San Francisco Rush 2049
After the San Francisco Rush saga passed through the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation, San Francisco Rush 2049 made its way into the Dreamcast. Back in those days, it was something completely new to have great visuals in a racing game. But since the launch of the first F-Zero game, this became an instant thread.
Going into the Dreamcast was a huge jump, but going into a stronger console can be a bigger responsibility. With more power to use, you start to run out of excuses for hardware limitations. So, did the San Francisco Rush make it big when transitioning into the Dreamcast? Well… let's talk about that.
About the game
There isn't much to say about this game's plot, but we can talk about the gameplay itself. The game is structured to be like three games in one. With completely different game styles in each one of them, this helps in adding more variety and keeping the gameplay from becoming too repetitive.
Ther Race Mode is the usual racing style we all know and love. It's a simple race where, aside from winning in the first place, you can collect coins. These coins are incredibly well hidden sometimes, so it's a challenge that will have you replaying tracks over and over again.
Another of the game modes it includes is based only on doing special jumps and tricks to earn points. And the more points you make, the better. And the third game mode is the versus combat mode. Similar to the vs mode in Mario Kart games, there are special weapons and power-ups to use against the other players. This could be the most interesting addition in the game and it's probably the one you'll play the most.
The game is nice and enjoyable. It features thirteen different cars to choose from, with different specs and great designs. However, the game doesn't seem to fit in any of the platforms available. It doesn't really add anything not present into any other racing game, nor is it as extreme as F-Zero and the tracks are less original.
The visuals are solid, but it isn't enough to stand out for itself, and it doesn't matter how well it looks if the gameplay keeps being repetitive. When you compare the average race here with a Mario Kart race, it's in a completely different league. It also falls on the limbo of being in the middle of arcade and non-arcade racing games. So it all adds up to be an ok game, not good but not painfully bad.
Graphics and visuals: Without a doubt, it's the best looking game in the series. The levels look solid and detailed, and the enhanced visual distance in the level is much better than in the previous entries. But while there isn't a cloudy horizon where you can clearly see the polygons and details of the tracks suddenly appearing in front of you, the cars don't really look all that great. There are some serious drops in the framerate too, which should NEVER happen on a racing game.
Gameplay: It's rough and solid, but can be repetitive in no time. The controls are nice and the replay value is alright. This game is only really enjoyable in multiplayer mode, as the single-player is tedious and repetitive.
Sound: Sometimes racing games should play it safe when it comes to the audio. Here they did just that, but maybe they played it a little TOO safe. Sure, the engines and the breaks sounds serve their functions, but there isn't really much after that. Nothing too memorable, not in the sound effects nor in the soundtrack. Just like pretty much everything in this game, it's just there.
Download San Francisco Rush 2049
This is an excellent example of what can be done to a handheld version of a popular home system title when you have talented people involved. SF Rush 2049 does have one fatal flaw-but I'll get to that later. First, let me give some specifics about the good stuff. On a superficial level, I really enjoyed the weird German techno soundtrack, and subtle but effective use of voice. The Al is well-balanced and often provides a challenge, although it doesn't seem affected by obstacles like oil slicks. In addition, the RC Pro Am style of play and tight digital control feels just right, even around the corners and through shortcuts (and you'll have to find those shortcuts if you don't want to be majorly frustrated in each race). The course design is excellent but the graphics are all too similar. So what about this major flaw? Well, the game's too short--you can finish it in about an hour. If the main mode was more meaty, the Time Attack mode actually contributed to the overall experience somehow, or it had a two-player link mode it would have helped immensely.