Review by DJellybean

"Well, this isn't a beginner's game..."

Well don't let the score fool you, this is still a pretty darn fun racing game. There were several problems I had with this game.

Graphics: 15/10
Simply gorgeous. I have never saw such realism in 3D graphics until I saw this game. Although I don't think any of the courses were real, they made me though it was real, simply because its so modern. The sun in some courses really added the realism to it because you would see that rainbow glare, it wasn't even distracting, just enough for you to know its there. Then you have the highways, they look almost like I-95 or Route 66.

Sound/Music: 8/10
The sound was pretty good, the announcer really added the punch to the game. The sound effects were pretty good and the ambient sounds were excellent, but I wish there were more of them. The music was where it hurt the most, its like they didn't even bother to hire some real artists or musicians. The whole bunch of the soundtrack in the game was mainly rock n' roll, and some of the heavy metal stuff. That I hate, those iritating drums and guitars makes that annoying ring in your ear. Why wasn't there any other music like R&B or Jazz? Why does it have to be rock n' roll? I'm not saying the people at EA are discriminant, but come on!

Control: 6.5/10
One of the main factors in a racing game is control right? This game did a fair job on it, but it could've been better. The game lacked some serious controls, and even when I was going 30KPH(no not MPH) I still sped out of control. Even on 40KPH(about 25MPH) my car flipped over for no apparent reason. The tight turns are really fustrating, and I'm not sure what the breaks are for in this game, if you use them you slow down, but you are more than likely to flip over or lose control. I didn't realize that you had to let go of the accelerator button to make tight turns until I was in dead last in the races. Beginners will have a tough time going through this game, and apparently I was one of them.

Realism: 10/10
This game looked very real and felt real, although I'm only 15 and never drove a car before, this game felt like I was old enough to. Also you can add weather, traffic, nightime driving, or completely flip the course around or go backwards. These features made the game look like it had 30 tracks instead of 10 because these small changes made the courses look completely different.

Gameplay: 5/10
This game was really fustrating. Even in single race beginner mode the cars were blowing by me. Intermediate and Expert were basically the same difficulty, its like someone was too lazy to do anything about it. The thing that I hate most when you start these races is that you will be put 6th place everytime and you are about 1/3 a kilometer from the lead, thats if you go with Full Grid. Why can't it just be an even match? Trust me, it may be fun for the first few days, but after that it gets fustrating and boring. The really neat feature about this game was Hot Persuit Mode, where you either be a cop or a thrill seeking civilian. When your a civilian, its basically like cops and robbers, you run away from them like heck. When you are a cop, its very difficult to catch your opponent. You need to either slow them down to under 15KPH or crash right into them and try to stop them. You can also call for back-up incase the guy is giving you too much trouble, you can also use a road block or a spike belt to flatten their tires, but they will rarely let you do that for some reason. Its pretty rare that you will find a chance to use a Spike Belt or Road Block, and I don't know why they did that. Tournament mode is sorta like World Tour Mode in SFA3. But instead you don't gain exp you gain money to upgrade your car, and also you can unlock many other cars and the 7 unknown race tracks. There are also special events where you have to meet certain qualifications to enter like a fully upgraded Chevy Camaro.

Replay Value: 7/10
Its so-so. It gets boring after a while, then you want to play it again, just like fighting games. The problem with this is that there really weren't any smooth courses. Although they do become smooth with practice, but there are too many bumps and dime turns it just gets so fustrating you might as well slam your Dual Shock controller and quit the race. Sometimes your car turns in wierd directions when all you do is give your D-Pad a little nudge. Its basically trying to beat a time or record that makes you feel like playing this again.

Overall: 7/10
This was a pretty fun game, and I still do play it from time to time, but the controls were really wacky, and it took a long while before you have finally adapted to them. And why aren't there any smoother courses for us beginners? And that Rock n' Roll music is very annoying and I hate Rock n' Roll and Heavy Metal. And why must you always start last in a 1-Player single race? How come there isn't a true difficulty between Intermediate or Expert? I mean I've gotten 2nd in Expert before I even placed 4th in Intermediate. And why do they have to use the same car you pick? Also the split horizontal screen two player sometimes gets confusing, why wasn't there an option of playing with a split vertical screen on 2player? Was was the whole basis of the Handling stat of your car? I mean every car had the same control. And how the heck do you get first place in that fustrating Snowy Ridge course!!!!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99

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