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Score: 100%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Titus
Developer: Titus
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

Beautiful. Roadsters is truly amazing. It utilizes the Nintendo 64's optional Expansion Pak extremely well. If you like racing games, even a little, and you've already got the Expansion Pak, get this game to show it off! Before I go on, I want to mention that one of the coolest graphic effects in the game is not even in the game itself, but are in the menus. Behind the menus is a dynamic wave effect that ripples the whole time. Absolutely gorgeous. Now, to the game itself... with Gran Turismo being pretty much dedicated to another platform, N64ers have had to settle for racing games that didn't have much to offer in the way of eye candy. Roadsters may not be a Gran Turismo killer, but then again, it may. The cars are very nicely rendered in both games. The light effects are about equal in perfection. Roadsters even has animated drivers, since all of the vehicles are, well, roadsters. Graphically speaking, Roadsters manages to capture the realism that Gran Turismo made people go crazy with. In fact, the 'fade-in' (no, not 'pop-in' - check it out!) is extremely clean, and allows you to see far off into the distance in certain places.

The sound is absolutely... still coming off of a cartridge. What that means is that you have less memory to play with than a disc-based system. However, the folks at Titus have used some clever tricks and know-how to make the most of it, adding up to nice in-game music, and background music in the menus that only gets irritating after listening to it for a LONG time. (Such as while staring at the nifty ripple effect...) Finally, there's the voice acting. Uh. Hmm... Well, you don't get a racing game for the voice acting, right? Good. Roadsters probably could have gotten along just fine without all of the racers having their little sayings, but as it is, the sayings are somewhat contrived, and the voices... hurt. Some of the sayings that the female characters have sound somewhat sexy, but a couple of the characters sound a WHOLE lot like one of the witches from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. And pay attention when you hear the announcer say "Coming up to the pits..." - roughly translated, that means hit the brakes; there's a hard right turn coming up!


Roadsters is a blast to play. There are basically four modes to play in. There's Multiplayer mode, which allows you to play against up to three friends (four players), Quick race - a 'jump-in-a-car-and-race-right-now' mode which lets you get right into the action or practice one of the tracks against the computer controlled opponents, Time Trial - where you basically play with yourself... no other players, real or imaginary... just to see what your best lap time can be, and Roadster Trophy. Roadster Trophy is the mode that you can actually play through the game, and gives even more reason to compare Roadsters to Gran Turismo. In Roadster Trophy mode, you don't just select a car, you have to purchase one. You have to be careful, though. You start with $45,000.00, but you'll have to keep $20,000.00 to be able to pay your first entry fee. That leaves you with $25,000.00 to use to purchase your vehicle and do any upgrading you might desire. (See the similarities here? good...) You'll have to come out on top and win the 'Category C' trophy to be able to participate in the 'Category B' division. The good news is that as you win individual races, you can go to your garage and use the winnings to upgrade your car (or even sell it and get a new one) and then continue on to the next race in the season. What does it all add up to? Fun. Lots and lots of fun.


The A.I. is fairly strong, providing a nice challenge, yet saving up your money and upgrading your car with it will allow you to take the lead... eventually. Players looking for an easier goal (or needing practice) can either play Multiplayer mode against their (less skilled) friends, play Quick Race and practice that hard track a few times, or play Time Trial, where the only one to beat is yourself. All in all, the game offers something for those of most skill levels, making it a great game for any N64 gamers looking for some top-down racing action.

Game Mechanics:

Overall, Roadsters rocks. The driving is more Arcade than Realistic, but you can upgrade your cars with the money you win from the races and change the settings on your car to modify its performance and handling. Nice. The tracks are also interesting and imaginative. One problem, however, is the way Roadsters handles a head-on collision with a wall. I know, running into a wall headfirst is not a good thing to begin with, but Roadsters makes it a nightmare. When you hit a wall headfirst in Roadsters, your car is knocked around so that it faces the wall directly. Now, no matter how you try to turn and gas it, you are going to be facing the wall. Most racing games will allow you to force your way out of the wall by turning and giving it lots of gas, but Roadsters requires that you back up and then turn the way you want to. That means that you can either back straight up far enough to make your turn, or you can back up while turning to the opposite direction and then go forward in the direction you wish to go. To do this, use your first hand to press and hold 'down' on the D-pad. This will put you in reverse (your back-up lights will come on) as long as you hold it down. Now, use your second hand to hold the analog stick in the appropriate direction. Finally, use your third hand to push the gas button and you will back up and face the way you want to go. If you don't have three hands, you'll understand how this setup seems to be a little awkward. The best remedy? Fumble around and make it work with the appendages you have. A nose or toe will work just fine on the analog stick or the gas button, but I wouldn't suggest alternating. (pew!)

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Sony PSOne Armored Core: Project Phantasma Nintendo 64 Quake II

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