Yes, it's another environmentally unsound release from the company with the big boxes, Psygnosis. For a two disk game they have enough packaging to house the entire populous of Argentina. But less of my whining and on to the game.
It's a long time since we've seen a motor game on the market. All the programmers ran away from them with their rears on fire after the release of Team Suzuki, the game so hard they released a training program showing you how to drive the sodding thing.
The only others before that all looked and played the same, but now comes Red Zone. Read on, children, read on. I like motorbikes. I've even got one myself so this game was going to be a bit of a treat for me.
When you first boot up the game the demo is fantastic. It's some guy on a motorbike driving from the background and skidding to a halt in the foreground. Crap and boring, yes, but very well done.
Once you've battled your way through the demo it's game time and all you kiddies have to shake yourselves from your alcohol-
Because racing games and simulators in general rely on good screen updates, there can't be much going on on the screen. Asa result the programmers usually build in options that allow you to cut down on detail and the overall amount of graphics.
Red Zone allows you to do this and more - there are all sorts you can slip in and take out, such as the backdrops, clouds and the like.
But for those of you out there who are capitalist pigs, who enjoy sucking the lifeblood from the heart of the socialist working class (he's talking about accelerated Amiga owners - Ed) there are options for adding more detail to the game, such as track
With the details switched on, it looks pretty impressive. It's got all the usually rubbish you see at Donnington - the crowd stands, bridges, Iron Maiden...
I've been avoiding the gameplay for too long, so I'd better let you into a little secret (cursory glance from side to side) - it's crap. Yep, it's bloody awful. You have to do a qualifying round to get into the race - fine. So here I am, coffee and crisps in front of my trusty Amiga, on the grid with mu pulsating sex machine, and my motorbike, the lights go to green and we're off.
The feeling you get when trying to drive the machine can only be compared to drinking 15 pints of Special Brew then proceeding to unicycle on the inside of a spin dryer with a bent drum. Very tricky indeedy.
So I thought, that's fair enough I just can't play it very well yet, so off I went, hamming away, and things didn't get any better.
When you do really go for a burton and stuff you bike into one of the walls, sometimes you can't turn around again, or if you can t takes ages and you have to use the cursor keys on the keyboard to flip around.
I actually timed it once - it took over a minute to turn around and get going again. So I eventually persevered and got round the track in about five minutes and it says "You failed to qualify" - I'd never have bloody guessed. Cyril Smith on a tricycle could have done better than that.
Racing with the other bikes was a bit mickey mouse because the screen updates are so bad you only see them for about two frames before they steam off into the distance. Meanwhile you are trying to turn around after inserting your cranium into the crash barrier.
The rival bikes aren't particularly detailed which is a bit of a let down - they look sort of like the Tron bikes only not as well drawn. Earlier in this review I was going on about screen updates, and how the Amiga is usually crap at them. Well this game is no exception - one minute you are in the middle of the road, the next you are wrapped round a crash barrier with a 750cc bike up your botty.
The whole point of getting rid of excess detail is to speed up the gameplay, but the change is practically unnoticeable.
Sorry Psygnosis but it's a turkey.