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Game Over Online ~ Speed Busters

GameOver Game Reviews - Speed Busters (c) Ubi Soft, Reviewed by - Hades

Game & Publisher Speed Busters (c) Ubi Soft
System Requirements P166 32 MB RAM 3D Accel. Card
Overall Rating 89%
Date Published Friday, December 4th, 1998 at 06:42 PM


Divider Left By: Hades Divider Right

This is going to be a stretch, but imagine your racing down the highway in your old style Mustang, blasting your tunes, and going over 120Mph in a 55 zone. All of a sudden you hear the unforgettable siren trailing behind you. Instead of pressing the brake you slam the accelerator down to the floor and race around corners. A police helicopter shows up and tags you going over 140Mph. After the chase is finished, your highest radar speeds are shown and you get money for the fastest speeds. Now you can't tell me you wouldn't like money for speeding. It is this oddball concept that makes SpeedBusters a great edition to the world of racing games. Note: real cops do not give money for fast radar speeds, so please don't try this at home.

Graphics:
Amazingly the game can keep smooth graphics at 800x600. Most games appear just a tad choppy as you get into the high resolutions, but SpeedBusters stayed smooth. The game uses 3d of course and does a good job of it. There are lots of textures, especially on the cars. If you run into a wall at over 100 mph your car is going to take some damage, slowing you down and causing you to fork out some money after the race. With this damage your car actually changes. If you slam into a wall and then tail out into another, you better believe your taillight will not be there anymore. This little effect makes the game that much more believable. The textures look decent and there are many little effects that spice up the normal 3d graphics of today. The most noticeable is on the Hollywood track. Not only do you race behind that now infamous "Hollywood" sign, you race through stage sets, running into Jaws, King Kong, and even what appears to be a T-Rex. While coming upon the T-Rex, I saw a car get mauled by the dinosaur and thrown into the air against the wall. And all the while the graphics were smooth and the car was flaming.

Sound:
I never know what to say about the sound in a racing game. It's not like you can add that many different sound effects yet it always seems to be lacking that special sound that makes you sit back and wish you had that sound byte. Picture any good racing game and remember the sounds. Now take the Need for Speed siren and viola you have SpeedBuster's sound effects. Besides the unique screeching sounds of your tires and metal against the railings and walls nothing makes this game any different than a normal racing game. The sound engine is good however, I never had a slow down while it attempted to keep up with the sound.

GamePlay:
The premise of the game draws you in. Not only can you speed for cash, you can use the cash to buy some really cool additions to your car. Nitro was always on the top of my list as was repairing my car. You can buy better tires, lower the suspension, change the color of your car, re-skin it with flames or go for the classic look. With 7 tracks and a near infinite amount of car configurations, this game does not get tiring. The control of your car is quite good considering most of the gamers out there still play games with their keyboards or joysticks. I tend to like keyboards for racing games and this game allowed me full control of the car, its hand brake, and nitro, all without any problem. At first it seemed a little on the loose side, but after a lap or two I was a master of the hairpin.

Fun Factor:
Again, how can you not like the concept of making money for speeding? The best part is not so much the racing, it is trying to go as fast as possible through the speed trap sections. UbiSoft definitely broke away from the normal racing game market and opted for an off the wall solution to the Need for Speed series. There are so many different tracks and options that this game can stay fun for a while. Hell, I would even watch the intro a few more times.

MultiPlayer:
The game has a good set of multiplayer features, offering IPX, TCP/IP and direct connection. You're racing your friends and that is about all. It's a shame you can't race your friends and then have a death match after the race with your cars, destruction derby style. Publishers take note .

Overall Impression:
SpeedBusters: A good idea on paper that actually turned out to be a very cool game. Many companies have good ideas yet the games always lack in some key area. Speedbusters doesn't follow this trend. Combining an awkward premise, good control and fluid graphics, SpeedBusters should definitely be on the Christmas list for everyone who wants to get paid for breaking the law.

 

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Rating
89%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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