Totally Ridiculous Comparisons: No. 2

In the last instalment of Totally Ridiculous Comparisons, The Dreamcast Junkyard promised that the next episode would feature a face off between V-Rally 2 and Rainbow Six. This has been changed at the last minute due to 'technical difficulties' (i.e. I have as much interest in either game as John Prescott (pictured) has in a Salad. And no, that doesn't count as mentioning politics because John Prescott isn't politics per se - he is merely an obese Yorkshireman with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp). Enough of this dilly-dallying!

"LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!" (TM 348B.C. - Michael Buffer Enterprises Inc.)

Super Runabout Versus Charge N' Blast

Super Runabout isn't too shabby when it comes to looks. The pseudo free roaming environment is a real showcase of what can be achieved on the Dreamcast hardware. It isn't as good looking as say, Crazy Taxi 2 - but then, it's still not going to melt your eyes out of their sockets like at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where the Nazis open the Ark of the Covenant. There is a fair bit of pop up though and whats going on with the damage models? When you bash your car up, it takes on the appearence of a scrunched up crisp bag...but not. Play it yourself and you'll know what I mean.

Charge N Blast on the other hand does nothing really spectacular. Everything is nicely modelled, but the effects aren't exactly "Oh shit - how good does this look?!?!?!" A bit like the Martine McCutcheon of games - you would...but stunning? More functional. And that's Charge N Blast I'm talking about. There are some nice explosions thrown about, but it all looks a bit Lego.

Winner: Super Runabout


Oh dear, dear Lord. Is there a single game on the Dreamcast with a decent soundtrack? Super Runabout is bargain basement when it comes to sound. The cars appear to have 800 gears judging by the FX and the music is definatley of the supermarket-background-drone variety.

Charge N Blast has sound? In the immortal words of the DOOM manual when describing the Lost Soul: Nuff Said.

Winner: Super Runabout (barely)


You can choose to be either the cops or drivers. If you choose to play as the filth (local constabulary) you'll be asked to carry out such real life police work as collecting ingredients for hotdogs, smashing into bombs in order to 'safely' detonate them, and beating up innocent black people simply because you can. Actually - that's a lie. There is no hotdog collecting. Vehicle handling is best described as 'vague,' as you careen around the city in an almost uncontrollable manner destroying market stalls and shops fronts. Quite fun.

Charge N Blast is really just a fancy 3D update of Space Invaders - your robot can only be moved left and right along the bottom of the screen while you shoot the big nasty aliens with a 'myriad' of chargeable missiles, lasers and water pistols. You can also use harsh language if you wish, but that will just make you look like a retard. Before you think "Hmmm...He's likened it to Space must be alright..." IT'S NOT.

Winner: Super Runabout

As mentioned, Runabout has two different scenario modes which in effect doubles the amount of time you can spend with it. There are 'emblems' to collect that will open up mini games and the like. I've been a bit hard on Runabout - it's actually a pretty good game. The missions do get a bit annoying as you get further into them because tighter time limits are imposed and the vehicle handling is frustrating, but overall there's quite a bit to see and do.

Once you've got to grips with the abominable controls (about 5 minutes), it'll become apparent that you are actually wasting precious seconds of your life. Imagine the Dreamcast swirl layed flat and then picked up from the centre so it hangs down like a particularly disgusting Christmas decoration from £-Stretcher. That is your Mortal Coil, and you are hurtling ever closer to the end...until eventually, you fall off.

Winner: Life outside the window.

Overall - Runabout: 3 Charge N Blast: 0

So there it is, my uber-cool Dreamcast loving Amigos. An FA Cup 'Liverpool 7 - Birmingham City 0' style routing of Charge N Blast by Super (De-dooper) Runabout. But with the added bonus of not having to look at Steve Bruce's appaling excuse for a face at the final whistle. GONCH*!!!

*This word has no actual meaning.


Animated AF said...

You need to find some better DC games to review. Your giving it a bad name with stuff like Crage N Blast. Also, wasn't Jet Set Radio good enough soundtrack wise? ;p

Tom Charnock said...

oh yeah...and come to think of it Crazy Taxi (and 2) have pretty OK sountracks. As does Quake 3. I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

I find your final remark insulting. You saying my life has no meaning? GONCH forever!!!!!

Ross said...

I dont even think those games were avaiable in the U.S.