| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Racing; loc=Japan] |
|Now I've done it: a bizarre Japanese anime-based racing game with zany rules (if you can call them that), thick menus and no FAQ in sight. I only bought this in hopes that it would have some drop of the brilliance found in Doronbo (see below) and... Well, it starts out in promising fashion with a brisk theme song introduced by a field of sachaying pigs in bathing suits. Then you wade through the menus and maybe see a unique intro movie based on the particular car variant you chose and then go race with sprite-based little SD vehicles on a twisty sometimes gently bumpy track.|
The track graphic engine is pretty heinous with horrendous amounts of sprite clipping, draw-in, slowdown, you name it. The racing is almost luck of the draw: thanks to the "rubber band" effect it's nearly impossible to maintain a lead, particularly since you're due to be passed at any moment by some little &@#$#@! AI who got the rocket boost or guided missle (which knocks you out for about five whole seconds---grrr!) or the "freeze everyone but me for five incredibly frustrating seconds" attack. I find myself grinding my teeth and muttering over the cheerful voice clips and nutty sound effects as I slew along course after winding course only to have another %@#$#@ tag me with three time bombs and a fireball in quick succession and yet somehow it's hard to stop racing.
I didn't see a difficulty setting but in "story mode" (doesn't seem to be much of a story) you can upgrade your car attributes between races and you get more points the worse you placed in the last race. Rather clever, that (you only advance if you come in like first or second I think). Other modes include Gran Prix (four races in a row, try to be the cumulative winner), 2P mode and Time Attack mode.
There's a button whose function is completely beyond me, and another button called "drift" that puts in super-hyper drift mode around corners... though this isn't much of a difference from normal cornering in this game, really. Err wait I gave my car horrible handling in favor of speed and acceleration. Nevermind.
Frustrating and fun and wacky and horribly irritating all at once. Note: I actually crashed my system in this game. I was at maybe the fifth round of Story mode and decided to finally save, jammed in the memory card before it got to the save screen itself--and ended up staring at an unchanging black screen. Oops.