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Glimmerati Reviewed by Josh Dollins on . Rating: 78%
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  • Review Score:

  • B+
Glimmerati is not only one of the named games I've ever heard, but it's also something owners of the N-Gage should pick up. It's a suave racer from Bugbear Entertainment and is easily among the system's finest -- which, as many N-Gage owners can tell you, is as rare of a club as the Glimmerati themselves.

The high point of Glimmerati actually isn't the racing. The driving action isn't substandard by any stretch, but the story scenes where you interact with a motley crew of the rich and famous are just too campy to deny. From B-Dome to Max McCain (the president of the Glimmerati), you'll have no choice but smile at the sometimes clever, but often ludicrous dialogue (which is actually spoken aloud, for the most part). The voice acting in Glimmerati is extensive, and for what it is it's done extremely well done. The actors get into the spirit of the cheesy writer and have a good time with it.

The goal of Glimmerati is to advance within the ranks of the society, which is commonly done by winning races. Races can come in the form of simple "cross the finish line first" heats to headline-grabbing stunts. There are also missions that must be performed for certain people within the Glimmerati, and your success in these endeavors will help you make friends and influence people in all the right places.

As you win races, you gain access to better cars. Taking down a member of the Glimmerati typically results in being able to use their car in a later race, which is sometimes necessary, as these established players have the kind of wheels required to tackle the tougher races. In addition to racing with regular cars -- at least, cars that are regular to these snobs -- you can also pilot a speedboat and a rocket car.

The vehicles control quite similarly for the most part, with faster cars often requiring a mastery over the game's controls. The N-Gage's dedicated D-pad is up to the task in Glimmerati, and the face button controls things like accelerating and braking.

A lot of racers on the N-Gage don't work well due to the vertical nature of the screen. With such a narrow sliver of the horizon visible, it's hard to get a good grasp on your position and upcoming obstacles. Bugbear sidesteps this problem by yanking the camera way back, stationing it high above street-level, so you get a nice view of not only the competition, but also the curves ahead. The trade-off, of course, is detail. Even though the game is rendered in 3D, sometimes the cars and backdrops look more like toys than real-world objects. The game also employs some neat lighting tricks to help make up for lack of detail. But since the majority of the game's personality is found within the high society trimmings, the simpler-looking car models aren't detrimental.

The story scenes are static portraits of the other members of the club, and each is drawn with serious flair. These are people that can only exist in fiction. Sex is a big part of Glimmerati, too, and while there's certainly nothing hardcore to be found here, the women within the game are hardly the innocent type. These beauties are ready for love, and hopefully you're just the kind of shark to take 'em to the big ball.

Glimmerati is good, campy fun wrapped up in a racing game. The theme is too over-the-top to ignore -- racing the privileged across Europe in hot rod sports cars, delivering models for photo shoots or proving who's a "real man" by going 180mph. It helps that the racing itself is actually enjoyable for the most part, with only a few runs that feel poorly thought out. If you have a neglected QD on the shelf, or you've found yourself mainly just downloading regular mobile games for it, Glimmerati is a good reason to put the game slot back to regular use.
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