Retro Review: Re-Volt
Hailing from an age of intense arcade racers, Re-Volt is a fast and exciting game. Often hailed as a classic multiplayer title, its substantial selection of cars and tracks makes for a game that’s great fun solo, but even with better with friends. With tight controls, a cool soundtrack, and addictive gameplay, it succeeds in providing a retro racing experience that has stood the test of time incredibly well.
Re-Volt will feel familiar to fans of the classic Micro Machine games, or perhaps the more recent (and fairly average) Motorstorm R.C. But with the camera placed firmly behind your car, it plays much more like a standard racing game, and it’s all the better for it.
Of course you still have the modified physics you’d expect from driving a tiny car, and for the most part the handling is completely spot on. In fact it’s almost annoyingly realistic, and accurately recreated personal experiences of spinning and flipping real life remote controlled cars. It makes for some exciting racing, but it can be unforgiving, and is up there with Wave Race: Blue Storm for creating annoying scenarios where you come out of a crash facing the wrong way/upside down/both.
Yet maybe this is part of Re-Volt’s retro charm, and the brutal A.I and overpowered items make for a game that requires practice, and one you’ll want to master. However, there are times when no amount of skill can compensate for the game’s power-ups, which can easily lose you a race through no fault of your own. I know the same can be said for something like Mario Kart, but in Re-Volt it seems to happen quite a bit more frequently. In particular the oil slick (Re-Volt’s version of the Banana Skin) results in a complete loss of control, and on a dark track such as the Museum they can be impossible to avoid. Fortunately, items can be turned off in the options, and this makes progression significantly easier. I know others will like using them, but it’s cool that you have the choice.
Re-Volt is often best known as a multiplayer game, and it’s here it comes into it’s element. It succeeds by providing a perfect balance between simple and complex. It’s easy to pick up, but you’ll be improving drastically with practice. You are rewarded for the time you put into the game, and this makes it a very addicting experience.
Originally released for a few consoles, including Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, it’s the Dreamcast version of Re-Volt that you want. This is because it has improved graphics and features, as it was released on, what was at the time, the ‘next generation’ of consoles. There has however also been a recent updated remake for both iOS and Android. Whilst the graphics have been improved, it loses some of its retro charm, and the controls aren’t perfect. But it is free, so if you’re interested in giving Re-Volt a try this could be a good place to start. It’s still better on Dreamcast though, and it’s a cheap investment so no excuses!
Few games manage to age so well whilst also remaining inherently retro, but this is Re-Volt’s greatest success. It’s multiplayer is still immense, and the singleplayer is great too. If you’re looking for something to play with friends, or like old school racing games, this is a must for your collection.