Showing posts with label Roadsters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roadsters. Show all posts

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.