Star Wars Racer Revenge takes place eight years after it’s predecessor, Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer. Lucas Arts promises to bring back the good while adding a few kicks here and there. In Episode 1 Racer, when Sebulba was defeated at the end, he disappeared. Now he’s back, but his arch enemy is back as well, Anakin Skywalker. Although this series has yet to make it’s way to a Sony console, fans of the series should still have no problem adapting.
The gameplay has been stepped up a notch to provide tighter handling. The D-pad and the left analog both control steering. Like most other racers, X accelerates and square brakes. Triangle lets you pick one of the different camera angles and the circle button takes you to a behind camera view. R2 gives you a boost which is unlimited but will eventually overheat your engine causing serious damage. Lastly, L2 repairs your engine when damaged.
Racer Revenge features three gameplay modes: single, versus, and tournament. Single is an exhibition mode mainly for practice while tournament mode is the productive part of the game. In tournament mode, you pick a racer and compete in a series of events to try to establish yourself as the best racer around. Along the way, you’ll earn trugats, which enables you to upgrade and enhance your pod. Trugats can be awarded in a couple of ways. One easy way, though, is to race aggressively by slamming into the other racers. But don’t think for a second that the AI won’t fight back, because they’ve been programmed to race according to how you act towards them. So basically, if you ram them, they’ll be on your tail trying to repay the favor.
Fourteen tracks will be selectable as well as 23 characters, five which you will have to unlock throughout Tournament mode. The tracks are located in five different worlds which are all new, save for Tatooine.
In addition to the smoother pods are the intricately detailed and designed levels. Weather effects and more background items help bring the tracks that ‘alive’ feeling. Racer Revenge is shaping up to be a worthy game and since Rainbow Studios has already developed two very sharp racers (Splashdown and ATV: Offroad Furry), we shouldn’t expect anything less. Racer Revenge releases in a little under three months, February 12th. In the meantime, check out the screenshots.
12/18/2001 Joseph Comunale