Megarace II



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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.

Extraterrestrial Track

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 comments.

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.

Lance Boyle Lance's assistant
Lance Boyle Lance's assistant

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 game.

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.

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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 play.

Written by Frederick Claude

Click here for screen shots.

System Requirements:

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 devices supported.


Cryo Interactive Entertainment.


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