Speed Devils


Review by Matt Paprocki

UBI Soft


Graphics: 8

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 7.5

Overall: 8

Launched in September of 1999, Sega's Dreamcast practically set a record for the number of launch titles, but with one noticeable absence: A decent racing game. This void has been filled by UBI Soft with their release of Speed Devils, quickly bringing this popular genre to the most powerful console on the market. The sheer craziness coupled with an excellent arcade style feel make this one well worth tracking down.

The only game that even remotely resembles the zaniness this game provides is Beetle Adventure Racing, a highly underrated N64 racer. Tornados, King Kong look-alikes, native Indians, sharks, a T-Rex, and even a UFO will attempt to impede your progress throughout the long (and relatively well designed) courses. Each of these adds a great deal of excitement to what would be an otherwise standard racer.

The games career mode lets players take bets on races and/or on whether or not they can perform certain tasks. These are easily accomplished early on, but later challenges can prove to be impossible, but never in an overly frustrating way. The difficulty ramp seems perfectly calibrated. This forces players to constantly replay races, and eventually, you'll be racing even better than you ever thought you could. If you still can't do what's required of you, take your previous winnings and upgrade your car. Still not enough help? Then buy an entirely new car.

For being such an early release, UBI Soft has done a magnificent job with the graphics The cars take damage in real time, so you'll always know who won't be on the track much longer. Reflections on the cars metal exteriors are accurate enough and the lighting effects shine. Some tracks even change as the race goes on, keeping things varied. Getting a friend together for the 2-player mode is no worry as the frame rate and detail stay at the same levels they were during the solo races. Weather effects are also spectacular and deserve special mention.

Of course, it's not perfect. The physics engine is way off even for an arcade racer. Cars bounce off of each other like pinball's off a flipper and it's hard to get the feel down. Road obstacles cling to your car, nearly impossible to remove. A few more modes also would've made this one last a little longer also.

Since Sega botched the Dreamcast translation of Sega Rally, Speed Devils is at the top of the pack. It has the potential to be forgotten in a few years and possibly become a cult classic. The creativity brings something to the genre that it sorely lacks and it makes an excellent addition to anyone's DC library.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 04:48 AM