Review by ARevolution
"Paint the world white...and run over some cats."
Released by Jaleco, City Connection was an interesting game for it's time. What looks like it might be a racer at first is actually not. Instead, the goal in this game is to try to paint all the roads in the world white. You drive over roads throughout the stages in the game that takes you around the world. In doing so, you must avoid the police...and cats.
City Connection is a unique driving game with a twist. Though it may sound interesting and fun, there are some problems with the game that detract from it's enjoyment.
As for the scores...
City Connection features simple graphics that are competent enough to get the point across. The cars and the backgrounds don't clash and are easy to distinguish.
The car designs are pretty simple and nothing special. Your car is red, the police cars are black and white.
The backgrounds in this game are average. While they're nothing spectacular, they are identifiable. Paris looks like Paris, New York looks like New York. The backgrounds in this game aren't the best you'll see on a NES game, but they are done well.
The graphics do however, get somewhat repetitive. Your car never changes. The enemies only have slight variations depending on the country. All of the obstacles look the same in all the stages. Also, the obstacles have very little animation. Cars only have a few animations to them. The cats are completely stiff and 2-D looking. This game is definitely not one of the better graphical showcases for the NES.
Graphics in this game in general are decent, but far from outstanding. They get their jobs done and don't clash with the background. They lack variation as well as animation. Overall, they graphics are mediocre.
There isn't much sound to be found in this game. There's a very limited repetoire of sound effects, and same goes for music. Though they lack variety, they are tolerable.
The music you hear in the game is mainly a remix of the classical tune, ''Piano Concerto No.1''. You hear this song in every stage, though each stage has their own slight variations on the theme. The only other piece of music you hear is when you run over a cat, which is kind of like music you hear in a bad circus. While fitting, it's nothing to scream about.
Sound effects in this game are lacking even more so than the graphics. The only time where you make sounds is when you jump, shoot an oil can, get an oil can, and destroy a police car. None of those sound effects are memorable. Sounds in this game are just simply below average.
Controls in this game are decent. Your car is always running, so you can't stop and break or whatever. You are always moving in one direction or the other. Turning is easy and simple. You have the ability to jump, shoot cans, and turn around. All of those commands are done with the touch of a button and very easily.
However, there are flaws with the controls. Like mentioned above, you do have the option to turn around, both on ground and midair. Turning on both is slightly choppy. Your car doesn't turn as quick as you'd like it to sometimes. It takes about 1 or 2 seconds for it to be turned around completely and before you can move in the opposite direction. Also, turning mid air just feels akward. Your car feels very floaty when turning in mid air and you are suspended for quite a while. While this might be a benefit in some areas, the floatiness is usually a chore to deal with.
Perhaps the best area of the game, mechanics in this game are interesting. Never before has there been, at the time, a game where your objective is to pain the roads white. Very unique and original.
There really isn't much to say about the mechanics. They're simple and interesting. However, there are some flaws. Sometimes the squares you need to paint to beat the stage are taken up by a cat standing there. Since the cats do not move, you must drive back and forth to the remaining squares to see if the cat has dissapeared. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. This is an annoying flaw and wastes a lot of time.
The mechanics in this game are average. Simple, but effective, this game is simple enough for anyone to play, but remains challenging enough for only the good to beat.
Surprsingly, this game is quite challenging. Your car doesn't have any hit points, so 1 hit and you're dead. There are also a few ways for you to die, the most common being other cars. Colliding into another car without throwing an oil can at them first results in a loss of life. The other method, the cat, also results in death if ran into. Both of these obstacles are plentiful enough in all the levels to keep the challenge factor up.
The stage layouts themselves are also challenging. All the roads are divided up into floors, so you must jump up and down to different levels to get all the roads white. Team this up with cats and cars, the game can get pretty challenging.
Replay in this game is quite low. The levels don't change at all. Once you've played through ever stage, you've seen it all. The only things that are different are the cats (which seem to be at random). The roads always are in the same formation they were in the last time you played. Had the roads been randomly laid out, then the replay of this game would've been higher.
The ending also doesn't help make you want to play it again. It's a short, and lame ending. The ending does nothing to make the player want to play through this game more than once.
Overall City Connection is below average. It offers original gameplay, which had potential, but the execution of it was poorly done. Paired up with some mechanics flaws, as well as below average controls, City Connection ends up being another mediocre game that could've, and should've been much more.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 04/06/00, Updated 04/06/00
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