It can get annoying at times but never as bad as seen in Rare's Banjo-Tooie on the Nintendo64.

The fluro colours of the night-time tracks, and the bright sun glares into your bike winshield during the day really show-off some of the Nintendo64's great abilities. The track designs and meshes are prime examples of this and the way that they are textured is just excellent.

The bikes are textured extremely well and they look extremely good in the race AND in the bike selections. In the bike selection, the game acts like it is a computer and draws up the bikes as they appear, similar to those which are seen in a CAD build up of a real-time picture.

Sound/Music
The futuristic bikes all have their own individual noises and grunts. All of the audio effects are high quality samples and one of my particular favorites in the audio department has to be the noise that the laser makes. It is just.. ''great''.. Its amazing that no-one else realizes how well done this game is.

The techno beats of the music can be turned off but I think they are quite suitable and keep the game ''in time'' with what the game actually is about. Unlike many games where publishers simply choose a nice sounding song and pop it into the game, this game actually has music which is appropriate for this futuristic racing.

For those with DOLBY SURROUND SOUND, this game sounds really really really (could go on forever) thrilling and the sounds of the bikes go all around you. It is too hard not to notice how well-done this game is in the audio department.

Other/Overall Presentation
The game's menus are easy enough to figure out but finding the control options took me a little while (and flicking through of the manual). In case anyone forgets, its the R button during Bike selection.

The menus have a nice flowing design to them which is unique and the animated buttons help us simple-minded people figure out what the options are without actually doing any reading. Another nice thing is the easiness and quickness of getting into a race.

And to stress this again, you will never find controls this good on a bike game on the Nintendo64. There is also no loading time so this may also help some but there is a little problem. The problem is you will need a CONTROLLER
PACK. Whilst many will already have it, I bought this game and only had a RUMBLE PACK.

Replayability
Even after you finish the tracks, you still keep coming back for more; probably for the sense and feelings of speed gushing past you. It is hard to resist. Who knows? Extreme G could be the next generation home drug?

Rent/Buy
BUY BUY BUY - I love this title

Scores

+ Top-notch game
+ Good controls
+ Great Bike Designs
+ Excellent Track Designs
+ Great Frame-rate
+ Multiplayer Racing
+ Good audio
- Occasional Slowdown
- Requires Controller Pack to save stages

Gameplay : 10
Perfect Gameplay. Controls are perfect.
Graphics : 9
Despite what others say, this game has top-notch graphics with fogging effects included!
Sound/Music : 9
Perfectly timed engine and bike samples. The music beats are excellent and well-suited for this genre of racing.
Other/Overall Presentation : 9
Easy-to-use menus but except for that hard-to-find menu by pressing R..
Replayability : 7
Its addictive but there is not enough to do once you've unlocked the few bikes from beating the tracks. But still a thrilling but somewhat easy game.

OVERALL (not an average) : 9

Author's Comment
Nintendo's response to WIPEOUT on the Playstation. This game is seriously one of the best ever games and despite what many others criticize about it, for a first game ever, I think this is definately one worth adding to your collection.

Make sure you pick up this game before it reaches extinction.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/17/01, Updated 06/17/01


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