Written by  :  Ashley Pomeroy (233)
Written on  :  Feb 08, 2005
Platform  :  DOS

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4D Sports Driving

The Good

Ah, the MIDI music. What compelled games designers in the early 1990s to emulate heavy metal guitar solos, with a medium - the ADLIB sound card - which was so utterly unsuited to the task? And yet the music was extremely entertaining, and I can hum it even today, and that encapsulates 4D Sports Driving's appeal. It had grand ambitions, it was for the most part competently put together, but it had lots of quirks and was above all entertaining. It's interesting to compare it with one of the modern 'Gran Turismo' games, as well, because there are lots of similarities (although, as far as I am aware, only the Honda NSX appears in both games).

In a nutshell, it was the arcade's 'Hard Drivin'' on the PC, but with a track editor. And lots of bugs, most of which sent you flying into the air and/or along the ground at supersonic speed. With a few creative friends you could create huge novelty levels which took ages to explore, and the polygonal graphics were fast and smooth on a bog-standard 386. Nowadays the options menus are themselves little history lessons, with CGA, Hercules, MT-32 and other odd terminology which the kids of today will never need to know about, bless them. I saw a boxed PC copy in a second-hand shop a few days ago; it was £1.50.

The Bad

It's hard to poke fun at it; rather like 'Serious Sam' it's clearly not meant to be evaluated with the same rigour as, say, yer average Noam Chomsky pamphlet. At the time I loved the game wholeheartedly, even its flaws. Still, it won't be long before the Porsche/March Indycar is the only car you ever drive, and you might have trouble getting the game to work on XP.

The Bottom Line

There was a '4D Sports Boxing', donchano? It was rubbish.