I've never actually had experience of driving a Ferrari F40, Titus. If you want me to say how realistic Crazy Cars II's, I'm afraid you'll just have to give me brand new one. White, please. No? Oh well, it was worth trying.
Crazy Cars II places you behind the wheel of an extremely fast Ferrari (300 mph max), and puts you on the US highways where a gang of car thieves must be caught and brought to justice.
Naturally, it's not just a matter of zooming down lots of nice straight empty roads. There's lots of twisty-turny bits and millions of not-very-happy policemen who aren't too keen on you driving a Ferrari around at top speed. The fuzz tend to pull in front of you and slow you down - stop and you're in the clink. Road blocks also tend to slow the car down (by blowing it up), so it's best to avoid them with some slick steering.
As well as speed and gear indicators (why are we only allowed two gears?), the car has a radar indicator which shows how far away the cops are. There's also a rev counter, score counter and a bonus counter which decreases as time rushes by...
Crazy Cars II is immensely playable, however the graphics let the rest of the game down. They are unvaried and the road can become quite monotonous. Overall, a reasonable buy - with more content it coulda been a contender.
If you thought WEC Le Mans was good, but limited with just one track, you should take a peek at Crazy Cars II! Smooth-scrolling landscapes, road blocks, police cars and tour states of the USA in which to rev it up. Wowee! Both cars are excellently drawn and animated, with an amazing feeling as you speed past roadblocks and bounce over hills. Although it doesn't affect the playability, it's a pity that every route and state are the same two colours. However, the variation of routes from one point to another is a great idea. Each time you play you could go a different way, thus having almost unlimited variety. Crazy Cars II is an excellent game for all lovers of Out Run, WEC Le Mans and other super-speeding car driving simulations.
This is the stuff of which the great American road movies are made! Driving coast to coast across the good of US of A, pedal to the metal, you hurtle down that two lane black top! But this ain't no pleasure ride! You're out to break a stolen car racket run by none other than some corrupt coppers!
To aid you in this task, you get to drive a nifty Ferrari F-40. equipped with the latest fuzz-bustin' radar! The only trouble is that you won't just encounter the bent bears (That's 'rotten rozzers' to you Limeys!) but also the honest injun' straight smokies too! Blimey O'Limey!
The game comes with an actual map of the real life relevant interstate Freeways and from this you can plan your own route! But remember, the quickest highways will probably have county-mounties thicker than bugs on a wind shield! Your task then is to cross four states, avoiding the pilfering plods who are intent on running you off the road, as well as steering clear of the bona fide bill and their road blocks who are all out to arrest you!
"Alright, alright, already!" I hear you cry. "The scenario sounds great but when you reviewed the first Crazy Cars game, you lot said it was a duffer!" Well, yes, Sean did give it five out of ten and said that the game offered nothing new to the genre! Did French publishers, Titus, take any notice of le Spoon King?
Mais oui! 'Cos it's kept the gameplay features that Sean praised, but at the same time made the game much more interesting by the addition of more roadside detail. You can even leave the road on a time limit, and drive across the fields! Handy for avoiding road blocks! You can also actually plan your route - even making last minute detours on minor roads to avoid the 'heat'!
One gripe is that it does seem very easy to get killed in this game, but I suppose when you're traveling at 327 mph this is an occupational hazard! Fortunately, the game is limited by time and being arrested (!) rather than a number of lives, so you can still complete the course even having blown up about ten Ferraris en route!
The graphics are good, and though the car and road are monochrome, the sprites and roadside detail are nice and big. The game scrolls really smoothly, there're curves and up/down slopes and the overall action is fast and furious. The sound too, especially in 128K, is great - with the waiting American police sirens rising and falling in volume as you pass them, the car noise, and (... Lookout for that lampost!!...) the inevitable explosion sound! All in all a great arcade-type rolling road romp which reproduces well the excitement of road movies in which one looney in a car takes on a zillion cops in a mad cap chase! I thought it was great!
You should remember the original Crazy Cars; it didn't come out that long ago, and it was quite well received in certain circles. Quite why Titus thought it worthwhile to release a follow-up, though, is a mystery on a par with the disappearance of Dirty Den.
Not that there's anything terrifically wrong with Crazy Cars 2, as it's imaginatively titled; it's just that in a world full of Roadblasters and Supertrux and Wec Le Mans and dozens of others, it takes something very special to make an outstanding road-racing game, and CC2 just isn't it.
The scenario has you racing across a barren landscape trying to avoid the cops, rather than just racing across a barren landscape. This is a good start. The scenery dips and weaves convincingly, the trees, bollards, lampposts and barriers on the side of the road scroll convincingly, and all looks well with the world.
The trouble is that even when you kick your car into high gear and rev up to over 300 mph, you still don't get much of an impression of speed. It gets a bit difficult to steer around the sharper corners, but it's largely ho-hum and dodge the cop-cars with not much break from the monotony.
Your car twists and slides convincingly - funny how much it looks like the car in Outrun Turbo, isn't it? - but the cop cars just sort of lurch from side to side. You can bash them off the road if you catch them just right, but if you misjudge your move there's a pretty explosion and you re-start at 0 mph.
At regular intervals along the way you come to forks in the road. Apart from the fact that you have to think fast to take a turn without smashing into a row of bollards, you also have to pick the right turning to make your way to your next destination. Needless to say (So why say it? - JD) you get a bonus for completing a section within the time limit, and lose the game if you run out of time between markers.
Sound is OK - the usual vruum vruum, skwee skwee stuff - and there are some neat touches like the cloud of dust which your car kicks up when you accelerate.
Overall, though, what we have here is a game which looks sort of half-finished; only the threat of the odd cop car breaks the monotony, and you long for a missile attack or landmine to pep things up. Fairly pointless, overall.
Reviewer: Chris Jenkins
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