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Stuntcar Extreme Review

Developer: Vasara Games Publisher: Tapwave
Release Date: October 30, 2003 Also On: None

Betting a system’s success on a racing game hasn’t taken place in modern video game history. Tapwave has done it twice, that is, it has two car-related games that they are betting on for their handheld to be a success, Stuntcar Extreme and SpyHunter. While both are 3D and boast some of the top graphics ever seen on a handheld, it isn’t known if they are fun enough for the $399 price tag that the Zodiac unit costs.

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First, the game can be viewed in first or third person view. For some reason, I prefer first person, which doesn’t happen too often in racing games, but it seems to handle better. You use your joystick to steer the vehicle, the right shoulder button or left action button to accelerate, left shoulder button or bottom action button to brake, top action button to use a nitro boost, and the right action button to change the view.

There are only two different game modes in Stuntcar Extreme, which is fine, since it is a pack-in, but still disappointing. The first mode is quick race, where you are given the choice of a car, track, and difficult. You then race against the computer for three laps. The championship is basically a bunch of different challenges from stunt car racers. You can earn new cars and tracks in the championship.

One of the ups in Stuntcar Extreme is the physics. Despite not being perfect, they are done well; some mess-ups take place when you flip over and the car kind of flips back for you. If you fall off some of the courses, you will land right back on the track, which reminds me of something like Mario Kart, but I think it would have been best if all of the courses were closed.

The “stuntcars�, which are actually trucks, look strange and are colored in a way that wouldn’t be found in real life. There is a substantial amount of fogging that takes place in Stuntcar Extreme, but once again, it is a new system that is more of experimentation than anything, so I’ll cut it a break. The environments are blocky and pixilated, but are still the best seen on a handheld, easily. Overall, for a pack-in title, Stuntcar Extreme is a treasure, but it might get overly monotonous after a couple hours of game-time.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 9
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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