RC Revenge Pro Review
It wouldn't be too long until we saw a developer completely port 32-bit game to a 128-bit system and pass it off as a next-generation title. RC Revenge is the first of this example, as everybody already knows porting older products on a newer machine isn't the smartest thing, SNES to PSOne, remember those days?. Acclaim still hasn't escaped those days and who knows when they will, as their first PS2 title RC Revenge Pro shows itself as merely a port of the 32-bit PSOne game RC Revenge. I praised RC Revenge as being a fun and yet addictive racer that racing fans shouldn't overlook because it consists of toy cars, after finishing that review I heard Acclaim will be delivering an RC Revenge game for PS2, but no word was said about it being a sequel, but I still suspected it though. RC Revenge Pro has been out for some time now, I've caught up on the game to deliver a full review of this nothing but mediocre game.
When I inserted RC Revenge Pro into my PS2 I was expecting something, cool, original, new, but what I got was a watered down version of the same game that appeared on the Playstation in 2000. Of course as soon as I was greeted by the familiar menus and noticed that every car and track was the same as the the PS version, so I pretty much knew what to expect from RC Revenge Pro. The car models looked great on the PSOne, but look weak on the PS2. These RC cars are small and are pretty much replicas straight out of the 32-bit game, the only difference is that they have a little more polish and the out-lining of each vehicle (car or boat) was smoothened out so that the cars look somewhat better over their PS counterparts, the result isn't very pleasing. The same thing can be said about the backgrounds, they have been re-used, slightly touched up and thrown together on to the CD. As I remember the frame rate between Re-Volt and RC Revenge changed greatly, RC Revenge had a smooth frame rate of 30, while Re-Volt had a terrible inconsistent frame rate. Now we come back to the same dilemma with RC Revenge Pro, every time you make a sharp turn or there are three or more cars on screen the game bogs down, in-fact it gets so annoying that it affects the way the game plays...
The gameplay consists of the same elements that were on the Playstation version. You have two types of vehicles, RC cars and RC boats, there are over 30 different vehicles to choose from, roughly 10 to start with and the rest have to be earned by playing through the Championship mode. The stages are set in different areas such as the Jungle World, Planet Adventure, AKLM Studios (cartoon world), Horror World, Monster World and Pirate World. Each stage has 4 different tracks totaling to 20 tracks in the whole game, none of which are really impressing me now since I've seen it and played it all on the PSOne. The 30 selectable vehicles range anywhere from RC SUVs, sports cars, trucks, boats and F1 speedsters, so some variety is included, although since the PS2 is backwards compatible I suggest picking up a copy of RC Revenge for the original PSOne, most likely because enhancing it via PS2 options would benefit you a lot more than spending $50 on a game that has one very unstable frame rate.
What can I say about the audio department here? You've got your average music tunes that are based on the surrounding you are racing in, and you have the standard engine revs and tire screeching. For the most part everything sounds fine here, the musical tracks are an easy listen, with the addition of environmental sound effects here and there, the sound gets a nod from me, but for the simple reason that it sounds exactly the same as it did on the Playstation. The carnival like intro menu song is decent, but gets annoying quick and as for the sound effects from the weapons, they could've used more "oomph" if you know what I mean.
The control in RC Revenge for PSOne was arcade based, the cars had no real physics just a few default ones made up by the developer. The game's control tends to oversteer sometimes, forcing you to use the brake quite a lot, I honestly don't remember that problem being present in RC Revenge (PSOne), and if any other control changes were made, I would've lowered the control score. You will eventually get a feel for these toys, but in the beginning it may be harsh. Also, what's with not-including any analog support for accelerating and braking, it's a racing game and racing games deserve to use both sticks.
In the end I was overly disappointed with RC Revenge Pro, I was expecting a whole new game with great new features, even speedier gameplay and maybe even a four-player mode, hello! The directly ported graphics look only better because of the polish, but in the end there is no major difference between the PS2 and PSOne version, in-fact the frame rate is much better on the PSOne version. The gameplay has remained untouched, and so has everything else, it just makes me wonder why the game wasn't released closer to PS2 launch?
2/2/2001 Arnold Katayev