Thursday, September 10, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Super Off-Road

Retro Game of the Day! Super Off-Road

Super Off-Road by the Leland Corporation. Released to arcade in 1989 (the end of an era!) and dribbling out to the home consoles in the next couple of years.

Here we go! Now here's a man's game. It's got trucks, boobies, and dirt. What more do you need, except maybe a nice cold Miller Light? Admittedly, this is one of the trashier games I've enjoyed in my history (anything to do with racing that's not got Asian fans is typically gonna fall under the umbrella of "hick-satisfactory") but I suppose we've all got our guilty pleasures. And me, never really one for any kind of NASCAR or generally mud-themed-enthusiast sports, I still have a soft spot in my heart for this game.

Taking a page out of the book of the likes of Atari Games' Super Sprint, this is a static-screen racing title where the order of the day is to lap your opponents and win the trophy. There's countless different obstacle-laden tracks, each with their own layout of hazards to impede your progress. Other than your own general steering agility, you can pump sme nitrous into your tank to blow past your competition. Beware, as "cheatin'" is no substitute for good driving and you'll get comeuppance a few levels in.
The arcade machine of this game was quite a beast, with no less than 3 full-size steering wheels protruding from it's grill. Absolutely a blast to play with your buddies. The NES home version was tackled by Rare (of R.C. Pro-Am fame) so they had some interest in this style of gaming anyway. Their visual flair didn't quite match this game's general aesthetic so it felt sort of a bizarre hybrid - still enjoyable, and the game made use of the NES Fourscore (or Satellite) and you could get 4 players in there at once, if you so desired.

Me, I rented the SNES version. It was stripped down to merely being a 2P experience in this case (I don't think the Super Bomberman tap had been released as of yet) but what the port lacked in multiplayer, it made up for in A/V. This was a fine looking conversion of a top arade game, and very lovingly handled. The game felt almost as smooth with the SNES pad as it did with a genuine steering wheel (you can never beat the original, I concede!) In fact I think I may track this bad boy down for my own library now... hello eBay?

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