Riding Hero


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 4

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 3

Fans of motorcycle racing have been blessed with some true classic over the years. Hang On, Excitebike, Moto Racer, and numerous others. SNK, always attempting to capitalize on other companies successes, put out their own motorcycle racer that unfortunately, fell WAY short of the competition.

The meat of the game is the story mode which is extremely innovative and SNK deserves a lot of credit for it. You begin in your home and have the option of where you want to go throughout the day. Going to the dealer brings up the obvious, going to certain areas of the city bring up street races, others contain scheduled races. You have a limited amount of time to make your moves or the day passes, adding a great deal of strategy to the game. This is also the only Geo game I'm aware of that lets users hook 2 carts, 2 Geo's, and 2 TV's together for true multi-player gaming.

The game completely falters whenever you begin a race however. The game is presented just like the classic Hang-On with scrolling sprites attempting to give the player a 3-D effect. On a console that sold itself on it's graphical capabilities alone, this is unacceptable. The riders have the usual array of animation and of course, a nasty crash sequence. The games cinemas feature some nice still pics, but that is the highlight of the games graphical package.

Racing games are either made or ruined by their control scheme. Not only is the game ruined, it's completely unplayable due to it. While making a hard turn, your players cuts immediately to the desired direction, but when you let go of the joystick, your rider stays in the same position unless you center him back to the center, usually resulting in another unwanted turn. Getting clipped by another rider makes your biker go haywire, nearly always resulting in a crash no matter how much you try and avoid it.

The sound in the game is completely non-existent with nearly no high points worth mentioning. The usual announcer counts down the final seconds leading up the beginning of the race, music blares in the background, and the motorcycles engines roar. It's pretty much the same basic sound set that we've all heard since the mid 80's.

Had it not been for the nifty story mode, this game wouldn't even be worth writing a review for. Making a game with controls like this is simply lazy programming. Not only is it a blatant rip-off of classics like Hang-On (and a really bad one at that), but it's for a console that had carts costing consumers $200 a pop. This is simply inexcusable.


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Last updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 09:19 PM