|a game by||THQ|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 5 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.7/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games|
With gameplay reminiscent of the classic coin-op Chase HQ. Ray Tracers has you racing against the clock and battling bad guys on six courses. But instead of using weapons, you're forced to battle enemies and Bosses with your indestructible car. Like in Chase HQ. you must catch up with each level's Boss and defeat it before the timer runs out. You can smash into vehicles along the way for bonus points, but each crash wastes precious seconds. The courses wind through sewers, tunnels, canyons and meadows. You can choose from four vehicles (and one that's hidden), each with a turbo booster.
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Mixing racing with Blast Dozer-style bashing, Ray Tracers is a bumpy, crunchy, loud ride that offers more pure action than most console racers. You'll revel in smashing police cars, barreling through obstacles, obliterating hovercraft, and annihilating helicopters, even if the explosions are very pixelated. The vise-like controls (imagine a car from Ridge Racer that hugs the road tighter) and the supersonic pacing make the gameplay riveting, and the challenge rises quickly. If the visuals improve and there are a good number of tracks by the time this title hits the shelves. Ray Tracers could become a classic.
Ray Tracers tries hard, but ultimately ends up like a Twisted Metal wannabe. Choose among four cars to race on six courses in various locales. The sharp graphics have a smooth, fast frame rate. The adequate sound effects feature a standard hard-rock riff. Controls are responsive to onscreen action, but sometimes the fast-moving cars require finesse.
While it is fundamentally fun to just drive fast and ram into everything on the road, the gameplay quickly becomes monotonous after a couple of rounds. A two-player combat mode would have revved the Fun Factor. For now, just rent Ray Tracers for temporary, destructive stress relief.
- Line up enemy pars directly in front you before punching Nltro to smash 'em.
- Race onto tunnel walls for Increased speed to catch up with enemies.
It seems that the biggest rage of late is combat racing games. Ray Tracers falls into this category mostly due to the lack of any better place to put it. It's a mix of genres that combines two different game modes, four cars, and four tracks to choose from. Oh, and did I mention huge bosses at the end of each level? That's right, bosses in a racing combat game. Unfortunately, this game could have redirected some energy into other areas and been a great game. As it stands now...
I know this is going to be hard to grasp, but it is the future. Society is trying to regain some semblance of peace and order. This desire for a peaceful society has prompted the building of a new city, the construction of which is controlled by a computer. With the construction complete, the computer is then supposed to run the city, but as fate would have it, a mysterious explosion blew up most of the city and the computer, leaving the idea of peace in shambles. After time, the pieces of the shattered city were rebuilt and all was looking good, until a gang of armed racers showed up and started tearing the place apart. It is up to you, as a member of the Tracer Team, to take out these thugs and save the city. No problem.
Ray Tracers can only be classified as a racing combat game, although there is not a lot of racing or combat. Well, that is not exactly true. You do drive fast trying to get to the end of the stretches of roads to face the boss. As far as combat goes, you are not really armed with weapons other than your vehicle itself. You use your vehicle to slam the other cars and ram the end-of-level bosses. I know this sounds fun, and it is for a while, but unfortunately the end comes far too quickly.
I am going to get the things I didn't like about this game off my chest. First and foremost, the game is way too short. I finished it in under 2 hours, and that was without even opening the manual. I was just starting to get comfortable with the controls and everything and I realized I was at the last boss. It's a big weakness if any game that can be defeated that quickly. It was really disappointing to start getting into a game only to have it come to an end so soon.
Another thing about this game that I was really not too fond of was the whole combat system. Calling it combat is misleading in itself. If the idea of ramming your car into another car is your idea of combat, then have at it. Personally, I don't find this to be combat at all. If you are going to include the combat element, I think you should do it right. I am not talking about missiles or anything either; maybe machine guns or oil slicks or something that would be more realistic. I just think ramming a car is not considered combat. The kicker of the whole deal is that this is how you have to kill the bosses. You just ram them until their life is gone. I commend the developers for trying something new and adding something fresh to the game, but I think they did not give it quite enough.
My last complaint with the game was that the racing portion was not really a factor to the overall gameplay. Sure, there were other vehicles on the road, but they were just there to get in your way. Maybe I just missed the point, but I thought the enemies were armed racers so the idea was to be racing. Apparently not, because you really don't race. Sure, you are up against a time limit and the faster you get to the boss, the more time you will have to dispose of him. But I still don't consider this to be racing. In defense of Ray Tracers, it does not ever call itself a racing game or a combat game, so maybe I missed the whole point. But I think you may find yourself feeling the same way.
