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Road Avenger: What Did Critics Think of this FMV Racer in 1993?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on September 19, 2014   |   Episode 97 (Show Archive)  

   

Road Avenger (Sega CD)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Based on a 1985 arcade game, Road Avenger for Sega CD was a full-motion video game in the vein of Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. This time around players take "control" of a sports car and battle an evil biker gang. Were critics still into FMV in 1993, or did Road Avengers finish last? We dig through old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Mean Machines, GamePro, Mega Play, Mega and Sega Force for the answers.

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Road Avenger
[ Company: Renovation | Console: Sega CD ]

GAMEPRO (April 1993)
5 out of 5

"Renovation hits the Sega CD hard with its new game Road Avenger. Road Avenger is a blast! You won't get the thumb-blistering workout that you would in some traditional driving games, but this game will still blow your doors off! If you're in the mood to send mucho traffic to the junkyard, hit the road with Road Avengers." -Doctor Dave

MEGA #5
86% out of 100%

"Hopefully, Road Blasters FX will be the last of these pseudo-interactive games, because the Mega CD should really be breaking new ground and going even further ahead. But this is the most exciting, most playable and best-looking game yet to appear for the Mega CD. With only eight levels though and relatively easy to understand gameplay, this game should not prove too hard to finish." -Paul Mellerick

MEAN MACHINES (The Essential Sega Guide)
84% out of 100%

"The cartoon graphics in Road Avenger look like most Mega CD full-motion video stuff, ie a bit grainy. But the cartoon action is generally of a much better quality than that in similar games like Time Gal. As a game, it also lasts much longer than Time Gal, but even though it takes a while to beat, once you've seen the full adventure the game doesn't have much to lure you back to play through it all again." -Rich

SEGA FORCE #15
81% out of 100%

"You don't know whether to gasp at the onscreen images or grab the joypad and get down to some serious driving! The only gripe I have is it's far too short. Stick with it for a few hours and the game's completed. Even though there's a Hard setting, Road Blaster FX has little potential to be a long-lasting hit. Still one of the best CD titles, though!" -Mat

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #44
8 out of 10

"This game is a barrel of fun - the first time through. In the same vein as Cobra Command, the Wolfman serve up a driver that dishes out spectacular full-motion, full-screen graphics and a storyline that's non-stop intensity. The game is linear, however, and will be beat quickly by most everyone. Still a great showpiece." -Steve Harris

MEGA PLAY (April 1993)
68% out of 100%

"The game looks cool but there really isn't much challenge. The hard mode is way too hard and the easy mode is too simple. Although the car scenes like the jumps and crashes are intense, the action is more in watching than in doing. A good CD for fans of this type, but to most it's more of a viewing game." -Howard Grossman

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #44
6 out of 10

"Yes, the graphics are phenomenal, and the footage is much smoother than earlier attempts such as Tunderstorm FX. The music and sounds are also topnotch. The main problem that I have with this cart is the lack of any real control over the game. You merely watch and press a direction or button at an appointed time." Martin Alessi
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 78% - Nothing says I love you like hoping a genre ends forever. Despite giving the game the second highest score (a not-at-all shabby 86%, I might add), MEGA hoped that Road Avenger would be the "last of these pseudo-interactive games." Usually when I like a game I want more experiences like it, not fewer. I guess I'm weird.

While Road Avenger (which was known as Road Blaster FX in other parts of the world) did have a few fans, other critics weren't as into this full-motion video game. Martin Alessi liked the visuals, but wished you did more than "merely watch and press a direction or button at an appointed time." Mega Play's Howard Grossman agreed, also mentioning that the game wasn't much of a challenge.

These were complaints that even Sega Force and Mean Machines acknowledged, but that didn't keep them from giving the game high marks. The few high scores managed to raise the average, settling a so-so 78%. Most critics agreed: Road Avenger is worth playing through once.

ON MONDAY'S EPISODE: Next Friday marks the 100th episode of Review Crew. But before we celebrate that historic moment, we still need to tackle episodes 98 and 99. Next week the Review Crew will look at Sega's two-hit wonder -- Eternal Champions. Monday brings the original Genesis game, while Wednesday delivers a Challenge from the Dark Side. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

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