Saturday, 13 March 2010

Super Off-Road NES Review

Developed in 1989 by The Leland Corporation Super Off-Road (full title Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off-Road) was an arcade racer that had you race around tracks against three Ivan Stewart's, the game had some success in the arcades and was later ported to every home console available at the time.
The NES conversion was handled by Rare possibly because a lot of their NES games were in isometric 3D (Like Snake Rattle and Roll).
Rare did a brilliant job with this conversion, nothing is missing from the original. The game has you race against Ivan Stewart over 8 tracks in 99 races. The amount of races in this game stunned me, I was wondering when it would end, in all it took me over 3 hours to do all 99 races and this was without any breaks, saves, passwords or continues. Depending on the type of person you are you will either find this game really addictive or really repetitive, I couldn't put the controller down so the game really absorbs you.
The original arcade game allowed up to three people to play at the same time, the NES version allows up to 4 players at the same time (depending on if you have the NES 4-score or the NES satellite), the game is already competitive in the single player so imagine how much fun you would have in multiplayer.
Super Off-Road featured something that was quite new at the time, the ability to upgrade your vehicle, at the start of the game your truck is a piece of crap, it is slow and feels chunky,upgrade it and the car becomes faster and has smoother handling. Another useful feature the game included was the use of Nitro, the Nitro can give you a speed boost when you need it but don't abuse it, Nitro works best when used in the right place, if you use the Nitro on a straight then you will cover a good distance in a short amount of time, use it in an area that is fully of bumps and rocks and you have pretty much wasted your Nitro.
The game is split into two circuits, the beginners circuit and the championship circuit. In the beginners circuit you only race on half the tracks, the opponents are easy to beat and you are allowed continues if you run out of lives. The Championship circuit features all 8 tracks and tougher opponent AI, if you lose a ace badly the game gets easier, but if you lap everyone and win a race then be prepared to feel the wrath of Ivan. It is true what they say humiliation is tomorrow's fuel.
Control wise it is ok as long as you are not to picky, at first the controls seem blocky but after some practice you get past those turns with ease.
Graphically the game looks no where near as good as the arcade versions (it wouldn't) but it still replicates the game well enough to do the NES justice.
The music is alight too, each track has different music, some tracks get on my nerves while others I enjoy listen to, even if they are just lopped.
In all Super-Off Road is one of the best racers on the NES. If you want the game you can pick it up cheap on ebay.

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