Title: The Italian Job   Developer: SCi   Type: Car Racing
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The Italian Job
"An ace driver is needed to take part in a daring plot to steal $4,000,000 in gold bullion, then escape through the busy streets of Turin right under the noses of the Italian mafia... are you up for it ? "
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PSone REVIEW:
 
I have taken a particular interest in the video game of The Italian Job because in 1969 I actually went to the cinema (or as we called it then, the local flea-pit) at least 20 times to re-live that famous car chase involving the red, white and blue mini-coopers. Of course back in those days it only cost a few pennies to get in and it was long before the rip-off days of jumbo popcorn and a carton of fizzy syrup (I think they call it Coke) so this regular pass-time hardly broke the bank of Monte-Carlo.

Starring a youthful cheery cockney Michael Caine in the lead role of Charlie Croker the plot involved a daring $4,000,000 gold bullion daylight robbery resulting in a frantic escape through the busy streets of Turin right under the noses of the Italian mafia.

The game actually covers the sequence of events in the movie systematically. The player initially takes on the role of one of Charlie’s drivers and involves 16 varied challenges from his early pick-up from the gates of prison, around the streets of London, through the malls and markets of Turin, over the Italian rooftops, down in the underground sewers and onto that final ‘cliffhanging’ scene in the Alps.


The sound effects are brilliant. The authentic music (“self preservation society…”) matches the frantic pace, while screeches of tyres and wailing sirens increase the atmosphere. All along the voice of Charlie Croker can be heard chirping in with encouraging one liners (“put yer foot down, put yer foot down!”, “ get a move on son, only 5 miles to go!”) mixed with Crusty The Clown style manic laughter.

Gameplay follows the tried and tested formula that proved a phenomenal success for the Driver series of games. Tasks usually involve reaching varied checkpoints throughout the mapped cities of London and Turin within a set timescale. Obviously three criteria must be met to complete the task, which are weaving among oncoming traffic, learning the shortest accessible route and avoiding (and losing) the chasing police/mafia. Other modes include party car trials for up to 8 players (but not together), driving test challenge, free ride around London or Turin, checkpoint slalom and destructor mode.

The cars actually handle quite well with steering and braking relatively smooth, however the handbrake button is far too responsive and barely usable. Obviously the lightweight minis can be thrown around corners and catapulted over rooftops, while trucks and buses may be battered through queues of traffic, but generally there is not really a massive variation in handling between types. Damage limitation is the main concern and the seemingly ‘magnetic’ AI of the cop cars proves to be the biggest challenge. There are 14 vehicles to master including limousines, armored trucks, coaches and of course a mini-cooper.

I would have liked to seen the inclusion of an in-car perspective but only one single camera angle is all that is offered, that being from up and behind the vehicle. During the famous three mini scene the camera occasionally retreats to a safe distance capturing the stunt spectacularly, however the sudden return to normal view can become quite disorienting. What I find unforgivable in this type of game is the lack of a rear view mirror, or at least a look behind button. How on earth you’re supposed to lose the cops when you can’t even see approximately where they are is beyond me. The omission of a map screen also gives the impression of a slack ‘job’.

I have to warn you that graphically The Italian Job is awful. It contains so many of the flaws that have gradually been eradicated on PSone over the last five years, which is unforgivable. The pop-up is embarrassing, loading times painful, regular freezing frames (even on the intros), grainy textures, see-through scenery… I actually saw one press release for this game that claimed the car models were comparable to those in Gran Turismo… Hahaha… more likely chalk and cheese.

Still… I suppose the gameplay may just hold this title together and make it a worthwhile weekend rental.

FEATURES:
 
3rd person mission based driving game.

Master 14 vehicles, including flash sports cars, 4x4’s and the legendary mini-cooper

Take part in locations from the movie such as London (8 levels), Turin (6 levels) and the Alps (2 levels).

Game modes include: story mode, party mode, challenge mode, free ride, checkpoint mode and destructor mode.

Two difficulty levels: normal and easy

OPTIONS:
 
• 1 Disk(s)
• CD Media
• 1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 1 Players (without Multi-tap)
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility

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Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Martin  "How many times do we have to say that a big name movie franchise will never result in a quality video game? The reason is so blatantly obvious as most of the initial investment is thrown into buying the name rights leaving very little to spend on development and finishing. The reason why this practice still remains so popular is because we poor gamers are suckers for buying recognizable titles, regardless of their content quality.

With such lame graphics The Italian Job should really be dropped straight into the bargain bin but it does manage to hold your attention throughout with that ‘just one more try’ gameplay. An awkward second last level that requires each mini to be driven onto the moving coach may lead to many players frustratingly failing to finish the game, but if they do persevere the main game should all be all over in a day or two.

Overall this style of game has been done before… only much better (try Driver instead). The Italian Job? More like A Rushed Job."
Graphics  8/20
Playability  30/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  10/20
56%
This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.
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REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:

OUR PLEDGE:

We promise that we have fully played 'The Italian Job' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)

00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.

60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.

70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.

80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:

It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.

A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.


