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Tomarunner vs L'Arc~en~Ciel
  opened by paleface at 02:42:15 09/01/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Platformer; loc=JPN]
Outta-control footrace game with a variety of cutesy anime kid competitors, each with their own particular abilities and attributes. I suppose one could liken it to Oh No! but the focus of this vertically split-screen racer is on speed and tortuous course design rather than item collection and moving obstacles. Your character runs their little heart out through narrow tunnels, waterways, chutes and other treacherous obstacles.
Many of the corners in the narrow lanes are 90 degree angles, at these you have to either thrust out your inside hand to catch a pole, allowing your own momentum to pull you around the corner, or hold out your outside hand and bounce off the angled outside wall, otherwise you smack into the wall and lose your precious momentum. Jumps can be likewise crippling and you'll also have little monsters, pits, puddles and of course your opponent to deal with.
The two of you can bowl each other over with a well-timed dash or fry each other with a weapon. Dashes and weapons are expendable commodities that you refresh by picking up certain items around the track. Quite exhilarating and frenetic as you zip along, swinging from poles, leaping over ledges, dodging monsters and trying to blow up your rival all at once.
Only two problems I have: first, a couple of the tracks have horrendous slowdown in spots, and second, I don't understand the first item on the main menu: it takes you into some kind of minigame where you have to raise and lower little semaphore-like flags at the orders of an offscreen voice. The voice barks out commands in Japanese and although you can get a pretty good idea of which phrases mean raising or lowering which arm, it gets pretty tough when he starts giving multiple commands at once. And I'm not sure what the point of it is, anyway.

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