Crazy Cars 3 (Second Review)

Title           Crazy Cars 3 (Second Review)
Game Type       Arcade Racer
Publisher       Titus
Players         1
Compatibility   OCS/AGA
HD Installable  Yes (with Patch)
Submission      Glen Lambert

No point in denying that this game is very similar to the Lotus games with
the difference that it's more than just a racer.

The racing takes place on various courses throughout the US. Each course
has its different characteristics as well as an entrance fee and varying
prize money, presumably according to difficulty. In addition to this the
game consists of several characters also racing for money and prizes. A
nice touch is that you may gamble with these dudes as a sideline to make
extra cash.

Cash can be used to repair & upgrade your vehicle as well as enter more
lucrative races. It will also allow you to throw more money around in the
gambling arena, raising the stakes and so generating more income,
presumably illegally as this is set in the US where, for some reason
gambling is largely illegal.

When actually racing you are racing against 9 other vehicles, up to three
of these may be driven by your gambling rivals, the others, anonymous boy
racers presumably. The road is also littered with slow moving traffic
because these roads are ordinary routes, not racetracks, consequently
there are police patrols looking for speedsters like you.

Something I loved about the original Lotus game was racing against
vehicles for position. This is something Crazy Cars 3 takes one step
further. You're racing against these cars for position but as a sideline
you're racing against two or 3 specific cars, which are indicated to you
when they are visible by a sign above them letting you know they are your
rivals. This scheme means that if you don't come first and win the prize
money, you may still win some cash by beating all your rivals. I have to
say, I found the drive to beat the rivals was far greater and far more fun
than actually coming first in the race. First prize was effectively a
bonus for me.

The game hangs together fairly well, the gambling is quite well done and
easy to manage, and gives you a fair amount of control over it too. I found
it a good idea to raise the stakes until all the rivals had decided to
stand. This is the best way to guarantee the maximum amount of cash at the
end of a race, provided you win of course.

The police too were very realistic providing much annoyance during the
race. Once they catch you speeding they race after you and they are fast.
As one does, rather than pull over, I simply adopted a 'run away' policy
and tried to out run them. This is not easy and they will persistently
pull up on either side of you which inevitably leads to bumps damaging
your vehicle. The more damage you sustain, the slower your vehicle gets
and the harder it is to get away etc etc etc.

You can use cash to upgrade your vehicle, this seems to be the only
sensible solution to the police problem. Upgrading will make your getaway
easier. I lost a race because the police wouldn't leave me alone and my
car got so bashed up it was too slow and my rivals shot past. "Get back
on to the streets and catch some real criminals!"  I shouted, waving my
fists at the monitor. The game is lost when one is bankrupt and can't
afford the entrance fee to a race. The game is won, I assume, when the
races are complete and you have won the most races and bankrupted your
rivals, however, I have not achieved this yet.

The downers for this game are unfortunate. The racing itself is very
similar to Lotus but the controls are less responsive, the action is
slightly slower and significantly jerkier. The scenery on the horizon is
often fairly pleasant and the weather effects (rain and snow) seem
realistic enough but, control deteriorates further on these levels. This
is obviously to simulate real life, it's harder to control a car in snow
and rain. True, but I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned
this detracts from gameplay. I don't mind the rain obscuring some view,
it's a graphical effect, it's realistic but I hate losing control of the
car. This is an arcade racer, not a sim and as such, in my mind at least,
it should be escapism not tedium.

The likes of Jaguar & Lotus are also guilty of this and I never liked it.
When I'm having to worry about keeping the car on the road and why it's
going all over the place as if having a mind of it's own instead of
concentrating on beating my rivals and enjoying racing round the track at
top whack, I'm not really enjoying the game this is an even larger
annoyance when the other cars seem immune to it, don't need to refuel etc.
Anyhow, this won't bother everyone.

The sound too can be quite irritating, the police sirens especially which
don't let up unless you race far enough ahead of them. Weow! Weow! Weow!
Weow! Weow! Weow! Weow! Very tiresome.

6.5/10 - Some nice ideas to enhance excitement and depth. Let down by an
apparent lack of a 2 player mode and gameplay during the races which,
despite being developed as recently as 1992 lags quite far behind the
slick feel of the Lotus trilogy.

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