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Death Rally

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Remedy Entertainment

GAME PUBLISHER:Apogee

Copyright 1996, Remedy Entertainment

One of the best racing games ever made, Death Rally is an arcade-style overhead racer that is simple in nature, but is incredibly addictive. The game is similar to Micro Machines, except that it is a lot more fun: you can arm your vehicle with weapons to take out the opposing drivers, and take on special missions for extra cash– these range from picking up track-side drugs to wiping out a fellow driver. There are six vehicles to choose from and 18 tracks to race in. As for how good the game is, Satoshi Kunsai’s excellent review for MobyGames says it all:

“First off, the game itself has a very nice, old school-ish feel, sort of like a violent Micro Machines or a Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing, both of which sucked up a lot of my time in my youth. The game plays from an overhead view, but it feels right for this game. The gameplay is very wonderfully conceived here; your opponents almost seem to have minds of their own, and actually DO fight with you to cross the finish line! They also try grabbing Power-Ups as they appear, and will even kill each other if need be! Talk about brutal competition!

The game starts you with a little clunker car called the Vagabond, which looks like an old VW Beetle. During the game, you can earn money in the races by finishing in at least 3rd place, or by killing all your opponents on the track, or in some other such “friendly” method (like earning money by making spectators happy). You can put that money towards purchasing upgrades for your car, or saving up a bundle and buying yourself a new car (such as the Porsche-like Wraith, or my favorite, the Deliverator). You can also take out a loan from the Loanshark, but you’d better pay it back within three races, or he’ll take it out of your hide (in other words, he could possibly kill you if you don’t have his money). There are plenty of other little touches as well, such as *heh heh* the Undergroud Shop, where you can buy weapons for your car, or even sabotage the car of the highest ranking racer in your next race. *sadistic grin*

Now, onto the cosmetics…while I normally don’t like all this “rendered” stuff in a lot of my games, Death Rally’s rendered graphics definitely make the style, and are very clean and cool looking. Everything is nice and sharp and the movement of the cars is pretty nice looking. The “mushroom” effect (where you grab a mushroom on the track and the screen begins to waver like mad) is cool, if not a little too disorienting. Still, I can’t complain…it does look very damn cool to see that.

Sounds and music are both very good indeed. The music is mostly techno and is an excellent compliment to the game, fitting alongside the action very well. The sounds are pretty good, with plenty of engine sounds, gunfire, explosions, and the cool scraping, grinding noise a wrecked car makes as it slams into the sidelines. Nothing to complain about at all here!

The Bad:
Not very much, except for one thing: Why waste all the space on the CD for a protection file when you can just record the music to the CD instead? Apogee just doesn’t seem to get the idea that if you’re going to distribute your game on a CD in the first place, why not USE that room to enhance the game a little bit? Remedy should’ve let them know about that. Another thing that should’ve been worked on was character customization: all you can enter is a picture, a car color, and a name and that’s it. Remedy should’ve allowed you to customize you characters a bit more.

The Bottom Line:
Death Rally is an excellent game by any standards, and (thankfully) Apogee still sells it direct. Call them up ASAP, get your credit card out, and order this game! Definitely two thumbs up, and kudos to Remedy for a wonderful racer!”

It is worth mentioning that Death Rally offers excellent multiplayer, with four player network and two player modem play supported. A classic in every respect, and a must-have for every action or racing fan. Two thumbs up, way up!



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