Game Over Online ~ Swamp Buggy Racing

GameOver Game Reviews - Swamp Buggy Racing  (c) Wizard Works, Reviewed by - Langdon X

Game & Publisher Swamp Buggy Racing (c) Wizard Works
System Requirements Pentium 233, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 17%
Date Published Friday, February 18th, 2000 at 12:57 AM

Divider Left By: Langdon X Divider Right

obviously have a strange affliction when it comes to really, really, really, really bad games that fall into the racing genre (Re: Speed Demons). From the screen shots that I saw on WizardWorks' web site, the game looked like a lot of fun. However, time and time again will tell me that you really can't judge a game by a screen shot. No matter how good something looks in a 3d accelerated 800x600 resolution (which is the maximum resolution the game supports), game play is still the most important factor. Although being backed by a somewhat unique idea, sadly enough, Swamp Buggy Racing is sincerely lacking on the game play end of the things.

I honestly don't understand why PC game makers create interfaces suited for console systems. Especially when these creators have the pleasure of building games for such complex PC systems that exist today. Yet time and time again, I see these truly pathetic interfaces, where you just you see a few words on the screen that you either click to proceed, or you press up, down to change options, and enter to proceed. However I suppose, if they were going for a intuitively boring interface, they did a pretty good job (erů intuitively boring-- does that work?). What can I say though? I like fluff! Especially in video games, it's a must. Although, I guess WizardWorks' idea of fluff is to have an alligator as the mouse pointer...I can just imagine a company meeting about this great new idea one of the developer's had. "Hey -- dewds! Let's use an alligator in place of the normal mouse pointer! Wouldn't that be kewl?", as all the other dingle berry munching execs applaud this `grand new idea` and bump up the guy's salary.

As I do on the start of any new game, the first place I checked was the options screen. Unfortunately, there were not an abundance of options to customize the game with. In fact, I counted all the options on my fingers, and still had enough left over to get a huge booger out of my nose (Yes, at this point I was already bored). So after setting the difficulty level to "Easy", the detail level, to "High", and the Weather Effects to be "On", I proceeded to get this game underway. Once you hit Start Game, you're treated to watching a race as you setup your game. Press up and down a couple of times only to find out that there are two tracks. Wow. Two. So after having a fifty-fifty shot on which track might be more fun to play, I proceed to choose one of three game modes. Single Race / Heat Race / Practice. No championships, no cups, no goals to achieve. Just race your stupid ass swamp buggy cars around two stupid tracks. Great Scott. I think WizardWorks may be onto something spectacular. So. Let's recap. We have two tracks, three modes of game play, and now I ask you: What could possibly come next? Next comes four whole swamp buggies (cars) to choose from. They break it down into the slower, slow, fast, and faster car, however I've noticed not one bit of difference. They all handle, accelerate, and annoy you all the same.

Starting out is a bit tricky, as there isn't a keyboard config screen. So I kind of just sat at the starting line for minute or so pressing all the keys trying to accelerate. After figuring out the control settings, I wasn't able to catch up in the 8 laps given. Seems there's no "catch up" logic within Swamp Buggy Racing. However it could've been due to the fact that the control is awful. Sometimes when I played, all my keyboard strokes were delayed. Other times, when the keystrokes were on time, I couldn't get a grasp on how to steer. Through the few hours I played this title, I was always either over-steering or under-steering. It also didn't seem to help that I picked the fastest car over the slower car as I mentioned earlier.

The graphics are attempting to be adequate...but don't quite work in the long run. The fog was done very well, as were the splashes. The sun and lens flares probably the most attractive thing in the game (and this isn't saying much). However if you'll notice the trees in some of the shots, the remind me duke nukem -- you know -- the pixelated "3D" images that always seem to be facing you. Also, if you actually the play game, you might notice the driver. I couldn't get a real good shot of the driver, but he seems to be constructed of three planes forming a T. It's quite the pathetic spectacle. The water isn't too bad, but the ground around it is poorly textured. The mud seems to have a reddish tint to it. Perhaps this is realistic, but I typically think of mud as being a little deeper brown.

The soundtrack to Swamp Buggy Racing is the most annoying soundtrack in a game ever. It's really upbeat and obnoxious, and definitely doesn't fit a racing game. BUT! Luckily the format is .wav, and the three songs are included in the Music directory of the game so you can burn a CD of it and jam to it wherever you are! The sparse sound effects fit the rest of the game very well. They're just mediocre. The engine noise gets pretty annoying as well.

As for the multiplayer.. Oh wait, there is none. It's a good thing too. I'd hate to have thought that WizardWorks would continue to pay someone to program this garbage.

Overall, avoid this title at all costs. On another note: Why can't companies produce good, realistic, lifelike, option-packed, action-packed, and intense racing games for the PC? I played only two good PC racing games in 1999. Re-Volt, and TOCA II. I'm sure most people would agree with me that it's a pretty depressing fact that the Sony Playstation houses the greatest racing game on any gaming platform in existence right now -- and I don't even need to name the game, as you all know that its initials are Gran Turismo.

Graphics [5/20]
Sound [5/15]
Gameplay [5/30]
Funfactor [1/20]
Multiplayer [0/5]
Overall Impression [1/10]


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