The Super Nintendo was home to a lot
of racing games, and this site has only scratched the surface
of what was available (mainly because I've never really written about a straight-up no-nonsense "make your car go faster than other cars" racing game).
Well, I'm not going to break that tradition today. Instead I'll uphold my reputation for picayune tunnel vision and hold forth on three barely-car-racing games where you can choose to ram your vehicle into large road-side quadrupeds!
Road Riot 4WD: race until the cows
come home get bored
mentioned in his thorough review of this game...there's not much there. Player 1 races his or her Red dune buggy, possibly accompanied by Player 2's blue dune buggy, (hi, recurring theme!
). Your opposition? Three dune buggy drivers in identical yellow vehicles.
For some reason your vehicle has a tendency to stay in the center of the road, so you only need to tap the "left" or "right" side of the D-pad for the most rigorous of turns. If you PRESS left or right as if you were actually steering your vehicle like you would in any other racing game, you'll end up flying off the other edge of the road.
You can also shoot a stream of ping pong balls out of the front of your dune buggy, which can mildly irritate other drivers. Don't get too excited, though: it's weaker than hitting them with, say, a Red Shell. It's really only mildly worse than driving through a puddle.
The only spark of originality (insanity?) in all this is the hideously deformed demi-humans which are the host (or opponent? Perhaps mascot?) for each of the racing courses you must face:
They're all horribly grotesque in ways that would make R. Crumb and Chester Gould say, "hey -- tone it down a bit, man." Fortunately for today we need only concern ourselves with the top row, second one from the left: Iowa's stalwart representative in the world of Dune Buggy racing.
Compared to a lot of the other beings* you're forced to dune buggy race against, over-sized nostrils is practically handsome. But I am baffled that they didn't bust a rhyme by naming him "Linus Sinus."
*: the Bene Gesserit truly has its work cut out for it.
Anyway, one scantily-clad checkered flag later...
...and you're off!
And there are cows along the sidelines!
...many, many cows. And no fences.
...and to anticipate your next question:
Yes, they mess you up when you run into them.
Your car flips out in an impressive fashion, and the cows give a forlorn "moo".
...but don't feel too bad for them: they're (evidently) not actually injured. Next lap, they'll still be grazing track-side, just like before. In fact, every track is also lined with gawking spectators waiting juuuust on the outside of the lane markers:
If you aim your careening vehicle straight at them, they slightly move and make a brief cry of dismay, but suffer no more permanent damage than the cows you rammed into.
Perhaps they're invulnerable to all physical damage, maybe due to some evil pact with House Harkonnen*? I guess explain both how freakishly mutated they are...AND why your front-firing cannon makes no impression on them or their cows:
Then again, it could just be because it's a lousy weapon.
*: I will milk the "DUNE" part of "dune buggy" for all it's worth...the same way that Sting "WILL kill him!" (ha!)
: Flying Car vs. Cardboard Cow
Yes, like Road Riot 4WD
, Race Drivin'
is another Tengen quasi-racing game brought to your Super Nintendo by T*HQ, with the level of care we've come to expect from them
It's actually easier to summarize this game, though: Race Drivin' is a flight simulator that thinks it's a driving game. You pilot an automobile with Microsoft Flight Sim for Windows 95-level choppy screen refreshes, in a
fully semi-interactive 3D-modeled first-person world.
AND you get to appreciate your actions from a third-person viewpoint after you screw up:
A land-bound driving/crashing simulator could be a lot of fun, so T*HQ was sure to nip that in the bud by only being able to fit three tracks in the cartridge:
...and by giving you only one play-mode: "try to reach the next checkpoint very quickly, or your checkpoint-counter will run out and you have to start over."
While it could be fun to just drive around the almost-featureless basic track indefinitely (in a Desert Bus
kind of way), the "checkpoint timer" system means you have to get good at the game or play something else (I'd suggest the latter).
Anyway, having gotten the hang of the game in the basic course (or not), let's choose to play the second track:
Yup, pick one of these
authentic different-colored automobiles...
...and get ready to STUNT TRACK!
(Map design by the guy who wrote those Where's Waldo books)
Wait, that barn isn't on the map!
And neither was THAT COW!
Ah, I understand now -- it's just a two-dimensional cow.
Oddly enough, it ALSO make a faint "moo"-ing sound if your car runs into it...though since it isn't actually injured (or even moved), I assume your three-dimensional vehicle is only phasing through it:
Wrong way, indeed.
Outland: a little outback, a little sheep, and you!
Fortunately today's last game saves us from mutant freaks on dune buggies and inter-dimensional cows: Outland tells the
it-was-clearly-supposed-to-be-Mad Max story of a car-drivin' Road Warrior's lonely trek across post-apocalyptic Australia generic desert land Australia.
Along the way you're constantly hounded by motorcycle after motorcycle driven by mutant freaks:
Though at least THEY have an excuse for being hideous in the extreme: there's a friggin' apocalypse on, they can't be bothered to shampoo their crusty hair or sew sleeves on their leather vests! You hear that, Nasty Nelson? WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?!
You know what -- I don't want to hear it, just go! (Though say "yo!" to your fellow greaser Dirty Knuckle Ned
Anyway, you barrel down the Highway to Hell in the Land Down Unda, occasionally stopping to smell the roses/land mines and scrounge for supplies:
I think I'm at mile marker "Yorick"
As you might have notice in the pictures above, there's lots of telephone poles, scrub-trees, barricades and even cow-skulls along the highway, but no cows. Is all lost?!
...for the road to hell is dotted with pleasant, cloud-like sheep!
Like Road Riot 4WD's cows, they can't be damaged by your forward guns, but if you drive into them at slow enough speeds, they indignantly saunter around your deathmobile:
And if you collide with them going too quickly, they're flung to the side, but ultimately not injured.
Did they gained their unearthly endurance the same way Road Riot 4WD's cows did? Of course not -- Australian sheep are well-known boosters of House Atreides. If I had to guess, I'd say that their fleece has been hardened to a steel-wool-like shine by the post-apocalyptic winds and now
Mad Max Miffed Melvin's vehicle will bounce right off of them.
What a long, strange drive it's been!
I hate to ask, because it'll probably result in having to look at another Road Riot 4WD character...but does anyone have anything to add this week?
— carlmarksguy, 2013-08-09