Review by Pyro Vesten

"Extreme-G is a super fast racer, that's pretty fun. But isn't for everyone."

Introduction
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I’m not totally sure why I bought Extreme-G. It may have been the fact that I wanted something a bit different, it may have been that It was reasonably cheap because it was used, it may have been a lot of things. But I own it, and have done since about a month and a half after it came out. Has it stood the test of time? And delivered the insanely fast, intense and crazy racing experience it set out to?
Read on and see what I think.

Gameplay
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Fast! Extremely Fast! Extreme-G sets out to deliver a frikin fast game, and it certainly does. Extreme-G isn’t for the weak stomached out there.

There are a few modes of play for single player.
To start off I’d recommend Practice mode, as it will familiarise you with the game, it’s controls and how it all works. There’s also a time trials mode, where you race against the clock, and also get to know the best path to take to help yourself win races. Then there is Shoot ‘em up which is a death match like game, where you have to destroy the other craft using a number of weapons at your disposal, there are quite a few tracks for you to “shoot ‘em up” on as well.

The main part of the game however is Extreme Contest. In Extreme Contest, there are three different sets of races, that are only playable when the one before them has been beaten, these are Atomic, Critical Mass and finally Meltdown. As you’d expect Atomic is the beginners set of races, and is easier than Critical Mass, which itself is easier than Meltdown. When you’ve chosen your set or races you can choose from three difficulty levels, Novice, Intermediate and lastly Extreme.

You have a choice between quite a few of the Extreme-G Bikes. Which are like a futuristic, super fast motorcycle. Each have varying stats in the different categories (speed, acceleration, shield, weapon, etc).

When you begin your Extreme Contest race you’ll find yourself pitted against seven others, who are just as eager to win as you. Plotted along the courses are a bunch of different weapon pick ups, which vary from electric shockers, to missiles and more. Adding again to strategy is the fact that you are given three speed boosts at the start of each three lap race. You can use them when and how you desire. Some like to use one per lap, others use all three to take the lead, and try to stay in it, and some save all three for the last lap.

The courses themselves are insane to say the least. Apart from the usual twists and turns, and the odd jump here and there, Extreme-G sets itself out from the crowd. There are huge drops that literally go straight down, and then bend and go straight up. You can really feel the G’s when you go through one of these. As well as the huge drips, there are loops (yay), and when I say loops, I mean in-****ing-sane loops, twists in the track (you end up racing upside down when you’ve done 180 degrees of twisting), and much more.

Most tracks branch of at least a few times in different areas, some ways are the same as each other, some easier to navigate, some slower and some faster. You’ll have to experiment and find the best ways to go.

The game is sickeningly fast (literally for some people :P), at times you won’t see the turn ahead of you coming up before it is too late, but you’ll just bounce of the wall and keep on going. This can be a good and bad thing. It some races actually touching the control stick isn’t entirely necessary :P, but the game is so fast that any other way of doing things would have probably been bad.

As you progress through the different difficulty levels, and different sets of races you will unlock cheats to use, as well as newer, better, faster cars.

You’ll race through futuristic cities, storms, lava, canyons, jungles, caves, construction areas, what I think is underwater (it goes by too fast to tell :P), up walls and more. There is a good variety in the tracks, I’ll tell you that.

Each race you finish you will receive points for. The higher you place the more points you will be awarded. To win the Contest, you have to finish with the most points out of all of the racers.

On average, races will take between 3:00 and 5:30 to finish, usually around the 4:30 mark.

8.4/10

Graphics
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For the most part, Extreme-G has good graphics. The tracks are fairly detailed texture wise, and there are loads of objects around the tracks, making sure the game never looks bland and boring (see F-Zero X, mind you F-Zero X is an awesome game). The frame-rate is pretty smooth, and it would want to be, because frankly, with a low frame-rate the feeling of speed in Extreme-G would be lost.

One little problem is the game’s fog. All levels have fairly heavy fog, but this was necessary to keep the frame-rate up to scratch. The trade off was a worthwhile one for sure.

Extreme-G also features some nice special effects, the weapons and explosions look cool, and one of the prettiest features of the game is the fish-eye lens that the camera uses when you boost, what it does is draws the camera back quite a bit from the car, as well as stretching the stuff around the outside of the screen out of proportion. This looks really cool, and amplifies the sickening feel of speed already present in Extreme-G. For even more of this, there is a cheat that gives super fish-eye mode to the camera all the time……… try boosting with that on, and make sure you have a paper bag handy :P

The graphic could have been a tad better, and if Extreme-G was made after the N64 Expansion Pak was out, and utilised it, again it could have looked a lot better. But still, it looks very nice, and the insane sense of speed is all over Extreme-G. Well done Acclaim.

