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DRIFT OUT '94 - THE HARD ORDER

VISCO 1994



Description:

I always considered Neo Drift Out on the Neogeo as the best rally game in MAME. The handling was easy, the speed was there, and it had my favorite rally car, the Lancer Evo. Boy was I wrong. While Neo Drift Out is good, its prequel, Drift Out '94 is even better, if not harder.

Graphic-wise, 94 outshines Neo. There is more color and detail in the background, along the side of the tracks, and for the cars themselves. Everything just looks livelier.

Then there's the car selection. While Neo had only a selection of 3, this one has 8. Lots of old school favorites, like the Lancia Delta, Stratos, Ford Escort, and even a Mini Cooper. Each car differs not only visually but in their performance as well. Cars vary in top speed, acceleration, and handling. Some tend to oversteer a lot while others try to stay grippy on the road.

In rally, it is not you against the opponent; it is you against the clock. For each stage, you must beat the clock if you want to advance to the next, usually somewhere between 40 and 60 seconds. At the end of the stage, your time is compared to everyone else and points are distributed for the fastest times. Some of your opponents are the names of actual real life rally drivers aside from some misspellings in their names of course.

What makes rally so unique is the fact that it is race on a variety of different surfaces and on public road. Surfaces include tarmac, gravel, and even snow and ice. Rally is raced in the light, as well as in the dark. This game is no exception. The game consists of several countries with a mixture of surfaces to drive on. The only thing that bothers me is that in some stages, like Safari, the road and background tend to blend together. Sometimes it is hard to figure out the narrowness of a road or even when a turn begins. But that's just nitpicky stuff.

Of course you can't do everything by yourself. There's the co-driver to navigate you along each stage. Listen to him and look at each sign that pops onto the screen before a turn to know just what to expect ahead of you.

Drift Out '94 itself isn't too hard of a game to beat. It starts easy and mistakes aren't too costly. As you progress though, tracks gets narrower, more turns get sharper, obstacles come up that can block the road, and each mistake you get can end in you timing out and losing the stage. That's just the nature of any game with a progressive difficult.

The cars, themselves, can be hard to navigate. You really need to oversteer the hell out of them in each corner if you want to stay straight as you exit. Most of the time, your hand will be on the accelerator. Though, sometimes you may have to let go on some of those hairpin corners. Rarely do you have to brake, only at some sections in the very later stages. The game isn't too forgiving when you crash or hit a barrier on the side. You do loss quite a bit of time.

The game is fun once you get the hang of things. It's pretty satisfying when you get into a flow and can go through an entire stage at full speed without mistakes.

Gameplay: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Artwork: 4/5


DRIFT OUT '94 - THE HARD ORDER
MINI FAQ

How many levels: 14 stages. Here's a breakdown:
  • 2 in Monte Carlo
  • 2 in Africa (Safari)
  • 1 SSS in New Zealand
  • 3 in Acropolis
  • 1 SSS in Portugal
  • 2 in Sweden
  • 1 SSS in Australia
  • 1 in Finland (1000 Lakes)
  • 1 in Britain (RAC)
How many cars: 8. Here's a list:
  • Toyota Celica GT-Four RC
  • Subura Impreza WRX STi
  • Lancia Delta HF Integrale
  • Ford Escort RS Cosworth 4x4
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution II GSR
  • Rover Mini Cooper 13i
  • Lancia Stratos HF
  • Audi Quattro Rally
What are the controls: D-pad: Maneuvering the car.
Button 1: Acceleration
Button 2: Brake

Tips:

  • Listen to your Co-Driver.
  • Like any racing game, try to enter each corner at the opposite side of the road where the corner turns into. You will be able to take most hairpins at full speed if you do so.
  • Cut corners if you can. You can save tons of time.
I like this game. What other games are similar to this: Great 1000 Miles Rally - Lots of old school racing cars like the Ferrari GTO.

Neo Drift Out - It's the sequel to this game. Not as great, but still good.

Overtop - Very challenging and so much fun as well. It's the best racing game on the Neogeo.