8, 1999 (Japan)
7, 1999 (USA)
> CRI did such a great job on Aero Dancing/AeroWings that I was really
hyped up to play Buggy Heat/TNN Hardcore Heat (THH). The Japanese
version has some real problems in the gameplay department, but ASC has
put some time into fixing that. Anyway, THH is a multiplayer off-road
racer with sweet graphics and tough tracks.
> Importability is high due to the game's genre. However, you're
better off getting the US version which features improved gameplay.
> In a word... awesome! At times I think the scenery looks as real
as watching a race on TV. The textures are detailed at all distances
and the lighting effects are great. The various tracks include dirt,
snow, sand, cement and gravel combinations. There are four views:
rear, driver's, front, and motion. CRI even included time of day
and weather effects like night, dusk, rain, snow, sand storms, and fog.
> As expected, the game moves ultra smooth and once you get going, very
fast! Other graphic effects include burnout smoke and dirt-tails.
All in all, THH looks as good as Tokyo Xtreme Racer and Sega Rally 2.
> The buttons are accel, brake, steering, reverse, shift up/down, and hand
brake. The game utilizes the standard analog pad very well.
The Sega Racing Wheel is supported, but not recommended due to the gameplay
of this game being sort of loose. CRI also added a neat VMU option
to save your AI with a driver which can create a computer controlled version
of you to race against a friend.
> The gameplay in the Japanese version was tough to get used to because
it is entirely too easy to wipe out or over steer. However, ASC has
greatly improved that situation, but hasn't completely cured it.
In my mind, the game still slows you down too much (mph wise) during hard
cornering and is still too easy to over steer. Maybe this was CRI's
vein attempt at realism?
> The music is a combination of punk-like tunes with a bit of twang here
and there. It's a good thing the music volume is controllable.
> The sound effects are decent. You'll hear engines, tires, voice
cues, flying dirt, thunder and cars pouncing. It's adequate, but
could have been better.
> The graphics, speed, variety and multiplayer aspects make for a fun game
even though the control is off. Options include 8 cars, 8 drivers,
and 6 courses. The game modes are Championship, Time Attack, Vs Game,
Level Checker and Practice. It's definitely not as fun as Sega Rally
2, but it's challenging enough to keep you interested for a while.