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Game Over Online ~ Millennium Racer

GameOver Game Reviews - Millennium Racer (c) Cryo Interactive, Reviewed by - Mad Max

Game & Publisher Millennium Racer (c) Cryo Interactive
System Requirements Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 60%
Date Published Monday, January 10th, 2000 at 11:07 PM

Divider Left By: Mad Max Divider Right

Cryo Interactive is commonly known for their fine action / adventure titles along the lines of Faust, Black Moon Chronicles, and Aztec. Racing games aren't usually their bag, but with the help of Creat Studio, they've put together Millennium Racer, a futuristic racing game that really has nothing to do with the Millennium. So why is it called Millennium Racer? Your guess is as good as mine. That aside, let's see what this game is made of.

Millennium Racer is a futuristic racing game. You ride what is best described as a motorbike, as you cruise through futuristic environments along a computerized track. This high-tech track basically gives your motorbike its power, so if you fray from the track, your bike will slow down considerably. On the other hand, certain portions of the track seem to be glowing with extra power, and when you ride your motorbike over these portions, you receive a little jolt of power and your speed increases by large increments.

There are a total of 11 tracks featured in Millennium Racer, but there's a definite lack of variety amongst the tracks. They all seem to fall in four different categories. There's a space theme, a lava theme, a cloud theme and an ice theme. That's not to say that each track isn't different, but the locales are very similar within each theme. That aside, there's no distinct path one should take to complete each track. There are several shortcuts you can take (some not so short, so watch which ones you take), many of which you have to use your jumping ability to reach. That's right, each bike has the ability to jump to different levels of the track. There are also hoops scattered throughout each track. If you manage to jump through them, you'll gain the abilities associated with each hoop.

In case you're asking, no, weapons are not available in Millennium Racer. Millennium Racer is simply a racing game, with the objective of finishing in first place without the use of violence to achieve it. There are two single player modes available: Arcade Race and Championship Race. The Arcade Race mode consists of a single race around any one single track. Upon selecting the Arcade mode, you get to choose the difficulty level ranging from Easy to Ultra. The harder the difficulty level, the more racers you'll be facing. Amongst the difficulty settings is one called Training. The training setting is obviously designed for beginners who want to get a feel for the mechanics of the bike as well as the features of a particular track. At the end of the Arcade Race, you can choose another track to race on, or you can advance to the Championship Race mode.

The Championship Race mode has two difficulty settings, Easy and Professional. In the Easy mode, you race against four other riders while in the Professional mode, you get to race against a full pack, seven racers. The Championship Race mode is a progressive mode in which you'll race through each track in an attempt to accumulate points so you can unlock the next track. Three tracks are immediately made available and in order to advance to the next track, you have to accumulate points by finishing in the top two positions. This mode is quite challenging, especially on the Professional setting, and should give gamers a good challenge.

Millennium Racer has a decent premise, but there is a lot of pieces missing from this puzzle. For starters, before you begin either the Arcade or Championship Race, you can setup your player profile. Here, you get to input your name, select which particular bike you wish to race with, and the color of your bike. The problem is, while each bike has it's own distinct features (grip, jumping ability, overall speed, etc.), the bikes all look the same physically. The only difference between each racer's bike is their chosen color. Also, there's no damage model. You can run your bike into a wall at 500mph and you won't be worse for the wear.

Graphically, Millennium Racer is a mixed bag. The tracks are designed well and feature some great color schemes, but there's a lack of detail in just about every aspect of this game. The bikes, for starters, have absolutely no detail to them, let alone the people riding them. The environment and the tracks also lack this same level of detail. There's no way of distinguishing one track from another within each theme, or one bike from another. There's relatively no uniqueness at all when it comes to visuals and the menu system, oh the menu system. In terms of sound, Millennium Racer does feature some cool soundtracks. Unfortunately, that's as far as the cool goes. The sound effects are bland and uninspired. When you pass an opponent, or they pass you, you'll hear little taunts from the riders as they pump their fists in the air. There really only seems to be 2 or 3 taunts in total though, and it becomes annoying to hear considering there could be a hundred position changes during a single race.

Millennium Racer does feature multiplayer support via a network and it runs fairly lag free. Whether it's from good multiplayer code, or the lack of graphical detail, I'll leave that up to you. In terms of control, Millennium Racer is very to pick up and play. Besides the directional component, there is really only two other keys you'll need to setup, and using your mouse or gamepad is also an option. Millennium Racer also supports force feedback.

Millennium Racer is an uninspired racing title. The chosen futuristic theme allows a level of freedom and uniqueness that should be taken advantage of. There are a handful of nice features in Millennium Racer but in the end, the lack of some very basic elements puts a serious dent in this title. As a result, Millennium Racer finishes a little behind the pack.

Graphics [13/20]
Sound [9/15]
Gameplay [18/30]
Funfactor [11/20]
Multiplayer [3/5]
Overall Impression [6/10]


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