Roads? We don't need Roads(ters)

As I was driving my noisy, smoke belching, coal-powered, big-ass truck around the tranquil idylls of Southern England and flicking my fingers at church-going Women's Institute members t'other day, I spotted this:

It's an orange spiral that looks vaguely like an orange Dreamcast swirl! From America! Or Japan! Vaguely! OK, I realise that this is barrel scraping of the worst kind possible, but relax - I also bring news of Ebay-age, M'lud!

And before you groan and go back to your copy of Readers Wives and that mug of luke-warm tea you've got balanced on the arm of your battered couch/bed - I'm not doing a マーティン and trying to flog my (ill-gotten?) gains through the DCJY. No - I personally don't think this is the kind of place I'd get away with advertising a nearly-new PVC gimp suit and matching powder-coated dildo (although, email me if you're interested. Only light stainage). Ahem.
No, dear reader. I've been buying...



I remember Roadsters fondly from my pathetic pre-Dreamcast days. I used to have it on the N64 and to be fair it was a pretty solid game. It had cracking hi-res (for the N64) visuals, tight controls and was just a fun little game all round. So, forgive me for thinking the Dreamcast version would be just as good - if not better. Y'know, what with it being released much later and on a vastly superior console and all. Wrong. It's fucking hideous.

The first thing veterans of the N64 version will notice is that the visuals have hardly improved at all. Whilst the Nintendo version appeared to squeeze the very core of the N64's graphical heart until every last drop of rice pudding was drained from it (yes, N64s have rice pudding inside them. Strange, but true), the DC version looks like something running on a Speak & Spell. Spell 'crap.' C.R.A.P.

  • Cardboard cut-out trees. Check. 
  • Over sized sized track-side objects. Check.
  • Bizarre scenery fade-in. Check.
  • Static crowds. Check.
  • Static vehicle drivers. Check.
  • Badly pixelated 'real time' reflections. Check.
  • Random bouts of slowdown. Check
These are just some of the problems Roadsters suffers from in the graphics department. I could go on, but if I do you'll still be reading me moan on about visual shortcomings until the coming of the next ice-age. So I'll moan about some other stuff instead. The sound. Where is it?! I don't know if it's just my SCART lead or my TV, or a combination of the two (Roadsters isn't VGA compatible, surprisingly), but the sound kept fading in and out seemingly at random so I spent most of my playtime sat there in silence. Shoddy programming. Check.

Next - the controls. Roadsters has the worst control model I have ever experienced in a game. On any console. Ever. Tap the analogue stick and your car will go careening into the nearest wall and then either just stop dead or be bounced along at super-sonic speeds. This effect appears to be random, for some wooden fences will grab you like some unnatural spectral magnet, whilst others seem to have been greased up with lube that sends you off up the track at the speed of light. The best bit though, is when you don't touch the analogue stick and your car still flies off at an angle and hits a wall! Oh how I laughed. Then switched the console off.

Roadsters is clearly a game that could've done with a few more months in development because even an imbecile like me can see that it's not a finished product. What the hell where the playtesters thinking when they gave this the thumbs up? Where they all pissed or something? What's even more annoying about this whole debacle is that there are some truly interesting ideas in Roadsters. For example, the developers decided that the straight road racing seen in the N64 version wasn't enough for Dreamcast gamers, so they added in a whole host of natural disasters to make the races more interesting. So, on one course, a volcano erupts turning the sky black and spraying magma onto the road, whilst on another an Earthquake hits and shakes the whole track violently and on the Docklands track a jumbo jet crashes, devastating certain parts of the circuit. All great ideas that where sadly tacked on to a virtually unplayable mess of a game. 

I was really looking forward to playing Roadsters (no, really) simply because of my experience with the N64 incarnation but this DC port has left me feeling massively underwhelmed. Quite how Player 1 and Titus managed to completely destroy the experience of racing convertables around exotic racetracks is a mystery even Inspector Clouseau would have trouble solving. 

So rather than waste your time playing through this piece of utter shite, here are some suggestions of other things you could do with Roadsters:

Microwave it

Toast it

BBQ it (well, it has been sunny recently)

Eat it

And finally, shit it out.

Oh well. Just got to wait for Jeremy McGrath Motocross to turn up now...

Ho hum.


fatherkrishna said...

Ha ha ha! That was very funny indeed! Never heard of the game though... Now be honest... Did you flush it or scoop it out and dry it off after it had been in the shitter?
Or is it some of that clever photo-shop jiggery-pokery? I'm guessing you staged all the photos in a lavendar tinged flight of artistic fancy...

Caleb said...

Ah vintage Tomleecee.

I will have to check to see if we even got this game in North America.

Caleb said...

"Did you flush it or scoop it out and dry it off after it had been in the shitter?"

I am guessing that English toilet water is much cleaner than the tap water I am getting in town now.

(The public water company gave me a nice note saying how the water was clean and OK...but you know, don't let old people or little kids drink too much of it, just to be on the safe side.)

Barry the Nomad said...

Hilarious read! I don't remember seeing Roadsters in America (thank god).
Fittingly, with the appearance of this article, I just won a Dreamcast racing game lot for $18. The lot includes: Re-Volt, 18 Wheeler, 4 Wheel Thunder, Test Drive 6, Vanishing Point, Demolition: No Exit and Sega GT. Thank god Roadsters wasn't included (though Test Drive 6 sounds rather shitty)

Caleb said...


I don't want to bump Tom's post yet but LAST HOPE is being RE-released!!!!

Not only that but they are changing some stuff around. The new version is going to be called Pink Bullets.

Barry the Nomad said...

Caleb, I just pooped my pants. Thanks.

Tom Charnock said...

Caleb - the bog water in Hampshire is lovely. Especially with a few ice cubes and a slice of lemon!

NebachadnezzaR said...

There were some pretty horrible arcade racers back then. Thank god those days are over... *cough*needforspeed*cough*

Hopefully Jeremy McGrath will be better. I remember playing the heck out of the demo when I got my first pc. Gotta grab the DC version sometime.

Animated AF said...

There was actually a sequel to this tripe as well called E.O.S: Exhibition of Speed (more like P.O.S, am I right?). Just so you know to avoid it like it has swine flu (ooh, barely topical!).

Tom Charnock said...

Yeah - I've also got E.O.S. and it's even more of a turgid experience than Roadsters. I'm sure I've mentioned it in the past, or maybe I forgot. I forget. Not to worry - it's shit anyway.

NebachadnezzaR said...

Wait, E.O.S. is a sequel to Roadsters? I had no idea! That explains a lot of things about that game... (the fact that I couldn't win a single race, for example)

Goldskarr said...

Hm. Interesting advertisement about the gimp suit at the beginning. As for the game, my god that sounds horrible. I must say, I'm not a big fan of racers. Funny review, though.

Tom Charnock said...

Goldskarr - the gimp suit is still availible but the dildo has unfortunatley been donated to the old folks home at the end of the road. Sorry.

Goldskarr said...

Damn it, I wanted that dildo. Oh well. No money for you,i suppose.