reviews\ Dec 4, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Street Legal - PC - Review

Street racing has become a serious problem in many areas of the country and is illegal. Serious injuries and death have and do happen on a regular basis due to these illegal street races. However Activision Value Publishing now has a safe solution to this problem, the PC version of STREET LEGAL.

This game offers you all the thrills of street racing without having to actually worry about the law or possible injury. The game starts you out with a cache of cash and a garage to work in. You then make a trip down to the local car lot and browse through several new and used cars available for sale. These are all simple four cylinder models, some are stock, some are mildly tricked out, some are little more than a chassis and motor, it's up to you to decide if you want to buy a car all ready for the street or build one up from scratch. Buy your car and head back to your garage for some serious wrenching. Once back to your shop, browse through the extensive catalog of available parts for your new racer. You might want to start with some mild or wild ground effects and body packages that include new hoods, side skirts, wings, and mirrors. Or you may elect to build up the motor and tranny first. Tons of parts for that too, NOS (Nitrous Oxide) injectors and bottles, turbochargers, superchargers (both have all the parts to install like intake tubes and drive belts), bored out blocks, large valve heads, tuned exhaust, cams, and much more. And don't forget about your suspension, yup, you can tweak that too with shocks, springs, sway bars, brake calipers and rotors, and a huge selection of wheel tire combinations from stock 15 inches clear up to those really swoopy 21 inch rims! So buy up your parts (but watch your budget, you might need replacement or repair parts later) and get them on your car!

With your racer all built and tuned, it's time to hit the test track. Here you can test your 0-60 time, top speed, and test your suspension, once your happy with your setup you will be ready for the street. Here things are a bit different, not everyone wants to race you, you have to cruise the town looking for someone in another supped up street racer, once you find one simply drive up alongside and honk your horn. A small dialogue will take place setting the race and possible wager. With that done get ready to race, be sure to watch your map as there may be more than one route to the finish line! If you win, you make a little moola to take home, if you lose then you have to pay out, and if you wreck then you have work to do back at the garage (I told you to watch your budget! ), Oh and by the way, the cops are out there looking for you. When they try to pull you over you will have to make a quick choice (much as in real life) Do I stop and take the fine? Or do I run and hope I can lose him and NOT trash my car in the process? Sometimes it's much easier and cheaper to just pull over and take the fine. (BUT NOT NEARLY AS MUCH FUN!)

For a VALUE title, this game packs a lot into an inexpensive package. The graphics and the sound both are very good. A very different interface system makes it fairly easy to move from one area to the next. The game actually has a great amount of depth to it and the "town" is quite large. You also find a fair amount of options from graphics to sounds to game options. The major drawback is the lack of a game manual, either printed or in a "Read Me" file. This makes it a little difficult to figure out just where to go and what to do, but even more difficult is to figure out HOW to do it. However a little patience and practice pays off, and once you have learned what and where to do, then the game is quite fun!

For an inexpensive "Value" game, this would make a great Christmas gift for someone wanting a good racing game. The dog gives this game a thumbs up.

Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 7
Gameplay comprises of buying a car, and parts and then build a racer, then race that car for monetary wagers without too much damage or being caught by the Police. Nice interface takes you from area to area, but takes a little to figure it all out. A manual of any type would have been very nice and would have helped a lot.

Graphics: 7
Good graphics for a value game, plenty of car details and damage effects though the passing scenery is a little sparse.

Sound: 7
The car sounds are pretty good in this game. The dialogue with the other drivers and the police could be a little better.

Difficulty: Easy

Concept: 7.5
Really liked the concept of building , tuning, and racing a street racer. The damage engine in this game is quite good and that makes it sort of unique in the fact that if you run your car too hard, things break and must be repaired or replaced and all within your parts!

Multiplayer: N/A

Overall: 7
Very good game for the money. Has more to do than just race and that is a major plus. Good graphics and sound. And easy to play (once you get past the no manual thing) Ovaldog gives it a thumbs up. It's worth a try if you like the genre.


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