Review by KirbySSB

Reviewed: 03/25/04

Excellent, I still like this racing game more than the new ones.

When I wrote this review games like F-Zero GX and Mario Kart: Double Dash were available, and I still prefer this game more.

GAMEPLAY

Wow, the controls are perfect. Every car has a slightly different feel, and once you get the best car you'll be good enough to handle it. There's many ways to turn using a combination of the control stick, the brake, reverse, and handbrake. You will die if you are upside-down for too long on the ground, so you can hit the L button instead, which teleports you back on to the track so you don't have to wait for your beetle to explode. The difficulty is just right, there are four difficulties for the Championship races: the first is a race of the first three levels with easy opponents. The second is a race of the first four levels, with decent opponents. The third is the first five levels with some more difficult opponents and the final difficulty is race in every level with the hardest opponents. Once you beat all those difficulties you will have 11 different beetles to use. You might ask, ''What now that I've beaten the championship races?'' Well, there's also a four player ''Beetle Battle'' mode where you and your friends all go into an arena to literally shoot each others with missiles and grab the six beetle icons before everyone else. There are nine arenas to play this in. The first three are already unlocked, but the other six you need to go back into championship mode, and in every race you might have noticed boxes with numbers on them. Well, if you grab most of them you get a continue so if you mess up a race in championship mode you can restart the race without restarting the whole championship. However, if you grab all 100 points worth of boxes, you unlock a new beetle battle arena! These are hard to get, you need to take all the right paths and memorize where all the boxes are beforehand. It's a good challenge and once you get them you will feel great. Time trial mode is great, it's fun to compete against your friends, or you could even compare scores online. Two player mode: Good for two players to just race in, excellent for a reason most people will not see. In two players the physics are a little bit different so you jump a bit higher; this lets you get to glitchy areas you're not supposed to get to! Seriously, you can go almost everywhere, I've played two player mode with a friend just trying to get to new areas so long, the timer for the race stops at 99:59.99! I am actually making a 20 minute long tape of glitches and stunts for this game alone. There's just tons to explore. There are not many levels, but they are really long! Four to seven minutes each. The actual shortcuts that were put in by the makers are great, and there are so many! I'm talking like 20 shortcuts per level. Nothing like zooming through a movie theater and blasting back on to the road.

GRAPHICS

Excellent for Nintendo 64. Rarely there are some ''popup'' visuals that just appear when you get closer to them, but otherwise it's fine. The cars are all great looking, some of the later beetles have shiny effects too. The levels are beautiful. There is so much detail put into the levels it is unbelievable. Destructible Scenery? You bet. Signs, poles, boxes, even telephone booths are destructible. You can tell how much effort when in: most of the graphics were used in the game just once for one part of a level, and never used again: Every level looks and feels different.

SOUND

Great sounds effects, the engine sounds of each beetle is different, which is cool. Every beetle also has a horn, and some of the later beetles have very unique horns. The noise of hitting down a sign post feels good to hear, and there are lots of comedy sound effects thrown in. For example, when you are in a village with huts and you smash into one it will break and you hear an ''OW!'' of the natives living there. Different secret areas have different sound effects to them: If you stay in the alien crash site you hear the noise of the space ship, if you stay in the casino for a bit you hear the noises of the slot machines.

STORY

Like most (*looks at F-Zero GX*) racing games, this game does not have a story, so don't expect anything from this department.

OVERALL

This is a great game to have a fun time with. If you have an Nintendo 64 I would buy this game used somewhere, it's worth it.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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