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Written by  :  Kalirion (667)
Written on  :  Jul 11, 2000
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful

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Cool concept turned into a pretty good game.

The Good

I really like this game, and here's a rundown why:

First a rocket has the innate speed and turning ability of a locomotive on crack -- a lot and very little respectively. The rocket is equipped with two cable launchers, one on either side, a radar to see relative positions of opponents and balls, and virtually non-existent brakes. The cables have hooks attached to them, and the only really way to turn is to fire a cable at a pillar or another stable object and letting momentum do its work. The rider also has the ability to connect the left and right cables together and leave them behind, which can be used to connect two objects together. It might sound hard to some, but it really takes only a few minutes to get the hang of the basics.

In Rocket War it just feels really good for some reason to swoop in and jerk a guy right out of his rocket saddle with a well aimed cable hook, drag him behind you all over the place and then string him up between to pillars. It's not as pleasant when someone manages to hook you however. There are multiple tricks you can perform with your rocket, like "Tripline" (what it sounds like) and "Matchmaker" (hooking two unsaddled jockeys together) each of which awards you a different amount of points. Sometimes there's actually a bit of thinking involved in the game, when you have to decide which cable upgrade to get, or when its to your advantage to "trade" rockets with someone. On some levels it also takes a bit of strategy to figure out how to incapacitate all of the other jockeys.

Rocket Ball is intriguing because you have to plan which "ball" is in your advantage to go after, and have to compensate for the different behaviors of various balls. The air-hockey type puck and the bomb, for example, handle VERY differently from each other.

Rocket Race can be fine as simply a very different type of Racing game. Read my description of the rocket, and you'll probably be able to imagine what its like.

All three game types have something missing from many computer games: good, and very fun, gameplay! The soundtrack is also very good too. It has a surf-guitarish quality to it and reminds me a lot of the music from Pulp Fiction.

The Bad

Well the graphics are nothining to write home about. I really wish someone had made a D3d or 3dfx patch for it. The AI in Rocket War does not even try to utilize the many tricks a rocket is capable of, and when it hooks you off the rocket seems content to just drag you around and bang you against walls. The later levels of Rocket Race seem to demand perfection, and if there's a strategy to beating the last level of Rocket War that would work even 10% of the time, I haven't figured it out yet. Finally, the installation program insists on installing DirectX 3, and there's no way to talk it out of it, so if you wanna play this game, make sure you have the latest DirectX installation file handy.

One more thing I just realized while replaying the game: Rocket Race is not really a race but more of a timed obstacle course, since the AI is too stupid to do more than randomly fly around.

The Bottom Line

All in all this is a very innovative and fun game that could've easily become a classic had a bit more attention been paid to a few details.