"If only this had come at a better time on a better system"

Sometimes games come along prematurely. They have all the right concepts and even the right idea as far as control, but are horribly maligned because the hardware of choice just can't touch the imagination. Extreme G is that game. Its set in the future, and ironically enough, if it had come out for Dreamcast in the future and not the N64, the game would be a classic.

Gameplay 6/10
In the future, the world is boring. So boring that the government in its omniscient power, decides to provide safe fun entertainment for the unwashed masses. The decided entertainment is a virtual reality racing game. Farfetched? Maybe, but as history has told us and proven time and time again, when the masses are fed and entertained, they are easily malleable as well. The game provides a circuit of races of three different difficulties. The bikes you pilot are fast, equipped with nitrous boosts, shilelds, two wheels, and a variety of different weapons. There is a choice of bikes and with each choice, as in any game, comes its own rewards and frustrations. For instance, some bikes are fast and lightly armored, others are slow and heavily armored. The controls are touchy, and sometimes when I found myself hard turning and not actually turning. Other times I'd barely touch the controller, and I'd go flying in to the great beyond. This is because the track is tilted. But, remember this is a game before its time, so there's no way of knowing this from the way it looks. A good feature is the ability to set the controllers and the name of the player before time, and these setting are saved for the first and second player respectively. The gameplay will frustrate but with time and a little track learning, you'll learn them. The multiplayer race mode is excellent, I have an expansion pack, but I have that without it, the game changes spedometers and shield readouts from handy visual meters to number readouts. Which causes some confusion. The multiplayer battle was doomed from the start. Imagine having a Suzuki Ninja in a tight space. Then give that Ninja enemy Ninjas with guns and missles. No mayhem will ensue because the Ninja will spend a lot of time hitting walls and wishing it had the open road to turn to.

Graphics 5/10
Okay, I'm a big fan of the frame rate being what it was intended to be. To be frank this game rarely runs smoothly. Were it some other game, say an RPG or something that doesn't rely on my reflexes and hand-eye coordination to succeed, that would all right. But since this game requires me to think and process information quickly, which include but are not limited to: dodging missiles, other players, manually aiming shots, all while directing a finicky motorcycle at speeds in excess of 200 mph, well, I expect a smooth frame rate. I can't even begin count how many times I've missed an entire shot because of the incredible framerate loss when an explosion occurred. I've heard complaints about the tracks being dark. This once again goes back to the game being before its time. To keep the game from being choppier than it is, the way to save on processing space, make as much black as possible. There are few daylight tracks, but don't expect the roaches to scatter. I must admit though the bikes do look nice, and the design on them is incredibly creative, and the weapons do look how I would imagine them to look.

Sounds/Music 5/10
I love techno, and this game carries some of the best I've heard in a game. The game is fast the music is fast, and even the menu music has the right vibe. Acclaim brought the musical pain on this one, and it shows. Of course, then there's the sounds. Once again, this a game before its time. The sounds vary none. An explosion sounds the same from any angle, cause or distance. From far or near, if you are within the range of ''earshot'' you hear the same thing. You could be next to it running from doom, or be behind it wreaking havoc, its the same explosion. The missiles and weapons, barring the fixed weapons, all sound the same, with the exception of a one or two missiles. The sounds could have been better, in fact they are yet again why I believe the game would be better on another system.

Replayibility 3/10
Allow me to illustrate. A friend and myself played this game at his house along with a few other of my N64 collection. I packed up and went home. Well, about six months later, my friend was moving and suddenly he came by and left a cartridge at my house. I realized it was Extreme G. That was almost two years ago. I've not played it since, nor have I fought off the urge. Once you beat the game, you might pull it out to play friends if you're both really bored, but chances of playing this game again are pretty slim. I beat this game the first time in five hours, that's with bathroom and food breaks, as well as a phone conversation thrown in there. This will pose no true challenge to the average gamer.

Overall 5/10
Should you buy this game? Well, it has its pros and cons, like any game, but honestly, this game is seriously ahead of its time. My hope is that someone decides to realize it on a newer system in the future and turn it into a really good looking and fun game. Until that happens, save your money. Maybe rent it if you got some friends coming over and you need a game to get the party started and to relieve some of the Smash tension.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 03/12/03, Updated 03/12/03

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