GameOver Game Reviews

Game & Publisher Buggy (c) Gremlin Interactive
Overall Rating 72%

Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

Buggy takes you off roading on some insane tracks as you power RC buggies through powerup 'gates', in the air, on the ground and upside down. You'll need to hit them in the right order for power-ups and roar across the finish line in first. Accelerate around, through and over barriers and obstacles littered across 15 hair-raising tracks. Skill, speed and split second timing will propel you through lush jungle arenas, miniature gardens and sun-soaked beaches. Fire up one of 16 distinct Buggys in the race of your life.

Buggy is your typical arcade style third person racing game. It's somewhat similar to the classic Big Red Racing, which is one of the most kickass arcade racing games ever made. (HINT, HINT DEVELOPERS MAKE A SEQUEL DAMMIT!!) It's not quite as entertaining as BRR was but it's not the shabbiest arcade racer I've ever played.

Well, it's off to the races! You get to start out with your choice of five cars and gain new ones as you progress through the game. You must complete all of the races within each level to continue on to the next level. The levels are also filled with secrets including cars and levels.

Each car has four different attributes: acceleration, speed, grip, and weight. Most games you don't really notice the differences... but here it's pretty pronounced. The light cars flip all over the place and the ones with poor grip will be sliding all over the track. It means you either got to get good with what you got or change your driving styles. I had mediocre success with the lighter, faster cars, but I found it real inconsistent because I'd make a small mistake and I'd be all over the board. It does make the game fun though, since it adds some variety. You may want a certain car for certain boards and another for a different board. The cars do get progressively better, but the other cars are still good if you want to try it a different way.

Graphically Buggy is lacking... it's got a similar arcade feel to Plane Crazy. If Buggy would have had the outstanding graphics PC did, this game would be pretty rocking. I thought Plane Crazy was pretty good no MATTER WHAT PCGAMER SAYS! (DAMN YOU LAMERS AND YOUR 35%!) It has some strange flaws like the graphics warp and twist when it doesn't seem like they're supposed to. I'd be sitting still and parts of the floor and walls would start shifting. It was very unnatural, though since this is very arcadish, it may have been intended that way. It could have been drastically improved in other ways as well. Using REAL dust trails would have made it look SOOO much better. Those crappy little pixy dust looking things coming off the back of my buggy look horrible. Some water effects would have been nice as well, since on occasion, you end up in the water, which has no effects whatsoever other than slowing your car down. My Voodoo Rush chugged along pretty well in 3DFX, but I did notice a little frame dropping. It does say it requires a little bit of horsepower but it's not an Unreal resource monster.

It's got some decent ambient sound and it does have positional sound but it doesn't really fade in and out real well. The 3d positional effect is rather poor. You can't really tell where the sound would be coming from except that it's in one part of the race track. The powerups could probably use some better effects as well, they're not real interesting. Buggy does feature CD Audio for its music tracks, so if you don't like what's on the CD you can always put in something more your style. (HINT HINT I like racin' to the new KORN CD)

It's a pretty simple game, very few buttons to remember. Pretty much just grab a gamepad (I GUESS you could use a keyboard, but blech) and let it rip. Not overly challenging, although sometimes you need to have a little luck on your side so you don't accidentally run into something while your buggy's bouncing all over the screen because you were going WAAAY TOO fast in that turn or over that bump. It's forgiving and the AI's not stupid, but it's not incredibly hard to beat.

Buggy's got some good multiplayer features. The split screen is pretty nice, works like most of the arcade styled split screens so you can whoop up on friends without multiple PCs, networks and all that associated crap. It also features IPX and TCP/IP so you can play with all that crap that you don't need for split screen play if you got all the necessary equipment or you're up for some Internet racing. It looks a little laggy so you'd probably be better off keeping your modem hot for something else.

It adds up to a pretty fun game. I found it might be a little bit too easy however so the replay value might not be there for a real long time. All in all, it's not too shabby for an arcade style racer. I'm still gonna keep my gamepad warm for a couple of other arcade racers that will be coming out shortly this fall. It's not real impressive, but it's been a little while since the last arcade style racer. It's a time waster game. Nothing you'll get all wrapped up in, but it'll kill some boredom.

