Review By: Jared Black
-10 tracks, all mirrored and reversed
-Realistic handling in different weather conditions
-4 game types: Trophy, Multiplayer, Quick Race, and Time Trial
-30 different cars, all modifiable
-Two-player championship mode
Anyone who has read my review of the Dreamcast version of Roadsters knows
that I was a little disappointed by that version. With a few more months
of tweaking, it could've been an excellent racer. Well, it appears that all
that development time was put into this version, because I'm happy to report
that this version is far superior to the DC version.
Unlike the Dreamcast version of Roadsters, the PSX version has a more "sim"
feel to it. Of course it's still an arcade racer, but now it's an arcade
racer with a lot more depth. That's a good thing. Since all of that added
depth falls in the gameplay category, I shall discuss that first.
The formula here is very similar to the other versions. In Roadster Trophy
mode you select a driver and then race throughout a season. Depending on
how you finish each race, you earn money good for car upgrades and moving
up to higher-level competition. You can also earn money by placing bets on
where you will finish. Multiplayer is
multiplayer racing. Quick
Race allows you to race any course you've already visited in Roadster Trophy
mode, and Time Trial allows you to refine your skills. Since this is an arcade
racer, you'll still slide around turns and bounce off of barriers. The difference
here is that the player has a lot more control over how the car reacts on-screen.
The controls are a lot tighter then those found in the Dreamcast version,
which translates into more control for the player. Instead of being forced
to bounce off of walls, the player can now choose to do so to aid them in
making apass. Also, this version features none of the terrible inconsistencies
found in other versions, such as objects on one track behaving differently
on another track.
Everything here is quite realistic. Upgrading your car is a key to success,
as race conditions have a big impact on your ability to perform in a race.
Choosing the right tires and other car upgrades is essential to staying
competitive, and each upgrade effects your car in a realistic manner. Since
the controls are tighter, you can achieve almost any desired handling you
want by upgrading correctly. There are also no shortcuts to be found in this
game. The emphasis here is on racing and only racing.
Much like the gameplay, the graphics are also very polished. Environments
range from Area 51 to Ski Resorts, and all look very nice. Polygonal models
are solid, with very little flicker or seams showing. Car models are also
nice, accurately representing their real-life counterparts. Unfortunately,
this high level of detail in a PSX game ultimately leads to a significant
amount of draw-in. I'm talking "Daytona USA" type draw-in. While it doesn't
really effect gameplay, it's mildly annoying. Also, the framerate will
occasionally drop a few FPS when trying to draw lots of things on-screen,
but it doesn't really affect gameplay. Overall, despite being on the aging
Playstation, the graphics here rival those found in the Dreamcast version.
While the graphics aren't perfect, they still look pretty good.
There's not a lot to talk about in the sound department, because it's nearly
identical to that found in the Dreamcast version. The music manages to capture
both the "cool" feel of driving a Roadster and the "upbeat" driving action
found on-screen. My only complaints in the sound department are with the
voice samples. While not terrible, the fact that there are so few of them
(only one per driver per 'event' like getting passed) make them very annoying
One thing you should be warned about is a "non-bug" I found while playing
this title. Everytime you enter or exit a race, the analog function in your
dual shock is kicked off. At first I thought this was a very bad bug, but
what it actually does is turn the analog function back on once the race begins
(or when the menu screen pops up). I assume they did this because of problems
with analog support during the loading screens.
Overall, this is a much better version of Roadsters than the DC version.
The gameplay is much more polished, the graphics make good use of the PSX's
power, and annoying problems with the DC version are no where to be found
here. If you've always wanted to race in a Lotus, this is the game to pick