Two years after the smashing hit of 1994, the developers of Megarace finally
put the last touches on the sequel, naturally called Megarace II. Previous
work of the French team Cryo Interactive Entertainment on titles such as
Lost Eden and Aliens skyrocketed the company to the high sphere of 3D
animation. Everyone remembers the breathtaking cinematic sequences of Lost
Eden, and there is no doubt they will continue to haunt the spirit of
thousands of players worldwide. This tremendous expertise has been turned to
good account in Megarace II, which possibly features the most beautiful
graphics ever in a racing game.
As you start the game, you assume the role of a contestant in the Virtual World
Broadcast Televisions's hit show, Megarace. The least I could say is that
this program is far from everything you have ever seen on TV, and it starts
with the host of the game, the bizarre and eccentric Lance Boyle. For those
who remember the surprising character and his stinging commentaries, you can
expect even more in the sequel, and the addition of an alluring assistant
to help him host the show is certainly not going to change anything.
Both characters developed a special sense of humor, but to be honest, you
will laugh more at their attitude than with their jokes and their sarcastic
To be the grand winner of the game, you must go through a series of races
that take place on six different tracks. Races are organized in several rounds
in which you must score the highest points to qualify. At the end of the
two qualifying rounds, the four drivers with the highest number of points
will race in the final round. If you win, you will go to the next track.
Eight cars enter the race in the first round, while in the second, only
the first seven cars will be authorized to continue the competition. Races
are five laps long, except in the final round where it is one lap at the
beginning and three laps for the last two tracks.
Before entering the first race, you must select your car among a list of
three models. Except for the maximum speed and car design, there isn't much
on which you can base your choice. Although both fuel and engine type change
from one car to another, you can't really make your choice upon these
parameters. Therefore, it is recommended to try each car and see whether you
like it or not depending on its road handling. New cars will become
available as you progress in the game, but the only parameter you must take
into consideration to evaluate the car's performance is its price. The more
expensive it is, the better the car will.
Quite frankly, Megarace is not the typical race game we all know. Yes, you
still have to finish the race first to be the winner, but the way you reach
this goal is rather unconventional. Indeed, the large array of weapons you
can embark on your vehicle is a sign that the race won't be a Sunday drive.
In Megarace 2, there is nothing better than a missile to clear the way out in
front of your car, and dropping a mine to get the guy behind you out of the
way seems to be the most appropriate action. However, as your number of weapons is
limited, you won't win the race by tossing all your equipment. Your driving
skills will still make the difference in the race against your adversaries
that won't hesitate a second to launch a missile on your car or use their
fender to bump into your vehicle. The worst that could happen, is that your
car is wrecked after sustaining too many damages. In this case, you will have
to start the competition over again from the beginning, or reload a previous saved
When your car is damaged after a course, it is wise to make repairs before it
becomes too late. For this purpose, between rounds and in exchange for money,
you can repair your car, add a shield to improve the resistance to the shocks,
and buy weapons and ammunition. You can also change your car for a better
one if you have enough money. In case you can't afford it, you will need to
continue to race in additional rounds and try to place among the first to win
money prizes. Throughout the game, you can win special prizes. These prizes
are hidden behind three doors that the charming assistant of Lance Boyle will
present you. Prizes are usually made of weapon pieces such as missiles and
mines, but eventually you can discover a brand new car behind the door.
If you don't like it, you are of course allowed to refuse the exchange, but
you wont' get anything in compensation, not even the money its worth.
Click on image to visit
The six tracks included in Megarace 2 will walk you through very different
environments. The ever changing landscapes, from the futuristic foundry to the
track on an extraterrestrial planet through the Bayou and the Bronx, will
surprise you by their beauty and realism. Entirely modeled in 3D and
beautifully restored on the screen at up to 30 frames per second, the
graphics of Megarace 2 in 320 by 400 establish a landmark with which the
others will compare from now. The lighting effects and especially, the
dynamic camera movements following the car on the track, provide the player
with a good sensation of being in the race. Should the speed be faster, the
game would definitely be the best racing game ever, but instead, the low
apparent speed turns the game into a pleasant Sunday drive. Although the
top speed of the cars is over 120 miles per hour, it looks as if you don't go
higher than 40. Except for that, the game will offer enough challenge to keep the
player into the game with several branching road forks, dead ends and
numerous hazards to avoid on the track. Moreover, each competitor has its own
artificial intelligence, letting them react differently to your driving.
Although Megarace II shines by its stunning graphics, the lack of speed
prevents it from reaching the same glory as its predecessor. The full motion
video between the races might help you forget for an instant about the
average game play, but it won't be enough to be completely satisfied about
the game. The passage to a higher resolution mode has been a decisive step,
but we all regret that this step wasn't made into the direction of game
Written by Frederick Claude
Click here for screen shots.
486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
Hard drive required with 20Mb free,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Microsoft compatible mouse.
Creative Labs Sound Blaster, Pro, 16 and AWE32; Media Vision Pro Audio
Spectrum; Gravis UltraSound; Ensoniq Soundscape; Roland RAP-10; General Midi
Cryo Interactive Entertainment.
In North America:
88 Rowland Way,
Novato, CA 94945.
Web site: Mindscape
Mindscape International Ltd.,
Charles Avenue, Maltings Park,
Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9PQ.
Web site: Mindscape UK
74D Rue de Paris,
36069 Rennes Cedex.
45470 Muelheim A.D. Ruhr.
Copyright © 1996 Coming Soon Magazine! All Rights Reserved.