For centuries, the speed limit on American highways has been restricted by law. Technology now offers drivers the chance to make their own choice in the virtual world with Speed Busters: American Highways. The police have lost their minds and reward the fastest players to fly past their strategically placed radar! Earn cash to upgrade one of eight specially designed vehicles based on models ranging from the ‘50s to the ‘90s. Tackle mixed terrain, avoid shocking animations, and storm through environments based on real North American locations.
High stakes gambling & custom car racing through Satan’s playground! Race through crowded cities, snow-covered mountains, and active volcanoes. Take on UFOs, rock slides, fire-breathing dinosaurs, and a giant fist-smashing ape! Challenge 17 diabolical drivers through championships, vendettas, and high-stakes duels. Tons of alternative routes – can you find them all?
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: EVERYONE
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1.8 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 2GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2011-10-27 10:56:51 bysampov:
Looking for a hard racing game here on GOG? Here, you have it.
Looking for a hard, but fully enjoyable racing game here on GOG? You might have to search a bit longer.
Speed Busters doesn't rely too much on reality. It's backstory is completely stupid (and of course, unimportant) and the gameplay experience is pretty much arcade and has nothing to do with realism. Still, it capturesread more the feeling of success and progress with the car trading, upgrading and repairing that you are involved in the career mode. Speed Busters will also drive you to the edge of your nerves, if you don't ration the length of your game sessions.
The most important part of Speed Busters is the career mode. In it, you race against computer driven opponents on courses full of obstacles and cop cars detecting your speed. The backstory dictates that you must drive past the speed radars as fast as you can because it earns you money. Money buys you the aforementioned cars, repairs and upgrades. Without money you earn yourself an eternal loser position, so prepare to win every race the game throws at your way. In practice, you will drive the crazy hard maps through again and again and again.
It's a good thing that the tracks are lot of fun, include many shortcuts (which are essential to use) and all the upgrading business is really rewarding. All the upgrades are added up to the car model, and you will end up with some seriously wacky looking cars. As a fun fact all cars are competitive if upgraded carefully.
Speed Busters' ridiculous hardness lies in four things 1) The computer AI is ruthless against you 2) you absolutely can't lose a single race 3) the interactive obstacles in the tracks 4) the damaging model of the game. To continue this review a bit I will say some words on the obstacles and damaging model. See that dinosaur in the game sheet screenshot? Hitting it will not kill you BUT you will lose your first position, which means essentially means your race's death. The game allows only a small errors, and getting hit by the interactive obstacles can be counted as that. Also, thrashing your car means less speed. With a bit wrecked car it will be hard to catch up with the lead three cars.
As a kid I directly went to the store and bought Speed Busters when it came out. I think I was secretly hoping this would be something as PURE FUN as the legendary Ignition (aka Fun Tracks or Bleifuss Fun, Virgin Interactive, UDS 1997) was. I really wanted to like Speed Busters, but even as a child, when I had nothing else to do, I needed a full year to finish this game because of its cough*annoying*cough hardness.
I have been hard on this game, but it really has its great sides. For the great feeling of progress and the atmosphere created by the living tracks, music and your sweating palms, I will buy this game as soon as it hits the sale.
A free add-on was released for Speed Busters after its commercial release. It included a 3D-cockpit for all of the cars and some new effects, like bump mapping (that was so HOT back in the day). One could also download new skins for the cars from the developer homepage. I have not bought the game, but the screenshots show us, that the 3D-cockpit is there, so the GOG release has the free add-on. About the extra skins, I can't tell.
Thank you GOG for this release, you are doing some important work. As Speed Busters can't recognize Windows XP as a compatible OS, it made this game unplayable for me for a loooong time.
For this lots-of-years-ago-insight I sought assistance from an amateur review I made of Speed Busters ten and a half years ago.
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Posted on 2011-10-27 10:29:38 byphreakindee:
Using an updated version of the game engine used in UbiSoft's previous racer, POD, Speed Busters (known as Speed Devils on the Sega Dreamcast) shares very little in relationship to its futuristic cyberpunk predecessor. But what it lacks in Blade Runner-esque visuals it makes up for in vibrant, creative tracks and setpieces. And they change every lap!
This is one of the first racersread more I can remember where the track literally changes as you race, which has only been done a few times since (think Split/Second most recently). You aren't in control of it, but sometimes you'll have giant crocodiles lurch forward, Jurassic Park's T-rex on a rampage, UFOs abducting you and your opponents, and avalanches obscuring the road and your view!
It's also one of the first racers I remember that had a pretty decent upgrade system, where you could apply vinyl, body kits, and NOS upgrades in the shop between races in the career. Yes, this was WAY before NFS:Underground and it was totally awesome back then. Plus, the soundtrack is phenomenal and just as fun as the tracks and cars themselves!
Sadly, the racing itself was never really that good. It's too basic, too barren, and the controls are wonky at best. A lot of fun still, but only if you don't "think about it" too much. Just don't take things seriously, and Speed Busters is a freaking blast.
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Posted on 2011-10-30 05:00:55 byzuhutay:
The sad thing about this game is that it could have been far far better with some tunings of the playability. It's incredebly very well made, it looks magnificent and that's what kept me playing it, but it is not THAT fun and definitely not as fun as an arcade game should be. The game is hard and annoying. Opponents are difficult to beat. Upgrades are expensive. Using nitro willread more often end up in a crash. I often quit the game furiously after losing a race because of the obstacles that loom up so suddenly that they are almost impossible to avoid. You want to play it because it looks so great, you want to love it, but after a few races you leave the game dissapointed. Worth the try... with cheat codes, I'd say. One star for the intro sequence.
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