Hmmm, another car GAME. I suppose I'd better start with a driving anecdote. Okay then, true story: I was on a driving holiday with a chum in the States and we decided to head into Mexico for a couple of days. We filled up with Cgas' at the border and headed south on a road - useful for linking purposes, this -which looked not unlike the Egyptian stage on Screamer 2. Anyway, hours passed, and the needle on the petrol gauge was beginning to alarm me: I wasn't sure we'd make it to Nogales, the town we were heading for. Then we spotted a side road (more of a dirt track, actually), and there was a sign next to it which read Peligro. Thank God for that. We'd go there and fill up. Do you think they'll have a petrol station? wondered Steve. We decided they probably would, and started towards the place. The dirt track got narrower, dirtier, and bumpier by the minute. Then it rose alarmingly, into the mountains. A quarter an hour later we were perched precariously on the edge of a cliff, so I had to reverse all the way back down again (which was pretty hairy, believe me). Anyhow, we did eventually make it to Nogales, and, once there, bought a map - on which there was no mention of Peligro. On return to Blighty I was told by a Spanish-speaking chum that Peligro means CDanger'...
Naff link alert: the tracks on Screamer 2 should have Peligro signs plastered on nearly every corner - it's that sort of game. Whereas the original was paying lip service to Ridge Racer, Screamer 2 is pretty much in the realms of Sega Rally. And it's here that the first question has to be broached. I've got to Cget it out of the way' as it were...
Question: "Sega Rally is pretty hot, is Screamer 2 as good?
Answer: No, it's actually a tad better because it's got far more longevity!
I'm guessing here, but I'd reckon that the Screamer 2 crew have deconstructed Sega Rally to the nth degree. They've obviously played it to death and have asked themselves what works, what doesn't work, what gets boring first, and so on. Then they've added their own bits to the overall equation. The result is a blinder. The only criticism I have, and 1 may as well mention it now, is that the cars handle pretty Ciffily' - but if I whinged about this at length I know that Johnny Tightarse will say Yes, but it's an arcade game, it doesn't matter. Okay then, it's an arcade game and it doesn't matter - alright? Next...
Everything about the arcadey front end says Play me, play me, to the point where you don't quite know what to do first, options-wise. I'll take them one by one...
ARCADE: Or, if you prefer, Cinstant gratification'. Select this and you're offered three tracks, a choice of four cars, and then you get to race the three computer-controlled cars over one, three, five or ten laps.
CHAMPIONSHIP: There are four legs. Finish the first three tracks in overall first position (10 points for a win, six for second place etc) and you'll be allowed to progress to leg two, which has an Cadded' track, but harder opposition. Coine overall first in this leg and it's onto the third, which has yet another new track (and yet harder opposition). Finish & this final leg in the required overall first place, and you now have an arcade racing game with six different tracks. But wait! You know how console racing games tend to include hidden Csecrets'? Well, so does Screamer 2. There's a seventh track tucked away in its brain - and a Csecret' car. There may be other joys to discover, but I haven't yet managed to get past the second leg.
TIME ATTACK: This is, basically, a practice mode. Choose a track (the more you've accessed in Championship mode the more you can access here) and burn rubber. You against the clock. But then that's not mentioning the 'ghost car', which is, essentially, you! Yup, the computer remembers your best lap, so you can race yourself. (This also works nicely as a two-player game, and it's great for gambling.)
MULTI-PLAYER: A large groan arises from the vast majority here... after all, how many people are blessed with four-player networking facilities? Still, haul kit to a chum's and you can go head-to-head through a serial lead. Or there's a split-screen mode, and it works a treat -although the usual Cwho's going to use the joypad' arguments will ensue.
I haven't a clue what the secret track is like - but as for the six available ones, I've managed (through being rather skill) to access five. They are (from easiest onwards) England, Egypt, California, Finland and Switzerland. The sixth (I know from the manual) is Columbia. I won't go fawny ga-ga here, but the graphics are superb: I could talk about each track in anally intense detail for a year: about how trains go over bridges above you; about how animated cows go Cmoo' as you drive past; about the necessity of precise timing and powerslides, and on and on and on. Let's just say there's trackside detail akimbo. (It's worth mentioning that there are no checkpoints, though, so you can drive back and check the scenery should you be of a mind.) (Oh, and it's also worth mentioning that the tracks are subjected to different weather conditions as the difficulty levels increase.)
Los conclusionos and el boastio...
I've got an A4 sheet of paper in front of me on which I scribbled hundreds of little Cnotes' while playing the game. But they're mostly bollocks, to be honest, so I'll end by simply stating that Screamer 2 is the dog's sausage. There's room for improvement, yes, but then the same could be said of everything. Oh, and as I should imagine you'll be buying this game, how about I lay down a little challenge... and bear in mind that the following lap times were achieved after only a few hours.
England - best lap 1:13:50, using the Radiance.
Egypt - best lap 1:27:20, using the Nebula.
Pinland - best lap 1:43:42, using the Nebula.
So... feel lucky, punkios?
Download Screamer 2
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Screamer peels out on the PC with speedy arcade-style racing. Choose from six sweet cars, including Porsches, Ferraris, and Lamborghi-nis, and bump fenders with nine other drivers on six tracks. Snazzy SVGA graphics and thrash-metal tunes maintain the high-octane pace.
Hot on the tailpipe ot last year's successful first game. Screamer 2 hauls across the starting line with a trunk full of cool upgrades. From behind the wheel of four new cars, you screech across six new tracks that range from South American jungles to the streets of San Francisco. Before the flag drops, you choose two-wheel or four-wheel drive and optimize your suspension, tire pressure, body style, and transmission to fit race conditions. Other smokin' additions include variable weather, two-player split-screen action, four-player network play, and a new 3D engine that provides better graphics, speedier play, and a more realistic 3D feel.
Screamer 2 screeches onto the PC with the kind of addictive fender-bashing found in console titles like Daytona. But here's the catch: To get both decent graphics and speed on this track, you really need something in the Pentium 166 range.
This day at the track begins by choosing from 16 cars and three courses--with three additional tracks opening up as you progress through the championships. To win, racers need to tune their cars to suit each of the track's conditions, customizing details like suspension and tire pressure.
The impressive 3D graphics portray well-detailed tracks and realistically moving cars. The flat audio, however, fizzles with tame music and repetitive sound effects.
Screamer 2 gets off to a nice start, but performance issues drag it to a grinding halt. Unless your system ranks in the upper Pentium echelons, you're stuck in lo-res mode, where blocky mounds of pixels somehow represent opposing drivers. Even if you risk hi-res on a Pentium 90, you'll feel like you're watching a slide show.
However, when it's rockin' on a high-end rig, Screamer 2's gameplay will glue racing buffs to the screen. It's raucous arcade action all the way as you ram opponents, set up power skids, and so on. The controls provide a nice feel for the different handling of each set-up, but the tricky steering definitely requires practice.
If you've got the power, Screamer 2's got breakneck racing action. It's too bad all those gamers with medium-level hardware are left eating dust.
- The Horizon car Is the best choice for beginners as its great cornering requires little power skidding.
- Pass opponents on turns by taking the Inside line and skidding out.
- The key to tight handling is beginning to steer and countersteer just before and after the turn.