|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
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|Distributor:||GT Interactive||1-2 Player/ 4 Link-up|
|Game Type:||Hoverboard Racing||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||December 1998||Dual Shock/Analog Compatible|
Setting the Scene
Who-wee! Now what have we got here...a hoverboard racing game that enables players to cruise just about anywhere while riding a futuristic surfboard atop a cushion of air. Now this is really something different and deserves a closer look to be sure. It seems that a wonderful new board has been created using the latest in GEM (Graviton Electro-Magnetic) technology. These boards, or blades as they call them, have the ability to slice through the air and propel the rider at intense speeds throughout almost any terrain. The circuit is a tough one with a lot of challengers that all seem to have nothing to lose and all seem to be hiding a dark secret past life. So grab your GEM blade, bring along a good sense of balance and a thirst for action because it's time to shred some air!
Streak is a futuristic hoverboard racing game much like Jet Moto...just substituting the bike with a groovy GEMblade.
Those of you familiar with SingleTrac games (Twisted Metal 1 & 2, Jet Moto, etc.) will be immediately greeted with what I like to call their signature graphic style. To put it plainly, I have always found ST games to contain a rather grainy, course appearance to them and Streak is no different...sort of. It seems that SingleTrac has somehow managed to keep the signature graphics and yet also found a way to detail everything much more elaborately. The character designs are much better realized in Streak than in other SingleTrac games. I found the animation and overall definition to be above average and relate this to the fact that the only other up front movable object is the rather small hoverboard. This must have given the designers a nice little opportunity to focus more on the characters and background animations in lieu of having to worry about creating highly detailed cars or jet bikes. Speaking of animations, this game has got a ton of 'em. The background are so damn alive that you will often times find yourself slamming into the scenery that just moments before you were admiring. In addition to being "alive" they are also quite imaginative and take track design to a whole new level of fantasy style racing. Everything also moves along at a blazing clip...even in the two-player mode! It's so fast in fact, may of my mates had trouble focusing on the task at hand...winning! To be sure, an above average shake at the old graphics tree by the designers.
Sounds and Effects
Once again in typical SingleTrac fashion, we are greeted with some of the most fitting tunes to grace a particular style of video game. The tunes are nice and grungy with the proper attitude befitting your average Streaker. There is also a fair share of Pulp Fictionesque style music throughout. Sound effects are familiar with all of the proper hits, hisses, crashes and turbulent noises that you would expect in an action packed racing title.
If you have ever played the either of the Jet Moto games before you will feel a bit more comfortable than a beginner with Streak. This is not to say that it controls and handles exactly the same as those games, but the "feel" is certainly there and you almost know what you are in for and thusly, what to expect from both the controls and the tracks on hand. Starting up the game you are greeted with a slick menu featuring artist drawings of the characters you can select and scroll through...each with there own skills and drawbacks (sound familiar?). After selecting your Streaker, it's onto the track selection. You get 12 tracks to race on with three immediately available. You need to win some races to unlock the others (now does it sounds familiar?). There is also a neat little tutorial that gives a little background on the character that you have selected and also gives beginners some very good pointers on becoming a champion. After running through the tutorial, the game will then jump right into the actual circuit and get you racing against three other Streakers. Learning to Streak is little bit attitude, a tad of memory and a lot of hand-eye coordination. The course moves along so quickly that in the beginning you may very well find yourself crashing into walls, floating off the course or going in the wrong direction after getting a 180. After a few cruises around these wonderfully designed tracks though and you should be ready to at least contend for first place and start opening up more tracks! There are a few other variables involved to become a successful GEMblade operator though. Learning to do various tricks is crucial to success. You see, the more successful tricks you manage to pull off, the quicker your board goes and the more confidence your character builds up. Of course there is always the downside of a crash, after which your confidence level soars to new lows...this is a bad thing. You also have a limited amount of turbo boast that you can use throughout the race as long as you act conservatively and don't drain it all in one punch. Analog control is excellent once you get the hang of things with buttons set up for carving left or right, crouching, jump and board grabbing. The tracks also feature a nice amount of shortcuts that you will discover either by skill or dumb luck as you fly down the courses. As I mentioned earlier, the two-player game is also a blast to play, it may just take a bit for players to get used to all of the action going on around you...the screen gets very busy! Overall, Streak is another great effort from SingleTrac and a damn fine racer to boot.
Value for Money
You get 12 tracks, 9 of which need be opened by winning races in various classes. You also get a nice varied selection of Streakers to choose from...all with their own history and reason for being on the circuit. There is also a very nice two-player game with vertical or horizontal split screen action and a 4-player link mode that will certainly add some play time and value to this title.
found Streak to be a very nice racing game to be sure. It is different
in the fact that you have a hover type board that can cruise around
almost anywhere...nice concept. The game did strongly remind me of Jet
Moto though, but I don't necessarily consider that to be a bad thing.
If you like racing games and are looking for a racing title a bit out of the ordinary, then I can highly recommend Streak. It has a good selection of outrageous tracks, strong graphics and stimulating sounds. The only downside is that the screen is rather "busy" in the two-player mode...eh, such little problems I can live with!