That is all. The race of your life. Head to head. Nose to nose Flag to flag for the world championship. And only your best friend, or worst enemy, stands in your way as you chase yourself down 32 devilishly complicated race tracks spread out from Paris to Rio.

Then there was the SNES trilogy known as “Top Gear” (or “Top Racer” as it was known in Japan). The aftermaths after the first TG became more advanced in terms of racing options, cars, designs, and “money” required to purchase parts and accessories won at the top of a race. The original Top Gear is valued for the fact that it was simplistic in nature – pick your name, pick your transmission (automatic or manual), pick your driver and car layout, and just run!

Each of you choose your car carefully for speed. handling and power. Grab the controls and hit it on the asphalt. This is an incredible split-screen race at its finest, and it takes all your skill, courage and split-second time to stay on the road, day after day, night after night, passing obstacles, barriers and pit stops. . So prepare yourself. Start your engine. And go for the nitro. There is only room in the winner’s circle for one!

Graphics:

The graphics in this game do their job well, a neat opening screen is followed by a well-designed options screen that includes an impressive digitized photo (by SNES standards) behind the text. In the game itself, the graphics are quite good and the cars themselves are well drawn. One effect on top gear that I’ve never seen anywhere else is the way that during some races the day changes to night and vice versa, making your visibility better or worse.

Also, the backgrounds are unique for each track, you can see the leaning tower of Pisa in Pisa, the Eiffel tower in Paris, etc. The pit lane is also well animated and the speedometer, timer. I also liked the little speech bubbles that pop out of the side of the car every time you crash into another car or use a nitro. For example, if you get caught in a group of cars and you keep hitting them, the driver will say something like “get out of my way” or “you’re blind.”

The controls:

The controls are, in a word, flawless. You have 4 control options, including a left-handed option, in which you keep the SNES pad face down. Maneuvering your car is as simple as taking a curve. Overtaking in high-speed curves is not a problem, as you can speed on the outside or take a small drop in speed and pass on the inside. In manual gear mode, a simple touch of the R or L buttons will move you up or down one gear.

Music and sound effects:

I must say that I think Top Gear has the best music in any of the previous racing games. The title track is a classic (it is also the ending music of lotus1 in genesis) and the tracks in the game are also perfect and always seem perfect for whatever track you are on, the high notes seem to coincide with sharp turns and generally , the music. it has a pace that manages to get the adrenaline pumping as you go through hairpin turns. Car sound effects (skidding, engine noise, etc.) are also perfectly recovered.

How to Play:

Top Gear’s strong point is its exciting gameplay. The fact that its permanently split screen (like Mario Kart) will always have you compete against another “human” player is its trump card. If you play in single player mode, the second player’s car is controlled by SNES and he will have to refuel like you. In two player mode, player 2 will control this car. In each race there are 20 cars and their position on the starting grid is determined by their finishing position in the previous race, for example, if they finished first, the next race starts at 20th, 2nd = 19th and so on.

When you finish first on any track in a country, you earn 20 points, second place wins 15 points, third place wins 12, fourth place wins 10, and fifth place wins 8. However, that’s the cutoff point, because yes If you do not finish a given track in fifth place or better (out of 20 cars), you will not advance to the next track. Also, you must finish at least third or better in any country or continent to advance to the next country.

There are 32 tracks in eight areas around the world: United States, South America (mainly in Brazil, but interestingly includes a track in Mexico), Italy, Germany, Japan, France (including a track in Monaco), United Kingdom. and Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark).

In addition, you can choose one of four cars, most of which are in stark contrast to each other. The white car is better for fuel consumption, but on average it registers the lowest speed, while the red car is the fastest on average, but it drinks gasoline like water. The blue and purple cars share a similar speed and gas usage rate, but the blue car handles cornering better than the purple car.

There are huge differences between each car and playing the game with a different car makes each game feel like a different game as depending on your car you could have a very maneuverable machine or something that handles like a brick on wheels. (Driving the blue or red car makes it much more difficult to pass and avoid objects). Or you may have a vehicle that needs to be refueled once, twice, or not at all on a particular track.

Also, acceleration varies, which is crucial when you are starting out or right after a major accident or pit stop. Nitro power also varies from car to car, which also affects duration and overall speed increase. Also, top speed comes into play and some cars maintain speed better than others and don’t seem to slow down as much after a nitro boost or a steep hill.

When you are low on fuel you will have to pit stop to do this, just head to the pit lane and when your fuel level is sufficient, drive again. Pit stops require tactics, as early in the race you will have more time to catch up. If you run out of fuel it doesn’t mean you are out of the race as your car drifts forward for a while and if another car hits you it will start to move again.

Because of this, it is possible to do a full lap without fuel until you can finish or get to the pits. Although most likely you will lose a lot of positions waiting to be hit or stop in a lane where not even other cars pass. However, in 2 player mode you can have the other give you a push.

The tracks are well laid out and on longer runs it is possible to have many different tactics on when to refuel or nitro. Some tracks like the black forest are true to life as this track is full of steep hills just like the real place. The speed in Top Gear is phenomenal, not unacceptably fast but devastatingly fast and smooth compared to the likes of F-Zero and Mario Kart, which are slow and seem slow in comparison.

Challenge factor:

Top Gear has three difficulty levels, higher levels make computer cars faster and more aggressive and also add more obstacles to the course. Although completing the game is not too difficult, you should try to finish first in each race as any loser can finish fifth. You should also try to beat the record for the course displayed on the pre-race screen.

On top of that, you should try to complete the game with all the cars, as in the red car, you cannot afford to crash and you can reach speeds of around 240mph if you are good. The red car also consumes fuel like there is no tomorrow, but it goes much faster than the blue and white. In short, the white car is for beginners, the blue and purple cars for intermediate players, while the red is for professionals.

Final thoughts:

Top Gear doesn’t carry much weight in racing game history because it doesn’t have the super fancy options, features, and add-ons like its sequels did, or other games that would follow on other systems. And that’s a shame, because not only is Top Gear’s simplicity at its most compelling strictly when it comes to racing, it also paved the way for other games to copy the system it implemented and make it even better, solely from a gameplay. fulcrum.

If you own an SNES and want to relive a glorious era of pre-shattered racing games, Top Gear would be one of the ones you’ll want to get your hands on. The experience will give you possibly one of the best racing games in your collection.

Top Gear – Hitting it on the tarmac

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