I must say, it's a fairly recent discovery I made that I like racing games. At least certain types. Crash Team Racing is pretty
much my favorite racing game, and I've tried out a few other racers (I'm not trying Mario Kart, though. Say what you will,
the first game I just am not interested in playing).
After seeing it for a little while in the place I normally buy my used PSX games, I decided to pick up Rage Racer. Or as I
like to call it...
I knew of the Ridge Racer games, but this is the first one I've played. However I've heard of it a while back in a game
magazine that had something on one of Namco's old PSX racing controllers (To steer, I'm assuming you had to turn it down the
center... look it up, I can't really discribe it).
In any case, the only worry I had was when I saw that the game had 4 stages, one of which is unlocked. However I didn't know
how that would work out... I mean, a racing game couldn't certainly only have 4 stages, right?
YOU'RE THE REAL... RAGE RACER!!!
Well, one thing to note is that this is also the only 1 player racing game I've ever seen. That's right, no two player racing.
It's you vs. the computer.
And to be honest I have no one to play with so *I'm* not losing anything.
It's also the only racing game I know of that goes on a continue system. Waste enough continues, and it's game over.
In any case, there's Time Trial and there's the normal mode, where you can race, get money, and either upgrade your car
or buy a new one altogether. The cars have varying classes and stats, which are almost a bit too specific for my tastes.
Gran Turismo's "Class A/B/C" system left a lot of room for a cars potential. Here, it's pretty much whether you want a
well rounded car, one with good acceleration, etc.
But before I go forwards, let me discuss the intro.
It's needlessly epic. By that... I mean it's something that tries to be epic even those it doesn't need to be. Like epic
music while taking out the trash. I also have to admit that the intro music threw me through another loop as I knew I heard it
before. Took me a while to realize that it was from a Mugen video I saw (which one, I wouldn't know. Dime a dozen hundred, those
things are...) In any case, it's a text scroll about these racers that goe all over the world to try to become the Real Rage
Racer and that no one really knows who the racers are blah blah whatever...
In any case, you obviously have too little money to actually buy a good car, so you start small. The cups themselves come in
classes (do good enough on the tracks, you get a cup and you continue on to harder races), and you actually can't earn cups if
the car you're in is "too good" (car classes are raised by upgrading. And, unfortunately, your pimped turbo charged ride won't
net you cups in lower classes).
The levels themselves are rather nice looking. Hell, a little more polish and they would be Gran Turismo 2 quality (specifically
GT2 quality, not GT1.) However, I have a problem with the stages...look at how some of the stages in Gran Turismo are used
like this: You have one massive stage, composed of several tracks to make a few stages, like GT1's Autumn Ring and Autumn Ring
Mini (and one other I think).
Rage Racer is just one massive stage with at most 4 tracks deriving from it. There's no stage variety beyond night/day versions.
There are reverse versions of 3 of the tracks (the 4th is essentially an oval track). They are all races taking place in a
city near the sea. As I said, it's a nice looking town, but I don't want it to be the only place I see in the game. I was hoping
that by "4 stages" it was like 4 massive stages with smaller tracks, or at least 4 different looking tracks.
And to get cups just to race harder races one the same 4 tracks? I just couldn't keep going. It's just a cycle of racing 3/4
stages, get a cup, upgrade, and race against harder opponents, although at some point you can't stick with one car. You'll need
"speacialized" cars to deal with the faster opponents. Also, just as there are cars that are good all around, top speed, top
acceleration, and conering, the 4 stages also follow one of those criteria.
Speaking of cars, the physics just don't seem... solid enough... but they're not terrible. Don't expect something like Gran
Turismo-quality control, but you could do far worse than this game. You do have the choice of not only changing your car color,
but also your logo, but this stuff is just cosmetic. Gran Turismo will still be good without the ability to wash your car.
And as a side mention, the music is, generally, pretty good.
If I were to rate this game, I'd give it an above average 6 out of 10. There just isn't enough meat to it to justify playing
it for a long time... and that's kinda weird to me as the game was built to be a one player game... Aside from it's limitations,
it isn't really a bad game. But if I can count the number of original stages one one hand then it probably should have a few more stages.