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Game Over Online ~ Plane Crazy - US Version

GameOver Game Reviews - Plane Crazy - US Version (c) SegaSoft, Reviewed by - Rebellion

Game & Publisher Plane Crazy - US Version (c) SegaSoft
System Requirements P166, 32MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 85%
Date Published Monday, August 17th, 1998 at 11:45 AM


Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

Better get your pulse checked. It's Plane Crazy, the Arcade-Style Racing Game with ALTITUDE! Dodge stone pillars and skyscrapers at hair-raising speeds. Plane Crazy features eight computer driven competitors that adapt to your skill level, five challenging courses and three styles of gameplay. Details such as customizable, upgradable planes and environmental effects like crosswinds and downdrafts add to the fun.

Many of you may say, wasn't Plane Crazy released earlier this spring? Well yes it was, but this is the US version, distributed by SegaSoft. While the original was well done, this one has quite a few added features that really enhance the game. I wasn't really looking forward to playing it again (although I didn't hate the first one, it didn't spend too much time on my hard drive), but I said, what the hell, why not? I'm sort of glad I did so here's the summary.

This is one of the finest uses of Direct3D in a game thus far. It is bright, extremely detailed, visually stunning, and is one of the best examples of how far hardware acceleration has come in the past couple years. It is, in my opinion one of the top two visually superb games that have come out yet (with the other being Incoming). While it may not have some of the overwhelming environments of Unreal, it nonetheless is impressive. Explosions are excellent and it uses dynamic lighting quite well. The backgrounds are crisp and are pretty enough that I wanted to stop and look at them up close (I tried it a few times just to get some nice screenshots). The airplanes are well detailed and you get to pick the color scheme for your plane from ten selections for various parts of your plane. It has great texture mapping and it makes the detail really stand out. I was surprised at how realistic the speed of the game was. It really feels like you're speeding through the canyons trying to make split second curves. It has support for up to 1280x1024 at 16 million colors which is quite high(in fact too high for my PC). I ran it primarily in 640x480 and 800x600. It runs quite smooth on these settings although one level in particular kept lagging my PC very badly. None of the other levels did so I'm not exactly sure what the cause was. They've also added AMD 3DNow support so those of you with those chips will be able to get added performance from it.

Sound was also impressive. It takes advantage of Aureal 3D sound so I got a chance to put my Monster Sound to the test. It has good sound effects on the menu. The high quality level intro tunes to each track were nicely done. It has plenty of good in game effects, from explosions to the splashes when you hit the water. Your ground crew gives you sarcastic remarks to make sure you stay on course and to let you know what's ahead and how you're doing. The engine noise is realistic enough with the pitch changing as you throttle up and down.

It takes some practice since it moves rather quickly. The turns can be sharp at times and it takes good reflexes to not hit the wall, much less crash head on into them. Cliffs, buildings, lava, and environmental effects like downdrafts and turbulence will test your finger skills so you better have a gamepad because I highly doubt there's any way to handle levels like Sin City on a keyboard. The early courses are pretty easy but they rapidly get harder. Obviously, Inner Works put a hell of a lot of effort into making an intense arcade style racing game. A Rookie Level option which wasn't in the earlier release helps you get started in mastering flying and then shooting and getting powerups. It does make good use of interesting powerups. The nitro is one of the most fun since you're suddenly whipping along at insane speeds and trying to hold on for dear life. You also are able to blow up various buildings and scenery to create pitfalls for the other racers. It helps to keep the game interesting watching your opponents get crushed under falling rock. And what would a good arcade game be without shortcuts? Plane Crazy is full of them (however some shortcuts are pretty hard to find and even then they're hard to fly through). The main downside is the lack of levels. The levels are well done and all, but there's just not enough of them. This probably hurts the replay value of Plane Crazy the most. As pretty as they are, I just can't see myself playing them over and over and over.

It supports your usual multiplayer formats, IPX, TCP/IP, Direct Connect and Modem for up to 8 players. It's pretty fun and adds some to the replay factor, but I'm not too big on arcade style multiplayer games. Nothing really outstanding in the multiplayer, it follows the same style of play as the single player game.

I was pretty impressed by the added features in the US version and if you haven't checked out Plane Crazy, there's no better time than now. For some good arcade racing in a fast paced 3D environment, there aren't more than a handful of games to rival this one. If you want to work that gamepad and dust off your lightning fast reflexes this is definitely a game to try. If you're one with little hand-eye co-ordination, you probably want to stay far away because you'll only end up frustrated and angry. So if arcade games don't make you go postal and you feel the need, check out Plane Crazy.

 

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Rating
85%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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