Well this is the first “So…” review. These are way more casual and as you can tell from the game play up there pretty much from memory. Just a quick bit to get everyone talking about something. Maybe help you remember a lost treasure or horrible regret from the past or hey maybe prove you aren’t the only one who saw that odd show about a crippled kid who gets good back to health on an alien planet. Ya know however the conversation goes.
So… Rad Racer 2, odd choice for the first go but hear me out. This game is ra… Uh, awesome. It’s from an almost forgotten era of arcade racers where you are fighting against a clock and distance, not other drivers. Now I won’t make a habit of this but take a look at this.
So what right? An NES cart, oooOOOooo so special somebody went on eBay. Well first, rude, secondly you are wrong. This is my actual actual childhood cart. Which well, we had a trade one game and five dollars get any other game you want on that system used game shop in town. I played a lot of games, one at a time, for five dollars and a sacrifice. Some games were worth keeping though, this is one of them. (Also I moved a lot as a kid, and adult, and not just around town but like coast to coast. Shit gets lost.)
That’s level 2 by the way. I just really like night time city levels. I didn’t push myself to get past stage 1 for the quick video up top so here is a picture. That’s the charm in this game though 2 tries or 20 it’s just as fun. That little five minutes was way more rewarding than you would think.
“But why though?” Well simple, that’s it. That is the whole game. Get a little further each time. Learning your car and how it handles, then learning the track and the check points, and finally crapping out and just waiting to see those dots. It doesn’t get old. Best part is that you do a sick ass drift into the finish line.
Intial D reference. I actually couldn’t remember any actual quotes so that works. Much like my Rad Racer 2 cart, it has never blinked out on me even on the most busted of NES decks. There isn’t much to it. Only about 5 or 6 stages, but they are visually distinct atleast. Plus it doesn’t even matter. It is one of those games where just playing it is fun. Win or loose you always just start driving again. It doesn’t matter what happens as long as you get to keep playing. Heck I remember using a Game Genie code just to keep playing Level 2 over and over. That or I think Level 4, Rocky Mountains, those were my go to favs.
Speaking of favs, Gumball Crash is one of the greatest background tunes ever made. Coast to Coast isn’t bad either, but it’s moot because you can just turn off the music and play your own jams. Nothing special today for sure, but back then it was almost non-existent as a feature in games to keep SFX on but music muted.
Oh and there is a boost you can do from a dead stop but I forgot it. Much like the Mario Kart boost timing my brain refuses to hold onto that information. Oh! There was a Rad Racer 1 actually, and that let you choose between two cars. That’s about all I remember about 1. I mean I have it, but I really like Rad Racer 2. So I never give RR1 much of a shot. I know that one of the two has a 3D mode for those Blue/Red glasses, but I never honestly played it that way.
I guess really Rad Racer 2 is one of the few perfect games that just hits every point right even if it doesn’t have much content. Think of it like Atari games. Not really an arcade game, not really a console game, but some magical quarterless challenge that you can veg out and just play without much thought.
I’d say for couch time, expect 5 minutes to 2 hours. Definitely better with a friend or two despite being a single player game it works well to pass off the controller and see who can actually beat the level.
Think road trip snacks for the food. A lot of salt and soda and possibly some burgers. You can eat just about anything you like with this one.
ACL Drinking Game: You Don’t Drive You Drink. Anytime you stop driving you take a drink. Best with 3 Players if you want to kill a night.
Final Score: 4/5 Not perfect, but nothing too terrible. Endlessly fun if you have a sudden and intense need for speed.