Circus Maximus Chariot Wars
|Editor Rating:||3/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||4.0/10 - 1 vote|
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A word of warning to all Xbox owners: This is one of the worst racing games I have ever played. Part Road Rash, part Ben Hur, this combat chariot-racer is the pits. Whoever decided that using every damn button on the controller (including pressing down on the analog sticks) makes for enthralling gameplay needs to have his or her head checked. Trying to 1) control the chariot and its driver while 2) whipping your horses to keep them at maximum speed, and 3) manipulate your co-pilot in chariot-to-chariot combat (all at the same time) is so comprehensively unintuitive it's ridiculous. If you think that sounds wacked, factor in the need to have your co-pilot helping you out in the curves by leaning left or right (using the right analog stick), and you can see why this is a problem. But wait, it gets better! Bumping into a wall, or taking too sharp a turn (which you're usually doing to avoid bumping into the wall), will flip your freaking chariot and put you back a few places. Another constant chore is keeping your hors-es/zebras/unicorns from running into walls while you lunge for power-ups. In case you're wondering if there is a bright side to this game, know now that the muddy quality of-the sound and visuatslmatches the wretchedness of the control scheme blow for blow. Slightly more fun can be found in the Multiplayer modes (particularly Co-op), but overall I cannot recommend this game.
Warning: Do not play this game's single-player mode. If you were to attempt such a task, you'd be forced to use every button and stick on the complex Xbox controller to steer, power and defend your chariot. I'm talking about driving the chariot with one du.de and fighting with another at the same time. Trust me, the controls are sheer, unadulterated nonsense. Luckily, the two-player Co-op mode justifies a lark rental for this turkey. With you at the reigns and your friend slicing from the back, Maximus manages to actually be entertaining. It still looks like a chunky, amateurish Dreamcast game, but you'll have a three-legged-race kind of fun with it.
Good luck finding anyone who's ga-ga over chariot racing, but for the select few, Circus Maximus to the rescue! At first, you may find yourself giggling profusely at the sheer silliness of watching gladiators try to knock heads with each other while trying to keep balance on a bouncy chariot, but lightheartedly play CM and it actually does entertain. Serious bummers arise, though, due to controls designed for folks with 12 fingers, and a high learning curve which makes a win in even the beginning stages of single play a chore. Multiplay's where CM's got a chance, but it won't be easy coaxing your buddies into it. Novel idea, but inadequate execution.