"In this game of endurance, you'll be pitted against all kinds of obstacles that'll push your motorbike skills to its limits. Take for example the temple track; it starts off pretty easy, jumping off of ramps over boiling lava, but it quickly becomes a challenge. You'll enter a long hallway filled with ancient drawings, and booby-traps galore will suddenly pop out from all over: arrows fall from the ceiling, buzz saws slide out from the walls, and spikes pop out from certain tiles of the floor..."
In this game of endurance, you'll be pitted against all kinds of obstacles that'll push your motorbike skills to its limits. Take for example the temple track; it starts off pretty easy, jumping off of ramps over boiling lava, but it quickly becomes a challenge. You'll enter a long hallway filled with ancient drawings, and booby-traps galore will suddenly pop out from all over: arrows fall from the ceiling, buzz saws slide out from the walls, and spikes pop out from certain tiles of the floor. Only your quick reflexes will save you from impending doom.
That's not the only crazy race in the game: in the safari stage, you'll have to avoid getting clawed by lions and drive under giraffes; in the city stage, you'll be forced to jump from rooftop to rooftop; and dealing with the gravity and various-sized craters on the moon track (!) is tough. Not every stage is great, though; the second to last race is a normal dirt track that has you going around in circles. It felt like it should have been placed at the beginning of the game.
Sounds like a pretty good game, right?
Too bad that's not Enduro Racer. The suckiness of ER is so suckful, that I had to make up something decent, because the game would've suckified the whole review if I attempted to fill it up with its suckness. The actual title itself is really lacking in terms of gameplay; you'll have the opportunity to race through five different locations ranging from a forest (looks more like a park to me) to the edges of a mountain, fighting against time in the process. Though the clock is your main enemy, bikes, buggies, and inanimate objects will see to it that you won't be able to finish a track in time. This would've been great if done right, but unfortunately, it wasn't. The AI is so dumb that it requires no effort at all to dodge them; it's rare that a vehicle will actually crash into you, and it's usually on accident. The objects are just as bad, requiring you to simply move to the left or right to avoid them.
This puts a huge dent into the already abysmal racing, which is, well, abysmal. There's no challenge nor fun to be had in ER, AT ALL. All the game asks of you is to hold down the accelerator button and jump from one ramp to the next. Each race lasts about 30 seconds each, and there's gotta be at least 12 ramps you have to jump in every one. Does that sound like fun? Add in the brain-dead AI and the fact that you have to go through all five of the tracks again after finishing them the first time, and you have one sucktastic package.
Oh, sure, the developers try to salvage the gameplay by adding some "difficulty" to the ramp jumping sections, but since I put difficulty in quotation marks, you know there's a problem; if you want to make it through each race before time runs out, you have to pop a wheelie when you hit a ramp. Do it successfully, and you won't lose any speed when you jump it. But all you have to do is press up. That's it. Yeah. At this point, I can't help but think of Alex Kidd's infamous quote from High Tech World: Hey! These Sega games are great!
To add insult to injury to this insanely easy and boring game, when you complete ER, you'll get a bizarre victory message trying to sound deep with such lines like "Enduro is a symbolic journey through life via the media of a race" and "Of particular importance are the lessons to be learned concerning one's self from the various encounters you experience along the way". There's also a dedication "to all of the Life Riders who have started out on the solitary trip to find their own individual limits".
Man, those Life Riders must be pissed that a crappy game is dedicated to them.
Note: this review is based on US release that removed five tracks from the original Japanese version.
Community review by dementedhut (October 07, 2005)
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