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Cruis'n World

Rated E for Everyone


Nintendo 64 (N64)






September 1998

ROM Size:

96 megabits


One to Four Simultaneous




Cartridge (4 slots)


Rumble Pak



> Final Rating: 3.8 out of 5.0


Cruis'n USA was an enigma of sorts on the N64. It was a very shoddy port, which was appropriately lambasted by the press. Yet consumers bought well over a million copies of it, making it the 6th best-selling game of 1996 for any system. Now much like its predecessor, Cruis'n World has hit the home systems several years late. This time, though, it is noticeably improved over the arcade version.


First off, Cruis'n World is essentially an enhanced version of Cruis'n USA. So there are no changes if you don't like the simple, arcade-like nature of the gameplay. For those who are familiar with the arcade version, there are a bunch of cool stunts that have been added and there is a brand-new Championship mode. The graphics are also smoother, clearer, and faster—and the sound is improved, too. This port is basically what the original Cruis'n USA should have been like.

Gameplay & Control

Racing comes in three basic forms in the N64 version of Cruis'n World: Cruise the World, Championship, and Practice. The Cruise the World mode is where you go through the game's 14 tracks in order, which are forward-moving, one-lap races to the finish line with oncoming traffic and wild crashes, needing third place or better to advance to each successive track. The Championship mode, an exclusive addition to the home version, has all-new variations of the Cruise the World courses, except the shorter, more difficult courses are three-lap races. Getting points for stunts and for the position you placed opens up secrets in the Championship mode. The Practice mode is self-explanatory, except you can open up secret cars (12 cars are initially available) by beating the target times. Both the Cruise the World and Championship modes can be played by one to four players. The two-player mode is once again fantastic, but the three- and four-player modes are quite a bit slower, don't have oncoming traffic, have more pop-up, and lack background music. So it's not a very good multi-player game.


The control in Cruis'n World is a huge improvement over Cruis'n USA. It's smooth, responsive, and more tight right off the bat. And, of course, the controller configuration can be changed. There's also an Options screen where you can change sound settings, Rumble Pak sensitivity for individual items (a first), and screen settings. Do yourself a favor and turn on the "Winning Girl" in the Options, because the default is off.


As I briefly mentioned earlier, Cruis'n World contains a Championship mode that gives you points for doing stunts. (Doing stunts in the Cruise the World mode knocks a few ticks off your time.) The Championship mode and stunts really give the game some longevity, especially since you and a friend can do this together. Let me tell you how to do some of the stunts. Note that some of these tricks lead into others: "Turbo" (0 points) is done by double-tapping the A button. Going up on "Two Wheels" (0 points) is done by double-tapping the A button while turning. The "Braking Drift" (0 points) is done by pressing A and B while turning. A "Jump Flip" (1 point) is done by using "Turbo" over a ramp or hill. The "Super Heli" (1 point) is done by using the "Braking Drift" over a ramp or hill. And the "Mega Flip" (2 points) is done by going over a ramp or hill on "Two Wheels." You can also experiment with combining some of these to get even more points. You also get points for finishing in the top three on each Championship track. What will points get you? Well, 8 points lets you get the Power Level 2 cars, which increases the top speed of all cars. And 20 points lets you change the color of any car. I'll let you find the rest out on your own.

Graphics & Sound

Graphically, Cruis'n World is far beyond the pitiful job done by the team who ported Cruis'n USA to the N64. There is still a lot of pop-up because of the track design, which is smoothed in, but everything is much more smooth, fast, and clear than Cruis'n USA. As mentioned previously, the one- and two-player modes are great, but the three- and four-player modes leave a lot to be desired. Yes, Cruis'n World looks closer to a 64-bit game now, but it's not a technical marvel compared to most other racers on the system.


Amazingly enough, Cruis'n World has excellent sound, too. OK, so you knew there had to be a catch: The music in is monaural. But there are about 10 location-specific musical tracks in the game. There's everything from Spanish music with vocals to heavy metal riffs to jungle music. It's good stuff. There isn't a lot of voice, but the sound effects are pretty decent. Like the graphics, the sound is very much improved over Cruis'n USA.


Cruis'n World is nothing more than good, clean, simple, mindless fun. There's hardly any technique to the game, but the cool rides (especially the hidden ones), the wild crashes, and the addition of stunts help out a lot. If you're into arcade racing games, you'll like it. If you're into racing simulations, you won't like it. At any rate, Cruis'n World is actually one of the N64's better racing games.
















An appropriate word to be used in conjunction with Cruis'n World is "inexplicable." As a critic, I see outdated graphics with technical imperfections and technique-lacking gameplay that's nothing more than mindless racing. But as a game player, I find that I strangely enjoy this mix. Cruis'n World is just fun; I can't explain it any other way. So it's a simple matter of whether you like the Cruis'n series or not. I like it, I enjoyed the N64 version of Cruis'n USA, and I certainly like Cruis'n World. Unlike many other games, there are no surprises here.


Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: November 23, 1998

Appendix Added: January 1, 1999




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