Vangers

a game by Interactive Magic
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
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Overview

Welcome to a future in which road rage is not only approved of, it is a way of life. Especially for a Vanger, a mechos pilot whose only duty is to serve the counselors. To do this, the successful Vanger must explore new worlds, haul dangerous cargo, race rival Vangers, and sometimes, even hunt or be hunted by them. As the game begins, the player as a newbie Vanger begins with a small mechos -- a motorized, armored vehicle -- and the simple task of going out to be a Vanger. Be a good Vanger and your reputation will go up. As your reputation rises, you will discover new worlds, gain new weapons, and destroy many other mechos.

Vangers presents a unique game world that actually remembers your interaction with it. Tire tracks appear and remain. Holes that you dig in the ground never disappear. This presents an ever-changing world that you have to be very careful to survive in. If a bridge takes too much damage, it becomes increasingly difficult to cross. This could be disastrous if you accidentally hit one of the holes while trying to win a race or escape an enemy.

This may sound interesting, and it was for a while, once I was able to figure out what was going on. The game and manual are full of nonsense terms that come from the worlds you explore. I suppose they were intended to increase the immersion in the game world, but there are far too many terms and far too little explanation for my taste.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

Most of the game is spent driving the mechos from one colony to another, or from one world to another. With so much time spent behind the wheel, it would have been nice if Interactive Magic had taken the time to develop an interface that was easier to control. After a couple of hours I had to resort to using the keyboard because it was the only way I could get enough control to take on other mechos or win races.

The main problem was the over-sensitivity of the mechos. The mechos, supposedly a four-wheeled vehicle, would bounce, flip, roll, and turn, making even almost flat terrain difficult to drive over. When I got to driving over rougher terrain, there was no way to control the direction I was trying to go.

Graphics

The graphics are one of the few high points in this game. It was nice to see that all sides of the mechos were nicely detailed as I flipped out of control, turning in all directions. It was also very satisfying to see my shots explode into the enemy mechos when I actually managed to hit them.

Audio

There is absolutely nothing noteworthy about the audio in Vangers. The soundtrack, while not inspirational or even interesting, didn’t get as annoying as the sound in most games. The sound effects give the same impression as the music, not jarring enough to be irritating, but certainly nothing to get excited about.

System Requirements

This game requires a Pentium 133MHz with 16 MB RAM and 50 MB free disk space. It also requires DirectX 5.0 and a 4X CD-ROM drive. The recommended system is a 200MHz system with 32 MB RAM and 200 MB of disk space. The game ran nicely on my P166 and I believe that someone running on the minimum configuration wouldn’t have any trouble either.

Documentation

In hindsight, the manual wasn’t too bad. But when I first read it, as I mentioned above, it was so full of nonsense terms that it was almost useless. After playing the game for a while and figuring things out for myself, I was able to go back to the manual, but that just doesn’t cut it.

Bottom Line

This is a game that most people will probably want to skip. Although the game is at times interesting, it is difficult to overcome such awkward controls and meaningless documentation. However, if you are a hardcore game fan and have played and enjoyed games such as Auto Duel (a very old game), this may be something to check out.

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