S.C.A.R.S Download (1998 Simulation Game)

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S.C.A.R.S stands for "Super Computer Animal Racing Simulation" giving you the wheels behind animal-based vehicles as you race for the finish line. Featuring two-player split-screen action as you compete and try to destroy your feral opponents in a contest of life and death from within a super computer. Features include a variety of race modes including Grand Prix, Challenge and Time Attack. Choose from nine different hybrid animal vehicles and a host of weapons in this uniquely entertaining release from Ubi Soft.

S.C.A.R.S. from UbiSoft is yet another arcade style game similar to Buggy. It's more along the lines of a futuristic racer, but it's softened down into a revamped clone of the classic Wacky Wheels. You have the choice of a few cars which are modeled after animals and insects. Each have their own handling characteristics and there are, of course, advanced cars that you'll be able to use once you get far enough to unlock them.

The game background itself is very similar to DethKarz. Drive fast, pick up powerups, and shoot at your opponents. It's not geared to be the extremely fast paced, more serious like DethKarz. This scales it down to the more sedated arcadish style that's suited for younger gamers. Granted, Wacky Wheels was fun for all ages, but it was definitely geared more toward ages 10-15 or so.

The environment for SCARS is bright and lively. It's very smooth and polished looking. The explosions and special effects are nicely done, but still pale when compared with arcade games like Plane Crazy or DethKarz. There's no damage modeling or any other more advanced effects I've enjoyed in other games. It's definitely got Buggy beat hands down although the games are very similar graphically. The menus in Buggy are terrible though. They're not pleasant to look at and under D3D they were sort of fuzzy. It is 3D only and uses D3D and 3Dfx. It does give quite a few graphics options from 320x200 to 1024x768 at 16 bpp or 32 bpp.

The sound is adequate. Nothing spectacular here. The engine noise is well done so that it's not annoying. You can hear multiple engines when other cars are near but no great 3D sound. The sound effects are nice enough to add a little bit to the environment.

It's a simple racer. You race circuits and get scored for how well you do. It will also give you bonus points for "damaging" other cars if you're the high scorer during a race. You will get a certain amount of points each time you use your weapons on your opponents so if you can rack up enough points you'll get an extra point to add on to your scoring. It has 4 circuit levels, which you'll have to beat the lower ones in order to unlock the higher ones. This will also unlock some better cars. You'll get some nifty weapons to use around the track by picking up powerups. Some of these are ranged weapons and some are traps for stopping the opponents. The races aren't extremely difficult, but then it's intended to be a fun racer. It reuses the tracks during each circuit, but it will change them to race at night. The night racing is probably the most fun since you can't see well outside of your headlights and that makes it a little more interesting. I'm a little miffed about one thing though. I found no way to change the buttons for a gamepad. It uses a four button scheme which puts the weapon button in a hard place to press on my 10 button gamepad. It would let you configure the keyboard, but I couldn't find anyway to change the gamepad.

Entertaining... maybe, but not for a real long time. I thought it was a little fun at first, but after playing Buggy and DethKarz, I just wasn't really in the mood for "another" racer. It may be okay if you have a friend over for it's split screen racing, but otherwise it's not the best way to waste time.

It's pretty much "just another racer." There's better out there. It doesn't have the graphics to withstand games like PowerSlide and DethKarz and it just doesn't have the entertainment level I got from the prominent arcade racer Wacky Wheels. I'd suggest getting something else to waste time with.


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