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Your Weekly Kusoge

Your Weekly Kusoge Index

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by Bobinator - October 1, 2014

Miracle Space Race / Rascal Racers / XS Airboat Racing / ATV Racers - PlayStation (2003-2004)

Miracle Space Race

XS Air Boat Racing

Rascal Racers

ATV Racers

You might have noticed that this particular kusoge has four different names. "Oh, I see," you may say to yourself. "It must be the same game, but renamed for different regions." Oh, you poor naive fool. That's not four different titles you see, that's four different games. You can thank Miracle Designs for that, the developer of not only the only kart racer on the Atari Jaguar, but the Nuon as well. The Nuon, by the way, was a combination DVD player/games console that has a total of eight games. Eight.

As you might have started to slowly realize, this is a series of kart racers that have only had the barest amount of effort put into them to differentiate between them. All of these games look and play absolutely identically to each other, with some very slight changes in models, textures, and music to differentiate them. So, if you're playing Miracle Space Race, you'll be controlling a bunch of blocky cartoon animals riding blocky hovercraft, racing around on featureless, vaguely futuristic racetracks. If you decide to play XS Airboat Racing instead, however, you'll be controlling the exact same blocky cartoon animals, only they're racing blocky airboats on featureless, vaguely river-like racetracks. The differences astound.

XS Airboat Racing

This could be forgiven, if any of the four games didn't make something like Muppets Race Mania look like Gran Turismo in comparison. There's no shortage at all of kart racers on the PS1, and this sits comfortably at the very bottom. Even trying to drive whatever functionally identical vehicle you're driving is a crapshoot, as the controls are so loose and unresponsive that it takes about a full second to even begin turning left or right. This means that if you try to do anything, you're generally going to hit a wall, and the AI will happily drive right past you with no problems. All while you're being serenaded to by a soundtrack so "MIDI", for lack of a better word, that you'll feel like you're in Windows 95.

And walls are generally all you have to worry about, as there might as well be only one track in each game for how similar they are. No hazards, no jumps, just the occasional curve that you're going to fail to make properly, because the roads/water/air might as well be made of pure oil. Sure, there are powerups, in the standard projectile/mine/shield/boost setup, but even those won't help you against the AI, who can pretty much drive right up to you and pass you whenever they want. In a game like Mario Kart, which offers things like, say, variety, potential for technical skill, and a sense of speed, this can be forgiven? In any of these games? Not so much.

It's true that there's plenty of games which are generally quick hack jobs of other games, some of which aren't even that bad. It's when you have a developer that does it not only twice, but four different times...well, that shows both a distinct amount of brazenness and a palpable lack of caring. Oh, and if you're wondering, no, their kart racer on the Nuon wasn't any good, either.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Miracle Designs

Publisher:

  • Telegames
  • XS Games
  • Mud Duck Productions

Genre:

Themes:


ATV Racers (PlayStation)

Miracle Space Race (PlayStation)

ATV Racers (PlayStation)

XS Airboat Racing (PlayStation)


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Your Weekly Kusoge Index

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