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Re-Volt

Rated E for Everyone

Platform:

Nintendo 64 (N64)

Publisher:

Acclaim

Developer:

Acclaim Studios London

Released:

August 1999

ROM Size:

96 megabits

Players:

One to Four Simultaneous

Genre:

Racing/Driving

Save:

Controller Pak

Optional:

Expansion Pak, Rumble Pak

 

 

> Final Rating: 2.3 out of 5.0

Introduction

One of video gaming's most requested sequels is to R.C. Pro-Am, the classic 8-bit Nintendo game from Rare. That suggestion never has been acted upon, and not many other companies have produced radio control racing games, either. Now Acclaim has given another British development team the opportunity to make one for the genre. Unfortunately, the results aren't very good.

Gameplay & Control

Like many other games from Acclaim, Re-Volt will overwhelm the user with many customizable features and options. Everything from race settings to R/C physics to audio options can be changed. This can make the game convoluted, however, as it prevents the game from settling into its own. Too many options actually hurt rather than help in this case.

 

True R/C physics are a feature of Re-Volt that Acclaim touts. In reality, the physics and control make the game less enjoyable than it could have been. Four different versions of the physics model are available, but the difference is negligible. The Junior R/C mode runs at about two-thirds the speed of the other modes. The three full-speed modes—Console (the default), Arcade, and Simulation—differ in collisions. As the action mode goes from Console to Simulation, collisions get more realistic and affect your vehicle more. These comprehensive physics modes are partially why the frame rate suffers, though.

 

But the physics mode doesn't matter so much when the control is too tight and lacks pinpoint accuracy. Even though one might think the Nintendo 64's Control Stick would be a great yoke for R/C racing, the developers missed the mark. Beginning players will get frustrated quickly with the constant spinning out, which also is a problem because of the terrible frame rate.

 

The Control Pad as well as the Control Stick can be used to steer. The A button accelerates and the B button decelerates (and is needed for reverse). Within the C group, Bottom C is a rear view, Left C changes camera angles, and Top C puts you back on the track. Finally, the R button flips your vehicle right side up and either the L or Z button can be used to fire your weapon.

 

Pick-ups play an important role in Re-Volt, although they can be turned off in the Options screen. Simply drive over a lightning bolt icon and wait until the icons stop cycling. You only can carry one pick-up at a time and must use it before getting another one, however. Some examples of pick-ups are fireworks, bombs, oil slicks, ball bearings, water balloons, turbo batteries, and more. Overall, though, pick-ups don't play as intense of a part as in Mario Kart 64.

 

At Re-Volt's title screen, you can choose from Start Race, Trial Times, Progress Table, Options, Load/Save, and Track Editor. Underneath the Start Race menu is Single Race, Championship, Multi-Player, Time Trial, Practice, and Stunt Arena. The Multi-Player mode, which is for two to four players, consists of Single Race and Battle Tag.

 

Racing itself in Re-Volt borders on dull. Even in the one-player mode, only four vehicles are on the track at once. Additionally, the tracks are too wide with too many side paths for pick-ups to be a factor. Little cars in large-scale human environments (neighborhoods, toy stores, supermarkets) were a good idea, however.

 

The best aspect of Re-Volt is its Track Editor. Each custom-made track takes one note and seven pages on a Controller Pak to save. It then can be imported into the Single Race (both one player and multi-player), Time Trial, or Practice modes. Computer competition even joins you on your custom tracks. Putting together the actual track is easy, although it could have been more intuitive. The A button places a piece, the B button removes it, the Z button rotates it, and the height, rise, dip, slant or angle can be changed with the C buttons. You must press the Start button to bring up a menu and pick Module to change from straight pieces to bends to other miscellaneous pieces.

Graphics & Sound

Re-Volt looks better in static shots than in motion, despite the fact that it has an Expansion Pak-enabled medium resolution mode. On the plus side, numerous R/C vehicles are available and are modeled well. Clipping and pop-up have been kept to a minimum, too. On the downside, we have the frame rate. It's constantly jittery, affecting the control and everything else. The realistic environments are vast, accurate, and detailed, but they also seem lifeless. All those large polygons, not to mention the accurate physics model, only seem to make the game even slower.

 

The audio side is a hodgepodge of weird musical concoctions. Techno music is the flavor, but its simple, energy-less beats have strange sound samples. A spectrum of sound effects is represented, except they're punchless and get grating. The sound side of Re-Volt is different but not necessarily good.

Conclusion

Re-Volt is missing the most important ingredient of any game: fun. And let's see, the frame rate is terrible, the environments are too large for four measly cars, and pick-ups don't increase the intensity level. The search continues for a spiritual successor to R.C. Pro-Am. Avoid.

 

Graphics:

2.7

Sound:

2.3

Control:

2.3

Gameplay:

2.3

Lastability

2.4

OVERALL:

2.3

 

DOWN THE ROAD

Not available.

 

Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: February 28, 2000

Appendix Added: N/A

 

 

 

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