Surf Rocket Racers
|Editor Rating:||4.3/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Waverace 64 on Dreamcast. That's basically what Crave's new jet-ski racer is. This December DC owners will get a taste of what N64 owners were raving about years ago...well, almost. Right now SRR isn't looking or playing quite as well as Waverace. In fact, it's downright icky. The similarities in the two games are almost shameful, but Crave is out to emulate the success of Waverace, so more power to them.
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The first Wave Race clone on the Dreamcast leaves a lot to be desired. Although the game boasts 15 different tracks, most of them are just variations on about three different courses. While that's not really a big deal, the problem is that all of the courses are boring and a pain to navigate. And even if you can navigate them well, the opponent Al gets an obvious speed boost once you're in the lead, often streaking by you at unattainable speeds. No worries, though. Most of them are so stupid they'll run into almost every obstacle on the course at some point, pretty much guaranteeing you a good finish. The other racers aren't the only things that get caught in walls and such, either. The camera following your character frequently stops for no reason, mostly in tunnels, completely disorienting you as your alter-ego drives right out of the screen. Unfortunately there aren't even any cool tricks to learn that might give this game a little more replay value; riders can only do flips while in the air. In fact, you're likely to tear through the entire game in a one-night rental, and be left wondering if you can get your three bucks back. What's really insulting, though, is knowing that Nintendo did this game better about five years ago on a system not nearly as powerful. If you have to play this, simply rent it. If you really must own a game like this, find a used copy of Wave Race 64 and save yourself some money.
This thing tries to combine the wet-and-wild game-play of Wave Race 64, the arcade simplicity of Hydro Thunder, and the splashy presentation of a Sega game. Too bad it fails at all these things. Surf Rocket Racers comes across as too bare bones. The courses are dull, with few shortcuts, and the gameplay feels like it's lacking something. It's almost as if the developers meant to include a lot more technique to the control but in the end just said, "Aw, it's good enough," and shipped SRR as is. Better tricks, power-ups, more control finesse--this game needs all these things. Even its little bonus challenges aren't enough to make SRR interesting.
Surf Rocket Racers has everything it needs to usurp Wave Race 64 as the king of the jet-ski crown. It has a few tricks, 15 courses, different riders with various strengths and weaknesses, and, most significantly, it's running on superior hardware. Then why aren't the graphics and the wave effects as good as those on the N64? Why then, does the Al seem cheap? No particular strategy enables you to get an honest lead. The CPU overtakes you at will and then recedes for no apparent reason. For this specific reason, SRR remains unexciting and annoying, when it could have been so much more. Maybe we'll get a worthy Wave Race follow-up on Game Cube.