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FELONY 11-79





ASCII Entertainment

1 Player

Game Type

Arcade Racer

Mem. Card

Review Date

October 1997

NegCon, Mach1

Setting the Scene

So you think your a tough guy, huh?
Well in the last couple of hours I've committed every conceivable driving crime in the book - speeding, reckless driving, joyriding, causing malicious damage, hit and run, ram raiding, driving on a public beach, resisting arrest, destruction of property, driving the wrong way down a highway, trespassing on private land, not forgetting to mention mowing down pedestrians and the odd cow - and furthermore it was completely legal thanks to ASC Entertainments new 'road rage' racer, Felony 11-79.

It's a touchy subject this one and is bound to cause a bit of a stir so lets just keep this between you (a few million Playstation owners) and myself, then it will go no further.

It appears some gent named Thomas Samuel discovered a secret route to a previously unexplored city of gold back sometime during the 16th Century. Mr. Samuel excavated countless treasures, including gemstones and vast amounts of gold. In addition several caskets were also unearthed. Most contained rubies and other precious stones, some contained the mummified remains of unidentifiable kings...but one casket, just one could not be opened. Some time later this single unopened casket was purchased by entrepreneur, Albert Brookmond IV for a tidy some of 2 million dollars. Seems Albert's late grandfather left a will in which identified three keys that he believed when used together would successfully open the mysterious casket. The keys were; a jade statue, a golden wing and a silver staff. Now that Albert knew how to get the casket opened his set about trying to buy the keys from their current owners. Of course nobody wanted to sell their key, so Albert decided to hire someone to steal them...guess who that would be dear gamer.


Formerly known as Runabout, Felony 11-79 is named after the US police classification for a hit and run incident and despite it's not entirely serious take on the genre, it's a high speed race and chase game that involves taking a variety of vehicles - some well suited to the task - others less predicable - on a series of missions.


The visuals take on a typical arcade appearance at a standard that has been witnessed many times before in games such as the Die Hard Trilogy driving levels, Need for Speed 2 and the extremely popular Twisted Metal 2 - grainy road surfaces surrounded by smooth detailed scenery and lie somewhere between average to pretty good. The graphics basically do their job, but don't leave any sort of lasting impression on you.

The scenery is quite eye-catching, especially on the Paris at night level. The Christmas lights that decorate the roadside trees and neon lights which flicker from rooftops actually reflect from the windows of roadside buildings adding realism to the settings. Try parking up your car on the banks of the river and glancing over the water to the neighboring town. You will notice that it comes to life with the movement of townfolk enjoying the night-life while headlights of passing cars can be seen moving back and forth and occasionally drawing near as they cross over the bridges towards you.

Mowing down pedestrians does not reap you any rewards but I am sure you will take a few out, regardless. The little folk look similar to those in Twisted Metal 2, tiny spites that wander aimlessly around. It's so funny to edge your vehicle slowly towards them and watch their reactions. Some will scream and faint, many will leap out of the way and start running down the road away from you, others will leap from a bridge - never to be seen again.

The vehicles look very good and there is quite a selection to unveil. When in motion a trail of sparks will spit out from the rear, explosions will occur on contact with another vehicle and if too much damage is taken then smoke and flames will billow from your engine. Tire wheels smoke nicely when your vehicle takes off and depending on your view, you can even watch the tires turn in the direction you are making the vehicle go towards. There is also good use of texture mapping on the cars to display the damage your vehicle takes. Every collision leaves it's mark on the bodywork, scratches to paint work, hood ripped off, in fact when your damage bar reads 'danger level' there ain't much left but a heap of burning scrap metal.

Other things that look pretty nice is the breaking of glass when you ram into a building or the other cars that you pass or decide to smash into. Explosions are also pretty good, but pixellate a bit when up close. The game also keeps up a pretty good framerate. On the flip side, the graphics tend to break up horribly. Smash a building or a car and you often find yourself in the middle of it, with the polygons clipping like there's no tomorrow. Just take the bus for a spin and you will see what I am talking about here. This happens on a very consistent basis, many times making it difficult to tell where you are in proximity to your surroundings. This is a real shame. If the graphics were tightened up and polished a bit more, Climax could've had themselves a real showcase title here because the overall delivery and design of the courses are just plain sweet.

Sounds and Effects

The action is backed by a pulsating soundtrack courtesy of the Surf Coasters. They provide a mixture of rock/surf music that combines to sound like a soundtrack from a Quentin Tarantino movie, ala Pulp Fiction. You always have the option of turning the tunes down, but I decided to leave it cranked up...It was unobtrusive and fit the game nicely. Nothing wrong in that department.

The usual deep macho voice gets the race underway as you car squeals away. Ripping through the gears alters the rich throaty engine sound and each vehicle has it's own distinct tone. The Vespa motorcycle whines along sounding like a sowing machine, as they do, sports cars over-rev beckoning to reach the high speeds that they are capable of, while the luxury coach has a low deep engine sound that actually convinces you that it will never reach a higher gear than fourth.

