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The game has excellent solid 3-D graphics, a tremendous thundering sound tracks and enough playability to keep you hooked. My only gripe is lack of extra courses. With the possibilities of huge cartridges, and the Mega Drive's obvious potential, it seems a wasted opportunity. Games on the Mega Drive shouldn't simply be conversions.
Une bonne adaptation d'un jeu vraiment prenant et très jouable !
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)
Spielerisch ist das Ganze einen Tick besser als auf dem ST oder Amiga, da alles etwas schneller ist. Trotzdem hätte aus dem Mega Drive ‘ne ganze Ecke mehr herausgeholt werden können. Ansonsten kann ich von einer 1:1-Umsetzung sprechen, die viel Spaß macht.
Die Umsetzung auf das Mega Drive ist halbwegs gelungen. Alle Feinheiten auf der Strecke sind vorhanden und der Computergegner Phamtom Photon fährt immer noch so fies. Die Grafik ist allerdings recht langsam, der Sound kommt dem Automaten nahe. Leider gibt es nur zwei Strecken und die Steuerung reagiert über das Joypad sehr nervös.
Hard Drivin' ist keines der üblichen Rennspiele, bei denen nur schnelle Reaktionen gefragt sind. Bei dieser Fahrsimulation geht es vergleichsweise realistisch zu. Vor allem kommt es darauf an, sich mit der Steuerung vertraut zu machen. Bei der neuen Mega-Drive-Version sind im Prinzip alle Features des Vorbilds zu finden. Doch leider ist die 30-Grafik auf dem Mega Drive weder flott noch flüssig, so daß der Spaß mangels eines guten Fahrgefühls merklich leidet, Zwei verschiedene Strecken sind außerdem etwas wenig, um langfristig bei Laune zu bleiben.
Computer and Video Games (CVG)
Megadrive Hard Drivin' practically is Amiga Hard Drivln'! Even some of the old bugs are present and the sound is actually a lot worse. The sampled ignition has been replaced with a lacking synthesized effort and the car's engine sound more like a flatulent elephant! Lastability is this game's main problem, though. One game is all that's required to see everything that this game has to offer and after that all interest in the game vanishes with a spectacular suddenness. Also, the handling of the car is completely unrealistic, and that realism was the whole point of the arcade machine. If you're a racing fan spend some money on the coin-op version (or better still, Race Drivin') - this simply isn't value for money.
Hard Drivin' worked well as a coin-op - the positive feedback steering wheel, realistic clutch controls and enclosed cabinet made for an enjoyable driving experience. However, on the Megadrive much of the coin-op's tactile appeal has been stripped away, exposing what is really a rather basic racing game. The 3D graphics are smooth, fast and impressive, and the game is certainly enjoyable for a while. But once you've mastered the tracks and beaten the Phantom Photon (which doesn't take a vast amount of practice) it all gets rather dull and pointless. Players who loved the coin-op will doubtless enjoy the action, but it won't take long before the novelty wears off.
All Game Guide
Simply put, this is a game that shouldn't have been attempted on the Genesis -- if you want a real polygon driving game, pick up Virtua Racing, which has a special chip on its cartridge to help push the geometry around. Shame on you, Atari...
You have to play for a while to grow to like it, while at the same time the fun only lasts a few minutes. I guess most of the problems could've been solved by a bigger cartridge size – but as it is, this game uses only two MEGs, making it one of the smallest games in the Genesis library! Tengen tried to address that problem in a later game. This, however, is sadly just so much wasted potential, still likable in way, but not really entertaining in the long run.
The Video Game Critic
This archaic racer is barely playable today, but it was pretty amazing for its time. Hard Drivin' was the first arcade game with first-person, 3D polygon graphics, and it was released long before Virtua Racing took the arcades by storm. The game includes a standard race track and an elaborate "stunt" track, complete with a ramp, loop-to-loop, and banked turns. Just surviving the stunt course is a major challenge. But unlike Virtua Racing, Hard Drivin' has NOT aged well. Its framerate is agonizingly slow, and the cars look like ugly boxes. Sparse scenery includes streets signs, small buildings, and other traffic. An unnecessary instrument panel takes up a large chunk of the screen. At least the instant-replays are somewhat amusing. Hard Drivin' isn't very enjoyable, but it is interesting to see how racing games have evolved over the years.