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    Free Wheelin' USA
    Author: Drew Lanclos   Publisher: Ubi Soft   Developer: Hoplite Research
    Date Posted: June 5th, 2002
    SLRating: SLRating: 2/10
    Bottom Line: You'll feel better if you just give me the $20 instead of spending it on this.

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    Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
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    Hammerin' In My Head

    Well, back to the mechanics of the game. In the era of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Half-Life, and Serious Sam, it's easy to take a backseat in the graphics department to games with polygons as their primary focus. However, it's difficult to say that I remember a Windows-based 3D game with better graphics than this. As a matter of fact, I can think of plenty of DOS games with better graphics.

    On the one hand, Free Wheelin' USA bucks the valueware trend by allowing Wal-Mart shoppers with beefed up systems (500 MHz, even) to run this game in as high of a resolution as 1024x768. I must salute Hoplite Research for acknowledging that console ports need not run *only* in the console's native resolution.

    On the other hand, if you believe that someone will have a system strong enough to run this game in 1024x768, I think you should take it for granted that they can handle a few more polygons so that we don't have to use *sprites* in the game. I haven't seen this many sprites since I played Descent. At the very least, the trees could have had polygonal trunks and flat-brushed leaves like most other games use. Even worse, they don't resample to more-detailed sprites as you get closer, so even in 1024x768, you're stuck with a pixelicious mess on your screen.

    The music is unremarkable. It doesn't grate my nerves to listen to...only the silly titles. Candy Pantz? Honestly...Someone's just not trying very hard. What *really* disappoints me about the sound is the relative lack of sound in the game. There aren't any voices whatsoever in the game. These would have added a nice touch to the arcade feel of the game, much like Nintendo/Rare's Cruisin' series. Of course, given the quality of the rest of the sounds, perhaps neglecting voicework was a good idea. Despite having one of the meanest-looking cars on the planet, my engine sounds like something ripped out of a cheezy Radio Shack R/C race car. Instead of 12 cylinders, I have 12 volts. Utterly ridiculous.

    I could mention how the game has no multiplayer features. That's fine though. I hesitate to say that I'd want to play with anyone else who bought the game. We'd have more fun emulating Olympic figure-skating in our cars than actually trying to win a race.

    Pros & Cons/Conclusion Go the the next page
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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction
    2. Should Have Taken the Blue Pill
    3. Hammerin' In My Head
    4. Pros & Cons/Conclusion
    5. Rating Breakdown

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