Review by Takezo
"Worth a try for RPG and Racing anthusiast. Especially for Squaresoft fans!"
Another game from Squaresoft, another genre from Squaresoft. What do you think about this one? Its great as usual ! Though this review only the first view from the games (approximately 3 hours playing). But I'm really excited!
Graphics --> 8
Graphics is pretty good. Not as good as Gran Turismo, but good in the sense of Ridge Racer Type 4. The impressive thing is the bird eye's view of Yokohama when you play in RPG mode. Like in Gran Turismo, you visit the shop to buy or tune your car. In this game, you "drive" on your on to the shop or restaurant (there is even a restaurant). You can see the Marine Tower, Highway, and other cars. The city is drawn in detailed 3D (not using 2D rendering). You can even see a train moving in city's outskirt. So expect some slowdown (not much). The replay mode is good. The setting of this game is YOKOHAMA at night, so you can see your head light move smoothly on the ground during replay. The car model is pretty good, the quality is like Ridge Racer 4 (a little bit lower than RR4 because RR4 uses motion blur effects during replay).
Sound --> 6
Not as good as RR4. You kept hearing repetitive music during "battle encounter".
Control --> 7
If you are used to Gran Turismo kind of control, it is a bit frustrating at first (like me spending 2 hours just to learn how to control the car....). The control is over sensitive. If you get used to RR4 type of control (w/o JogCon or NegCon), you're half way to control the car. Racing Lagoon uses digital control and analog control (analog only for turning the car, not accelerating and braking).
Gameplay --> 8
The RPG is a full story mode, unlike other racing games. Advanced Japanese skill is required to understand the complete story. Your character interact with other members of Racing team (The team is Bay Lagoon Racer). There are story accociated with the level you are in (this game is separated by levels, each level have boss to beat). The interesting thing is the "battle encounter" created by playing with headlight. If you give high beam (light) to other car, it means that you are challenging him/her. Same things happen if you get a high beam from computer. In RPG mode, you upgrade your car using the RP (Reward Points) and Yen (Japanese Currency). You use RP to trade between racer, similarly you use Yen to trade with autoshop. The car have levels and experience (stupid method, but kind of interesting). After some level you can put more accessories to your car. The body part in level one can only have 3 accessories, but after reaching level 5 you can add 1 more accessory. You can upgrade 3 type of parts:
Each part, you can upgrade it with accessories like front spoiler, wheel, suspension, or tires. Instead of upgrading it, you can replace the engine with higher power, lighter body (there is no car names in this games, you can replace the body if you don't like the original one.....it is like NASCAR racing in city), different type of chassis (which control the type of your car: FF, FR, MR, RR, and 4WD).
Overall Score --> 7
Interesing game, worth a try for RPG and Racing anthusiasts. I wish that Gran Turismo 2 has the same type of in city driving.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99
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