Review by Larcen Tyler
Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 07/16/01
Great for its time, still great even today!
If there has to be one of the most influential racing games out there, it's definitely Pole Position, created by Namco, put out by Atari, and available on so many first-gen systems (and even the PlayStation!) it's definitely a classic!
Even though this was 1982, most games weren't drawn this way. Most were done from an overhead view. None had ever attempted to do a behind the car view. The scenery was well drawn, and each billboard had it's own picture or writing on it. If only the developers would know what would become of this.
The sound effects are right in there. A fanfare before the game gets you ready to go. The flag girl tells you to 'Prepare to Qualify!' And then you get a realistic sounding car, complete with the sound of other cars' motors as you pass by them. They even fade in and out realistically. The explosions are also done well for their time. Each selection of music for the high score screen is suited for that position, from the 'string arrangement' of the disqualification, to the pipe organ of first place.
A two gear shift (low and high,) a steering wheel, and an accelerator pedal are all part of your Pole Position cabinet. Nothing too fancy here. Nor is there the option for automatic transmission. Then again, there's only two gears so you shouldn't have too much trouble.
Only die-hard fans would want to go back for more, seeing how there's only one track available, to see if they can set a new record or learn new tricks for the game. Otherwise, it's just try it and see if you can win the race.
The Ridge Racer for the 80s, one might say. With smooth graphics and amazing sound that still impresses me today, this is one classic game that even I recommend to every racing fan out there.
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