Saturday, March 24, 2012

Old Racing Game: RoadBlasters!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh--that has to be in the top 10 best 15-second loops I've ever heard.

RoadBlasters is a 1987 Atari arcade game, a cousin to the infamous Super Sprint.  Frankly, there's enough parallax-scroller-racer games from this time as it is (OutRun, Chase HQ, Pole Position, Rad Racer) so the gameplay isn't terribly exciting.  But it adds car combat and other funky s*** to make it worth mentioning.

Like a Bau5.

DAYUM, that wheelie on launch is awesome.  So you drive what appears to be a twisted rendition of a red DeLorean time machine from point A to B.  But there's all this crap in the way trying to kill you!  No worries, every time you blow up, you lose a little gas.  Be careful cause the gas is your timer--when it runs out, it's game over (no kidding, right???).  Your gas carries over to the next stage.  You can pick up little green & red balls on the track to get extra fuel.  So basically, don't screw around or you'll lose.

So here are the enemies that want to kill you.  Shoot them with your guns to defeat them.  The yellow Lambos are weaksauce and die in one hit.  Then there's the purple limos that take multiple hits to kill--nice to see the evil corporate CEOs are actually out to kill you rather than play golf and drink exotic vodka.  Then there's your traditional oil slick, turret shooter, all that crap.

What the hell is this???  Motor bikes???  Ripped right out of Super Hang-On???  So you get to kill the poor bikers, that's cruel.  Of course, that was every racing dev's strategy in the arcade era--"Rip off Sega's ideas."

Occasionally, this weird-ass ship will drop a special weapon such as a machine gun or a "time bomb" that causes enemies to freeze in place for a few seconds.

You can play the game like a normal racer or you can shoot up enemies to get points.  Kill stuff to get super multipliers and thus even more points.  Cause of the emphasis on car combat and slightly unorthodox car handling (this car can turn on a dime just like that), it's hard to label this as a racing game.  More like an action racing game.  Who cares, you call it whatever you want.

Another screenshot, this game looks surprisingly colorful and clean for a post-apocalyptic car combat game.  I like that.  I like happy, colorful games.

Surprise--this is really a rally Sega Rally.  If you enter the secret service menu, you can enable passenger commands like "Easy Right Maybe" in a crap digitalized voice.

Believe it or not, this game has 50 levels.  Just like Rad Racer and R.C. Pro-Am, when you beat a level, you move onto the next one.  There's a "level select" in which you can leap ahead to the 4th or 11th stages but that's it.

Man this cabinet was the s***, now you have to play this game.  The thing that stands out to me is the coin slot on the complete opposite side of the screen/steering wheel/motherboard...I don't know why.

When it comes to the best versions, the arcade and Genesis versions are the best.  But there's also worse versions.  Like the NES version (haha, NES sucks) which bears resemblance to Sega's Turbo arcade game:

And then there's the ZX Spectrum version.  Holy cow, I don't think you can get any lower in terms of ANY GAME'S ports than the ZX Spectrum:

Anyway, there's not much else to say.  If you beat Level 50 on the Arcade version, send in your score to Atari Games HQ and you win a free T-shirt.  Atari Games is dead so no more t-shirts have been made.  I have no idea what any of these t-shirts look like or if any of them even exist at all.  This promo offer also existed for S.T.U.N. Runner, another Atari race-to-the-finish-while-shooting-all-sorts-of-crap arcade game.  Print your own damn t-shirts.  Review Score for Genesis/Arcade: 7.0 just for the music.  Peace out.

Turns out there a ton of old 90's games tunes on YouTube (all copyright infringement!) but some are cool like this one which is still ingrained in my memory:

Also be sure to check out R.C. Pro-AmCalifornia SpeedInitial DRad Racer, and Super Sprint/Super-Off Road/Indy Heat


  1. Dear whiteboy,

    Fuck your Japanese- and Muslim-raping, Japanese and Muslim children-butchering, troops.

    Above all, fuck you to hell.

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.

  3. So...

    You don't like Burnout because you get bonus points for making other drivers have deadly accidents, but RoadBlasters is okay, even though it is all about killing other drivers?

    Sounds completely logical to me. Yup.

  4. You big dummy--I'd like to think there's a difference between RoadBlasters (a 2-D game) and Burnout (a 3-D game).

    In RoadBlasters, you shoot goofy-looking cars that dissipate into thin air. Hardly realistic. In Burnout, you smash other racers and other traffic into bits that it resembles a real-life wreck.

    And for what it's worth, I don't even think RoadBlasters was that great of a game--I talked about it for educational purposes--to go over what I liked and didn't like about the game. I wasn't too thrilled about shooting in RoadBlasters--it's not what makes me want to play the game. I like the music much more than the game itself.

    Get real.

  5. I dig the 80's style boxart with an out-of-the-job Duke Nukem. And to think there was a time that kind of art was popular and considered "rad".