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A.P.I Review: WRECKIN' CREW
Developer: Quickdraw OPTIONS: S.SHOT
SCREENSHOTS:
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Telstar 1-2 Player
Game Type: Racing Memory Card
Review Date: September 1998 Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Fans of "Mario Karts" are in for a treat because Telstar have spent 2 
years creating what they believe to be the ultimate cartoon racer ever 
seen on any console.

If Karts just aren't your thing then you can switch to playing with armed 
Hot-Rods and blast your opponents off the face of the earth using a whole 
host of crazy weapons that range from hurling body-bags out the back of 
your car, to firing lighting bolts or chickens at your enemies.

This is one wild and crazy game..!

Genre

Its a racing game plain and simple, but don't get the idea that 
this another Gran Turismo, because the emphasis in this game is on 
FUN rather than realism.

Graphics

Having gone for the cartoon look rather than for realism, you expect the 
racers to look a little way-out... and they do.

Resembling the cast from the cartoon "Wacky Racers" both drivers and 
vehicles are large brightly drawn sprites and while not as well animated 
as may have been expected, this is more than compensated for by the speed 
at which the game runs - at times you feel that you could outrun one of 
the 900 brake-horsepower supercars in Gran Turismo.

There are a mixture of sprite and polygon based pickups and obstacles 
throughout each of the courses. Many levels have cars, busses and lorries 
parked around them - each of which can be rammed to reveal some sort of 
power-up. I guess these vehicles are all based on seventies models due 
to their very square looking appearance.

At first sight you may think that the graphics that are used to make up 
each of the courses are nothing particularly special, but taking a slow 
ride around each of them reveals a massive amount of detail, as well as 
many secret short cuts and areas full of power-ups. 

Graphic clipping is non-existent throughout the game even when travelling 
at speed.

Sounds and Effects

Possibly the weakest part of this game is the sound. 

The background tunes are all techno type tunes, but are far from the 
quality heard in games such as Wipeout and N2O.

The in-game spot effects are adequate, but even when played though a 
quality pro-logic sound system, hardly get the hair on the back of your 
neck standing to attention with the excitement and atmosphere that they 
add to the game.

Playability

This release date of this game has been delayed over and over again, but 
at least the coders have used this extra time as an opportunity to fill 
the game with loads of different features that will keep you coming back 
to this game for weeks. 

There are ten characters to choose from and each of them look absolutely 
barking mad..!

There are the in-breeds called Cain and Able who have two heads but only 
one body. The genetically created I.Q is a deformed creature made up from 
spare body parts, there's and old woman, a circus trainer, a spoilt kid, 
a crazy rasta and much more.

It takes quite a bit of playing before you even stand a chance of winning 
races and uncovering all of the little extras and it will probably worth 
you starting out racing the Karts - they handle easier and there are no 
weapons to distract you. It's also important that you learn each of the 
tracks very well. There are many secret areas, which have short-cuts, magic 
teleporters and loads of pickups and its the correct use of these items that 
will see you winning races time and time again.

The pickups that can be collected are as follows:

· STARS	The more of these you collect the better your car will handle.
· NITRO	Gives your car a short burst of speed when you use it
· REPAIR	Fixes some of the damage on your car
· TELEPORT	Takes you to a new area of the track
· TIME STOP	Halts all of the other racers for a few seconds
· SHIELD	Makes you invincible for a short period of time
· MINE	Hitting this both damages and stops your car for a few seconds
· X2		Doubles the damage caused by your weapons
· RECHARGE	Takes your vehicle back to full health
· TURBO 	Gives you an instant speed burst when you make contact with it
· MYSTERY	Could give you and of the power-ups
· KEY		Find FOUR hidden keys throughout the levels to enter the hidden 
  race
· REFRESH	Driving through this will restore all of the pickups around 
  the track
· BAD TELEPORT	Takes you back to somewhere at the beginning of the track

When played in the HOT ROD mode, each of the characters has their own 
unique range of 3 special weapons. You can fire to the left and right 
of you with the normal weapon and behind or all around you with the specials.

As you start winning the cup races you will notice that not only do the 
rival racers start to become better racers, but their aim improves too. 
They will also begin to use the short-cuts and teleports themselves to 
get ahead of you.

During each of the races there are a number of tactics that can be employed 
to maximise your chances of winning. As the race starts, hitting your 
accelerator at just the right time gives you a TURBO start and 10 Starts - 
which is enough to quickly use a special move on your opponents (each special 
costs 10 stars). Also worth noting is that you can stop other racers specials 
from harming your character by firing at them as they use it on you.

There are plenty of race modes including: 

· Single or two player arcade mode
· Head-to-head battles
· Various cup competitions
· Special adventure mode
· Bonus stunt tracks. 

Once you have completed all of those there is a MIRROR mode that lets you 
play all of the tracks in reverse..! 

There are also secret characters and tracks that can only be unlocked by 
progressing through the various game modes.

Value for Money

10 basic race tracks, with a further 10 "featured" tracks, 
10 racers and vehicles to choose from and more gameplay modes and 
features than previously seen in ANY game of this type all combine 
to make a game that you will still be playing weeks after you purchase it..!
Opinion
JIM
GRAPHICS: 14/20 When I first played this game I was initially disappointed. The control of the vehicles was very poor and the graphics - while very pretty - were hardly "next generation".

It wasn't until I had played this game for a few hours and began to discover some of the many extras that are crammed into this title, that I realised why the game has take so very long to be released.

So if its a "Mario Karts" style racer, or a cartoon blaster that you are looking for, you could do a lot worse than checking out Wreckin Crew..!
SOUND: 5/10
PLAYABILITY: 47/50
VALUE: 20/20
OVERALL 86%

 

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