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Speed Devils
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  Ubi Soft
Publisher:  Ubi Soft
Features:  VMU, VGA Cord, Race controller, Jump Pack
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://
As a general whole, I really despise racing games. Certain exceptions are made for F-Zero X, Diddy Kong Racing, XG2, and Sonic R but none of these are what you would call "serious" racing games. They're fun racing games. I hate the "realistic" racing titles such as Gran Turismo (bleh) and, first and foremost, the appalling Need for Speed series. I hate licensed cars and I hate upgrading them. That and there seems to be something very wrong that basically teaches "he with the most (expensive) toys wins."

Along comes Speed Devils. While at first glance the game may seem to be one of the "realistic" racers, Speed Devils is far, far from it. Speed Devils is a fun game. There are plenty of nifty bells and whistles to keep haters of the "realistic" racing genre happy. There are no hyper-realistic physics models or anything like that. There are upgradable vehicles, but somehow the game makes it feel okay to indulge in capitalist undertaking.

I think it's partially because Speed Devils does not take itself very seriously. Speed Devils is a silly, silly game. Imagine any normal track in any given environment. Let's say, downtown Los Angeles for now. Add all of the normal twists, turns, sharp curves, and shortcuts. Now add dinosaurs, King Kong, and a JAWS knockoff. Good stuff. To make matters even sillier, add a cast of off the wall Twisted Metal rejects. Finally, to top it off, add a bunch of ridiculous looking, fictitious jalopies and muscle cars to the mix.

Speed Devils is a total arcade style experience. Comparable only to the SF Rush series and Beetle Adventure Racing on the N-64, SD devours what is expected of the modern racing genre. Realism is out. Fun is in. (My lord, that sounds corny)

The immaculately realized tracks, environments, and cars don't hurt either. Everything has a crisp, smoothed, shiny look to it, which makes SD all the more enjoyable. At times, I found myself running off the road, distracted by Speed Devils' visual splendor.

Aurally, the game satisfies as well. The music is somewhat of a rockabilly mix and the sound effects are dead on. I think that Speed Devils probably has some of the coolest music I've heard in a racing title. I don't even like rockabilly all that much, but for this game, it just fits.

There also happens to be a number of little tidbits that make help make Speed Devils special. The ability to upgrade and repair your car may not be a first for racing games, but for some reason, after smashing through a Mexican volcano, fixing up your car just seems fun. There's also a unique gambling system in which you can bet on a race (who will win, who will lose) for extra flow to soup up your ride (Are you digging my lingo?).

Unfortunately, there are some problems. While I'm all about varying environmental effects, the nighttime racing can be confusing, infuriating at times. The tracks, while amazingly long, can become tiresome at times. Fortunately, I only found this to be a problem when I had to re-race a track because I hadn't made enough points to advance to the next level in the career mode, but that also means more money for upgrades... yay.

All in all, Speed Devils provides a fun, if not unique racing experience for the Dreamcast that should be enjoyed by all of those in opposition to "realistic" racing games. Actually, I'd recommend it to just about anyone that likes car games or gambling games... or whatever.

Robert Cirkeljirque

No screenshots available for this title.

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