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Extreme-G is a futuristic motorcycle racing game for the Nintendo 64. It was the first game of the Extreme-G series. It was developed by Probe Entertainment and published by Acclaim Entertainment. It was followed by Extreme-G 2 in 1998.
Extreme-G is set in the distant future where Earth is reduced into a wasteland. From their new-found planet the human colonists watch their remote controlled bikes wreak havoc through their ancient cities and fight their way to determine which racer manages to qualify.
The gameplay of Extreme-G consists mainly of fast-paced racing through an array of futuristic environments. An impressive array of defensive and offensive weapons is available on-track. These include multi-homing/reverse missiles, magnetic/laser mines, and shield-boosting power-ups. Special weapons can also be found such as invisibility, phosphorus flash and the mighty Wally-Warp which if not avoided, can instantly transport a bike right to the back of the pack.
As with all Extreme-G games, futuristic racing pilots race plasma-powered bikes in an intergalactic Grand Prix at speeds that are over 750 km/h making it the third fastest racing game on the Nintendo 64, only beaten by F-Zero X and Star Wars: Episode I Racer. The emphasis is on speed and creative racetrack design, with tracks looping through like roller coasters.
At the beginning of each round, the player is given three "nitro" powerups which provide a temporary speed boost (these powerups cannot be replenished). Also, falling off cliffs or, in some cases, the track itself results in simply losing time rather than losing 'lives'; bikes are teleported back to the track and must rebuild their speed and lost time from a dead standstill. Some parts of many tracks are shown to be hundreds of feet in the air.
This is the only game in the series where a vehicle is unable to reach Mach Speed.
The single player games come in three difficulty settings: Novice, Intermediate and Extreme.
The main game mode (Extreme Contest) features three championships: Atomic (four tracks), Critical Mass (eight tracks) and Meltdown (full 12 standard tracks). The player must come first in each championship to progress. Winning championships on the various difficulty levels will open up the hidden bikes, levels and cheats.
Once the levels have been opened they can be used for the additional single and multi-player modes.
|Practice Mode||Single stage race where the player chooses his/her track and difficulty.|
|Time Trials||The player must attempt to break the chosen tracks record.|
|Shoot-Em-Up||The player must drive around the track while shooting down waves of speedy automated drones.|
|Cup||Up to 16 players can register for this survival tournament.|
|Head to Head||Up to four players race each other on a chosen track.|
|Flag Game||The player who drives through the most flags wins.|
|Battle Arena||Up to four players can battle each other in these specially designed arenas.|
One of the defining characteristics of the game is the sound generated by the futuristic plasma engines while running at maximum velocity. The music featured in this game consists of generally fast-paced trance.
Each of the machines has their own strengths and weaknesses. These are decided by the following 5 characteristics:
- Accel (acceleration)
- Speed (maximum velocity)
- Turns (handling)
- Shield (electronic armor battery life)
- Weap (primary weapons battery life)
Another variable between the bikes is the type of primary weapon the bike has installed. There are three types Pulse, Laser and Excel; again each having its own strengths and weaknesses. With the characteristics varying considerably between vehicles, some will be better than others at reaching specific goals.
Players are presented with 4 track groupings. Each has its own unique feel and setting. There are shortcuts in many of the tracks, but the tracks are very linear. The groupings are: Desert, City, Mines & Canyons and Space Station. In addition there is a "secret" Bonus Track And Bonus Track Not Included From Cup Mode.
In September 2004, Acclaim Entertainment filed for bankruptcy, registering over $100 million in debt. This meant that the franchises Acclaim had rights to were up for grabs. The Extreme-G franchise was purchased by Throwback Entertainment in July 2006, as seen on Throwback's Official website .
IGN gave Extreme-G a good rating of 7.9 out of 10 despite little criticism of the gameplay and the presentation stating the speed was "too fast for its own good" and the "front end [of bikes were] pretty ugly", respectively.
- IGN Reviews: Extreme-G