Written on: 05/06/2006 by TOMLEECEE (121 reviews written)
Lots of tracks
Lots of cars
Nice graphics and sound effects
Brilliant 'create a track' option
Lots of multi-player modes
Dreamcast exclusive tracks
Handling of cars won't suit everyone
Enemy cars use cheap tactics to win
I'm betting that most people even bothering to read this review (that's most probably youngish males with an interest in games) owned an RC car at some point during their childhood. I for one, had several throughout my more diminutive years although most of them met their ends through being driven over unfeasibly large jumps at hi speeds, being run over by cars or being trodden on; they were always a lot of fun while they (and the batteries) lasted. Being able to play with an RC in a videogame kind of defeats the object of the whole RC car in the first place, but it saves a packet on AAAs and the heartbreak of breaking an axle in a particularly large pebble in the back yard.
It seems Acclaim thought the same thing, so off they went into the garden shed and emerged with Re-Volt - a game based, funnily enough on racing RC cars around all the normal places you would do it. Like in your street, through the house, through super markets, museums and erm around the deck of an ocean liner, naturally
The use of these real-world locales adds to the sense that you really are controlling a radio controlled car, as you dash about under tables and through drains all the time accompanied by the high-pitched whine of a tiny battery powered motor. Reality departs though, when you realise that this isn't straight racing against other RCs - a whole bucket-load of weapons have been chucked in to liven proceedings up. Ingeniously though, all of the weapons are totally (for the most part, anyway) feasible things like firecrackers, oil patches and huge marbles that can be used to throw a spanner into the machinations of any rival intent on taking the chequered flag.
As mentioned earlier, the places you get to race in are also quite believable and all feature an impressive number of short cuts and ramps that just beg to be jumped over. Some tracks do work better than others but they all feature themed hazards (such as basketballs flying over fences and bouncing across the road in the 'neighbourhood' circuits) that must be negotiated if you are to stand a chance of finishing on the podium.
As is usually the case with racing games, you start the game with only a limited number of tracks and boxed-up cars to play with. Performing well in the championship unlocks further tracks and bigger, more powerful RC cars. The cars come in all sorts of designs; from the usual 'buggy' style ones to 'monster truck' styles and they all handle exactly how you would expect - they turn on a sixpence, have unbelievable acceleration and virtually no weight (being made of virtual plastic and all). Naturally, this means that the vehicles are very twitchy and will spin or turn over at any given opportunity - usually a death knell for any other style of racer. Not so with Re-Volt though - that's exactly how real life RC cars handle!
Having GT4-style handling models would totally spoil the overall feel of the game, and even though some gamers may find it very annoying to have such twitchy controls, once you get used to it it's hard to see how else the handling could have been better.
Re-Volt is one of those games that seems to have been forgotten over time. When it came out on the N64 is was regarded as a 'must-have' title for that console, but upon it's Dreamcast release it was lost among the slew of big hitters that arrived shortly after the console launch. If you're looking for something a little different for your Dreamcast, you could do a lot worse than Re-Volt: the visuals are still rather good - lots of neat graphical touches such as reflections and real time lighting make the game world look amazing in places; whilst the variety of the tracks and the 'track creator' mean that there is a good deal of lifespan there too. And no matter how much you play, the chances of a jealous neighbour 'accidentally' kicking a football at your car are minimal.
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