One last thing: your car has nitro boosters on it. You have a limited supply of nitro, so I found that since the racing part of the game did not really matter, it's best not to use any nitro until you get to the boss. Once you reach the boss, use your nitro to slam him. Wait a minute and hit another boost to slam him again. If you don't use any nitro during the race portion, you will have more than enough available to kill the bosses.
Ok, enough of the bad. Let's hit the things I did like about the game. This game had awesome tracks. I really enjoyed the variation in the tracks and the feeling of speed you would get. Yes, there were not enough of them, but the few that they did have were great. There were plenty of hills, corners, tunnels and other obstacles. The tracks were quite long with narrow and wide lanes depending on the area you were in.
Another thing I really liked about the game were the cars. The control was dead on and you had some bad-ass vehicles to choose from. Once again, the number of available cars was a bit on the meager side but the few that were included could get the job done. The game designers did a great job of making the vehicles' control and handle solid. You will be flying through the tracks with the greatest of ease. One side note, though: the game uses the NeGcon controller, so I assumed the analog controller would work also. No such luck.
I know that it doesn't do any good to say things like "I would have done this" or "they should have done that," but I am going to do it anyway. I think this game had all the tools to make a great racing game. If the developers had scrapped the whole combat idea and focused on the racing engine, we could have been looking at one of the best racing games on the PSX. The game has a very Rage Racer feel to the graphics, cars and handling. All they needed to do was concentrate the efforts on making more tracks and turning it into a pure racer, and the game would have been excellent.
The graphics in this game were pretty good. The tracks and cars all look great, and you do get a good sense of speed. The enemies look equally impressive, and the bosses are big and mean-looking. The multiple camera angles give you excellent control of your driving perspective, and you are sure to find an angle that suits you.
As you can tell, I was not particularly enthralled with this game. It is by no means a bad game, but I just did not like what it offered. I think that it was too short and some people may find that they did not get their $50 worth. If the developers just concentrated on the racing aspect of the game and scrapped the whole combat thing, this game could have been something great. I mean, the tracks were great. The cars looked and handled great. If 100 percent of the development was devoted to just racing, I can only imagine what the outcome would have been. Unfortunately, they did not ask for my opinion when developing the game, so what you see is what you get. I suggest you rent the game before purchase to decide if it is for you.
I was excited when I first saw Ray Tracers. It looked like an updated version of Taito's awesome coin-op Chase HQ. Then I beat the game in about 30 minutes, and I realty have no urge to play it again. There's just not enough to it. Each of the six levels has you barreling down the highway in an indestructible car, plowing through Sunday drivers for bonus points, then ramming a big Boss machine to death at level's end. Sounds exactly like Chase HQ, right? Trouble is, Ray Tracers doesn't pack any personality, making for boring gameplay. The courses are dull, the drone cars are no more than random nuisances (which yield bonus points when you hit 'em), and the six Bosses are easy to topple. You simply turbo boost into them until they die. Heck, two of the Bosses--a helicopter and a Harrier fighter--don't even make any sense. Why don't they just fly a few feet higher off the road, out of reach of your ramming attacks? On the plus side, Ray Tracers is very fast. The scenery blazes by. The four selectable cars control pretty well, too, although you'll encounter a few tight turns (the tracks aren't very challenging). You also get a Time Attack Mode that lets you race on four courses against a drone opponent, but it adds little to the replay value. Weapons, better tracks and tougher Bosses jar what this game needs.
I like the blend of racing and destruction in Ray Tracers, but there are just too many problems with the game. The car's controls are overly sensitive, and there is abundant 3-D pop-up. Even if you can overlook these technical flaws, you can't ignore how easy this game is. There aren't many levels, and the Bosses are easily destroyed. It won't take the average player more than an hour or so to finish the game, making this rental material.
Do companies honestly think they can get away with releasing games that only take 20 minutes to complete? Where's the quality control? Ray Tracers is an excellent game--great graphics, great concept, fast animation, etc. But 20 minutes of video game enjoyment is hardly worth paying for, right? Too bad. Ray Tracers could've scored very high in my book. I simply can't recommend this game wholeheartedly knowing how short it is.
Talk about a straightforward game. The basic premise in Ray Tracers is this: Drive car, destroy obstacles, clear all checkpoints, kill Boss before timer runs out. That's it. Although the control is decent and the graphics are actually good, Ray Tracers is the most simplistic, monotonous and boring racing game I’ve played in quite some time. Since it's just a race against the clock. I found myself simply dodging obstacles to finish each level.