Review by Cow Killer
Reviewed: 06/30/03 | Updated: 06/30/03
Two years later and still strangely addictive despite it's problems
Alright, I started playing this game over a year and a half ago and I just recently finished it due to the extreme frustration associated with the later missions. That's not to say that Smuggler's Run is a bad game, but you have to have an extreme amount of patience to finish this one off.
-Obviously this is a game where little else matters other than the gameplay. If zooming off a 400 foot cliff in a monster truck while driving 110 miles per hour sounds like fun, then you're sure to get a kick out of this game for at least a while. The assorted vehicles respond fairly well to what you input into your controller and the different vehicles all have their own unique feel while flying over the countryside, herein lies some of the problem. Most of the vehicles are downright useless save for pointless joyriding. With only 6 main vehicles to drive in this isn't such a problem, but I guarantee that most people will play through the majority of the game using the SUV or later perhaps the monster truck. Other vehicles are required in a few of the stages, but it really isn't mixed up enough for my tastes. The police offer a great challenge even early on but at many times are downright frustrating to deal with. Because of this however, I found myself feeling extremely accomplished when I finally beat a tough level. Only those who are truly tenacious need apply here.
-Uhhh... You're a smuggler taking assorted goods to different drop points while avoiding the police. There's short snippets of voice dialogue that acts as a briefing before each mission but overall it's rather pointless.
-Compared to other first-gen PS2 titles, I'd have to say that the graphics were really not bad at all. Nowadays things look a tad bit blocky, but I never found anything to be particularly ugly to look at. The main reason that this score only gets a seven is mostly due to the fact that there's only three playing fields and two of them are the same map except one has snow and the other doesn't. At least these maps are huge enough that you don't always notice how repetitious the terrain can get, but after some 30 odd missions things to start to feel a tad tedious.
-The problem here is how annoying certain sounds can get after time. The music usually consists of nothing but a rhythmic beat with the occasional interjection of some sort of electronic tempo which does indeed suit the fast paced action of the game, it gets old fast. The voice acting was done fairly well, however, there wasn't quite enough of it to warrant its presence in the game. I even encountered a bug where whatever the radio woman first said to me was repeated over and over throughout a mission until I wanted to destroy my stereo speakers. The never-ending police sirens will probably start to drive you insane later on as well. So as you can see, the audio isn't really bad, it's just overly repetitive.
Replay Value: 9/10
-This is probably the high point of Smuggler's Run. Despite its obvious flaws, I still find myself wanting to go back every now and then to zoom over bumps in freestyle mode and force spectacular crashes in the one player mode. The open ended maps can provide hours of exploration while attempting to explore that which seems impossible to reach. The multiplayer can be entertaining as well as it's great to watch your buddies face as you smash into him and steal the contraband he's carrying causing a near victory for yourself. While I may not play this game very often, I see myself going back every now and then just to play around with the terrain.
Buy or Rent?
-Well, seeing as how you could probably find this for around $10 I'd say that it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy Smuggler's Run, but only if you have an amazing amount of patience as some levels require you to play them over and over again in order to finally memorize a good route to your goal (And be blessed with enough good luck to get there unscathed). In the end though, if you can find Smuggler's Run 2 I would highly suggest picking that up instead mainly because it retains nearly the same gameplay found here but offers much more diversity.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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