Defunct Games
  1. 1990
  2. 1991
  3. 1992
  4. 1993
  5. 1994
Race Drivin'
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Race Drivin' Race Drivin' Race Drivin'
  • Review Score:

  • F
Hard Drivin' is a perfect example of truth in advertising. Just like the title suggests, the driving mechanics were unbearably hard. It was full of hard edges, hard opponents and more than one hard stunt jump. The game was hard to the
point of being a miserable experience. Now comes the sequel, which promises a package full of racing fun. Too bad the hard mechanics remain.

If you wanted to be generous, you might call Race Drivin' an ambitious experiment. This was Tengen's attempt to accurately recreate an arcade game that aspired to be something huge. Nothing like this had been attempted on the Sega Genesis, a system that was underpowered compared to the competition. This was a game trying to fit complex polygons onto a system that couldn't even crunch 3D scaling and rotating.

Race Drivin' (Genesis)

All it takes is a few minutes with Race Drivin' and you'll stop being generous and start ripping apart this ill-conceived Genesis port. From the overly complicated controls to the low-frame animation and the headache-inducing scaling to the nonsensical physics, Race Drivin' is a game littered with problems. Any one of them would be enough to give this port a failing grade, but together they create one of the greatest video game disasters of all time.

The big innovation this time around involves a stage selection, allowing players to choose which horrible course they wanted to fail at first. The Autocross is the starter level, a basic triangle stage that's relatively easy to navigate. The Super Stunt track has huge jumps and a floating race track. The Original track is straight out of Hard Drivin', allowing players to freely roam around a large stunt range.

Race Drivin' (Genesis)

No matter which stage you choose, you're stuck playing one very bad racing game. The real problem is the handling, which doesn't feel like any car I've driven. If the goal was to create a realistic driving simulator, then the developers failed miserably. To make matters worse, the frame rate is wildly inconsistent. It may seem smooth when there's nothing but track on the ground, but throw in a house, barn, cow or bridge and all of a sudden the animation is reduced to a crawl.

All this might actually matter if there was more structure to the game. It's never clear if you're racing against the clock or other racers. Half the time I assumed I was in some sort of battle against the roving cow. And if that wasn't bad enough, there's no way to exit back to the level select without getting up and pressing the reset button. While you're up, you might as well put a better racing game in your Genesis.

Race Drivin' (Genesis)

If it wasn't for the intolerable frame rate and horrendous gameplay, Race Drivin' might have worked. You can see the glimmer of hope throughout the package, from the unorthodox course design to the custom level editor. The fact that you can create your own race tracks is incredibly forward thinking. But alas, it's rendered completely useless because of mechanical issues. It's not completely Tengen's fault, the Genesis wasn't built for a game like Race Drivin'.
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