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Super Runabout

Sega Dreamcast

Price: $44.99
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Disc(s) plus hard plastic protective replacement case only. Disc condition ranges from flawless to scratched but is guaranteed to work. Discs may have stickers or markings.Review In what has to be one of life's great disappointments, Climax - developer of past classics such as Dark Savior and Landstalker - has released the second sequel (the first being Runabout 2 for the PS) to its trailblazing PlayStation game Runabout (released as Felony 11-79 in America). Titled Super Runabout, this Dreamcast-specific sequel had people hoping for some high-speed thrills and more of the intriguing mission-based objectives that made up the backbone of the series. After all, the considerable polygon-pushing power of the Dreamcast should, theoretically, enable Climax to pull off some Crazy Taxi-like environmental chaos while adding more impetus than Crazy Taxi's simple pick-up-the-passenger gameplay. Well, Super Runabout has turned out to be such a perplexing display of ambitious conceit and totally underachieving gameplay that one wonders if the game was ever brought before a game tester during its lengthy development process. The game begins by letting you select from a limited number of vehicles (which grows as you complete missions) and then places a mission objective in front of you that must be completed in order for you to advance to more difficult missions. In the beginning, the objectives range from the rudimentary "find the explosives and bring them to the disarming center," to "find the kidnapped girls," which has you chasing down a pair of limousines and ramming them into oblivion. While these missions closely mirror those found in the original game, you will encounter later missions that are almost completely ludicrous - such as "find the ingredients to make three hot dogs," which sends you hurtling across the city to run over the required number of hot-dog stands in order to collect the necessary number of hot dogs, buns, relish, and ketchup. This gives off the impression that Climax was sorely stretched to invent new scenarios that weren't completely ridiculous. Unfortunately, it failed in that respect. The absurd mission objectives wouldn't be nearly as offensive if the gameplay were up to snuff. Since the whole game takes place in the elevation-mad city of San Francisco, gamers might expect a San Francisco Rush-style of madness to ensue with, again, Crazy Taxi-like results. Unfortunately, while the city of San Francisco is faithfully rendered (you can find your way toward Union Square and up through Chinatown by sight alone), the game controls only slightly better than Square's Type-S for the PS2. That is to say the steering is exceptionally heavy, and almost all of the vehicles are sluggish or worse - with the only exceptions being the Vespa-like motorcycle. While you don't feel as though you're driving on ice as you do in Type-S, the physics in Super Runabout will send you into a 360-spin at the slightest fender bender - from which recovery is a slow, drawn-out process. After you've been knocked into such a spin, you will often be facing the opposite direction, without the camera having made the appropriate adjustments. This results in your controls having the reverse effect of what you had intended. The annoying thing is that while you attempt to right yourself, another car can hit you, exacerbating the effect domino-style. Couple that with your car's damage meter increasing with every hit, and the game takes on a most unwelcome tone. No matter what car you select, whether it's a sporty race car, a tank, a bus, a mini-hatchback, or a pickup truck, the game controls poorly. Again, the only vehicle that handles decently is the Vespa, but it's more likely to get beat up than the others. Graphically, the cars look OK at best, as do the environments. The game lacks a polished feel for a Dreamcast title, however. In fact, you could almost say this looks like a cheap PlayStation port with smoother textures and less polygon clipping being the only improvements. Innocent bystanders run out of your way, and almost every onscreen object can be crashed into, resulting in a cheap-looking explosion

Product Details


UPC Number: 04042100896

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