BC Racers (Core Design) Review | Mean Machines Sega - Everygamegoing

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BC Racers
By Core
Sega 32X (US Version)

 
Published in Mean Machines Sega #31

BC Racers

There is a sociological theory which states that mankind is the dominant species on planet Earth not because of its superior adaptability but thanks to its innate (and enormous) capacity for competition. Cha cha cha. Obviously there must be some seed of truth in these musings, as Core have come along with the game to prove it.

BC Racers' torch-like glare blasts the shadow of evolutionary doubt from the conception of fracasian transcendation, featuring as it does prehistoric humans racing motorbikes. But - and this is a big but - not just against each other, but also against dinosaurs, which as we all know are now extinct. And we aren't. So that proves it. I mean, perhaps if we hadn't been so handy with the old two-wheelers these days we'd be nothing but coal. Blimey, makes you think, doesn't it?

Anyway, that isn't important right now. BC Racers is basically a behind-the-bike view scoot of three laps around a variety of suitably ancient terrains, from caves to jungles, through swamps and stone villages.

There are eight different courses for each of the four skill levels, and you're required to finish fifth or above to move on to the next race. To do this requires all your skil, cunning and knowledge of short cuts. And, of course, primeval evolutionary instinct.

Origin

32bit update of the Mega-CD title of the same name. Actually a conversion of the (different) PC version.

Game Aim

Finish a large number of races in high positions.

Blimey: Two Players

BC Racers on 32X is certainly different from the Mega-CD version. The biggest difference is the addition of a proper split-screen two-player head-to-head challenge which moves at full speed. It must be remarked that the sort of sprite-handling this exhibits, on a full-screen playing field, makes Doom look a little bit silly.

This Blinking Tool

Unlike most racing games, BC Racers doesn't have a brake control (not even on a six-button pad). This doesn't mean your vehicle is devoid of motion-stopping appendages, however. Indeed, pull back as you turn a corner and your driver executes a rather nifty tight handbrake turn.

This is fine on dry courses, but it's to be used sparingly in icy conditions (or if you've got your racing line wrong) lest ye end up spinning around uncontrollably. This often results in the shamefaced player facing the wrong way at the end of a twizzle.

George And Mildred-Mobile

Each bike in BC Racers is equipped with a sidecar containing one passenger. Unlike modern sidecar racing where the passenger merely hangs on for dear life and looks scared, ancient-model sidecar types had more creative input into the race. To whit, each one is equipped with a club, the bashing of other riders for the usage of.

Smash them enough times and their poor little stone three-wheeler breaks down and your foes are forced to retire from the race (although they can still bash you back from their stationary positions in the middle of the course).

Rad

I must admit to having some reservations about this title. Will it be sufficiently different from the Mega-CD version to warrant the price tag? Will it have a tiny little "Doom-esque" play window? Well yes and no, in that order. The full-screen speedo scrolling is impressive, especially with the amount of stuff on-screen, and the two-player mode adds an awful lot of longevity - even though the main game is somewhat on the tough side.

It might not have quite the appeal of Virtua Racing, but it's got a lot more tracks, a lot lot more extras and it's a vast, huge quantity of lots better than the awful Motocross. Certainly worth a look.

Paul

The difficulty facing BC Racers on 32X that didn't worry the Mega-CD version is the recent launch of the acclaimed Street Racer. However, it's safe to say that the two games have little in common. Street Racer is definitely Mario Kart-inspired, whereas BC Racers seems to take its cues more from Virtua Racing. Except it's got a decent number of tracks, and is considerably harder than the Sega game.

Anyway, if you're into racing, have refrained from buying the awful Motocross, and think you could stand another driving game, this is a good bet.

Verdict

Graphics 91%
P. Colourful graphics, and really rather lovely smooth-scrolling make this a highly attractive game. In fact, I want to go out with it!

Sound 88%
P. A number of suitable soundtracks and some fantastic samples (especially when you run over a spectator!).
N. The tunes might get on your tits after a while.

Playability 89%
P. It's fast-moving, and the intuitive controls make it very easy to get the hang of.

Lastability 92%
P. Loads and loads of tracks, and the difficulty level soon gets very hard indeed. The two-player modes (in the plural) add considerably to this.

Value For Money 86%
P. Lots of game for your dosh.
N. Like most 32X titles, it's rather on the pricey side.

Overall 85%
A fine piece of game which racing fans would do well to investigate. Those with the Mega-CD version had better make sure they've got a friend to play it with to get the most out of it, however.