READERS REVIEWS:

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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Joe Tanto  "The Italian Job Was Said To Be A Rushed Job, Indeed... No Map Like Driver 2, No Rearview Mirror Or Watching Your Back By Pressing L1 Like Driver 2, And There Is Only 1 View To Watch And That Is The 3/4 Car's Back View. Even Nascar Heat/2000 Has Them Why Can't This?

The Car Controls Are A "bit" Different From Each Other:

The Ferrari Has The Best Handling But Due To Speed, Has Mushy Brakes. But Is Really The Fastest And Most Fun Car Except You Had To Complete The Entire Story Mode Before Being Rewarded.

The Mini After Doing A Jump, Began To Boing On Its 2 Wheels Every Now And Then Like A Pinball. Especially On The Missions In Turin.

The Jag E-type Just Has Aweful Handling. Even Driver 2/wspc Cars Don't Boing Around. Boing Around Resulting In Extra Waste Of Time Doing Mission, And That's Not Really 100% Your Fault.

In One Of The Mission In Turin, The Cops Are Damn Cheaters, You Try To Shake Them Off, But Once You Do, The Next Turn They Are There Again!

The Visual/sounds Are Not Too Spectacular But There Is One Factor That I Kept Playing, It Has That "try Again" Factor, That Only Goes Away Happily When You See "mission Successful" On The Screen. And Yeah, What A Great Feeling. But The Missions Aren't Really Too Hard If You Had The Patience And Determination. If You Can Finish Driver 1, 2 Or Wspc, Then This Is No Problem To You.

It Would Have Been Nice If They Had Included A Need For Speed Style Cop Chaser Mode - Since They Included The Cop Cars In The Free Ride Option. Unfortunatedly, In Free Ride, You Can't Choose The Alps To Drive Around In Snowy Mountain.

This Is More Of A Driver 1, Since You Can't Change Cars, Walk Around Gta Style, Can't Shoot Like World Scariest Police Chases.

But Is Not All Bad, Since You Are Able To Replay The Missions Again Unlike Driver 2, And To Drive Around A Land Rover On Road Without No Regard To Public Safety.

And It Also Have The Usual Driver 2 Extras, Like Checkpoints, Hit The Cones.
The Only Difference Is "the Challenge" Where Need To Learn How To Jump With The Mini. Believe Me, You Really Need To Remember How To, Otherwise You Will Get Stuck At The Last Mission In Turin.
But There Is A Special Gta-view Challenge, Where You Need To Hit Cones On Public Roads.

Since Psone Is Almost On Its Last Legs And Driver 3 Will Be For The Ps2... If You Liked Driver 2 Or Worlds Scariest Police Chases, You Will Still Enjoy This While It Lasts. But If You Are The Type Can Finish The Game Fast And Lack Of Funds, Better Rent It, Cause This Game (story Mode)can Be Finish In 3-4 Days."
Graphics  7/20
Playability  33/50
Sound  5/10
Lastability  11/20
56%
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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
John  "It's A Shame That One Of The Best Films Ever Has Been Disgraced With Arrival Of Its Namesake On The Psone. Lack Of Camera Angles, The Ability To Look Behind You And The Fact That The Game Takes Control Of Your Car Halfway Through The Air On Jumps Would Make Up For The Very Average Quality Graphics.

All Is Not Lost, Because It's An Infuriating "one More Go" Game And It Does Have Its Moments, It Has To Be Said. I Hadn't Bought A Playstation Game For Months And It Looks Like It Might Be The Last One Ever."
Graphics  7/20
Playability  33/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  15/20
63%
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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Declan Valters  "It Was A Good Game, The Graphics Were A Bit Bad Bad. The Missions In London Were Easy And The Missions In Turin Were Fairly Challenging. The Getaway Was The Most Thrilling Mission There Could Have Been More Jumps Like That In Other Missions. The Checkpoint Games Etc Are Ok To Play . Free Ride Mode Is Quite Good Because You Can Do Tons Of Jumps. The Cops Are A Bit Stupid As They Can Do Impossible Turns. The Mini Is Good Fun To Drive And So Is The Lamborghini Or Whatever It Is. Its A Shame You Cant Drive Around The Alps. Overall Its Not As Bad As People Think It Is."
Graphics  7/20
Playability  33/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  20/20
68%
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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Sunni Nah  "I Have Been Waiting For This Game For A Long Time And Was Surprised To Learn That This Game Is Not From The Makers Of The Driver Series. Lets Get One Thing Straight This Game Is Not For Die-hard Driver Fan, And If You Buy This Game You Will Be Disapointed. Why ? Well, As Mentioned By Other Reviewers Here No Alternative Views, Map, Replay And Burner. For Me It Was'nt Just That, The Car Physics Are Different And React Very Differently. The Only Vehicle That Came Close To The Driving Experience Of Driver Was The Mini, All Other Vehicles Seem Sluggish (even When Going Fast) And You Feel As Though You Are On A Railtrack At Times. The Cops Are A Joke In This Game, Dont Listen To Anyone Telling You That They Are Harder Than Any In Driver Games. Yes The Cops Are Like Magnets, But They Appear In The Same Places And If You Drive Long Enough They Lose You Regardless Of The Distance They Are Behind You. The Cops Drive Around Like They Are On Ice And Do Impossible Pirouettes When They Catch Up And Try And Bash You. There Is Over 20 Missions In The Italian Job And Only One Mission Worth Playing Again In The Entire Game (the Getaway - Turin); All Others Are Thrill-less And Just Seem Academic.

