Powerslide Review - Part 1

By Toh Boon Kiat
03/03/99
Hardware One

Introduction & Rant
I am about to start off this review with a rant. I don’t normally do this, so if you wish to skip all the ramblings, just proceed to the next section on gameplay.

How do I start? I always thought reviewers had it easy. I mean, how else could you get loads and loads of games and hardware to play around with, for FREE? "No purchase required". Unfortunately, the old adage, "There is no free lunch" is true.

"... I felt I owed it to the reader to be as honest as I could be. This is especially so if you live in a country like mine, where there are no such things as a return policy on software or hardware sold."

I am not sure if you have read my past reviews, but I usually reviewed software or hardware that I had purchased. I could be as harsh as I liked in my review, since it was my very own hard-earned cash that parted to get me my new toy, and I owed no one any obligations.

This review has to be one of the hardest I had ever written.

Don’t get me wrong. This review wasn’t thrust upon me. I took it up willingly, mainly because I myself had read great reviews on the game, and all raved about how good it was.

I had found it so hard to like the demo of Powerslide (weighing in at 5.75MB) I painstakingly downloaded on my puny 56k modem (at 4K/s). But I thought I could give the game another chance since this was a retail box and the programmers might have tweaked the game engine since the release of the demo.

But, unfortunately, this was not to be. And yet, I found myself obligated to say something nice about the game because it was, after all, loaned to me for reviewing, free of charge.

In the end, I felt I owed it to the reader to be as honest as I could be. This is especially so if you live in a country like mine, where there are no such things as a return policy on software or hardware sold.

"The programmers obviously spent a lot of time fine-tuning the physics models used in the game and this clearly shows. The cars’ suspension system react realistically as you turn sharp corners or bounce across the desert landscape. But the end result is something quite unplayable."

What I fail to comprehend was how those umpteen other reviews could have been so blind as to award this game top marks?

Does anyone else remember the Trespasser fiasco? I am sure you must have seen the mind-blowing screenshots of "software-rendered" scenes of the game, and how the previewers raved about how realistic the dinosaurs were. I even geared up to get myself a Pentium II processor just for that ONE game, having been a huge dino-fan (no.. not the Flintstones’ pet). I can’t help but wonder if there were some obligations tied to being given an exclusive preview of Trespasser in its early stages of the game’s development.

Interestingly enough, Tom’s (of Tom’s Hardware) latest Monday Rant (28 Feb) was about how some websites had some exclusive deals with 3Dfx to help promote the product.

OK... end of rant. Let’s get on with the review, shall we?

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