WheelRacer Review

Developer: Ultrabizz Publisher: Ultrabizz
Release Date: 2005 Also On: None

When you think of racing games, some titles that come to mind probably include Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, maybe Ridge Racer, maybe Mario Kart. Well, with all of these great racing games, there must be some crappy-beyond-belief racing games, right? Right. This is one of those games.

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WheelRacer is basically a simple outdoor racing game, but you don’t race cars. Oh no, you race in these giant steel frame balls. The only available camera angle is inside-the-ball, and it was a bad choice for Ultrabizz, because from this angle, you can see your character’s hands, which happen to be flat. Completely flat. But there’s more to a game than graphics and concept, right? Well, it is in fact true that you can customize your engine in this game. Get ready, I’ll list all of the incredible customization options:

1. You can make the exhaust tips really big.

That’s it. You can adjust the size of the muffler. Let’s move on to gameplay, shall we? Well, you press the forward button to accelerate, the back button to brake, and left and right steer. To be honest, this game would have sucked on the N64 in the 90’s, so what is it doing as a new PC title in 2005? You lose almost all control of your vehicle when you turn on an incline, and there are no weight physics, so you can drive up a mountain at full speed without slowing down. Worse even, Ultrabizz tries to sell the game by using this shortfall:

“This unique vehicle can literally climb mountains and has a shock absorber travel distance of nearly 2 meters making it almost crash proof on rough terrain.�

Speaking of crashes, there are none. You bump into each other, and that’s it. Not even any sparks. It’s kind of sad that this game is so sad that the developer/publisher advertise it’s badness as a good thing.

The demo for this game is 30 megabytes. As a comparison, the Need for Speed Underground (1) demo was about 300MB and the Half-Life 2 demo is 750MB. But it gets worse, the full game can be unlocked when you purchase a serial number. So basically, the entire game is 30MB. There is nothing new or revolutionary about this game. It’s your typical “get to the end� or “3 laps� racing game, except you’re in a steel cage ball. Oh and did I mention that it sucks?

The music is terrifically terrible. All of it is basic, midi tunes with no real theme, and there are almost no sound effects whatsoever, and as for replay value, I wanted to stop playing before the first race was over. It does have online gameplay, but as you can imagine, no one plays the game, so you’re kind of limited on who you can play against. Pass this up; maybe you should consider playing a good racing game for the PC, like Need for Speed.

Graphics: 2
Sound: 2
Gameplay: 2
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 1
Final: 2.4
Written by Dave Review Guide

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