The Graphics, Sound, Ease Of Control And The Delivery Is Good But This Will Only Appeal To Those Infrequent Or Less Experienced Game Players. For The Rest Of Us, It Is Worth Renting This Game Just For 'the Getaway' Mission But You Will Have To Go Through All The Other Tedious Missions First. The Italian Job Even When It Is Not Compared With Driver, Is Only An Average Game. I Guess We Will Have To Wait For Driver 3. (Drivermaster)"
Graphics  7/20
Playability  20/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  7/20
42%
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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Mike Bull  "Ok So The Ps1 Is On It's Way Out, And This Game Does Not Match The Giddy Heights Reached By Many Other Driving Titles, But That Does Not Mean This Is A Bad Game, Or One To Be Avoided; Yes, We Need A Rear View Option, Yes We Need Smoother Graphics, But, This Game Plays. It Is Fun, And You Just Have To Have One More Go... as A Film Tie-in It Actually Works Extremely Well, As It Captures The Whole Film Much Better Than Most Efforts-indeed, If You're A Fan Of The Film, You Must Have A Go At This Game!

So, It's Simple. But Not Everything Is About Slickness!"
Graphics  7/20
Playability  33/50
Sound  9/10
Lastability  11/20
60%
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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Ali Nahle  "This Game Is Very Bad, There's Nothing That Makes You Enjoy This Game. The Graphics Are Bad, The Car Design Is Stupid And The City Design Is Bad, It's A Shame That We are In A Time Where The Graphics Of The Games Must Be Excellent But We Get Bad Graghics In The New Games. The Sounds Are Stupid, And The Funniest Sound Is The Sound Of The Police Car. The Gameplay Is Boring, The Missions Are Very Stupid. And If A Police Car Would Chase You It's Almost Impossible To Escape From It. They Tried To Compete With "driver 2", But They Failed."
Graphics  3/20
Playability  10/50
Sound  2/10
Lastability  3/20
18%
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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Theo Jalil  "I Think The Important Thing To Remember Is To Not Take This Game Seriously. After All, That Was How You Were Supposed To Take The Original Film. This Is Same Reason Why Many People Have Given The Dukes Of Hazzard A Bad Write Up, Simply Because Thy're Not Looking At It In The Right Frame Of Mind. Yes The Graphics Aren't Perfect But As A Pick Up And Play Game It Just Right For Those Who Have Completed Driver's 1 And 2 A Long Tome Ago And Are Looking For Some To Fill The Gap Unitl Getaway And Stuntman Come Out On Ps2. The Lack Of A Look Behind Facility Is Admittedly Annoying And The Game Could Do With An In Game Map And An Incar View. What I Like Best About The Game Is The Free Ride Mode. In My Opinion This Scores One Over Both Drivers' Because Of The Little Sub Games In The Cities And All The Numerous Jumps And Stunts You Can Do (the Cities In Driver Were Quite Frankly Rather Dull To Drive Around). A Bove All The Thing That I Like Most About The Game Is Its Atmosphere, Micheal Caine's Voice Overs Providing The Light Hearted Feel Of The Original. Cost Wise The Game Is Expensive For What It Is, But It Can Be Found For A Reasonable 19.99 In Some Stores. If You Like This Game I Would Also Recommemd Diver, Driver 2, Worlds Scariest Police Chases, And The Grand Theft Auto Series As These Are All Games Which Give A Similar Unbridled Free Ride Mode."
Graphics  7/20
Playability  33/50
Sound  8/10
Lastability  11/20
59%
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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Josh Moldovan  "I Was So Excited To Play This Game, I Had Never Seen The Movie But I Love Driver And Any Games Like It. From The Screenshots I Saw Online, This Game Looked Like It Would Be Visually Awesome, It's Not Great But Not Too Bad Either I Guess. The Main Thing I Don't Like About This Game Is The Way The Car Handles, It's Entirely Too Slow! Here You Are Buying This Game Thinking It's Going To Be A Whole Lot Of Fun Running Away From Cops, Etc. But It's Not At All Exciting Because It's So Slow. Then There Are The Load Times, I Can Handle The Load Times In Driver Because It Was Such An Awesome Game That I Could Play Over And Over Again. This Game, It's Not Really Worth Waiting For It To Load. I Am Extremely Dissappointed Although Whoever Said Something About The Game Being Too Much Money Was A Little Rediculous, You Can't Expect A New Game To Be Less Than $10.00. I Don't Recommend This Game At All."
Graphics  7/20
Playability  20/50
Sound  2/10
Lastability  7/20
36%
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