Title : Battle Cars
Publisher : Namco
Genre : Battle Racing
Players : 1 /2 Player
Release Date : 1993
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $10-$15
If Death Race was a video game, this would probably be the closest thing to it. And, if I had to guess, I probably hated this game as much as I did that crap fest of a movie. So here we have another racing game, set in an apocalyptic future, where cars are blowing each other up in order to win big bucks. I'm sorry, but I can't realistically picture "death racing" as a viable option of self-finance when half the world is destroyed.
Unless it's you're stuck in a prison, like Death Race, and you are televised blowing each other up. Man, how does nonsense like this sell? Mindless garbage...
There's some racing games out there that incorporate "weapon-use" such as...ahem..Mario Kart...that are actually good. Hell, Twisted Metal remains to this day one of my favorite vehicular combat games around. But this game just seems to fall short of everything that the other combat racing games successfully did.
Let's get this over with.
This title screen alone looks like a shoddy photoshop job done in five minutes. Cut and paste a few cars, and choose a bad title font with a drop shadow effect. BOOM..done..next image..Oh, and you see how there are three cars? Yeah, because that's the only choices you have.
As with any racing games, you've got a 1 player mode, 2 player mode and a versus mode. I'm not even going to bother with versus, so I'll just stick with the 1 player circuit. Here you have nine levels with two race tracks per level. Winning races, and winning races in really fast times, rewards you with credits that you can use to upgrade your weapons. I mean, this is battle cars, so you need weapons, right?
You'll have a few weapons to choose from that you can alternate throughout the race. Missile launchers, flying metal frisbees, and grenade launchers. The weapon selection is nice, but it's a pain in the arse to aim these things, much less select which ones you want to use. I don't even know which one is the best, because I could barely steer and aim weapons at the same time. Remember the ease of firing shells at players in Mario Kart? Nonexistent here...
The one interesting thing this game did was introduce bosses in certain races. More powerful cars that always seem to be on your tail the entire race. It adds an extra bit of challenge, to a game that POSES no challenge whatsoever. You could not pay attention the entire race, bang into walls, and fly off the track, and still win. I even tried it at the hardest difficulty. I felt like the cars were just waiting for me to catch up.
Visually the game looks a lot like FZERO, but I actually enjoyed FZERO. The tracks are all recycled, and the backgrounds just repeat over and over again as a static image. Car designs are pretty dull and uninspired. As for the music and sound...man it's just horrendous. I actually enjoyed watching the cut scenes between races rather than participating in the races themselves. The comments from the characters are hysterical. I mean that guy is like holding up his pants and he has a YO! tattoo...that's really threatening.
I know some people actually enjoyed this game, but I sure as hell didn't. It's just a poor battle-racing game compared to some of the other ones out there. If you want a good racing game, stick with Mario Kart, or F-Zero for the SNES. I guarantee you'll have fun with those.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time, keep on gaming!