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Extreme G – N64

Extreme G – N64

3425_frontPlatform: Nintendo 64

Developer: Probe Entertainment

Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment

Release Date (NA): October 25, 1997

Genre: Combat Racing

Nerd Rating: 6.75 out of 10

Reviewed by Dovahkyle

race 3I remember the first time I played this game; we rented it from Blockbuster, and wow, it was intense. Since I’ve been playing all my favorite N64 titles on the Project64 emulator for my PC I ran across this one last night at school. And because I spend about two hours at school after work waiting for my class to start, this is my Emulation game time (or PC, depending on whether or not I feel froggy). After laying down some Mario Kart 64, I was in a racing mood, so Extreme G was my next pick.

This is a combat racing game at its core. With a combination of speed (600+ MPH), defensive/offensive weapons, shield power-ups, and nitrous, there is no lack of excitement on the roller coaster-like tracks. The futuristic races consist of Tron-type motorcycles, with bike-specific weapon systems, battling for first place on crazy intergalactic tracks. As the player wins championships in specific difficulties (Novice, Intermediate, Extreme), it will unlock special bikes, tracks, and cheats.

Race RuinsWith multiple single player modes:

  • Extreme Contest: This is where it’s at, with three different championships – Atomic, Critical Mass, and Meltdown (4, 8 and 12 tracks respectively). This is full-on racing/destruction, no holds barred, every man for himself, first one to finish alive wins.
  • Practice Mode: Once a track has been raced in EC, it becomes unlocked in this mode for you to hone your racing skills.
  • Time Trials: Just finish as fast as possible in an attempt to beat your own time. No other racers, just you.
  • Shoot-em-up: A polar opposite of the previous mode, this setting fills the track with enemies, and the only solution? Blow ’em all to smithereens.

And multiplayer modes:

  • Cup: An elimination tournament for up to sixteen racers.
  • Head to Head: Pick a track and race up to four people.
  • Flag Game: Kind of like capture the flag, except not. It’s more like capture as many flags as you can, because whoever gets the most, wins.
  • Battle Arena: Yeah, it’s a four-player demolition derby, except instead of broken down old cars, the racers have sub-sonic cyber bikes with lasers, lightning, and missiles.

Once the player decides what race mode to choose, the next decision is what bike to use:

  1. RAZE – A vehicle that sacrifices acceleration for top speed, it is also fitted with a laser cannon
  2. RANA – This bike is similar to RAZE in stats, with a little better acceleration and a pulse cannon
  3. KAHN* – Terrible handling but high speed and torque with a weird “booger-like” gun (it’s like green balls)
  4. MOOGA – With higher shields and handling, this pulse cannon bike is really freaking slow
  5. JOLT – Not even worth looking at. Kind of slow with no shields and crappy acceleration
  6. GRIMACE* – Disappears off the line with high shields, which makes up for the bad handling, also fitted with a laser
  7. MAIN – This one has potential. Take it to the practice mode to learn it, more of an offensive vehicle than defensive
  8. APOLLOYON – Don’t be fooled by it’s cool name, this bike isn’t worth the time it would take to crush it

*These two are my favorites

wall racingOnce the bike is picked, it’s time for the racing to begin. Jumps, loop-the-loops, corkscrews, and sometimes it’s all hundreds of feet in the air! Picture Road Rash, but in the future; the epitome of violence and racing, side-swiping opponents, dropping mines, electric trip wires, homing missiles, lasers, and portals. Just because your in front of an opponent doesn’t mean you can’t attack him – just shoot some reverse missiles or drop a couple trip mines.

Each race, the player will begin with three boost icons in the upper left corner of the screen. These should be used sparingly as they won’t be refilled until the next race. Shield and weapon power-ups can be obtained throughout most races, but watch out for the portal that sends you straight to last place. It’s a doozy. And be cautious of the edge of the road – some of them can be crossed allowing the player to fall to his/her death. The car will re-spawn in the same place, but it will be at a dead stop, so you better hope to have picked a bike with good acceleration if you’re not top of your class in handling.

