Go back to MegaRace

Written by: Stoo

Date posted: June 9, 2009

Oh MegaRace… I was wondering if we were being harsh on it but, ultimately if we’re not giving 1/5 (or 2/10 if you prefer) to this then to what?

I could put the boot in here at length but I suppose Rik has covered it all already. MegaRace is part of an evolutionary dead-end in gaming, that spawned in the early 90s out of the growing popularity of CD-ROMs as a data storage medium. With an explosion in the amount of data they could include in their games, developers enjoyed ramping up the media assets. Some just recorded voiceovers for all the dialogue, which was a welcome addition to games like adventures. Some added video cutscenes featuring actors and\or pre-rendered cg graphics, which ranged from unneccesary and annoying to truly impressive. Then finally we had some that actually built the game itself out of video.

I can kind of see the appeal in this case – it was a shortcut to graphics far more impressive than a real-time 3d engine could do at the time (for comparison, see Indycar Racing). But it led to an utterly flat and soulless experience. Your cars are just blobby sprites draped on top of the playback of pre-rendered graphics, and that’s not a recepie for dynamic or involving action. They don’t quite feel real, they float along, they shoot other blobby cars. Or overtake a bit. Then you win or lose and watch Lance goon around.

Don’t get me wrong, I was really impressed at first, sat watching all these sci-fi landscapes go by. But after a few days play and the novelty had worn off, I never touched it again. I guess there’s some historical curiosity value here; games of this nature died out pretty fast as 3D graphics engines increased in power. But I could still think of better ways to spend your $6 on gog.com. Don’t bother, unless you’re suffering a major nostalgia attack.