Review by BakaOrochi

Reviewed: 11/29/03

A sleeper? Not quite, but close.

Mach Rider can be considered so old it still had the original graphics label on it. Plus, there were so many other racing games for NES, why pick this one up? Why not just get Excitebike instead for bike-racing action?

Don't get me wrong, I love this game. I played it as a kid, and IMHO, I was pretty dang good at it. This was before Rad Racer, and after Excitebike, and IMHO, it is a great combination of both. With it's own style of course.

Gameplay: 7/10
While, yes, it's a basic racing game, there's still a few kinks that need to be taken care of.

The gear shifting can be really annoying, as limited as a NES controller is, if you're making hard turns, your finger might slip on the up or down shifter. Plus, some of the viewing aspects are VERY limited, thus the game can be unfair if there's an unseen rock or obstacle at the peak of a turn, and you won't be able to see it until you've crashed (or if you're lucky, passed).

But the aspects of promoting bumping the enemies out of the way is great. This game also forces you to know the tracks, and be able to avoid the hoards of obstacles (which become extremely frequent in later levels, where even the enemies start bumping you into them too).

Presentation: 7/10
This has plenty of modes for you to tinker with. Fighting mode, which is basically story mode, of sorts. Endurance is pretty much like Time Attack, and Solo Mode is Endurance, minus enemies (but with obstacles). Design mode just puts even more possibilities into the mix, and is lots of fun to tinker with.

Story: 5/10
A post-apocalyptic world, and...what is it you do? I'm not quite sure. Just ride, and...shoot/bump people. Can't really say there's a whole lot more.

Graphics/Sound: 7/10
Granted, it's NES. For it's time, the graphics were pretty good, the background scrolls as you turn, and the road is...well it's a road I guess. Sound, typical sounds, but they're not bad either. Music's kind of catchy too.

Replay: 8/10
Make-your-own course has TONS of possibilities, and is a LOT of fun. When the computer starts adding stuff to it, it makes your course even more fun. I found this aspect to be quite priceless.

On top of that, this game's requirements for passing certain courses in a certain amount of time gets stringent VERY fast, so difficulty is not an issue with this game.

Overall: 7/10
Unfortunately, the amount of bugs, plus a number of other problems does prevent me giving this any higher. But it's definitely worth a look. It's quite difficult as it stands, IMHO, but then again, I like my games difficult.

If you're looking for a classic racing game, that combines factors of Spy Hunter (shooting/bumping enemies), Rad Racer (1st-person type racing behind the vehicle), and flexibility of Excitebike (make your own course), this is a game worth checking out.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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