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Demolition Racer
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  2
Developer:  Pitbull Syndicate
Publisher:  Infogrames
Features:  Catapults!
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  8 blocks
Info:  http://www.demolitionracer.com
Demolition Racer Ė No Exit is a new entry into the "extreme" driving game, like Driver. Itís also reminiscent me of the Twisted Metal Series. What about this game makes it "extreme" you ask? The opening starts with a 50íd Driverís Ed movie that cuts away to metalheads rocking and rolling alaí the intro to WWF Raw. Fear Factory, Junkie XL, Brujeria and more provide music. A group of developers known as The Pitbull Syndicate developed the game. All very extreme, wouldnít you agree? Unfortunately, while the game has all this "extreme-ness", it lacks one thing that would make it a top contender in the genreí, the game itself. Itís not that this title isnít fun, itís actually QUITE fun. Somehow the boys over at the Pitbull Syndicate defied the odds. They made a game with poor graphics, lame physics, bland level design, and awful music squashed them all together and a fun title came out.

I was ready to just write a slam of this game and I will slam where necessary. But I did find myself having fun after I got over the righteous indignation of the lousy graphics and poor physics.

The premise of the game is your basic Twisted Metal knock-off. Crash in to as many cars as possible, inflicting the most damage without destroying yourself. Thereís a point system for hitting your opponents. So you donít have to finish first to win. You actually donít want to finish first if you donít have a lot of car-bashing points. One of the best things in the game is called "Death From Above"; itís when you get airborne and land on top of another car. Big points and big fun, itís not easy to do though. There are also power-ups, Repair, Shield and one that adds to your hit points when you ram other cars.
The tracks are fast and furious with little slowdown, only occurring in the biggest multi-car pileups in League Mode. There was some drop out and clipping too, but hey, this IS Demolition Racer, not Ridge Racer.

There are tons of tracks, in city, country and industrial areas. No Exit mode is just an old fashioned Demolition Derby. There are single races as well as a League Mode where you have to place in the top two or three to continue, as well as unlock new features. When you win trophies in League Mode, it opens up more tracks, cars, and special games like Car Football, and one called Tossers, where you use a catapult to launch your car at your opponent!

The car textures are fuzzy and sub standard; the level graphics are generic. The level design is uninspiring at best, most looking almost the same as the previous level, the only thing discerning them is the addition of bridges and other landmarks. You can "customize" your car, changing the paint job, and add a fuzzy logo to the top and sides of your car. There are all the Gen-Y symbols at your disposal, anarchy signs, peace signs, a 12-guage nose ring, the number 69 and of course the ubiquitous skull and crossbones.

The physics to the game are a complete wash too. The physics in this title make Super Runabout look like Gran Turismo. Now, I am one of the 3 people in the world who actually hates the Gran Turismo series, so itís not about physics engine snobbery. I found myself barely needing to steer. Driving against the walls didnít seem to slow me down or do damage. The crash animations are boring. The computer gently places your car upright and ready to roll before the crash animation finishes.
As I said before this game defies the odds. While itís a poor looking package, Demolition Racer delivers in the old crash and bash fun category. Would I buy this title? Probably not. Is it worth the 50 or 60 bucks youíre gonna shell out to get it? Nope. Would I be pissed if I got it as a present or used? Absolutely not!


John Cooper

No screenshots available for this title.

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