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Game Over Online ~ Lego Racers

GameOver Game Reviews - Lego Racers (c) Lego Media, Reviewed by - Rhythm Scholar / Silver7 /

Game & Publisher Lego Racers (c) Lego Media
System Requirements Pentium 133, 32MB Ram, 2x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 86%
Date Published Tuesday, August 17th, 1999 at 03:46 PM


Divider Left By: Rhythm Scholar Divider Right

I was big into Legos as a kid. I had tons of em... back when all you got were the basic sets with a million brick pieces and ONE slanted piece or maybe a window of something. In my day, we didnt have Castles and fully working electronic Robot Legos. Our robots looked like big, blocky, bricky, square, mound of brick, "no, that's his arm" type creations. But the Lego folks have come a long way with their product. Now you can get all kinds of Legos. They've got Ninja sets, Jungle sets, and probably even 'The Moon - Actual size' Lego sets. It's crazy... Aside from their Lego building block sets, which everyone knows about, Lego also makes other products. With their year-old Lego Media division, Lego has branched out into the computer software arena. Their newest pruduct, Lego Racers, is a 3D racing game. It offers you the ability to Design your own Lego car and driver, and then race against up to 5 other drivers in various Lego themes.

The first thing I did after watching the cute little intro was jump straight into building my own little Lego car. I had to... I havent touched real Legos in years. The car building section is easy enough to use once you get used to the 3D movement of the the car and the pieces. Sometimes its not so easy to tell if you need to move the individual piece you're working with 'back', or 'back-left', or whatever. Once you get the hang of it, you'll have your own custom built car made in no time. You are a bit limited to where certian pieces can go given the limited starting frame of the car. I made myself a basic model with a few angled pieces and some big-assed turbo jets on the back. I cant actually USE them during a race, but they look cool.

Being that this is a game mainly designed for kids, ages 6-12, I was surprised at the quality of the graphics and game engine used. Lego Racers has turned out to be a very well made kart-style racing game. All of the cars and track elements in the game are completely 3D rendered and everything ran smoothly. I didnt notice any graphic problems throughout any of the gameplay, even when there was a lot going on. Of course, the graphics are more cartoonish than realistic looking given that it is all based in Lego Land. This, along with the quirky sounds and jumpy melodies during the races, makes for a fun time in a happy little toy world. During play, there is a constant supply of power-ups and weapons to be found on the track which you can obtain simply be driving over them. You'll find the power to shoot balls and grappling hooks, along with shields and turbo boosts. Power-ups are placed pretty close together around the tracks so theres always something to try to grab. This is important, as you will have some decent competition along the way. I thought that this game would be easier to do well in than it was. I figured I would always be coming in first just as I did in 'Episode One Racer', but this was not the case. I actually had a hard time staying in the top 3 some of the time, which kept things interesting. There were times when it became very important to grab the right power-up at just the right time to keep myself ahead. The level of competition offered in the one player game was higher than I would have expected. The computer controlled racers use power-ups often, and they use them rather well. I'm thinking that this game may be a little bit too hard for some of the younger players. Although your main concern will always be the other drivers in the race, there are also objects and hazards to be mindful of as you zoom around the track. Everything can be going well and then BAM!! you've hit a large crate being dangled close to the ground near the loading dock. If you do find yourself doing well, you'll be rewarded with the unlocking of new tracks and even the ability to race in other car sets, not originally available to you. This offers some incentive in the one player game to keep doing well.

If you happen to have a friend around, this game also has a decent 2-player game. Unfortunately, it is only offered as a split-screen race with no support for any kind of networks or the internet. So, you have to actually have someone come by to partake in the 2-player Lego Racer challenge. If this isnt too much trouble for you, I urge you to try this game out against a fellow driver. Fun times can be had in the two player mode, which basically becomes a mad dash to gather and make good use of the games power-ups. Using the shortcuts isnt a bad idea either as positions can change rather quickly in a game with similarly skilled players. The 2-player part should keep this game fresh even after you have completed all of the tracks and are the supreme Lego Racer.

With a solid racing game engine and decent graphics, Lego Racers has delivered to me more than I thought it would. I expected it to be a cheap 'kids game' with mediocre graphics and no real gameplay to be found. I was pleasantly surprised. I've had a bunch of fun building and racing my car, and have been able to once again prove to everyone that I am the best game player in the world with the 2-player mode. Children, and even those a little older should give Lego Racers a chance as it has all the ingredients to make for a good little racing game experience.

 

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Rating
81%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Divider Left By: Silver7 Divider Right

ZOINKS! Is what I first said when loading up Lego Racers. Not because it was bad though, but because it was actually very good looking. Lego Racers has a cool video intro with lego guys racing around the tracks, and it reminded me of the good old days of playing with Lego’s. Anyway, Lego Racers is a very impressive game, it has tons of unique features not found in other racing games.

The graphics in Lego Racers are very good. Smooth polygons for the track details, and the best part is creating your character and vehicle. Using 3D hardware, the frame rate is easily around 60. There really isn't much detail to the polygons however; but then again, how much detail did Lego’s actually have? As far as graphics go, Lego Racers is half a notch below the best. Graphics however, are not what makes this game great. The sound in Lego Racers is pretty basic. Engine noise, skids, and lego guy voices are all over the place. As Captain Redbeard says, "aaaarr har har!" The sound uses any 16-bit DirectX compatible sound card for output.

Now on to gameplay. This is where the game is very strong. It has over 20+ tracks to choose from, and many different modes of play. It has Circuit Mode, Versus, Single Race, Time Trial, etc. When completing a circuit mode in first place, you get to have the previous champion’s lego set. For example, beating Captain Redbeard, you get his pirate lego set which you can use to add-on to your lego-mobile. The Character creation is also very cool. You can choose from all those old lego heads you used to play with. You can have a skull head, a normal head, various masks, racing helmets, Robin Hood hat, and more. You can change the body and legs also. After creating a character to race with, you have to make a license with him/her. You can change the character name, and his snapshot for his license photo, which is fun to mess around with.

Now the best part, the car creation. When you first play Lego Racers, your car is pretty much all crap. It has no good lego pieces from which to choose. So once you finish the circuit modes, you get better legos to use. You can totally build your lego car from scratch, and add ANYTHING you want to it. You can use any type of lego you can imagine, and you can add pirates barrels, flags, chests, etc. Once you have finished building your lego car, which can take hours, you can take it on a test drive to see how well it handles, and turns. The gameplay has so many different features that it would be easy to play this game for hours on end. Because of all the different and unique features in Lego Racers, it makes it a very fun game to play. You can keep customizing your car, and character as much as you want, and when you get bored, you can challenge someone in split screen mode. Lego Racers has everything necessary to make this one of the best racers.

There isn't any online multiplayer in Lego Racers, but like mentioned above, there is a 2-player split-screen VS mode. 2 players can build and customize characters and cars, then race the two against each other. With split-screen mode for other games, the frame rate usually drops drastically. Not in Lego Racers though, it still runs at a smooth 60fps! Lego Racers was very impressive. I didn't think that it would be anywhere near as good as it was. Perhaps it's just because I used to play with Lego's quite a bit, but I doubt it. It just has so many options to choose from, and modes to play with, that it really keeps you playing it for quite awhile. I hope to see new Lego games that use different lego sets, for example, a Star Wars lego set, or add-on or something. Lego Racers will keep even the expert gamer busy. Long live Lego's!

 

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Rating
81%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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