TOP GEAR DARE DEVILReviewed By: Tim Emmerich
Genre: Racing Sim
A chance to drive a dinky car!
You start out with a lovely cinematic of a red and white European car racing it out through the streets of Rome with a blue convertible VW Bug. Then the Euro car makes his way to the top of a parking garage and jumps to the next building over. Hence, his proving that he is a Dare Devil (or insane, your choice).
Plan on spending several “free roam” runs through Rome in order to get used to the controls of the little “Pod” car. This racing game almost requires that you stomp on the brakes often in attempting to control your car! The car won't turn well if you have any speed whatsoever so you have to stomp on those brakes.
What is amazing about the physics of this dinky car is that it can move a 3 ton garbage truck as well as crash through most things along the side of the road. There are three exceptions though--the invincible light pole, trees and buildings. These stop your Pod car in its tracks. Don't worry about car insurance; you get points for bashing into things and cars. Try to keep forward momentum and be on the lookout for more time.
There are four cities to tour. The first city, Rome, has three missions. London comes next. The first few missions are straightforward. Hey, ever wanted to move a multi-ton double-decker bus with a dinky little Euro car? Now's your chance. Plus the bobbies in their cars don't seem to mind you running into them. (But Americans may have a hard time getting used to driving on the left side of the road.)
Remaining cities include Tokyo and San Francisco. You get to pick up coins within a certain amount of time. All this in a car! You can pick up a little clock that gives you more time and a nitrous can that speeds you up for a bit. Note these items are blue on your map while the coins are gold. The map is in the upper right of the screen and you better get used to using it if you want to complete the missions successfully.
Be sure to get EVERY time extender or you will have difficulty finishing the mission. In fact, aim for them and let them take priority over coins. I'm not sure about the nitrous … the speed is nice but control is needed more. They are usually strategically placed where there is a straight section to take advantage of them. Plus, it appears they respawn after a while.
Be sure to save after every successful mission. The save game feature is well done, letting you pick memory card slot. The main menu is approachable. The cinematics are great but you are only treated to them at the beginning and in-between cities. Once you get used to the controls (some), it's fun to just drive around.
Gaming controls stink. In other words, the physics for the car don't make sense … perhaps there are cars out there like this, but this reviewer has never driven one. All in all, this is a major detractor to the game.
The two-player option was not pursued. This is probably a more enjoyable feature of the game allowing camaraderie among two active players.
In conclusion, an acceptable game for Christians. If you master the controls, you may actually enjoy it.
Year of Release—2000
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.