North American Nintendo 64 cover art
|Developer(s)||Locomotive Co. Ltd.|
Ascii's AeroGauge is conceptually similar to Psygnosis' Wipeout or Acclaim's Extreme G. The main difference is that the vehicles in the game fly instead of hovering, so it's possible to maneuver them in the air.
Aerogauge takes place in Asia during the year 2065. The game has four tracks and five vehicles from the start, with additional tracks and vehicles that can be unlocked via the Grandprix and Time Attack modes. The game includes vehicle damage, which is shown with a meter on the bottom of the player's HUD. As the player gains damage, their vehicle will begin to spark and smoke. If a player acquires too much damage, their vehicle will stop, slowly land to the ground and the screen will fade black with the text "Retire". To prevent this, players can repair damage by flying through the tracks' shield regenerating areas at low altitude. Each track features their own their own twists and turns including upside down or vertical racing with obstacles blocking the players path.
The game has four different game modes which the player can choose from on the main menu.
Grandprix is a single-player game mode. It has a basic championship league, having the player race against computer-controlled vehicles on every map in the game. Before each race, the player is required to take two qualifying laps which in turn determines starting position for the race based on the player's best time and how it compares to the computer's. The actual race is three laps around the course, against seven opponents all of which blast off from the starting line rapidly, usually leaving the player behind to catch up. After a race, the player is rewarded points depending on their finishing position; better placement gives more points. Points from each race in the Grandprix are totaled to determine the winner.
Singlematch is also a single player mode. It is one race against computer A.I. on a track chosen by the player. Like the Grandprix, it requires two qualifying laps to determine starting position.
VS mode is a two-player game mode, where two human players choose a track and race on it. There are no qualifying laps and no computer opponents.
Time Attack mode is another single player game mode. It is a time trial on a track chosen by the player. The player can choose to do either three or an infinite number of laps. If the player selects to do three laps, ghosts can be saved on a memory card and loaded to race.
In the game universe, an AeroMachine is a vehicle with the ability to produce a strong field of localized magnetic flux. The AeroMachines are the vehicles used in the Sky Step. There are 10 available AeroMachines, with 5 being available from the start and 5 being unlockable.
Each of the AeroMachines is rated based on six categories displayed in a radar chart. The categories are speed (maximum air speed), steering (turning capability), accele (acceleration), aero limit (speed needed to get airborne), shield (endurance), and stability (gripping power).
There are 6 tracks in the game, with 4 available from the start and 2 being unlockable by the player during the game.
Next Generation reviewed the Nintendo 64 version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "In the end, Aero Gauge may not stand up to the speed, multiplayer action, and track diversity of the upcoming F-Zero X (or for that matter, Extreme-G), but considering that it beats Nintendo's cyber-racer to the punch by more than six months, this should help tide over racing fans nicely."
The game received a "4.5 Poor" rating from GameSpot and an "5.2 Mediocre" from IGN. The GameSpot reviewer stated that "AeroGauge is really nothing spectacular as it displays some of the worst pop-up seen in a racer in a long time."
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- "AeroGauge (Nintendo 64)". Moby Games. Moby Games. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
- "AeroGauge". GameRankings. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Casamassina, Matt (1998-05-21). "Aero Gauge". IGN. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Finals". Next Generation. No. 39. Imagine Media. March 1998. p. 108.