Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #25 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today we’re gonna talk about one of my favourite racing games ever, its time to talk about Beetle Adventure Racing!
Beetle Adventure Racing! was a racing game released in 1999 for the N64 and was developed by Paradigm Entertainment who had previously worked on Pilotwings 64 and AeroFighters Assault. The game is often compared to San Francisco Rush, because of its fun-oriented gameplay.
Any game that features dinosaurs is an automatic win right?
Beetle Adventure Racing! is different kind of racing game as its composed strictly of Volkswagen New Beetle vehicles, which were released the year before the game’s release.
The game uses six lengthy tracks in its single player championships and has an impressive draw distance compared to other N64 titles. Each track is pretty mental offering up insane elements in each level including ghosts, dinosaurs, castles and alien spaceships.
Each course features a variety of boxes strewn on or near the track. Boxes provide different rewards to the player; for instance, a nitro boost that increases speed. There are also special “Flower Boxes” that unlock cheats to modify gameplay. During single player “Championship” races there are “Points Boxes” placed on the track worth varying amounts. 100 points are available on a given course, and because many boxes are placed on hidden shortcuts, a player who wishes to get the maximum number of points during a race must vary the path they take through the level each lap. Earning a full 100 points on a level unlocks new multiplayer arenas.
Beetle Adventure Racing! uses a modified version of the then-current Need for Speed engine, which manifests itself most visibly in terms of the four-point suspension and the zooming tachometer. The tracks differ slightly, however, and do not start and finish at the same point. Instead, each course has a brief entry road, the player races the allotted three laps, and the last lap switches guardrails in order to funnel the player into an exit track with a (usually dead-end) finish-line. Oddly enough, few games have employed a similar mechanic since then.
The game features a multiplayer portion for 2 to 4 players in split-screen. Two-player races can be unlocked by completing the single-player game. There is also a Beetle Battle mode, where players collect ladybugs, destroy each other and race to the finish.
How cool is that intro? It is one of the coolest intros I know from any N64 game I ever played.
Ah the memories I have with Beetle Adventure Racing! is endless. My sister and I played the hell of this game when we were younger. Funnily enough I bought this game in a gaming shop by chance because I looking for a decent racing title, and I’m so lucky I picked this one up yo. Now let me tell you, this is one of my favourite racing games and that is for one simple reason, style. The game was totally cool and had a style that separated it from its competition. I mean while it was still a racing game that shared most of the basic features of any driving simulator it had more of an arcade feel and was much faster and wilder than other boring realistic racing games I’d played at the time. The levels you got to race on were big and wide, there was room to explore and experiment and if you knew how to manipulate your car in the air you could do some cool stunts or get to really hard-to-reach locations. My favourite level was Mount Mayhem because it was a snow-based level that had a secret UFO in a cave and it also featured my favourite music in the game.
Also the multiplayer was great, sure you could racing against each other, but it was way more fun to play Beetle mode and collect ladybugs while attacking and avoiding fire from your enemies. It was some brutal and chaotic stuff which got plenty crazy at points because of the maps and insane items that ranged from a silver shield, to rockets to explosive boxes and so on.
It’s got good graphics, nice and varied level designs full of strange and unnatural stuff and one of the coolest soundtracks I know. It’s all original compositions with a great groovy sound. Also the sound effects are awesome from the voice announcer to the sound of nitro to the crazy black-sounding guy who says things when you get items in multiplayer mode. It’s all badass.
So in conclusion Beetle Adventure Racing! is one of those special racing games that comes along and looks like every other kind of racer by just looking at the cover, but when you play it you discover it’s a totally cool beast inside. The game featured great gameplay, style and awesome music, if you want a different kind of racing game for your N64 than look no further than this game, it’s that good. 🙂
Well there’s another game review done, we are now entering the LAST 5 DAYS! Only 5 more games to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