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Aero Guage Review

Publisher - ASCII Entertainment
Developer - Locomotive
Platform - N64
Type - Racing
Score - 3/10

Sometimes a real hidden jem sneaks by everyone in the gaming industry and it goes on to be a cult or underground success. Aero Gauge is in no danger of becoming popular. In fact, I'm surprised that the game made it to North America. This sounds harsh but it's a fair attack upon a rather putrid title. The sound, graphics, everything about Aero Gauge are not indicative of a next generation title. I'd even go as far as postulating that this title might have been better suited if it were released on the SNES. I suggest a rental and then a refund when it comes to Aero Gauge. If you'd like to know why my opinion is so strong regarding this game or your just interested in the sound of mud slinging and creative criticism, feel free to read on. Be warned, this ain't gonna' be purdy!

Graphics
The Graphics of Aero Gauge are quick not fast. Meaning they feel quick but they don't provide a "whip" of speed for the game player. Having said that it is rather pathetic to see the horrid draw in, pop up and fog that permeates this stinker of a racer. At least the graphics are clear. Oh, and they are also in color as opposed to black and white. These are the true strong points of Aero Gauge. I may be going a little overboard here but the graphical representation of this game is just short of being negligent on the part of the developers. They are uninspiring and as said earlier the handicaps that this game relies on (fog etc.) make it a complete disaster.

Another problem with the graphics is the perspective. There is a second person look that is either far or farther. Then there is the common "on the road" first person perspective. The latter of these angles is impossible to handle as it is so choppy. In addition, first person means bumper cars! You smash into everything with the first person angle on. Bah! You get the idea.

Gameplay
There are four modes in Aero Gauge. Grand Prix Mode (season), single match mode, Time attack mode and vs. mode. You initially are treated to four courses: Bikini Island, Chinatown, Neo Arena, and Canyon Rush. All of them feature fog and draw in. Chinatown is the only course that even resembles something close to a quality video game product. The courses were not much of a challenge and they became boring in record breaking times. The king piss of though is how other racers blow by you at the beginning of the race. I know that too many polys slows down the 64 but be creative. You don't have to show all the cars. Just the one in front of me, kind of like Top Gear Rally. This hyperdrive start that Aero Gauge and F1 Pole Position have is disgusting.

Admittedly, the game responds smoothly to the analog controllers commands. Response is accurate and fast. Furthermore, Aero Gauge features the unique up and down movement of the vehicle that allows you to go over another hover vehicle. The A button is for gas and the B button shuts down the engines while the Z button is you power slide. Or is that feeble slide. Annoyingly, each time that you perform a power slide the vehicle that you are driving comes to a complete halt. This kills the pace of the game. I would have much rather had a nice air skid instead of air braking.

Sound and Music
Uninspired MIDI garbage. There's nothing wrong with MIDI, except when there is absolutely no effort put into it.

Originality
Is there such a thing as a pre-clone. That's what Aero Gauge is, a pre-clone of F-Zero X. The only hint of creativity is the up and down movement innvoation.

Overall
One thing that this game makes me realize is how boring a racer is without weapons. Will F-Zero X change my opinion. Maybe for a little while but the replay value is severely diminished when you can't blow up anybody.

This game is so bad it even made multiplayer a drag!!

Bottom line- Don't buy Aero Gauge. Don't even think about it. No buts! Just don't. Trust me on this one.