Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nerdicus NES Review # 32 : Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing


Title : Al Unser Jr. TURBO Racing

Publisher :  Data East

Genre : Racing

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1990

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $1-$3

I'll say this right now. I'm not a fan of racing games. Not then. Not now. I've never even owned a racing game for the modern consoles besides Gran Turismo. In fact, the only racing games I DO own and play religiously, are the Mario Kart games. Give me Forza with spike turtle shells, and I'll play it all the time. But just driving around in laps without anything extra is too monotonous . I need the action / battle aspect, or I'll suffer from extreme boredom.




It doesn't help that I'm not even all that interested in cars. I don't care about decking out a car with parts and audio systems. I don't even know how to change my own oil (okay, I lied I do.). Cars just aren't my thing. Although, I would kill for a classic Shelby Cobra. Alas, I shall suffer through all these racing games. At least they aren't as bad as MATH GRAN PRIX for the Atari 2600. 

So, on to Al Unser Jr (don't even know who that is because I don't know racing) TURBO RACING!



Now you have 3 choices with this game in terms of how you want to play. You've got TIME TRIAL's A and B which are basically WITH computer opponents and WITHOUT computer opponents. The only thing you're really going for in these time trials is just to get the best time on a track depending on how many laps you choose. That's about it...*yawn* boring for me, so let's jump right into the next mode.

The GRAND PRIX! Now this is pretty interesting, as you can either use AL UNSER'S racing team, and be a beast on the track, or you can make your own. If you make your own, you get to customize you're vehicles, colors, etc. and work your way up through the ranks. Not a bad idea for the NES. It's like a career mode / season mode in some other sports games.

So, let's make our own team. Mature name, right?

Now before we get to race, we can practice as much as we want on the upcoming track OR we can get some priceless advice from Al Unser Jr himself. Unfortunately, I don't know what he's talking about half the time. It's supposed to give you a clue as to how to allocate your status points to your car. Since I have no idea, I'll just throw em all in speed because that's what it's about, baby. Speed.

Sorry, Al. I drive an automatic....I don't know what you're saying.


The racing itself in this game is pretty damn decent for a NES cartridge. Now, I'm not saying it's perfect, but for 1990 it ain't too shabby. You'll need to qualify before you race against the competition, so you just need to finish one lap as quickly as possible. Then you get to do the race again, but this time against other cars. Now you'll get to run em off the road!

Meh, not really. You only end up losing time. No explosions or nothing. You just skid out.



But as you can see, I am horrible.



The tracks get pretty tricky as you play on, and if you aren't Al Unser, you really need to pay attention to how you distribute your points as they can make or break the race. Collect the most points over all 16 races, and you will be crowned champion!

Too bad I just didn't care enough to play through it. Honestly, it's an "ok" racing game and if you're going for a classic old school retro racer, there's no better place to start. Smooth controls, decent graphics, rocking tunes. Gameplay? Boring and repetitive. But then again, aren't all racing games?

Me? I'm going back to Mario Kart.

Final Score (out of 5) :





Until next time. Keep on gaming!

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