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The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home
Score: 93%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Southpeak Interactive
Developer: Sinister Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Racing/ Mission-Based Driving

Graphics & Sound:
Imagine Hazzard County, complete with its most famous inhabitants, vehicles and landmarks, all inside a little gray box. The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home for the PlayStation is pretty much just that. The people and places from the television series are reproduced faithfully here in the game, including a computer generated reproduction of the original intro video set to the theme song, sung by Waylon Jennings. That's right - the 'Balladeer' narrates the game. It brings back memories, don't it? As for sound effects, it's pretty much all there, from the engine sounds, to Luke (Tom Wopat) complaining about your drivin'; even some original music from the Tractors.

Loved Driver? Watched “The Dukes of Hazzard?” Good. You'll find this here game sweeter'n a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer day... or something like that. You'll find yourself racing through Hazzard County in a range of familiar vehicles, from the General Lee, to Daisy's Jeep, and even Boss Hogg's Caddy. Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home is a mission-based driving game, just like Driver, although the similarity stops there. The theme, feeling, characters and plot are pure Hazzard. In Driver, you could be driving a stolen car, and as long as you stop at all the traffic lights, the police are likely to leave you alone. In Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home, you could be rescuing Boss Hogg himself, and the police will try to arrest you. Seems like things never change here in Hazzard...

Some people might take issue with the cars’ handling, but I find it to be fairly accurate. (I've done my fair share of back-woods, dirt-road, short-cut, cross-country driving in places that the average person would not be able to discern from Hazzard County. There's a certain 'feel' for dirt roads... and it's not the feeling of complete control, either!) As far as the fun factor, I sat down to try it out and my wife pulled me off of the PlayStation several hours later... and I had no idea it had been that long. It's one of those games that simply captivate you. (That's a good thing.)

There are three different difficulty settings in Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home, but if you keep trying, you should be able to get past even the toughest missions. One good thing is that Dukes of Hazzard lets you do just that. Each time you fail a mission, you can just try it again. Unlimited tries is a beautiful thing, especially when there's a mission that requires you to hit every nitro just to get to your goal within your time limit. (There went about an hour of my time...) The handling takes some getting used to, as it’s very loose. No matter what car you're driving, if you go fast and cut turns too quick, you're sure to loose control. But then again, you have to remember, you're racin' around on dirt roads. Let me tell you from personal experience - going fast on a dirt road is an art form... a perfect state of 'almost' having control over the vehicle. This is part of the excitement.

Game Mechanics:
The graphics engine does a nice job, but it's definitely not the best feature of the game. The insane stunt-driving physics behind the game both stretch the game's believability and make the game an exciting thrill ride. You can go airborne, end-over-end, spiraling through the air, flying over creeks... even when you're taking a simple curve, you can expect to be 'drifting', a.k.a. sliding, just this side of ‘out-of-control.’ In this respect, the physics of the game do the television series justice. The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home is the second mission-based driving' game I've seen. The first, Driver, allowed you to choose your missions to some degree, and allowed for some slower, more strategic missions, as well as high paced pursuits. In Racing for Home, your missions are predetermined, each mission leading up to the next (can you say 'script'? Good...) This plotline unfolds in the background, determining what you're trying to achieve, but usually it's a mad dash down a curvy country road to get from here to there in time, without being caught by the local police authorities who have decided you're the sole reason anything goes wrong in Hazzard County. Now, it might just be me, by I forgot if I was describing the plot of the game or the television series...

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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