R.C. Pro-Am II

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R.C. Pro-Am II
R.C. Pro-Am II
Cover art
Developer(s) Rare
Publisher(s) Tradewest
Composer(s) David Wise
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date(s)
  • NA December 1992
  • EU September 23, 1993
Genre(s) Racing/Vehicular combat
Mode(s) One to four players (simultaneously)
Distribution 4-megabit cartridge

R.C. Pro-Am II is a racing video game developed by Rare and released by Tradewest for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in North America in December 1992 and in Europe on September 23, 1993. The game is the sequel to the 1988 title R.C. Pro-Am and features similar gameplay, but it also features a wider variety of tracks, the ability to earn points and money which could be used to upgrade vehicles and buy weapons, and bonus stages. In R.C. Pro-Am II, four players, either human or CPU, race on a series of tracks and try to win the race and earn race points and money while avoiding various obstacles and hazards along the way. The game features a multiplayer mode in which up to four human players can compete against each other simultaneously.

The game received moderate coverage in video gaming magazines upon and after its release. Many reviewers praised the additional features and variety the game had over the original R.C. Pro-Am game, while others said that the game merely featured more of the same gameplay that was found in its predecessor. All reviewers unanimously praised the multiplayer mode, where some said that this is a reason alone to buy the game and that it provided, as one magazine said "excellent gaming despite its lack of originality".[1]

Gameplay[edit]

R.C. Pro-Am II is a racing video game in which four vehicles race on a series of 24 different tracks, over three types of courses - eight standard racetracks, eight "cityscape" tracks, and eight offroad tracks - in which the difficulty level increases upon progression to a new type of course. Each course type offers different obstacles in which players must navigate in order to finish the race. In the single-player mode, the players races against three CPU-controlled opponents. The game also has a multiplayer mode in which up to four human players can race against each other. The objective of each race is to finish in the top three; after successfully finishing in the top three in a race, players receive race points and receive money in which to upgrade their vehicles and buy weapons, and are allowed to participate in the next race. Players who do not finish in the top three can only enter the next race by using a continue, or else the game ends.[2]

Before each subsequent race, players have the opportunity to upgrade their vehicles to improve performance and buy additional weapons in which to take out opponents during a race. Upgrades and weapons include the following: motors which help improve speed; tires for better turning; missiles, bombs, and "freeze beams" which help take out opponents; buckshots which steal opponents' cash; and other additional goods such as additional ammunition. Players purchase weapons and upgrades with the money they have earned so far while racing, and they can save the money to purchase better, more expensive upgrades later on.[2][3] During each race, players pick up various items on the track (which computer opponents can also collect), which include bags of cash as well as extra ammunition.[3] Players can also pick up letters on the track that spell "PRO AM II"; when all letters are collected and the word is spelled out, the player receives a new vehicle that is faster and has more control.[4] Track hazards which slow players down include water, bombs, patches of mud, patches of ice, ridges, oil slicks, and bomb-dropping aircraft. At various points in the game, players can participate in one of two types of bonus stages - the "tug-O-truck" and a drag race; performing well in these bonus stages earn players additional race points and cash.[2]

Reception[edit]

R.C. Pro-Am II screenshot

R.C. Pro-Am II was developed by Rare and published by Tradewest. It was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in December 1992 and in Europe on September 23, 1993.[5][6] The game received coverage from the January 1993 issue of Nintendo Power, which included a brief overview and a preview of the various tracks.[2] It was reviewed in its "Now Playing" section; there it praised the game for its controls and the ability to purchase items and vehicle upgrades, which it said "adds an element of strategy to the game". However, it criticized the cheapness in the difficulty, saying that some hazards such as aircraft give players no reaction time in which to dodge attacks.[7] UK-based Official Nintendo Magazine (known in 1992 as Nintendo Magazine System) praised the game overall but said there are better games than this; however, the reviewers enjoyed the multiplayer feature and said that it was the main reason to buy this game.[8] In 1993, GamePro said that the game was better than its predecessor, but they noted that the graphics and sound could have been better.[9] In 1994, Game Players said that "you'll want to keep playing [R.C. Pro-am II] over and over again".[10]

The game received various retrospective reviews decades after its release. Video gaming website Honest Gamers gave high ratings to the game, saying that it improved every aspect of the original R.C. Pro-Am game; they noted the added variety of the tracks, the ability to compete and win money in order to upgrade vehicles and buy weapons, the four-player multiplayer mode, and a high difficulty level without unnecessary cheapness or annoyances such as a "rubber band AI". The reviewer called R.C. Pro-Am II "one of the finest video game sequels ever created but almost no one knows about it", pointing out that since it was released late in the lifespan of the NES, many players did not get a chance to buy or play it.[3] UK-based retrogaming magazine Retro Gamer said that R.C. Pro-Am II "hadn't evolved much from the original" and that it featured "more of the same racing but with the added feature of being able to upgrade your car by means of collecting money found on the track". The reviewer added that players expected more, especially for a title that was released five years after the original. He also noted that while the single-player mode was "passable", the multiplayer mode was what made the game stand out on its own; he said that the multiplayer mode provided "excellent gaming despite its lack of originality".[1]

R.C. Pro-Am II was named by Nintendo Power as the best NES game of 1993, beating out Battletoads & Double Dragon and Kirby's Adventure. The magazine cited the game's excellent controls and variety in its courses behind the award.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Burton, Richard (December 2010). "Back to the Nineties". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (84): 24. ISSN 1742-3155. 
  2. ^ a b c d "R.C. Pro-Am II". Nintendo Power (44): 88–91. January 1993. 
  3. ^ a b c Venter, Jason (September 16, 2007). "R.C. Pro-Am II Review (NES)". Honest Gamers. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ "R.C. Pro-Am II". Electronic Gaming Monthly (42): 225. January 1993. 
  5. ^ "NES Games" (PDF). Nintendo. Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  6. ^ "R.C. Pro-Am II Release Information for NES". GameFAQs. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Now Playing". Nintendo Power (44): 105, 107. January 1993. 
  8. ^ "R.C. Pro-Am II". Official Nintendo Magazine. 1992. Definitely a great game, but there are greater. If you really have to have a four-player game, then get this. Otherwise take a look at the others. 
  9. ^ Slo Mo (May 1993). "Nintendo Pro Review – R.C. Pro-Am II". GamePro (San Mateo, CA: GamePro Publishing) (45): 34. ISSN 1042-8658. OCLC 19231826. 
  10. ^ "R.C. Pro-Am II". Game Players. June 1994. Give R.C. Pro-Am II the checkered flag - you'll want to keep playing it over and over again. 
  11. ^ "Nintendo Power Awards 1993". Nintendo Power (60): 57. May 1994. 

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