Brmm, brmmm, revv revv. Phwooaaargh, the birds are gonna luv me in this, I can tell ya. A brand new Lotus Elan, and some new roads for me to race the Esprit that I got last year on. Eh by eck, my pulling power's gone through the roof since I bought this big red throbbing machine> The wimmen I've 'ad chasing me you would not believe. You know that Fiona Fullerton piece off the telly? Well she's been after me, an' so's that lass of Coronation Street, Sally Webster.
Sorry lads, Trev 'ere. The reason why I'm so excited is that Gremlin have finally got around to chuckin' out the sequel to last year's stonker, Lotus Esprite Turbo Challenge. That racing game was the business as far as I'm concerned and Gremlin have at least done the sound deal by not chuckin' out the same game with a few more tracks, like with Hard Drivin' II or summat. What they've done is change the gameplay considerably to make it a separate package, like, and therefore worth the dosh. Or is it? 'Ere's the low down, lads.
This time around we get eight levels, starting off dead simple then endin' up pretty nasty, like. Instead of 'avin a race as such this one takes its cue from Rad Mobile, Sega's ace coin-op, and has a series of check
You start off wi' summat like 30 seconds to reach the next checkpoint, or whatever, then when you reach the next one you are given the seconds to reach the next checkpoint, plus whatever seconds you 'ad left from the one you've just done, like. Clever innit? Each of the eight levels 'as upwards of five checkpoints with the final level 'avin' ten long ons. All this track adds up to over an hour of solid drivin', if you're 'ard enough to get all the way through like I am.
An' when me an' Shaz are in the front seat with the furry dice an' the sun
The eight levels take the driver through a variety of landscapes, each of them presenting their own little problems, like. For example the marshland (level seven) has some tracks between certain checkpoints surrounded by deep water. You go off the track pal, then you're in deep, mate. Ha ha ha! Geddit? Or the snowbound level gives a near pure white background (where's the track, man?) and some mean patches of ice that throw you off course in a wicked skid.
The fifth level with the fog is the really smart one - the way they've got the effect of the grey blanket just out of love a poet, believe me! The same effect is used in a different way on the right time of level six, black in the distance but one of the neat touches is that if you go through a tunnel everythin' becomes fully illuminated, like, by the tunnel lights.
It's well ace - both these levels really get across the uncertainty of drivin' like a maniac in poor visibility, an' I should know. You're slightly on edge all the time because you know that the road could disappear around a corner, leavin' you behind at any minute.
The two-player options is where the game starts to come into its own. The split screen - only in two-
What is even more smart is that you can now link up two Amigas to get four player action! Wow! With two players on each machine using the old null modem link (what?) you can get some well ace races goin' between the four of ya. Well smart. Even three players is pretty damn groovy. In short I reckon it's well sorted.
Thanks Trev. Jools is back for the techie bits.
It is different enough to warrant a purchase from those who have completed the original. In other words it is a stand
The handling is superbly observed, just like the real thing. Lifting your finger briefly off the power on a hairy corner will pull you in enough to get around and this can be used to your advantage to get past some tricky opponents on the inside line. Sound is excellent - the high standard in-race effects are complemented by high class tunes, a separate one for each level, but the CD player of the first one, which I loved, is missing (bawl).
One big improvement is the way that the on-player game gives a full screen display, as opposed to the cropped one of the original version.
I have to say I preferred the original because there was more to it - the pit
There are very strong merits for the checkpoint approach, one being that you never get to first place and never stand the chance of getting bored. Taking a whole different approach was brave but it means that this is a worthy purchase whether you have the original or not. So, a highly addictive standalone product, and not a rehash cash-in sequel. Well worth the money.