Review by Wolf Feather

"Good... for a Week"

At only $9.99 new (in the States), Hooters Road Trip is really not a bad game. Most likely, players will pick this up out of curiosity, just like I did (''Why is Hooters allowing its name to be used for a game!?!?!''). However, Hooters does sponsor Pro-cup stock car racing, seen regularly on Speed Channel (in the United States), so a racing game with the Hooters name really is not so surprising after all.

''Tacky yet unrefined'' certainly describes the game (however, I cannot speak for the restaurants themselves, as I have never actually been to a Hooters restaurant). Car control is a bit sub-par, with cars tending to oversteer perpetually and thus requiring precision steering with no room for overcompensation; for those intimately familiar with games such as EA Sports' F1 series and the ever-popular Gran Turismo series, the lack of tuning possibilities can be rather frustrating. However, the graphics are quite good (at least when played on a PlayStation2), and the music is fitting and interesting without getting in the way of player concentration. Adding a breath of fresh air to the racing genre, cars unlocked during gameplay can only be used in actual Roadtrips if they are first Licensed for racing (which uses the Test Course and a target completion time).

Gameplay itself consists of six Roadtrips; unfortunately, they ALL start from Jacksonville, and they ALL stay well south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Certainly, some variety is in order; Roadtrips needs to start at other locations, and also move much further north as well. Ranting aside, many of the Stages are rather interesting and moderately difficult, especially with many blind and semi-blind turns cresting hills which sometimes are lines on both sides with thick groves of trees. Fortunately, each Stage is long enough to promote a sense of interstate or intercity driving, while still short enough so that players will not get bored or overconcentrate themselves to mental fatigue; three minutes should be allowed for each Stage, although most can be completed in well under this time.

The roads are filled with extraneous traffic. Some non-participant vehicles seem to ALWAYS create trouble, weaving around on the road and occasionally making overt attempts to block the player's progress. This is especially true of taxis; for some reason, taxis are the most vicious non-participant vehicles in the game.

Hooters Road Trip is a good game overall, but certainly not a great game. However, after sweeping through the Roadtrips two or three times, players are likely to become somewhat bored with it; repeat gameplay is greatly lacking once the novelty wears off. Also, the cutscenes of Hooters waitresses greeting the player upon arrival in various cities star to wear thin after a while.

Finally, above all else, Hooters is known primarily for its big-chested waitresses. Those buying this game specifically to see busty women in tight clothing should instead spend their time roaming the Internet for any free images.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 06/25/02, Updated 06/25/02

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