Highs: Good split screen multiplayer, can be fun for a little while, simple
Lows: I think there could have been much better graphics and sound, maybe a little too easy

Graphics: 13/20
Sound: 9/15
Gameplay: 21/30
Entertainment Value: 14/20
Multiplayer: 5/5
General Impression: 6/10


Divider Left By: Hades Divider Right

Micro Machines, Hot Wheels, Tyco RC cars, and finally RC Pro AM. Yes all these things bring back the nostalgia of old. The time before high quality computer games, when Nintendo was on the top of the charts, and remote control cars cost about seventy dollars. I remember playing RC Pro Am over and over again just wanting to shave off that split second here or there. And when I got Game Genie, you better believe I was at it again.

Now in the age of high end graphics and Dolby surround sound on computer games, little games like Buggy get unnoticed and pushed off the road, so to speak, by the big guys like Need For Speed III, and the forthcoming Test Drive 5. This game reminds of a little gem I discovered last year called Ignition. It was almost like Micro Machines but only way more fun with a lot better graphics. I played that game over and over again. It wasn't until I beat the game and achieved 1-5 best lap and total times on all the tracks that I finally put the game to rest. Simple racing games like this, games which have an emphasis on fun rather than super snazy graphics or mind numbing sound, are the games that stand out.

The object of this game is just like any other racing game, you're trying to win. You can do whatever it takes, there are no cops and there are no people trying to kill you by ramming your car into a wall. You're at the wheel of a little RC car driving around bounding about and bouncing over hills. Little gates on the track can be driven through in order to get different power-ups such as speed-up, ghost and many others. There is a complete list on Gremlin Interactive's web page.

At first I fired this game up without my Voodoo2 by mistake (it defaults to software mode) and I thought the color mapping was off. I mean who has heard of a car with green wheels. Well I switched over to my Voodoo and it remained the same except that green blob of pixels became a green tire. Amazing what a Voodoo can do. Anyway, the smooth frame rates were occasionally choppy when all cars were on the screen and all were bouncing up and down hills but other than that it played quite smoothly. There is a standard lighting effect when you get a power up that sparkles the top of your RC antennae. Not much showing off of a 3d card but still uses some features to its advantage.

One of the sounds reminded me exactly of the Mario World sound just before you die. Simple motor sound emanates over everything else so when it gets quiet, it really gets quiet. There is no speech but what could you use speech for in this game anyway. Lots of tire screeching and thuds as you hit the walls. The thing that drew my attention in the sound category was just the sounds that occurred after you got a power up. Not too impressive in this category.

The hardest part of this game is fighting the controls. It is way to loose, one simple keystroke will send your car flying in the respective direction. The lack of a brake feature didn't sit too well with me either, not that I ever use a break in any racing game I play. Simple game to learn, just drive forward and don't hit anything. Lots of tracks and a large assortment of different RC's gives this game a definite replay value. If you beat a track so what, beat it with a slower car with better grip rather than a fast car.

Fun Factor:
This game is definitely fun, it allows for some fantasy and some realism. You have tracks set inside a jungle, but then you have some set inside a city. Some cars look really weird, while others have a normal look to them. The game however is not that hard. I beat the first 6 tracks without having to replay them. The tracks after that did get harder though. It may loose its luster fast if your not into this type of game.

Multiplayer options include split screen and network play, so take your pick. Two people on a keyboard is tough so I would have to pick network. TCP and IPX are the only available options. Sorry, no Internet play. Multiplayer racing can get a little boring due to the repetitious nature of the racing itself.

Overall Impression:
I was impressed, well more like surprised. With a good combination of style and the occasional eye candy, this game does what it can and it does it on an above-par level. This game is a good way to pass some time. Either with a friend or by yourself but it all depends on the racing style you like. If you liked Ignition, or god forbid have only played RC Pro AM, then you will find this game fun. If you are a die hard NFS player than you may want to avoid this game. If you like this game then I do recommend going and picking up Ignition, as it still remains number one on my racing sim list.

Graphics: 16/20
Sound: 10/15
Gameplay: 22/30
Fun Factor: 18/20
Multiplayer: 3/5
Overall Impression: 8/10

Reviewed on: K6-2/350, 128meg 6ns SDRAM, Millenium G200 8meg, Creative Voodoo2 12meg, Creative AWE32 8meg, ViewSonic 21"


Screen Shots
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot

Back to home