Other little titbits include the police blaring over the PA system for you to pull over (yeah right!) and the drivers voice saying stuff like "do ya think I'm gonna make it?". Cries and shrieks from the pedestrians are a constant reminder that what you are doing is taking part in wanton destruction. If your happy with that fact, then lets get on with the game.


You initially begin with a choice from four vehicles, a saloon, mini, hatchback and a Vespa scooter. Select your mode of transport and then enter the setting screen to customize your steering, front and rear suspension, grip balance, acceleration and brakes (who uses breaks?). To check out your adjustments Felony offers a Test Circuit to give you the opportunity to take your vehicle for a spin. The circuit includes a number of areas that are similar to those that appear in the three race stages. This includes an open section which has a number of traffic cones set out to practice your steering, while a pit stop at the fuel station allows you to fill up your tank with gasoline. Once your vehicle is set up and tested it's off to the course selection screen where two race environments are available, the Seaside and Downtown.

Rather than use a standard racing format of driving around preset tracks, Felony adopts the idea that worked so well in Die Hard Trilogy. As soon as the race begins a countdown will commence and the challenge is to complete each task before time runs out. On the way to your mission you may cause as must mayhem and destruction to property and other vehicles as time or your damage meter will allow. Each item that is destroyed has a market value which will register at the top of the screen. If your objective is completed within the given time then the total cost of your vandalism is used to purchase an upgraded vehicle. Your choice of route is unrestricted, so if you reckon the quickest way to get from A to B is straight through that shopping mall or Arcade then you can go for it!

Almost everything can be destroyed and it's only by experimentation that each item may be valued. Small cars and vans are worth a measly 10 - 30 thousand bucks. Cop cars average around 50 thousand, while buses and oil tankers bring in a whopping $100,000. Shop windows, telephone boxes, display plants, news stands, advertising boards are just some of the smaller items which boost your balance. Find the secret areas and a cool million bucks will be awarded for trashing the contents.

The Seaside environment involves a search for a white limousine during the rush hour in Japan. As you near your target a red dot will appear on the small map screen to help your pursuit. Once you have wrecked the limo, you must make your way to the other side of town to escape the chasing cops. If you fail to reach the town border within the allowed time limit you must restart the level again.

Downtown offers a new mission and the level begins immediately after a smash and grab raid. You must race through the busy streets of LA's Chinatown collecting five packages on your journey before making your getaway.

The final level is revealed if the previous missions were successful. Paris at night involves stealing a statue, making a telephone call to a helicopter and then making the rendezvous behind a shopping mall before time runs out. If you have time to spare, why not drive through the door of the mall and use up a few seconds trashing the place to boost your earnings.

There are 22 vehicles in total to reveal, including sports cars, a dumper truck, tank, passenger bus and a Formula 1 racing car. Some vehicles are better suited to certain levels so choose your means of transport carefully. A dumper truck may look slow but it will be able to power through the hazards on route and sustain far less damage than the fast but more fragile Porsche. Six vehicles are opened up after you complete the three courses (two on each course). The other 12 are offered after you figure out how to get them! The bus is hard as hell to drive, but let me tell you, it delivers big time in the destruction arena!

Overall, this is quite an original game. I really enjoyed it but would liked to have seen more courses and slightly tighter graphics. With these few things, this game would have been a must have title, as it stands though it's a damn fun driving game to add to an already burgeoning Playstation library of racing games.

Value for Money

It will probably only take you a few hours play to reveal all three tracks but it will take quite some time to unveil all of the vehicles. If you fail to complete your objective in the allowed time the game does not come to an end. This allows you to carefully check out the environment for the many secret routes. After playing the Paris level a few times I slowly scrutinised the area and was amazed to discover massive hidden areas. Below the town was a massive underground network where millions of dollars of destruction could be earned. I also found many routes that only the little Vespa could enter.

The game sadly lacks a two player option which would have expanded the gameplay considerably. If you enjoy games such as Twisted Metal 2 then give it a go but be warned, it won't keep you occupied for too many weeks.





After revealing and completing the third stage within a couple of hours play I was amazed to see the credits roll up the screen. Surely there was more to come. Unfortunately there wasn't. Not courses, anyway. Returning to the scene of my many crimes I set about racing the stages again in the hope of unveiling further vehicles and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a few secret areas. Some are opened by brute force while others depend on your chosen route. Felony was beginning to offer far more gameplay than I first imagined. Add to this the task of revealing all 22 vehicles, which all handle so differently, and you have a game that will gleefully occupy you for a week or so.











A very playable, albeit too damn short racing game. I liked the mission based goals that this title sets for you and I really liked the overall fast and cause as much damage and destruction along the way as possible! I actually found myself inventing ways to try and prolong the games life. With just a handful more courses with their own unique missions to go along, this title would have been at the top of the racing/driving "must have" Playstation titles out there. Personally, I really enjoy this game, but recommend that you rent it before may find that finishing off the three courses is enough for you and decide it's time to move on...








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