Extreme-GLast night I forgot my PC gamepad, so I had to use the good old keyboard. This game utilizes every button that can be easily reached by a two-handed person (meaning it doesn’t use the D-pad or “L” button). The “C” buttons are utilized for secondary weapons, viewpoint, and opponent info; “A” and “B” are the gas and brake and the trigger; “Z” button is used for the primary weapons. The controls are responsive enough for you to actually get really good at this game. Timing around turns, knowing when you let go of the acceleration and when to tap those brakes, can all be combined successfully to be the king (or queen) of the road.

Like I said, I was playing on the keyboard and my stupid gamepad was at home on my dinner table. Stupid me. I really hate everything about playing retro-age games with the keyboard, it feels so natural to play the new, modern PC titles on the keyboard, but the old games were just meant to be played with a controller of some kind. As poorly designed as the N64 controller was, I would still much rather play the game with the controller that was intended to go with it. There’s just something lost in translation from controller to keyboard.

Okay, so we all love Rainbow Road (right?), so these tracks are like rainbow road on steroids – bright colors and trance music fill the races. We hear totally creative sounds from the futuristic motorcycles themselves, as they run on the fictitious Plasma Engine, so when they’re topped out at five or six hundred miles per hour, it sounds like a turbo diesel meets a tie-fighter. And who doesn’t love tie-fighters?

The intergalactic racetracks are always exciting, with new twists and turns, and they look great. Very space-age-like tracks, some resemble the desert planet Tatooine (Star Wars IV: A New Hope), or a power plant filled industrial wasteland, and some are even in space stations. Probe was definitely bringing their “A” game on the track design, and I would love to see sequels to this game.

Obviously a good racing game has the tendency to have near unending replayability, BUT, in this case I wouldn’t quite go that far. As I have raved on and on about how great Extreme G is, the races are long, and they can start to feel tedious after hours of repetitive gameplay. I still think it’s a great “pick it up every six months or so” kind of game, not quite like Burnout: Revenge or Mario Kart, which will never get old to me.

Fan ArtIf 150CC on Rainbow Road from Mario Kart isn’t fast enough, and Sweet Tooth’s Twisted Metal carnage isn’t satisfying your crave for destruction, I suggest you pop in Extreme G, loaded with edge-of-your-seat action, topped off with a shot of epinephrine and a slap to your momma’s face. Seriously though, it’s fun. I wouldn’t pay more than, like, five bucks for it, but it’s fun.

Quick pointer: It’s totally normal to catch yourself holding the controller sideways, trying to make some of these insane, superman-like turns, or even stick your tongue out and a little to the side. This really helps avoid obstacles, and I’m pretty convinced it increases the driving ability of the user.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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4 Comments

  1. Uh, the default controls are not A and B for accelerate and brake, but Z and B for accelerate and brake. I always liked this because the accelerator is a control you always need to have held down, so putting the accelerator to Z frees your right thumb to do any other possible controls you may realistically need to do while accelerating without some sort of impromptu index-finger-acrobatics session. It is kind of analogous to setting gas and brake on shoulder buttons on modern controllers. You also didn’t mention the R button for sliding. Helps a lot! I was also hoping to read all about how frustrating that volcano level is since it’s so easy to fall/be knocked off the track. It’s a bit of a doozy. And lastly you said you’d love to see the sequels to the game, to which I’ll just say that each and every entry in the Extreme-G series of games is very different.

     
    • Hey! I remember that now that you say it! I specifically was referring to my button mapping on the Project64 emulator though. I did open up my emulator and look at the mapping to be sure, but something has been lost in the conversion. My mapping shows the A button for acceleration…weird. I totally remember the Z button being for gas on the console version though, good catch.
      And OMG did I hate that stupid Volcano level! I can’t count how many freakin times I fell into the lava, millions of times, I might even have thrown a controller or two in my rage!
      Thanks for checkin out the Bacon and I hope you love it as much as we do!

       
  2. Dude hell yes I forgot all about this game until I just read your review just now! This game was awesome!! And I’m happy to see that it still rocks! I feel the need to buy it now….. So I’m gonna need u to reimburse me. Whenever u get the chance. Haha oh and this is probably one of your finest reviews. Great job.

     

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