Hop into your fuel-injected muscle car as you slam on the gas. Race against the clock towards the finish line, passing your competitors at over a hundred crazy miles an hour and leaving them behind to eat your dust. You are the champion now and forever, and no rookie will take that away from you. In the home stretch you can see a glimpse of the checkered flag. Now is not the time to choke; victory is in your grasp. Time to go full throttle and show your adoring fans who is the true king of the roads.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
The object of Rumble Racing is to race around the track, defying the laws of gravity and doing it all before lunchtime. As usual you choose a vehicle that gives you the advantage over your opponents. Once things are in order, you determine what track best suits your needs to humiliate the other drivers in front of the audience. To make things more interesting on the track, you have the option of picking up multiple power-ups that can make or break the game for you. With all these elements, including the fact that you can increase your track time if you perform a few stunts, your driver could be a regular daredevil of death.
Before you start the game, keep in mind that a lot of things will be closed off to you. You have a limited selection of courses and a slim pick of choice cars at your disposal. After you choose what you want, you can move on to a simple race between yourself and the computer or one of your friends. You can amuse yourself by testing your racing skills in a championship against the computer, or try the stunt course where the object is to perform as many crazy maneuvers as you can before you run out of time. As the game progresses you may find ways to unlock more courses and cars to attain the highest scores. Though in the end it seems highly unlikely that you'll have the patience or sanity to unlock all the secrets, it sure is worth the try to be able to race some of those muscle cars.
Getting behind the wheel is only half the game; the other half is being able to control the car. As you would suspect the controls come down to steering the car left and right, stepping on the gas to move forward or reverse, and of course the brake. You may also aim the power-ups you pick up throughout the race to slow down the other drivers. Basically you're stuck with a vehicle that has a few tricks, but nothing that makes you jump out of your seat.
If might makes right, this certainly holds true when it comes to collecting power-ups. You can gather some truly impressive power-ups that may aid you by shooting at the other cars or protecting your vehicle from the other drivers' onslaughts. Some of the more advantageous power-ups are the shock wave attacks or the kind that shower the track with debris. My personal favorite power-up is a little number called the tornado, which is not just a clever name. I found that once the tornado was in my possession I could regain the lead with little difficulty, since my opponents were more concerned with getting back to the ground in one piece.
What type of high-speed racing game would this be without the capacity to pull off some fantastic stunts? It would be a game that's worth getting out of bed to play. To my dismay, the stunts were lacking in every possible category. One of the major annoyances of pulling off stunts is that they're in a slow-motion setting that makes you just go nuts -- not to mention the fact that a car can only do so many maneuvers. The idea of putting stunts in the game just seemed ridiculous.
If you think one player is fun, then having another person participating with you has got to be twice as fun, right? Wrong. The game is already lacking as it is, and sharing the screen with another person makes things even more confusing. Although the screen is cut in half to make it accessible for two players, I found it more enjoyable to leave it in single player.
One of the game's only saving graces is decent-quality graphics. The courses I had access to were unique, each with a particular theme that helped me feel like I was actually in the driver's seat. Each car had an excellent paint job that made it stand out from the others, including its performance on the track. I particularly enjoyed the look of the power-up effects, such as the tornado. If you think the car should show the personality of the driver, Rumble Racing has a car for every type of person imaginable.
If the graphics of Rumble Racing make the game, the audio breaks it. To give you an idea how pathetic things are in the sound department, just imagine all you can hear is a bundle of obnoxious engines blasting in your ear. I was hoping for some catchy theme music, or possibly some sort of explosions -- anything that just made you want more. Instead, you get to listen to a witty announcer insulting you the entire way and reminding you when you screw up. This guy drove me up the wall, making me want to finish the race as quickly as possible so I could get out of the car and break his jaw with a tire iron.
Now that I'm done with Rumble Racing I have to say that it isn't appropriate for everyone, but it isn't a total loss. If you're up to the challenge, I suggest you sit down and invest some of your time unlocking all the courses and cars. Also there are a couple of special effects that most people would enjoy, namely the power-up that creates the devastating tornado. In the long run, I'd suggest that you pass this game by and save your money for one of the hotter releases later this season.
Download Rumble Racing
Lots of muscle cars, plenty of tracks, plus power-ups like shields and bombs--this is NASCAR Rumble for the PS2 sans license. New to the series is a collection of stunt tracks and commentary by Jess Harnell (voice of Wacko from Animaniacs). If this upgrade plays anything like the original, expect a lot of insanity on the track this summer from Electronic Arts.