Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Re-Volt Classic is a game that provides a distressing reminder of our gaming heritage: the early generation of 3D games are not going to age generally well. Re-Volt was generally well-regarded on its release back in 1999 for the PlayStation, PC, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast, and has been given an iOS re-release.
This is an arcade-style racing game, replete with the kind of standard powerups that this genre is well-known for. But what’s really the hook of Re-Volt Classic is that it’s tiny remote-controlled cars racing around environments the way millions of little boys (and plenty of little girls defying pre-conceived gender roles) have always imagined. Want to race through a museum? That’s a track! A grocery store? That too! That’s really the most fun part of the game: being able to race through these 3D environments in a way that the 2D Micro Machines games never really succeeded.
But here’s the thing: I think those Micro Machines games hold up better. Time has not been kind to this game, which is not only about as old as Linkin Park, but is now old enough to relate to the music of Linkin Park. The visuals lack a lot of detail that even indie developers are including nowadays in their 3D games. The structure of only having 3 tries to finish multiple races consecutively in 3rd place or better is antiquated compared to 2012’s more forgiving values. And the kart racing mechanics like weapons have been copied so often that it just feels like the same old thing here.
Really, what it may come down to is whether or not the lightweight RC physics are enjoyed by the player or not. I personally don’t like feeling like one bump may leave me suddenly skidding into a wall, shaking my device for dear life to try and get back on track before half the pack passes me up. Perhaps this is realistic for RC vehicles racing around, but more importantly, I didn’t find it fun.
This is a curious case of where nostalgia may cloud judgment for the better. Fans of the original may only be annoyed by the poorly-implemented touch controls, but might find the game to still be as great as it once was. People like myself with no connection to the game, emotional or otherwise, may not be so willing to forgive its little tweaks and quirks. It’s the opposite of Zaxxon Escape: I liked the game, someone more familiar with it was not a fan. I’m curious to hear what Re-Volt veterans think of it.
Really, that’s who this game should appeal to: those who want to enjoy this for the nostalgia, because while I was curious about the game back in the day, I feel like I didn’t miss much playing it now.