December 14, 2000
Remote control cars are pretty cool. Nearly every child wants one, and yet the good ones can cost thousands of dollars, which doesn't include repair costs when they slam into a wall. Fortunately you don't need to spend that much money on this racing game, which is Acclaim's first title on the Playstation 2. The original Playstation version, which was simply called RC Revenge, was released several months ago now and received with mixed reviews. With the power of the PS2 behind it, this update looks set to improve on the original title and fix many of its problems.
As you would have surmised RC Revenge Pro is a racing game. The number of options is quite staggering with over 30 different vehicles to choose from as well as over 20 different tracks and four different championship modes. As you progress through the game more tracks unlock with over 20 tracks available to race on by the end of the game. While most of these tracks are based on land some of the races actually take place with powerboats on water. RC Revenge Pro also includes game modes such as single race, championship, time trial and of course the ever impressive multi-player for 2 players. The multi-player game definitely provides the most enjoyment as there is nothing like overtaking your opponent with only seconds to go in the race. During the race it is possible to literally blow away the opposition with a variety of weapons that are available as power-ups through the level.
Speaking of weapons it must be pointed out that they are very good in RC Revenge Pro. Each weapon, which can include lighting bolts from the sky, laser beams, missiles and water bubbles, has its own usefulness under different circumstances and picking up these weapons and using them correctly usually ensures a high finishing position. Also included are speed boosts and shields which are invaluable to overtake opponents and not be destroyed by their weapons a few seconds later.
Special mention must be made of the track editor in this game. While confusing at first the editor is quite detailed and allows you to create some great tracks based on the themes in he game. Naturally these tracks can be saved back onto the memory card for later use and to amaze your friends.
Like it's Playstation cousin RC Revenge Pro does have some graphical problems. While the game looks great in screen shots, and the levels are extremely varied in their themes, what can't be seen is the slowdown that occurs within some levels, most notably in the jungle stages or during 2 player games. Another minor annoyance is the camera angle. Because the camera is positioned so low behind the car it's impossible to see what is up ahead and while driving up a hill you really are driving blind when coming up to the crest. Perhaps it adds more to the realism however games are meant to be fun, not annoying.
Music is quite atmospheric and usually suits the level perfectly. The sound effects are equally impressive with each weapon being accompanies by suitable noises. One interesting thing to note is that this game is encoded with Dolby Surround Sound. While not extremely noticeable (perhaps I'm getting too used to the 5.1 sound in DVD movies!) it does add a little more atmosphere to the game.
RC Revenge Pro could have been a much better game were it not for the frame rate problems and poor choice of camera angle. After playing the game for a short while I though I had found a 3D version of Micro Machines V3. Upon longer play you realise it doesn't quite have the same addictive gameplay as Codemasters' title, or live up to the capabilities of the Playstation 2 hardware. Perhaps Acclaim should have held the title back to fix these small problems. Still, if your after a racing game for your PS2 RC Revenge Pro does have a lot of cars, tracks and modes of play to keep you busy for quite some time.