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Full Throttle (ZX Spectrum)

Published by
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Martin Smith (63198)
Written on  :  Sep 12, 2004
Rating  :  2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars

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Pretty good for its day, but not the Spectrum's best bike game

The Good

The scrolling road routine, huge range of computer bikes and 11 real race-tracks give the game something well beyond anything else available at the time, and it compared well with C64/VCS contemporaries such as Pole Position and Pitstop. If you get good enough to avoid finishing last (it seems to be easier in short races), you could get hooked on it, even now.

The Bad

The graphics are pretty horrendous, even by Spectrum standards, with lots of flickering in the sprites and significant colour clash, especially considering the general lack of colour, while the backdrops are flat and monotonous.

The huge number of AI bikes makes it very hard to move up through the order, especially as contact affects you but not them. The physics of the bike were a little wrong, and the grass didn't really slow you - in some slower corners it was actually faster to go onto the grass and all the bike to naturally turn back in - this also had the advantage of avoiding other bikes. The circuits were a little too similar, and there only seem to be about 3 different types of corner.

The Bottom Line

As I love 3D Death Chase (see my review), and love racing games, I had pretty high hopes that this would be a real treat. Unfortunately there's quite a lot wrong with it. For its time it was revolutionary, recreating 11 European racetracks in great detail and bringing bike racing to life in 3D, but titles such as Super Hang-On and Enduro Racer achieved much more with identical hardware, as people's skill in game design and pushing the hardware improved. The high difficulty level and lack of structure make it one you're unlikely to remain interested in for long.