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Game Over Online ~ Riding Star

GameOver Game Reviews - Riding Star (c) Blue Tongue, Reviewed by - Trip_In

Game & Publisher Riding Star (c) Blue Tongue
System Requirements P90, 16 MB Ram, DirectX 5.0
Overall Rating 35%
Date Published Thursday, January 14th, 1999 at 11:37 AM

Divider Left By: Trip_In Divider Right

Now that 1999 is in full swing, all those games that didn’t make the Christmas rush are now surfacing to show their anticipated brilliance. We’ll certainly see our fair share of BIG games in 1999. With a big line up set in place, you would think it hard for a smaller company to get a foothold in the gaming industry. With the likes of Quake Arena and Diablo 2 coming, it’s important that other publishers produce something of matching quality. This time around, Blue Tongue gives us Riding Star - The Ultimate Horse Adventure. Sooner or later, it had to come. A horse riding game that would hopefully appeal to the small crowd out there who loved nothing more then to ride their horses day in and day out. And when that was not a possibility, they could have a decent game to play with on their home PC. As a sports fan, this game could catch your eye, but as a general gamer, I don’t think it will cut the cake.

I heard that Riding Star was meant to feature superb graphics. Can someone please tell me where? 1998 was the year of 3D rendered games. Suddenly we’re back to 2D pixelated graphics. Clearly the graphics are not up to par with other sports games out there at the moment, let alone any standard good game. There is no evidence that an attempt was made to smoothen out the graphics in the riding events, which leave an overall feeling that the game is somewhat graphically challenged. The points tables are quite nicely done, neat and colourful, but nothing is there to really make you say "wow!" Even the graphical detail of the stables and the tournament setting are nothing out of the ordinary. The detail of the horse is average at best, and often its movement causes flaws in the graphics. Although it did run reasonably smooth, delays between loading screens was annoying to say the least. I believe this game supports a wide range of 2d video cards so no matter what you have, you should be able to run it.

Like any game, great sound helps to make a great game. That is definitely the case here. Poor sound makes this game crash and burn. The sound effects are the only remotely decent part of the game. The sound of the hoofs is quite realistic and the sound of you crashing your horse into certain obstacles does give an authentic horse riding feel to the game. But it's still nothing more than you would expect to hear from any other game. After awhile, you begin to get sick of the constant thumping of the horse, and you begin to pray you could turn it off. This is what I found most appauling, there is no apparent menu to change sound volume or turn it off. Maybe they are just trying to torture us, but I didn’t enjoy it. There wasn't any music, which was a bit of a disappointment, as I was hoping it could take my mind off playing the game. If you hate the good old english accent, don't even bother picking this one up. It’s constantly in your face, and becomes repetitive in no time at all. I couldn't even make out what they were saying half the time. Don't even think about asking if this game supports surround sound. It’s horse riding, come on.

Not much to really say here. There is no tcp/ip, ipx, or modem support. You only have the option of playing up to four people on the same computer. This feature is only available in the "Multiplayer event" section of the game.

I wish I could say something positive about this game. Once again though, I’m stuck with nothing more than a good idea gone horribly wrong. Riding Star is what they call a fully interactive equestrian simulation. Not only do you have to jump with the horse, walk it, and all the rest, if you choose to do the Championship mode, you have to look after it as well. This involved grooming, feeding and putting a saddle on. Supposedly it will enhance your horses performance, so I guess you have to do it. But I say, you were born to ride, not clean the beast. The control in the game consists of using the mouse for everything but riding the horse. For this it would only let me use the keyboard… surprise, surprise. To move the horse you use the arrow keys, and to salute or jump, you use the space bar. It’s not what you could call user friendly, but it doesn’t take long for a seasoned gamer to pick it up. You have the option of competing head to head against your friends or to compete against the computer opponents in a Grand Prix season to gain the title, "world champion". There are three different styles of horse riding you can compete in. Dressage, show jumping and cross country or you can compete in a three day event. Don’t expect too much from this game in terms of gameplay.

The only pleasure I could extract out of this was making my rider fly of his horse and praying that you would see a blood splatter or the sound of bones breaking. This game won’t last a week on my PC. I see no point in walking a horse around a paddock, hoping to impress someone. Would it impress you?

I pity the fool that spent a good chunk of his pay check on this. If your little sister loves horses, there is the slight possibility that she will like. I let my little sister try it out and she was disqualified every five seconds. Before you rush out to buy this one, think carefully and listen to my suggestion… save up your money to buy a real horse.

The Good: Easy to quit
The Bad: Outdated graphics, annoying englishman who never shuts up, limited gameplay


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