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Dukes of Hazard: The Race for Home
Graphics: 8.5
Gameplay: 8.8
Sound: 8.7
Control: 8.3
Replay Value: 8.4
Rating: 8.5
Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive
Developer: Sinister Games
Number Of Players: 1-2

   Dukes of Hazard is an old TV show that used to be popular among teens and adults. I'm not quite familiar with it but obviously according to the videogame title I'm guessing that the Duke cousins have entered the race in order to gain enough money to pay off for their farm. But first off, forgive me if I say anything wrong about the show, as I said before I am not too familiar with it. Southpeak has picked up the rights from WB to publish the videogame version of Dukes of Hazard while Sinister Games is behind the development. I don't think that there was ever a classic show that was re-created into a videogame, so that means that Dukes of Hazard is the first. Keep reading the review and see how this title turned out.

   What's important in a racing game is nice graphics, such as background detail, car detail and a good overall polish. Dukes of Hazard has just that, nicely crafted backgrounds that make the county of Hazard come alive, as well as excellent car design to make the General Lee and the other cars come to life as well. I have to admit that the only thing I found wrong with the graphics was that sometimes when the cars pile up they might occasionally mold into one another, but that is about it. The lighting effects are sweet, the cop lights are as bright and bold as ever. The General Lee, The Jeep and the boss' Cadilac ( I suppose it is) are all finely detailed, with every nook and cranny of each vehicle moonlighting the originals from the TV sitcom. The CGs also add a nice touch to the game and instead of inserting FMV clips from the show, Sinister Games had created smooth looking CGs. A solid presentation in the graphics department, but does this title have the glitz and glamour to make the gameplay fun and enticing?

   In one answer, yes. Dukes of Hazard features pretty engrossing gameplay none the less, you travel around Hazard county accomplishing missions like getting rid of the cops (Rosco & Enos), dumping wastes in the old pond, pulling over criminals and more. You don't only drive in your General Lee car, as you progress through the game you will drive the boss' Cadillac, a Jeep, a Tow Truck, and many more that I'm still not aware of. The game doesn't feature much modes, but it does feature a two player mode (which by the way is a plus) where you and a buddy go head to head in a race mode, or you can time yourself in the time trial mode. The only problem I encountered in Dukes of Hazard was that the landscapes or stages if you will, all look similar, but they aren't. I just wish that the backgrounds and the environments could have altered during different stages. There was one thing I was not expecting in Dukes of Hazard, and that was power ups. Some of the power ups acquired are oil and a turbo boost to help you through your journeys. The game features many missions to accomplish, not all of them are unique, some of them repeat at times but that is only because the game follows the storyline of the sitcom I guess. The game definitely shows a solid presentation making Dukes of Hazard a sleeper that sort of sprung out of nowhere. By the way, the game also has the Driver feel to it, it features crazy looking crashes, furious speed, except you drive on a closed track.

   Dukes of Hazard features a western soundtrack, it is completely inspired by the sitcom so it's only right to say that the soundtrack fits the game well, with a doubt! The voice acting is top notch, the dialogue streams continuously so there is no stop between lines of script. The engine and everything else the has to do with the car sounds good too, the honk of the General Lee is somewhat annoying, because I hear everyday, but it still sounds damn realistic.

   Controlling a car in Dukes of Hazard is a pretty easy task. Each car has its own strengths and weaknesses in road hogging, but each car still handles fairly simply, so picking up the control can be easy as 1-2-3. The menu controls feel unresponsive greatly, I would have to press a button twice in order for the game to read my decision, that is kind of weird.

   So, all in all Dukes of Hazard: The Race for Home is an exceptional title with a few minor mistakes here and there. But in overall the game shines with great gameplay, smooth graphics and excellent voice acting that almost makes you feel like the cats of the show reunited and have made an extra episode just for you.



1/4/2000   SolidSnake