Oops, it's now been almost exactly a year since I went to California which means I am long overdue with this post (no surprise there I guess!). Anyway, having already revealed the wonders of Musée Mécanique generally, I thought I'd also take a quick look at the five games I spent the most time playing there (besides skee ball of course, which is the greatest thing ever). Here they are:
Sprint 2 (1976)
Super Sprint so it was a real thrill to find this, the original Sprint (the '2' denotes a two-player version) lurking amongst the more modern machines. Naturally I gave it a go and quickly found it... rather tough going. As you can see, the cars are teeny things but steering them around the circuits isn't too tough. The black and white graphics are tidy and the controls are smooth enough. What makes it tough is its mandatory 4-speed transmission. It's not always easy to constantly shift up and down in any normal racing game but it's even tougher here with ultra-concentration needed to get around within sight of the other cars. I guess I'd get used to it after a while but... jeez, I made a mess of it on this occasion (my ranking was 'granny' - boo hoo)! It was still wonderful to even have the chance to play it at all though - there can't be too many of these machines left at all, never mind ones working this flawlessly, and it does still play really well considering how old it is.
Moon Patrol (1982)
Death Race (1976)
X-Men vs Street Fighter (1996)
Cruis'n Exotica (1999)
Speed Devils for craziness. The first one I selected was set underwater, for example, while another is set on Mars! Even the courses set in more normal locations like Las Vegas, Hong Kong, and Thailand are full of crazy features and shortcuts and stuff. Aside from these it's business as usual as far as the Cruis'n series is concerned - wildly oversteering cars and rubber band AI, both of which will soon irk most players, especially if you're playing at home (via the N64). Still, the crazy courses provide the kind of short-term thrills arcade games are meant for and I did enjoy playing this in its native territory.