> With titles like Hydro Thunder, F1 World
Grand Prix, CART Flag to Flag, and Sega Rally 2 (just weeks away), the
Dreamcast has quite an initial selection of racers. So you may ask,
why would I want another racer? Well, Ubi Soft has listened as Speed
Devils branches off into a unique form of arcade/championship racing game.
Obviously first and foremost, the main objective is to win races.
Along the way though, the developers have thrown in an interesting set
of obstacles and short cuts plus realistic weather and time of day.
So is it worthy??? Read on...
> The graphics in Speed Devils are just about the best I've seen so far
on the 128-bit Uberconsole. We're talking very smooth (just like
Xtreme Racer) and loaded with detail, color and special effects.
Speed... the sensation if barreling down the road at breakneck speeds
is convincing. Partly because everything seems to be proportioned
and animated perfectly. The sky has clouds which animate quite realistically
and are colored perfectly. Speaking of clouds, the weather conditions
are presented very well. You'll see fog, rain, snow, dusk, and bright
sunshine. To top it off, the cars shine and reflect like highly polished
chrome while the lights glisten like a star.
> The tracks are complicated, and long, which is a good thing. The
scenery includes trees, hills, dirt, snow, asphalt, buildings, aircraft,
and other vehicles. The most unique effect is the set of obstacles
in each track. For instance, the Hollywood track has an animated
Tyrannosaurus Rex, King Kong, and Jaws (shark) -- all of which attempt
to get in your way. Lastly, you get a 1st person forward view and
three 3rd person behind the car views, each at a different height and distance
from the car.
> The control is as good as it gets -- both with the analog pad and the
steering wheel peripherals. You have to deal with steering, accel,
brake, hand brake, turbo, and view buttons. Note: since the standard
steering wheel doesn't have a D-pad, you have to pause the race to change
the view. Powersliding (or drifting in Japan) is part of the gameplay
mix and is necessary to get around the sharp corners while maintaining
decent speeds. It's not as cool as it is in Daytona (arcade, Saturn),
but it works well nonetheless.
> One interesting feature is the fact that you actually get money for speeding
in the Championship mode! You need money to repair cars, make bets,
upgrade cars, and purchase cars. Other ways to earn money are to
be in the lead for the longest time, have the fastest lap, win bets/vendettas,
and reach the highest speed.
> The music is suited to each area in the game (Vegas, Hollywood, etc.).
I think it's pretty good, but the volume is adjustable just in case...
> The sound effects are realistic... check. You'll hear engines,
skidding, cues, raging falls, and various other effects associated with
the on screen obstacles.
> Speed Devils offers 12 cars, over 7 tracks, dynamic weather, and 1-2
player racing fun. The Arcade mode allows you to choose courses and
weather, but certain cars must be earned. The Championship mode is
where the real fun is at though. In it, you must race to win while
managing your funds and advancing classes similar to Road Rash (Genesis,
Game Gear, Sega CD, Saturn). Add the fact that every track can be
raced in forward, reverse, and mirror modes and you get quite a variation
of tracks. Just like Tokyo Xtreme Racer -- the graphics will draw
you in while the gameplay keeps you coming back...