Crazy Cars III
Copyright/Publisher: Titus Software, Programmed By: Louis Estorges &
Sylvain Labbe, Graphics By: Christophe Colombo & Souheil Riahi, Music By:
Guy Shavitt, Release Year: 1993, Genre: Racing, Number Of Players: 1

Crazy Cars don't go to the auto-psychologist to re-live their bad experiences in the showroom. They hit the open highways of American and race their tyres off. Being a bit of a crazy driver herself, Clur was the ideal person to road test this latest highspeed actioneer...

With the police cracking down tightly on speeding motorists, the best way nowadays to get fast driving kicks is definitely from the comfort of your 64. Crazy Cars 3 takes you away from the traffic jams of the M25 to wide open roads where the only aim is to knock the other cars out of your way.

There are 10 levels of racing in a big red Lamborghini Diablo, the intention being to beat your rivals, in grey cars, to the finishing line. For winning a race you get goodies added on to your car, the most important being a better engine to give you a few more kilometres an hour. There are also snow tyres and a radar detector to warn you of approaching police cars (although the radar detector isn't much use, as you can easily burn off the cops in your monster machine).

You view Crazy Cars as if you sitting in an open trailer invisibly attached to the Lamborghini. From behind, the car looks good, especially when cornering, and the perspective and scrolling of the other cars and shrubbery is great.

You are electronically connected to this car, monitoring both its speed and direction. As well as having up-front displays of the extent of damage you've caused to your car and the amount of gear attached to your already hot machine. You have other controls to hans; for example-hitting the spacebar gives the Diablo a mega boost of pure energy.

The game feels great to play, it's very responsive and the icy courses make a significant difference to the road holding. The problem is that it's far too simple. Jost tootle along for most of the race keeping the other competitors in sight and save your power boosts until the last few kilometres then kiss the competition goodbye as you go speeding past them at 250kph. It's almost as if they held on for you 'cos they wanted a challenge.

The only real trouble you get from anyone is a nasty little blue car that has no intention of winning the race; it justs wants to get on your pig. It's got enough power to get to the finish line before you've even put the pedal to the metal but instead it sneaks up behind you, then nips in front and gets in your way. The only way to cope with this pain is to bash him off the road and speed off while he's stuck to the tree. Mind you, like the Terminator, he'll be back.

Most driving games have a control system which comprises accelerate, brake, left and right. In Crazy Cars, for some weird reason, once you hit top speed you can take your foot off the gas (or rather take your hand of the 'stick) and you remain at top speed. You just need to touch the accelerator if you get slowed down by a tree or another car. Very strange. If my car did that she'd be straight down to ATS for an overhaul.

Crazy Cars is one hell of a multiload - thank heavents there's infinite continues on every level. If you had to go right back to the beginning every time something went wrong you'd spend more time loading than playing, that it wouldn't be worth it at all. As it is, playing isn't all that much fun. What we want is more gratuitous violence, spikes on wheels, passengers with sawn-off shot guns that sort of stuff.

Why bother with smart loading screens, plot, snazzy high score tables and tons of info flashing on screen when all you really want to do is race? I'll tell you why - there's got to be a reason for racing. No matter how well you've perused the manual it's good to know how well your opponents are doing.

I'd like to have known how far in front I was. Most of all it would be fab to actually have a physical finishing line, a bit of red tape or something, rather than just a sudden collapse in power output when you've reached the end of that particular race.

Whether you win or loose (no that's not a spelling mistake on CF's part, it's what the game says you've done when you've made a bit of a mess of things - these French just can't spell) all you get is an unimpressive message telling you to hit space to play. (Why you have to use space to play and power up when there's a perfectly good fire button on your joystick is beyond me). Basically Crazy Cars is a good game that needs polishing. A few bits of tinsel and a few more levels would make it a very good racing bash.

Don't get the impression that we think that all racing games should be so tough that you'll never finish them. But when a player new to the game can finish every level, with out getting stopped by the cops once (and on a Monday morning at that), there's got to be something amiss.

Crazy Cars 3 is much too easy to master and you'll be trashing the top road racers of the US of A in about an hour. Not much cop for 16 if you ask me. This would have been great as an original budget - you might almost get your money's worth.


INTRO SCREEN

POWER RATING 67%
THE DOWNERS
Far too easy to beat.
There are no frills to enhance the gameplay.
Only 10 short levels.
THE UPPERS
Conveys the feeling of fast driving excellently.
The graphics for approaching cars and scenery are very good.
Responsive steering.

Oh the joy of driving on the open highway. Nothing to get in your way but Harry Seacombe and his voluminous anorak.
Just ram the brown car out of the way - try to smash it off of the road altogether if you can.
I still haven't quite worked out what the turquoise stuff is on the ground. I blame the greenhouse effect.
Green sky and blue mountains, it looks like an eary surealist experiment.
Night time in the city - the lights, the nightclubs, the cyclists with no lights beneath that whells of your car...