Speed Kings is about the pure unadulterated adrenaline rush of the street motorcycle racing...the speed, the danger, the risk, the buzz and of course, the bikes! Power-down slide underneath lorries, jump over road works, avoid major wipe-out crashes from the on-coming traffic and gain as many respect points as possible...make sure you look good when you cross the winning line!
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Overall User Average: 7.00 / 10 (75.0%)
Gameplay User Average: 8.00 / 10
Graphics User Average: 7.00 / 10
Sound User Average: 5.00 / 10rmu2867
Date reviewed: June 15, 2003.
Overall: I am a fan of the old game Road Rash so I was exciting to see how similar Speed Kings seemed since the Road Rash franchise is MIA. I am not disappointed. Speed Kings brings arcade motorcycle racing (and combat) back with nice style. In addition to driving and punching/kicking opponents the game has a powerboost that is earned by doing tricks or skills during a race. The tracks are fun to drive and look great. I hope a Speed Kings 2 is in the works since there are a few features that should have been included (I'll explain below). Since it is only a $39.99 title (which I picked up for $31) I can't complain too much. Overall it's a lot of fun and worth a least a rental for arcade racing fans. 3.5/5 Gameplay: The main gameplay is racing. During a race you can earn credits toward a powerboost by doing tricks, dinging vehicles, skidding, sliding, etc... Some of the tricks are counter productive to winning since they utilize the brake. I found that just racing to win, with an occasional opponent knockdown, was enough to earn a few powerboosts during a race. There are some fun obstacles during races like traffic, stopped trucks, fallen trees, trains, and more. Jumps are sometimes necessary to clear a train or other obstacle. You must slide under trucks, trees, and other items that block the road in order to prevent crashing. It's a fun move. Doing tricks during a race is kind of a waste but there is a Trick Attack game mode for people into that feature. The "career" mode is called Meets (the "meat" of the game) where you must race 3 races and finish with a score good enough to earn a trip to the next meet. You can only restart a race 3 times before it forces you to start at the beginning of the meet. There is also a Grand Prix mode that must be unlocked by getting the best times for each race. The game also includes Multiplayer version of it's game options (unfortunately NOT on XBOX LIVE) with an unlockable TAG mode where you must pull off more tricks then your opponent during a race. 4/5 Graphics: The game's visuals are really sweet. Motorcycles, tracks, and scenery all look great. During a powerboost, the point of view blurs and stretches adding to the feeling of really going fast. The crashes are really cool but unfortunately the sound ruins perfection (see sound section below). The major goof is that during replays you don't have any VCR controls to watch the race and the cool crashes in slow-mo, rewind, or even change camera angles. Some "Matrix" style slow-mo camera work during crashes would have made this game! (and the option to save replays) 4/5 Sound: The sound is a weak point in the game. Although the package says it supports custom soundtracks, it doesn't. So it has OK background music that is repetitive techno style. It works well for racing but custom would be better. The motorcycle noises are what you would expect, nothing special. Unfortunately the crashes, which are visually very cool, have just generic a "pop" noise rather than the sound of crunching metal, breaking glass and screeching tires. 2.5/5 Suggestions: Programming crimes!! = No LIVE support, No custom soundtrack support (even though the package claims it does), No ability to save replays, No camera/speed options during replays. You really must put these features in if there is a SK2. The crash sounds need a lot of improvement. Another nice addition would be weapons (a la Road Rash: chains, clubs, pipes) that you can swing at your opponents. Also rider/opponent personalities (like in SSX) would be nice to add some additional depth to the game. Hidden shortcuts would also be cool. It's a great game and I hope you follow up with Speed Kings 2 adding more features.
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