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Test Drive 6

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Infogrames
Developer: Pitbull Syndicate
Media: GC/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

I would have to say that I am not overly impressed with the graphics in this one. Sure, it looks good, but I have seen what the Dreamcast is capable of, and it could have been better. Some good points: the lighting effects were great, the game ran smooth as glass, the colors were bright, and it had nicely rendered backgrounds. Now, some of the bad: I noticed a little pixilation as well as clipping, everything was real cartoony, and there was no fog or distance rendered zooming (things just appeared, they didn't fade in). Obviously, with 128-bit rendering, the graphics on the Dreamcast version surpass that of the PC and Playstation. I do have to say that the soundtrack is out of this world. The featured artists for the musical score find their following in the realm of heavy rock, featuring artists such as Eve 6 and Fear Factory. This is a nice change from the usual techno style music associated with racing sims.

Gameplay:

Well, this game does have checkpoints, and usually that's a bad thing. But, this is an arcade simulation, so checkpoints are almost a must. Here is how the game goes: you start of with some money. You use that money to buy, paint, and upgrade cars. You can race people to win more money. You can enter tournaments to really up your cash on hand. Another cool feature they put in the game are the cops. If you get pulled over, you get a ticket (and lose ground). You have to pay the tickets out of your winnings. I thought that was a nice addition. The Dreamcast version plays identical to the PC and Playstation version, only running smoother and looking prettier.

There are many licensed cars to choose from (about 40) and many, many tracks, complete with obstacles, a great AI cop integration, and short cuts. The game speed is fast and smooth - not sluggish at all. It's smooth, and just down right fun. Many features are included such as high-speed jumps, bulldozing obstacles, and so on - all without damaging your car!


Difficulty:

I though the game to be pretty straightforward as far as difficulty goes. It wasn't too easy, but it wasn't out of this world either. In the beginning it's a little rough, but once you get used to it, it's not too bad. The difficulty can be adjusted, and the controls are defaulted nicely. This is probably as good a racer that you will find on the Dreamcast.

Game Mechanics:

The game runs fast, very smooth, and handles great. Again, it is the arcade style, so no damage, no realistic movements, and you can achieve unrealistic speeds and still mange the car. However, that's just what makes it work. This is an extremely addictive game. The controls are responsive, customizable, and accurate. The camera angles are changeable (the defaults suck), and the sound is great. You can even go head to head with someone in split screen action. Want more realism? This game is compatible with the racing wheels. It also supports the VMU and VGA cable. All in all, this is a great looking game the handles great and seems almost flawless in design. If you're looking for a good arcade-style racer, check this one out.

-Storm, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jeremy Kelso

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