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Release Date: November 2000 (US) Developer: Player 1 Games Publisher: Titus Regions: US/Europe
The Dreamcast has some good racing games. Sega GT is good. Metropolis Street Racer is good, Sega Rally 2 is good. The Ferrari game that Yu Suzuki made testing his own car is good.
Roadsters is not, by any stretch, a good game.
This version is clearly ported from the Playstation version that came out about 6 months before. The graphics look worse than Gran Turismo on the PS1, the sound is...boring, and the options are basic at best.
Where the game really falls flat is the gameplay. Gameplay is the most important aspect of a game. Ugly games with good gameplay are still good, to an extent. Beautiful games with terrible gameplay are seen as missed opportunities.
The controls act as if they were designed for a d-pad with analog control thrown in as an afterthought. The cars will veer wildly with the slightest touch of the Dreamcast's analog joystick (conversely, they'll understeer when using the d-pad, yes, I used the d-pad to try it out). The gas is also all there when you squeeze the right trigger. Oh, and in order to reverse, unlike pretty much every racing game ever, where you simply hold the brake button after coming to a complete stop, you have to shift down. Even in automatic transmission. Then shift back up to go forward. It's a royal pain.
However that's not the worst, or strangest part of the gameplay. Everything has clipping issues. Sometimes if you hit a car you'll phase into the car's rear bumper, other times, you will bounce off a space between the cars, almost as if the air molecules in between the cars rejected your car's very presence. Sometimes other racers will stand completely still for no reason whatsoever.
Don't worry, I have video of that too [youtubenew]http://youtu.be/iQtWhfaOVUs?t=1m36s[/youtubenew]
Perhaps the most upsetting part of this game's numerous problems is that, in order to use shortcuts, you have to be driving a certain configuration of a track. Each track has 6 separate configurations. A,B, & C, and the backwards version of each. In the C configuration, each shortcut is blocked by invisible walls. In the B, some are, and others are available, in the A, there are no invisible walls, but the "barricades" are still there, so you don't see any difference, but you can go through the folding barricades, or cows, with no problem. Some shortcuts, and especially jumps, are only useful for the backwards configuration, making them a giant thing that you can't really use the other half of the time.
I could go on, but if you see my full review at the top, you'll know why I don't want to.
This game has no redeeming features, unless you got it complete, in which case the jewel case can be used for a better, more deserving game. Like Web Browser 1.0.
The game gets a 1/10, only because the rules don't allow 0.
I played this through a few weeks ago (a burnt copy)..and yeah, this game definitely has serious issues.
Most messed up are definitely the controls and collision detection. Sometimes the cars veer left or right seemingly on their own without you even touching the D-pad/analog stick. You can never be sure how the cars will react, no matter how much you practice.
On every every map, the roads are actually narrower than what they look like, like there are invisible walls infront of the edges of the road..or the hit box of every car is a lot larger than the car model itself..either way, you constantly bang into the walls/obstacles because it looks like there's plenty of room left but the game thinks otherwise..
My favorite thing is when a car constantly rams into you from behind and you come to a complete halt as if you had hit a wall..that's just so messed up it's actually hilarious.
Slowdowns also occured at various places..probably due to bad programing or optimization, as graphycally the game did nothing even close to spectacular or demanding.
It's a shame because I actually liked the track designs, and how some variants had things going on, like fire spreading across the map, volcano eruption, earthquake, solar eclipse, twister going across the map or an airplane crashing in the city. Those were neat little features in my opinion.
My favourite racing games are 4x4 Evo, Metro Street Racer, F355, Sega GT, Crazy Taxi 2, Looney Tunes Space Race (only when we have a four player night) and Rush Rally Racing (really hard to control the car).
Yes dark,it's a sumptuous looking game with nice handling. Technically, it's outstanding. Some people get a kick out of its pixel popping, I just call it eye candy. The sense of speed you get on some of the long straights is pretty impressive. There are beautiful details like the brake pads glowing on hard braking, the reflections on the cars, the grass flying like shrapnel as you clip the verge, it's great stuff, and like dark says, it's available for peanuts.
I actually played Roadsters to the very end and recorded the credits. You can see who was responsible....
I must point out I never bought this game; it was found in the case for Re-Volt bought from a charity shop (last year).
As stated in the above posts, the handling cripples the game. For me, the only way to make Roadsters somewhat playable was by adjusting the steering to Tight in the options. Even then you suffer from this "delayed oversteer" effect that makes clean/precise racing next to impossible.
The only good thing about Roadsters is that it resembles a Crusin' game when it's played at 60hz on a CRT and the music was somewhat enjoyable. Other than that its a poor Speed Devils clone and the worst DC racer I've played!