The added pressure did challenge me but with the array of weapons and little to no room for errors the fun factor did begin to slope after some consist game play. Although there is a multiplayer option, it really doesn’t give room for much competitive fun besides your basic race around the track and see who can knock who back long enough to cross the finish line
A combat racing game released by Ubi Soft Entertainment on December 4th, 1998, S.C.A.R.S. provided a somewhat unique experience compared to the other racing gaming such as Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing which were still fresh in everyone’s mind. Developers’ Vivid Image, approached the extraordinary by opting to using vehicles shaped like different various animals such as a Mammoth, Rhino, Cheetah and even the Panther, each with diverse stats (Speed, Armor, Grip, and Weapons) that helped balance a player’s experience with the different race courses. Across three mains cups which compose the Grand Prix mode, you race against computer AI or players and one of the four unlockable cars (which is the only way to unlock them) and surprisingly enough it turns to total warfare.
Following a futuristic theme during that time frame, we see game play similar to Mario Kart with more militarize weaponry. Ranging from your typical missiles and turbo to different types of force fields and even a timed “hot potato” bomb that you have to keep passing back and forth, the tension is kept until you cross the finish line. Jumping and power sliding around traps, the difficulty increases each tournament cup and believe me when I say they don’t call it a challenge for a reason. With some slight Rubber Banding (A hidden feature in games that allows the AI to catch up to the player and is intended to keep the Player challenged) and slippy environments, I was kept on my toes to earn 1st place in some of the later cups, especially against the Panther with it’s maxed out stats.
Outside of the Grand Prix and 1-4 multiplayer challenging we can test our personal lap records in Time Attack but to see the game truly shine you probably won’t even want to bother with it unless you want to get used to the tracks.
Final Grade: 70%
With the graphics at the time and playability it is easily picked up and conquered with timed patience. In a era against the kingpins like Mario Kart and Diddy Kong as mentioned, S.C.A.R.S. had some giants to go up against and I think the idea was done correctly, although the power sliding and jumping is almost identical to Mario Kart it does have it’s own unique feature. Playing on the Nintendo 64 I kept in mind the graphics of the time period, which sadly I had to mark down in this category. While following a futuristic theme and color pallete, it does appear blurry and there was some considerable texture issues in several of the matches. The car you unlock by beating tends to be faster than you in every cup and the rubber banding becomes the prominent issue I faced. With that in mind this was one of the games I played as a child and has carried with me throughout the years due to the nostalgic feelings i remember when playing it, so it does have an appeal to it that sets it aside from other racing games during that time frame.
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