Talladega

Reviewed by Paul Rixon

 

Issue 32

Mar/Apr 88

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If you were to have read all of the instructions accompanying this latest offering in MIL's 'Top Ten' series, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it could possibly be the ultimate 3-D race game. In fact, it is a Cosmi title dating back to 1984 and I'm afraid it's probably the very worst race game currently available!


Graphically, TALLADEGA bears more than a passing resemblance to 'Pole Position', although on closer inspection it is inferior in design, colouring and animation. For example, the grass is grey(!), your car always remains static even when cornering and the general movement of vehicles can be somewhat unpredictable. Sound is fairly mediocre, consisting of roars, beeps and an uninspiring theme tune, but on the whole the effect is reasonably acceptable and if it were not for the comments to follow, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the game.


You have a choice of racing on the `Tri-Oval' or a random circuit, although the random one seems to be virtually identical every time (Bug #1). Then it's onto the qualifying lap, which you are supposedly aiming to complete in as little time as possible in order to gain a favourable position on the starting grid. However, if you do go as fast as possible the race will suddenly terminate at a certain stage with the erroneous message `Lap time exceeds 149.9 seconds' (Bug #2). Going slowly is the only safe way to assure an interrupted completion! Regardless of what place you eventually manage to obtain on the grid, the race proper then commences with you in third slot, Richard Petty in second and someone called `I.M.Fast' in Pole position (Bug #3). Richard Petty immediately overtakes I.M.Fast and stays in first or second place for the remainder of the race.


Opposing cars don't always appear from the horizon or behind sometimes they simply materialize out of thin air, often just a short distance in front, causing an accident and again, termination of the race (Bug #4). The top speed is 250mph, although 290mph can be achieved with Turbo-boost, and other `unavailable' speeds between these two have frequently been experienced! (Bug #5). It is also possible to slipstream so as to conserve fuel one of TALLADEGA's more commendable features. Fuel levels and tyre wear are indicated above the main play area, so that you may judge when a pit stop is necessary. Here's a novelty when you enter the pits, all of the other cars stop dead in their tracks and time stands still!! (Bug #6).


Also symbolized are various status flags, and the name of the driver immediately ahead of you. Since it's impossible to drop any further back than second position even when stationary this never displays anything other than Richard Petty or 'Player is in 1st place'! (Bug #7).


These are just a selection of the many problems plaguing TALLADEGA. Without doubt it's the most bug-ridden commercial game I've been unfortunate enough to experience for a long time.


Paul Rixon


Published by Maynard International Ltd. 1.99.on cassette - 1 player with joystick

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