Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars Review

  • Posted November 7th, 2008 at 01:02 EDT by

Review Score

Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars

PSU Review Score
6.5
Avg. user review score:
7.1

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Summary

A fun game with friends, but otherwise it is held back by the inherent flaws associated with a game of this type. Try before you buy.

We like

  • Fantastic multiplayer
  • Good ideas and controls

We dislike

  • Inherently awkward gameplay
  • Excruciating difficulty in single-player
  • Lack of variety

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

(continued from previous page) ...game has been praised in the preceding prose, it is solely on the merit of the thought and resultant ideas and play mechanics added to the game. Due simply to this game genre, playing feels very awkward, hitting the ball can sometimes feel more like luck then skill, and while repeated plays will allow people to become more accustomed to the way it plays, that nagging feeling never goes away that you just scored because of dumb luck.
This cannot be expressed enough. See a ball coming towards you, and your gut reaction tells you ‘I know, I’ll jump to hit it’. It either gracefully roll under you or bounce too high and go over you. Racing past a ball that’s about to go into your goal? ‘I’ll pull a quick handbrake turn and stop it’ is a valid thought, though you will end up turning to sharply or have it again bounce over you. It can get very frustrating.

This could not be more apparent when playing single player. All the minigames and tournaments are seriously difficult, and playing against the computer in tournament mode just highlights even further the downfalls of the game type. Even on the Rookie level of difficulty, the computer will know exactly how and when to hit the ball to get it where it needs to go. It’s generally not a fun experience at that point, as you generally have little chance at affecting the match outcome, flailing about the pitch desperately trying to get a touch in on the ball.

This is where the multiplayer aspect comes in.

Playing against other people is the saving grace of this game. As humans generally don’t have ruthless robot efficiency (and if they do, they might be replicants, and you should contact your nearest Blade Runner), they will have the same problems with the controls, making for a more balanced and fun game.

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And it’s this multiplayer aspect that really makes the game shine. Get some friends around for some two on two action and you’re basically set. The only limiting factor is how long it takes for the game to wear thin, and there really isn’t much of variety to help extend the play time. Speaking of variety, there are a load of Trophies in the game, all bar one being a boring affair of the ‘score so many goals in a ranked match’ or ‘win a ranked match’ kind. There is a ‘score a goal why reversing in a ranked match’ Trophy, though, but that’s about it.

Although there are a few cars to choose from, there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable difference between them other then aesthetics, and unlocking the last half of them is quite the challenge. To top it off, there are only three maps to play on, two pretty much the same, and a third that has a strange circular pitch to, for lack of a better phrase, spice things up.

Still, the multiplayer is a barrel of laughs. Having people in the room to talk to, whether it’s about impromptu tactics with your teammate, or how your revenge for an opposing team member destroying you will be swift and decisive. It’s also highly amusing to see goal replays, with people laughing at how, in slow motion, a car is going for a save, only to jump too early and be blown away by the resultant goal explosion. Oh yeah, the ball explodes when you score. No reason really, but it's kind of funny though.

You can play people online if you want, and there are ranked matches for those crazy people who like competitive gaming, and unranked matches for the normal folk who just want some fun. Lag can be issue though, which makes the already hit-and-miss nature of the game pretty much unplayable. It is generally more fun then playing against the computer, but doesn’t hold a candle to four player multiplayer.

Overall, this is a fun little game for playing with friends, but however good the controls are, the game concept itself is inherently broken. And for $14.99 you do not get a whole lot of game. Try the demo before you commit to buying.

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