MegaRace

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MegaRace
Megarace.jpg
Developer(s) Cryo Interactive
Publisher(s) The Software Toolworks
Designer(s) Remi Herbulot
Writer(s) Johan Robson
Composer(s) Stéphane Picq
Platform(s) MS-DOS, Sega CD, 3DO
Release date(s) MS-DOS
Sega CD
3DO
  • JP October 7, 1994
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player

MegaRace is a racing video game created by Cryo Interactive. It features pre-rendered 3-D graphics and over twenty minutes of full motion video of fictional game show host, Lance Boyle. It was released for MS-DOS in 1993. It was then released for the Sega CD and the 3DO the following year. There was apparently a version in development for the Commodore Amiga CD32, which was previewed in many Amiga magazines of the time. It spawned two sequels, MegaRace 2 and MegaRace 3. MegaRace features a techno chiptune soundtrack composed by Stéphane Picq of Dune fame.

Microïds (Anuman Interactive's adventure games label), owners of the Cryo brand, made the game available on GOG.com on April 30, 2009 alongside MegaRace 2. It also received a version for OS X on June 18, 2013 via GOG.com.[1]

Plot[edit]

MegaRace takes place in the distant future, where the player is a contestant on a game show, called "MegaRace". MegaRace is on the VWBT (Virtual World Broadcast Television) television channel where contestants compete in a live-or-die race match against Hells Angels-like speed gangs. MegaRace's host is the eccentric Lance Boyle (played by Christian Erickson). He guides the player throughout the game, introducing new levels and enemies, frequently discouraging the player.

Gameplay[edit]

Megarace is a Vehicular combat game with arcade gameplay, similar to that of RoadBlasters and Spy Hunter. However, it is also a rail shooter, in which the player does not fully control the car; he can move it from side to side and accelerate within a limited range, but cannot turn nor fully stop the vehicle. This is because the speedway is rendered in full-motion video. The player must not only kill the opponents, but must also selectively avoid or run over "symbols" marked on the speedway itself. When driven over, these symbols temporarily improve or harm the car's performance. Almost every symbol on the speedway has a corresponding symbol with an opposite effect, such as acceleration and deceleration symbols .Enemy cars are not affected by symbols; consequently, enemy cars will unintentionally drive over negative symbols, forcing the player to cease his attack.

The objective in MegaRace is to kill all of the speed-gang members in each race before three laps of the racetrack are completed. The first race starts out with a small number of speed-gang punks, but more are added in each subsequent race. The player can dispatch opponents by slamming them into the sidewall of the track, hitting them with missiles mounted on the player's car, or passing them, causing the opponent's vehicle to explode after the gap between the two cars becomes too great. The player has a limited number of missiles for each race. If all opponents are not killed within three laps, the race is lost and the player must start again from their last saved game. If all opponents are successfully dispatched, the player moves on to the next race.

If the player beats Lance Boyle's score (120,000 points), plays for a sufficiently long time, and comes in second, third or (occasionally) fourth, Lance will let him move on to the next track. Usually, coming in any position other than first either ends the game or forces the player to play the "Last-Chance Speedway" (a.k.a. The Can, Tokyo).

There are a total of 8 cars in the game. Three of the cars (the Enforcer's) are available to choose from at the very beginning.

There are fourteen speedways in five worlds. This does not count two extra races, The Skyholder (a bonus race) and The Can. The tracks' appearances differ between the 'Novice' and 'Hard' difficulty levels; races on outdoor tracks instead take place at night, the colors of indoor tracks differ, and the placement of symbols on the tracks also differ.

Reception[edit]

Reviewing the 3DO version, GamePro commented that the controls are difficult, but that the fun gameplay and impressive graphics make up for this.[2]

Sequels[edit]

MegaRace was a success when it first came out, selling over 100,000 units. MegaRace also spawned two sequels, MegaRace 2 in 1996 and MegaRace 3 in 2001, the former using the same pre-rendered method introduced in MR1 (albeit with 3D polygon car models instead), the latter featuring full real-time 3-D graphics. Lance Boyle also returns for both sequels. MegaRace also came included with some Packard Bell, Quantex computers, and Gravis Joysticks during the early to mid-1990s.

Reboot[edit]

On April 15, 2014 it was announced conversions of the entire MegaRace Trilogy were being made for mobile and tablet devices along with a reboot of the franchise on PCs, game consoles, mobile, and tablet devices by ZOOM Platform and Jordan Freeman Group. Industry veteran, Bernie Stolar, is the Chairman of ZOOM and Jordan Freeman Group and was quoted in the press release.[3]

On June 18, 2014 a teaser video featuring Christian Erickson as "Lance Boyle" appeared on YouTube.[4][5]

On June 28, 2014, a second teaser video featuring Christian Erickson as "Lance Boyle" appeared on YouTube, this time advertising a Summer Sale to promote the franchise's reboot and trilogy re-releases.[6]

On December 5, 2014, a third teaser video featuring Christian Erickson as "Lance Boyle" appeared on YouTube, this video was described as "A Conversation With Christian Erickson", it started off as a traditional cast interview of the actor and then morphed into a "Lance Boyle" character interview.[7]

On May 8, 2015, ZOOM Platform and the Jordan Freeman Group unveiled their first footage from the MegaRace Reboot, they presented showroom views of the "re-construction" of the MARIA car from the original MegaRace.[8]

On May 15, 2015, ZOOM Platform and the Jordan Freeman Group unveiled showroom and in-action views of the "re-construction" of the OUZBEL car, as well as screenshots of the TOKYO track with the OUZBEL car on the Twitch show, GatorBox. The reveal was recorded and eventually posted to YouTube on May 19, 2015.[9]

A brand new re-recording of the NEWSAN theme music from the original MegaRace recorded by ZOOM Platform and the Jordan Freeman Group was also unveiled on the Twitch show, GatorBox, and used as the introduction music for the reveal on May 15, 2015.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]