Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hyperchase (Vectrex Game)

Hyperchase looks cool. It's a racing game that features amazingly detailed scenery, especially for a Vectrex game. The interesting thing about the game is that, rather than showing actual bends in the road (which are difficult or impossible to render on the Vectrex) the vanishing point of the road shifts across the screen, giving the illusion of a winding road. Hyperchase is one of the best looking games on the system. If only the gameplay matched.

The first thing you'll notice with Hyperchase is that the controls are super sensitive. If you stray to the edge of the road, your car will crash and explode into a series of flying triangles. There are other drivers on the road, and they are all out to kill you. Sometimes you will get a pair side by side and you will have no choice but to shoot the gap and trust either the poor collision detection to get you through or the fact that after you take out one car, you can easily pass the other after you respawn. Up and downshifting is anything but intuitive, and if you get into high gear you'll find yourself flying so quickly your thumbs (which should be trained to move in minute increments due to the sensitive controls) won't have time to react to any oncoming obstacles. To play Hyperchase, you need to get used to crashing often. My personal best is a mere 7 crashes. Oddly enough, even when the game goes into demo mode (as it's doing as I typed these words), the car will crash upward of 30-40 times before reaching the end. How do you know when you've reached the end? You'll just reach a predetermined unmarked piece of road and your car will disappear and the word "end" will appear on screen. I can see how this might turn into a pretty fun 2 player game, but it's not the best 1 player game. I will give it marks for being playable because I eventually trained myself to play it fairly well. Even so, it's less fun than an ASCII racing game I used to play on the Apple II in grade school (yes, when people say old school, they're referring to a school that I actually attended).

No comments:

Post a Comment