8.8/10

Sound
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I bet you can’t guess what kind of music would suit Extreme-G. That’s right, Classical!…… What’s this you say? I am an idiot? Ok, Ok, I was joking. Fast, pumpin’ techno all the way. Luckily, Acclaim aren’t stupid, and that is what you will hear when playing Extreme-G.

The music does nothing but compliment the super fast gameplay. It will get that adrenalin pumping even faster.

The music itself sounds pretty good too, and is well composed. You certainly won’t be looking for an Extreme-G sound track anytime soon, but it’s certainly pretty good.

8.8/10

Multiplayer
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I’m not 100% sure why, but I don’t find the Extreme-G multiplayer anywhere near as fun as the single player game.

There are four modes of multiplayer, Cup, Head to Head, Flag Game and Battle Arena.

Cup is an elimination type, players keep racing races until only two are left, and they race the final race to determine the winner. Up to 16 players can compete (but only two race at any one time).

Head to Head as the name suggests is a two, three or four player head to head mode. You choose the track you want and race….. simple really

Battle Arena is a nifty deathmatch kind of game. Problem is, that the deathmatch arenas are all indoors, and too small for the speed your bikes are designed to move at. Killing each other can be rather hard as well…… still it’s better that there was a multiplayer mode than not at all eh?

7.1/10

Originality
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Extreme-G isn’t the first game that tried to be fast. Nor is it the first game that tried to be fast, and featured futuristic craft. But it does have one or two original concepts here and there.

7.6/10

Controls
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The bikes handle well, turn tightly and all that. The problem is that their responsiveness can’t save the fact that sometimes (quite often actually) corners sneak up on you, giving you little more than about 0.25 seconds to react before you hit them. As mentioned earlier however, hitting a wall isn’t the end of the world, because you’ll just bounce off and keep on moving.

7.3/10

Replayability
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Technically you have 6 things to beat in the Extreme-G single player, they are Atomic on Novice, Intermediate and Extreme, Critical Class on Novice, Intermediate and Extreme and Meltdown on Novice, Intermediate and Extreme. Once you’ve done that you can give the time trails a go, and see if you can shave those minuscule amounts off your best times for each course, as well as best lap times.
After that there is the four multiplayer modes to play. The problem here however is that multiplayer isn’t all that fun, at least not for me.

7.2/10

Difficulty
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With the three different classes, and three different difficulty levels to play, Extreme-G starts of at about a low-medium difficulty level, and climbs up to a high-difficult in the later races. There is a good lot of variety in difficulty, but Extreme-G tends to end up a little too hard for most tastes, mainly because of the controls, and insane speed :)

Load Times
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Cartridge + Load time factor = Zero load times. This is certainly the case for Extreme-G, with not even 1/10th of a second of load time before a race. As always, what else would you expect from a cartridge based game?
It’ll be interesting to see how Extreme-G 3 fares on the GameCube, as games have been loading under 2 seconds already!

Pros
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(_) Fast……. Very fast………. INSANLY FAST……
(_) You can really feel the G’s. I mean it!
(_) The game is reasonably pretty to look at

Cons
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(_) Fast……. Very fast………. INSANLY FAST…… and for some people, too fast.
(_) The multiplayer mode is average, at best.
(_) The game can be a bit too fast to be able to manoeuvre about the courses without hitting walls every second turn.

Buy/rent
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For most people, I’d say rent this first, because I’m sure it isn’t for all tastes. Extreme-G is a good racing game, which has an awesome sense of speed to it. It does pretty well in just about all categories besides multiplayer. Anyway, definitely at least rent Extreme-G, if for nothing other than to see how damn fast it moves.

Overall
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Extreme-G is a very solid game. It delivers a great sense of speed and if you enjoy it, will keep you playing for a good few weeks. Give it a rent and see what you think, it’s not for everyone, but you HAVE to at least play it.

It will be interesting to see how Extreme-G 3 turns out too…. I’ll certainly be at least renting the GameCube version soon after it’s out.

Overall
8.4/10
(Rounded to 8/10 for GameFAQs)


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/19/01, Updated 08/19/01


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