April 15, 2000

Vigilante 8: Second Offense - Review

Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating RRP
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When the original Vigilante 8 was released on the Playstation back in 1998 it created quite a lot of excitement. It was a fast paced action game where the cars were not only designed with racing in mind, but for the destruction of other cars. Vigilante 8 : Second Offense is the sequel to that classic title, and fortunately has made it's way onto the Dreamcast.

The premise behind Vigilante 8: Second Offense is fairly simple. After selecting a driver and car you are placed into a large area to drive around. At the beginning of the level you car is fairly weak with minimal armaments. It won't be long before a variety of weapons are found scattered throughout the levels. It is also possible to regain energy when you destroy enemies and pick up their energy cells.

This game has several modes of play. Single players are treated to three options. The arcade mode allows you to select an area, the vechicle you wish to drive and up to 12! opponents to destroy. The survival mode allows you to see how many opponents you can destroy while in one area. As you destroy enemies more attack you. There can be up to 4 enemies in one level at a time. Finally, and the most interesting choice is the Quest mode. In this mode you are given set tasks to complete in each level before progressing to the next. Definately a challenge. It is possible to play the game with up to 4 players in similar modes to the single player or a team mode where you can have 2 vs 1 or 2 vs 2 players.

Unfortunately, Vigilate 8: Second Offense isn't without it's problems, the biggest being controlling the cars. They are extremely sensitive and oversteering happens on a regular occasion. With time you learn to adapt to the controls but they are off putting in the short term. Another minor niggle is that in the 2 player split screen mode you are placed in areas set up for 6 cars which results in a lot of driving around looking for your opponent followed by a few seconds of blasting.

Graphically, Vigilante 8: Second Offense is quite good. The levels are varied, as are the range of vechicles on offer with each one very different in stlye. The game runs fairly smoothly although there is some slowdown at times, especially when there is a lot of vechicles and explosions on screen at the same time. It is great to see so much interactivity with the levels too. For instance if you crash into a tree or hit it with a missile it will be destroyed appropriatly. The intro for the game is also quite impressive and sets the tone of the game perfectly, although it is a little jerky at times.

Luxoflux have also spent quite a bit of time on the sound in this game. The music ranges from gothic (Road to Madness) to rock (Dave's Anthem) and dance (Boogie Fever). It is possible to change music to any of the 15 tracks during a level to suit your own tastes. Sound effects are also well done with a variety of noises and explosions depending on the action that is taking place.

Vigilante 8: Second Offense is so close to becoming a must have Dreamcast title. If the game controls had been fine tuned a little more this game would have been so much more enjoyable. Anyone who liked the original title will still find so much to like about this game. Hopefully Luxoflux's next car action game which is already in development (read the interview for more details) can improve on this title.

Graphics Sound Gameplay Value Overall