Virtual Karts supports both VGA and SVGA resolutions, provides networking possibilities for up to eight players and a simulation realism with which Super Karts can hardly compare.
For a moment, I asked myself why the company chose the name "Virtual Karts". The number of possible views during the race might be a clue. In most racing games, you can only see the race through different angle views with cameras placed at various positions on the track. In Virtual Karts, there are only three camera views, but there are five from the driver's seat. You can look to the left, right, behind you, in front of you and look down at the track. You will also be able to look up and down in any of these views making the game come close to a first person perspective game regarding immersion.
Virtual Karts' graphics are very good using textured graphics for tracks, buildings, trees, other karts, etc. Among the racing games, it is definitely the one I would choose for the realism of its graphics, but the last one regarding speed! There are options as usual to decrease the resolution and to reduce the size screen, but it is a shame that the only comfortable setting to play in SVGA was to use the smallest screen size not bigger than a standard VGA screen.
If you play alone, you can select a single race or a championship. In both, you can choose the colors of your uniform, your team logo, and various items of the kart like the kart number, chassis class, tires types, engine and the gear teeth. Then, you will have to select on which track you want to race. Twelve tracks of various difficulty are available, located in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore. I found it quite bizarre to see the same type of buildings passing by from one city to another. Los Angeles does not look exactly the same as New York or San Francisco, or am I the only one to think so? The textures are too similar and given a track at random, you wouldn't be able to distinguish it from the others except by the track design itself. The other choices let you change the number of laps to race, and the weather which can be set to sunny, cloudy or rainy.
Controlling your kart won't be such an easy task. The game only supports mouse and joysticks, while the keyboard is exclusively used to switch views, resolutions and to move your head up and down. Controls were not as precise as one would wish, often giving the sensation of responding too late to your commands which was especially true with the mouse.
Race in the little leagues, except these Karts are anything but slow! With the fastest going up to 130 MPH, these karts are what professional race drivers drive to keep their edge in the off-season!
Choose from three classes of engines, 4 types of chasis, and 4 types of tires. Customize your kart and your alter ego to specific colors, stripes, and logos, even racing numbers. Adjust your gear ratio for optimum acceleration vs. top speed.
Join single-race at any of the dozen different tracks, each with their own challenges, or play a full season's championship against ruthless AI who will shove you out of the way if they can.
When you're finished having fun, invite your friends to compete on the network!
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