McKinda Cool Review

Colin McRae Rally Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • N/A

Publisher

  • Codemasters / Sony

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • PS

rating

McKinda Cool

Colin McRae Rally. Three words which, when put together, are entirely insignificant

to the American ear. Obviously, some poor fiend, for his last foul act before

he was fired, decided to give this game the name of a European rally driver, in

the hopes that the game would go un-noticed by American audiences, and, as a result,

would be a total flop. But this puppet of the dark lord has failed. Through the

obscure cloud of a meaningless title I bring you, my sheep, the gospel, so that

you may deliver yourselves from the bland, boring wasteland that is every other

rally game ever, and into the warm folds of CMR’s muddy robe.

Having said that, lets start with the bad stuff, then move to the good.

CMR’s

graphics are pathetic. The cars are poorly defined, the backgrounds suck, and

these little white lines (which are obviously where the polygons should seamlessly

connect) have a tendency to pop up and dance all over the screen. CMR’s cars

look like Lego cars. They all have jagged edges, blurred details, and when they

crash (no matter where or how bad) only the tail lights get messed up. Hit a

tree head on: tail-light goes out. Hit a house at 117 miles per hour: both tail-lights

go out.

The backgrounds look like something from the original Ninja Gaiden;

they are all glaringly pixelated, and can’t positively be identified as containing

any specific image. The whole game is one pop-up after another, except in the

“evening” levels, which you can tell are evening levels, because everything

twenty feet in front of the car is enveloped in a fog that is strangely reminiscent

of the first Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. There

are places in the game where the player cannot distinguish the track from, well,

anything else, because everything is the same color. Such a lack of contrast

can really damage your time since you can only go about forty miles per hour

if you get off the track.

CMR’s sound is pretty bad too. There are two types of sounds in the game, and

they are: 1) Driving noises- engine sounds, ripping metal, breaking glass, etc.

2) Co-driver noises- little navigational instructions, and, based on how well

you are driving, lame little comments like “That was good,” or “Oh no,” both

of which are Scottish for “I can’t talk right now, I’m drinking." The co-driver’s

voice happens to be none other than McRae’s real-life co-driver Nicky Grist.

The co-driver is no help at all, and has a tendency to rub the nerves raw.

The directions the co-driver gives are always relative (so you never know how

soon a turn will be coming), and in many cases there are so many turns ahead

that by the time you actually come to one, Grist has been speaking of other

turns for three or four seconds. However, in some levels this little problem

is cleared up, as Grist only elects to tell the player about the big turns,

and leaves the smaller (though no less vital) turns out. Hopefully he’s more

helpful to Colin in real life. Instead of Nicky Grist, CMR could use some music.

An up-beat, catchy drivin’ tune could really facilitate the timing involved

in making some of the turns and calculations.

However, the tracks themselves are sweet. There are forty-eight tracks divided

up between eight countries (six per country, duh). Each country embodies at

least one, usually two, different types of driving. Indonesia, for example,

contains tracks made of dusty tarmac, sand, or mud, all of which require different

strategies to negotiate. Such diversity in the tracks themselves create an intense

rally experience, as the player has to adapt to driving on tarmac (goin’ about

117 mph) to mud (only safe at about 70 mph).

The

standards these tracks set for the driver are demanding, and allow for no errors.

The slightest miscalculation on a turn can cause you to catch your bumper on

an embankment or a tree, which will either spin your car wildly, or completely

wipe you out. The longer the game progresses, the narrower the tracks become.

And, with the narrow tracks comes a plethura of horrible obstacles and hazards

like logs and ditches and cliffs (oh my).

The tracks are extremely long, and a race is only one lap, so there is really

no opportunity to adjust and adapt to obstacles, hazards, or tricky turns. You

just have to be good. The tracks demand a certain level of proficiency (essentially

mastery), which, once attained, will allow the player to handle anything the

track throws at them. And then, of course, once a player has mastered a certain

track or country, they must race an entirely different track, and master an

entirely new style of driving. Being constantly shut down after one has just

recently felt so masterful can be intensely frustrating, and sometimes makes

it difficult to start a new country. However, the dynamic countries and tracks

keep the gameplay fresh all the way through the game, and the interest high

until the end of the last race.

What makes the tracks so difficult to master, and what must be understood

before a track can be beaten is the style of control particular to the given

track. There are essentially 6 driving styles in the game (which correspond

to the different types of track conditions i.e. snow, gravel, mud), all of which

depend largely upon when you brake, and how early you turn. So, in order to

deal with different track conditions you have to adapt your play style, which

takes time and can be very frustrating. But again, such variance gives the game

extra depth, and keeps the game difficult and rewarding until the final finish

line.

Colin McRae Rally rocks. In ye olde words above there be much criticism,

but keep ye in mind, that CMR’s flaws are like toilet paper on the shoe of the

sexiest high-school vixen. On a trashy, repugnant woman, such a display of sloppiness

would hardly stand out. But, in a game like CMR, toilet paper has absolutely

no place. Wait, no. Dammit. That’s not quite what I meant. At any rate, CMR

is an awesome racer that is tarnished by some sloppy design flaws. While CMR’s

flaws are irritating and seem horribly out of place, it is nevertheless an oddly

great game.





REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3.5
Rating
Creatively engineered tracks
Deep, rewarding game-play
Co-driver's a snot
There is no music
The graphics are terrible