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Simple Characters 2000 Vol.17: Blue Gale Xabungle The Race in Action
  PS1DrivingJPN  
  opened by paleface at 06:13:04 08/17/03  
  last modified by paleface at 01:01:05 10/26/04  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Racing; loc=Japan]
           
A budget footrace game in which you control a robot who must beat other robots cross-country to a flag, then back again. There's some kind of attempt at story with static screens and text between races but those aren't really impressive (particularly since I can't read them) and the intro sequence is one of the worst anime clips I have ever seen, both poorly conceived and drawn and running at something like eight frames per second.
 
Hah! But who cares, let's race. You choose your robot (more robots become available in later races it seems) and off you go. Some robots can transform between vehicle and humanoid forms, some can leap through the air on booster jets, and most are packing some form of heat. Why? 'Cause when some long-legged junkpile cruises by you while your boosters are recharging, there's nothing quite as satisfying as bowling him over with two quick railgun shots in the back, then stealing his ammo as you run over his prone body. He'll get right back up though so keep running.
 
Dashing with R1 and booster jetting helped quite a bit in the first two races. My lead was mostly threatened by these little bug-sized robots that are fast darn hard to shoot down, the jerks! This all takes place across a 2D sidescrolling landscape of rolling hills, bluffs, dunes, etc, and you need to time your dashes, boosts and attacks according to the terrain.
 
The robots seem to be composed of rotating flat polygons, Gundam Battle style, which looks pretty neat but the game suffers incredible slowdown with more than four or so robots on screen at once. Eck. One more reason to get in the lead and stay there. The tricky part comes at the turn, because then of course you have to stop and reverse and cut back through all the guys behind you, and try not to get shot. Also, the AI is suspiciously rubbery-bandy, always seeming to be lurking no farther back than just off the side of the screen--if you get tripped up, they all come galloping past in a bunch.
 
Boosting and shooting robots in the back is good foolish fun and it's just unfortunate that there's no split-screen multiplayer mode. As a friend of mine said, "It's a good thing this is a Simple 2000 Series game," because Story Mode is only eight races long, and only one of two of the other robots are even worth trying (an odd racing game where they give you the best racer right off the bat, eh?). There's also "Free Mode" but that's just basically a selectable rehash of the eight courses. Doesn't even use the memory card, it just shows you a "code" when you finish which I think will automatically unlock the robots you unlocked by finishing Story Mode (I forgot it already, probably should have made a note of it ;).
    

 
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