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XG3: Extreme G Racing
Score: 92%
ESRB: Everyone (Mild Viole
Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Acclaim
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:
The PlayStation 2 is a pretty system. What I mean by that is that the graphics can look good. The PS2 is capable of extremely good simulations of real things (football games, Gran Turismo, etc.). It's also capable of making extremely realistic depictions of completely fictitious things. For instance, futuristic high-speed, high-stakes motorcycle combat/racing at speeds above 750 mph. Now, the 750 mph number comes from the back of the box; I think it's equally ludicrous to imagine racing a motorcycle at 500 mph, much less attempting to have the concentration to attempt to shoot at another cyclist while trying to maintain control of your ride. However, there it is in front of you - as big as life, and twice as colorful! Whether you're racing across a vast countryside, overtaking the guy ahead of you on your way up and over a beautiful waterfall, or slamming hard into a tight turn above a megaopolis which would resemble something out of Blade Runner if it weren't quite so tall...

Extreme G Racing is a wonderful piece of eye-candy, with great special effects and nicely designed scenery - that you'll be too busy flying past to notice.

As for the sound, Extreme G Racing has it in spades, with appropriate souind effects and realistic proximity sound (yes, you can hear when a motorscyle is overtaking you) - and 5 music tracks by 'Ministry of Sound'... ...even the menu music has a good beat (and I can dance to it...)

Is this game for everyone? Well, despite the ESRB rating, the answer is no. True, racing is fun - and exciting - but it is also difficult. In particular, maintaining control over any ground vehicle (much less a futuristic motorcycle) at speeds in excess of 750 mph is, how do you say, 'insane'! Extreme G Racing mixes high-speed racing, combat, and RPG elements (well, you can upgrade your bike...) to form a game that requires more than simply holding down the gas. Extreme G Racing will take speed, strategy, and an extremely solid control of the stick. If you're looking for a game that will challenge your precision, this is the game. If you thought Gran Turismo was too hard to control, you'd better look elsewhere. But, if you can overcome the frustration and perfect your control over the bike, XG3 can be hours and hours of fun!

Ding-ding-ding-ding! We have a winner. If I could only use one category to describe XGIII: Extreme G Racing, this would be the one!

XG3 is extremely difficult to learn to control. It's not hard to play, just hard to perfect. This basically makes it difficult to win the first league. (In particular, beware the third race!) The better you place, the more cash you'll have. These winnings can be used to upgrade your bike, making it a little easier to achieve a better rank. (However, the faster you go, the harder it is to maintain control of your bike - a problem the computer doesn't seem to have much of a problem with...)

You are allowed to practice in 'Arcade' mode, but the tracks that are available to you are limited to the tracks you've already seen, so you'll have to actually progress to be able to access the tracks.

Game Mechanics:
I've played Gran Turismo (1, 2, 3) and various other racing games, ridden roller coasters (both real and imaginary) and even ridden in a car with Psibabe! (God help me!) So, you can see that I'm no stranger to speed... However, although I've never been in excess of (approx) 200 mph (real or simulated) in a ground vehicle, XG3 doesn't seem to feel as fast as I would expect at (say) 400 mph. It certainly feels fast. No doubt, but I have to wonder about the accuracy of the simulated speed. Other than that, the only mechanical thing to mention is the difficulty, and that's fairly well covered above. It just seems that the difficult curve ramps up at a staggering rate between the second and third race. This is amplified by the fact that you have to come in first in the third race to progress... and it's a very twisty track... but I digress. All in all, it's a good title for racing gamers who want a test of skill.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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