Dukes of Hazzard, The: Racing for Home Download (2000 Simulation Game)

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The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home is an exciting, action-packed, mission-based game featuring the dynamic cast of the 1980s television classic The Dukes of Hazzard. Featuring the voices of several original cast members, the game is broken up into nine episodes involving fast driving, sharp eyes, and problem-solving skills.

Essentially, the game is a serial adventure with one episode leading to the next. The characters are quirky and interesting, even if thinly veiled caricatures of Americans living in the south. Fans of the television series will be delighted to see the Duke boys ride again in virtual reality while the scurrilous Boss Hogg gives them grief.

Gameplay is intense and requires steadiness and good hand-eye coordination. The General Lee, the player's main vehicle, is fairly simple to control with easy-to-use power-ups that don't require taking your eyes off the road. Occasionally, the "01" gets into a bit of a skid frenzy with the only option being to brake furiously, but it's better to slow down than crash, as wrecking wastes a good deal of time and can lead to mission failure.

The other vehicles from Hazzard County use the same controls and power-ups but none are as versatile as the General Lee. Daisy's jeep is much slower than the supercharged General but is much easier to control than Boss Hogg's stretch Cadillac. On the other hand, Uncle Jesse's 1940s sedan, featured in the flashback moonshine-running episode, is ridiculously fast and nearly impossible to control while Cooter's tow truck is a slow driving, poor handling heap of junk.

About half of the missions in The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home require real skill and set time limits, while others have amazingly easy objectives that require little or no skill and could easily have been dropped from the game without any detriment to gameplay. Sound, however, is very important, since clues are given in the animated expository interludes as well as during each mission. Listening for instructions from characters telling you where to turn or where to locate hidden items (or just nagging you to slow down) is an integral part of the game. In fact, this is one of few video games where turning the sound down or off could actually be "hazardous" to gameplay.

Graphics in the game are quite good and the animated characters are fleshy and realistic, though they bear little actual resemblance to the actors who portrayed them on television. The character design is a bit creepy and everyone has a somewhat simian-like appearance but it's good to see a game get away from clumps of polygons.

The replay value is moderately high since completing missions is the only way to unlock the next episode and other cars. Some missions are difficult to complete and require multiple game sessions to conquer. Fortunately, the software automatically saves each mission when it's completed so there's no need to worry about accidentally losing progress.

Overall, The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home is a great game for gamers wanting to drive a fast car and use their brains at the same time. Fans of the television series will love the animated interludes and the cast of characters will most likely amuse players who have never seen the TV program. This is a solid title that won't disappoint fans of the genre.

Graphics: The animation is terrific though a bit creepy. The cars, tracks and back roads of Hazzard County are all well designed and reminiscent of the television series.

Sound: Sound is very important, as listening for clues and hints from in-game characters is mandatory to completing some missions. The music is nicely done and conjures up the "good-old boys" music of the TV series.

Enjoyment: The game combines the fun and thrill of racing games with an exciting adventure. Some of the missions are weak but most are good solid fun.

Replay Value: The only way to unlock additional episodes and vehicles is to play repeatedly. One gaming session is simply not enough to get through the adventure.


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