|a game by||Clockwork Games Limited|
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Ive Owneo Loads Of Shite Cars In my time, but one of the worst was an old 'P' reg Triumph Dolomite. It would've been crap enough had it been in pristine condition, but I happened to be on the dole at the time and couldn't afford to have anything on it fixed. Six months after purchase the clutch got so slippy that faced with a hill of anything over one degree's inclination, I'd have to pick up as much speed as possible and then change frantically down through the gears in the hope that I'd reach the top before the car ground to a halt. Why am I telling you this? Well, imagine I'm being filmed doing this by a helicopter, a la Police, Camera. Action. Not very exciting, agreed? Exactly. And, unfortunately, Speedster feels very much like this.
Er, it's slow then?
You bet it's slow. But, worse than that, it's also deeply uninvolving. What you get, basically, are eight tracks and eight cars (four sports jobs and four off-roaders, with 'secret' cars up for grabs as per usual). Then you get your different race modes, of which you'll be yawn-worthily familiar: Championship, Single Race or Time Trial (where there's a ghost car, should you toggle it). Not exactly original territory, to be sure, but the selling point of Speedster is its viewpoint Look at the screenshots. Yup. we're in overhead helicopter cam territory, and nothing wrong with that... after all. remember Micro Machines? A bloody brilliant game. But where Micro Machines was frenetic, and had loads of 'character' and whatnot, Speedster is a big snooze, with nothing in the way of 'grooviness'. The graphics are great, admittedly, but the game doesn't really use them to any effect and, unforgivably, actually allows them at times to interfere with the already sagging gameplay. "Where am I supposed to go now?" was one common cry here in the office, often followed with "Aaaah, under that bridge perhaps!" Wrong! You see, from way up in the air, one man's bridge is another man's crash barrier. Obviously perseverance with the game would lead to one gradually memorising the tricky twists and turns of each particular track, but then we get back to the slothful gameplay, meaning one would never get that far due to lack of interest. Lo-res, incidentally, runs a deal faster than hi-res, but looks crap and is confusing (seeing as everything's so wee). Nevertheless, all this slagging has. so far. been about the one-player game. So what of the two-player? That must be fun, surely?
You are feeling sleepy...
Selecting split-screen mode, selecting sportsters and the so-called 'fast' racetrack, I went head-to-head with Chris Anderson (deputy ed). Game on. Acceleration of to 60 in about nine years. By the time I hit the first bend I noticed Chris's car wasn't visible on my side of the monitor. Ha ha! I was winning then. Had he crashed? I turned to see what he was up to, and he was, er, asleep on his chair. Then I fell asleep too. We both slept soundly till the next day. (I exaggerate, obviously, but not by much.) We couldn't even wind the window down and get some fresh air. Don't try this on an empty stomach.