Probably one of the most successful genres in the Amiga games industry is that of racing games. You only need to take a browse through the racing league to see how many there are and the high quality that exists within. While many companies were jostling for the top position, Core Design were creating their own masterpiece based on the Jaguar XJ220 which has become the title of the game. Could Jaguar XJ220 be the final word in racing games?
Jaguar, one of the most respected car manufacturers in the world recently announced their Jaguar XJ220. As with past trends there are only a limited amount - 350 to be exact. Now, if you fancy being the owner of one of these extensions you're gonna' have to save a few pennies. Well, not a few actually but in fact £400.000 pounds worth. Recovered yet? Most of the cars will probably end up in the USA as they've got a lot more dosh than us, so if you see one driving around count yourself lucky. Now, as you all know from last month's Project Inspection, it is the lovely Core Design that have managed to seal the rights to the license and have, accordingly, come up with one hell of a game.
This racing league new entry, of which similarities can be made with Lotus II, has been programmed by Mac Avery (Mr Juicy 3D Bits) and Jason Gee (The Superior Sprite) who were responsible for the amazing Thunderhawk which made such an impact in the simulations genre. It features a mix of both sprite-based graphics and 3D routines which are extremely smooth and very fast indeed. There are more than 80 different graphic objects as well as varied weather conditions and split-screen two player option.
But what about the game itself I hear you cry? 'Get back!' All good things go to those who wait. On loading up Jaguar XJ220 you will be able to select from a set of different icons. These allow you to toggle the amount of players, the control system, the track upon which you wish to race or the option to go out and define your very own track using the amazing editor interface. You must race your Jag over several different courses around the world. Unfortunately, it costs money to travel so you'll need to win a few races nearer to home.
Once you've made enough money you can then travel to Australia. Brazil. America or wherever you choose to race. Minor options include mouse control and the sensitivity which has three settings. The race starts with the starting flag and the message, 'Start your engine'. The timer on the flag is random so you'll need to keep an eye open for when the flag is dropped. As soon as it is lowered, hit the accelerator and off you go into the breach. Each track features plenty of hair-raising turns, high climbs and steep falls as well as many different roadside objects.
The weather can vary from beautiful sunshine to pouring rain, falling snow, strong crosswinds and dense fog. All will effect your car's performance and road handling one way or another. Therefore, at the beginning of your career as a top notch race driver, you should only attempt courses that can bo easily mastered, if only until you have enough collateral behind you. Another good reason to attempt the easier tracks first is the fact that bashing into other cars and straying off the road and into side objects can damage your XJ220. Repairing it isn't cheap and you're going to need all the money you can muster to travel to the far reaches of the globe.
The other cars, including the Porsche 959, Ferrari F40, Bugatti and other XJ220s are all intelligent and will try their utmost to ram you and stop you overtaking. Each car has its own individual attributes. For example, the Porsche 959 has excellent acceleration but will need to brake considerably when taking corners unlike the Ferrari F40 which, although slower, has a greater turning speed.
Therefore you will need to incorporate a modicum of strategy within your races. On each course you will need to complete three laps, refuelling if necessary. To refuel, you must pull into the pit lane at which point a picture will be displayed of yourself filling up your Jag. The fuel gauge will rise accordingly. Obviously, positions can be lost by refuelling but it is better for you to finish second or third in the race than not at all.
At the end of the race you will be presented with the final standings and the overall positions in the league. From here you must then go and repair any damage that your car has sustained. As mentioned before, repairs cost a lot of money and you'll need to reserve some of your cash for later races. The editing of tracks is handled by the most comprehensive and flexible editor that has ever been seen. Tracks are loaded up and can then be edited by clipping sections on and then either turning them, raising them or lowering them as well as adding side objects, bridges, tunnels, waterfalls and a myriad of other different graphics.
You can even add a balloon with a scrolling message of your choice. The track is shown in two forms; the actual visual display and the 3D display. The weather conditions can't be changed but the side objects and so forth will change to suit the environment (side objects will hauntingly disappear into the distance on the fog levels).
Once you track has been created you can then move around it as if racing before finally saving it to RAM or a data disk. The editor is definitely the strongest part of Jaguar XJ220 as it allows you to increase the longevity of the product considerably as well as allowing that personal touch.
Quite the same as Lotus series. You drive the Jaguar XJ 220 through many levels, with variable weather. Good graphics, speed, and chooseable music tracks. Good game!
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Lemmings, James Pond 1: Underwater Agent, James Pond 3, James Pond 2: Codename Robocod, Ivanhoe, Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade, It Came from the Desert 2, It Came from the Desert
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