S.C.A.R.S. (video game)
North American Nintendo 64 cover art
|Publisher(s)||Ubi Soft Entertainment|
|Mode(s)||Up to 4 players.|
S.C.A.R.S. (standing for Super Computer Animal Racing Simulator, although unmentioned) is a racing video game featuring cars that are shaped like animals. It was released on 4 December 1998 for the Nintendo 64; ports were also released for the PlayStation and for Windows.
In this game players take control of cars that take the shape of different animals. The game itself takes the role as a combat racing game as it features weapons to use against your opposition while racing, and the computers can do the same to you. The game has three modes: Grand Prix, Challenge and Time Attack.
The object of this game is to compete in the Grand Prix and to unlock new tracks and cars. The difficulty of each tournament is determined by which cup you choose to race for. The first cup you race for is the Carbon cup, and once you've beaten that you will unlock other cups that are based on elements like Crystal, Diamond and Zenith. Once you have won a tournament you will unlock a new cup to compete for new Tracks to race in, and the chance to challenge other cars to gain access to them for use in Grand Prix and VS mode.
While Racing you can acquire weapons located around the tracks to help you finish the race quicker or to slow down your opponents so you can overtake them. The combat system is different from many games, except for having health and being destroyed for a limited amount of time, if you or an enemy is hit by a weapon you will be temporarily be slowed downed which gives your opponent time to overtake you. There are some weapons that can be avoided by using your cars jump jets; all cars have jump jets and can be used to avoid certain weapons, however not all weapons can be avoided even with the Jump Jets.
The weapons are: Turbo, Magnets, seeker-style missiles, Boomerang, Time Bomb, Stinger, Stopper, Bullet, and Shield.
All of the cars in the game are based on various animals. There are 9 of them: Lion, Mammoth, Rhino, Shark, and Mantis which are all already available to you when you start the game. The cars needed to unlock are: Scorpion, Cobra, Cheetah, and the Panther, which get unlocked when you win cups, and challenge a car that has to be unlocked to be playable; Beat that car in the race and it will be unlocked and available in all modes.
Each car also has stats that represent how well a car will handle, how powerful its weapons are, fast it can go, and how well it can take damage. Cars like Shark, Cheetah, and Mantis are fast racers, but they have weak armour and are hard to control in some stages. Cars like the Lion L.K, GT Cobra, and Scorpion X2 are average racers having equal stats; having a good balance in speed, damage resistance, and handling. Cars like the Mammoth and Rhino are heavy racers having powerful weapons, and better handling, but they are slow, and rely on weapons to take advantage of their opponents. The Panther is the best car in the game; having maximum stats in all categories of handling, speed, armor, and weapons, which is also the hardest car to unlock.
IGN rated the PS1 version in 1998, saying (out of 10) 8.0 for presentation, 9.0 for graphics, 8.0 for sound, 7.0 for gameplay, 6.0 for lasting appeal, and an overall score of 6.5 out of 10.
The Sports Gaming Network reviewed the game in 1999, rating it (out of 100) the Graphics 84, Sound 58, Interface 72, Gameplay 80, Difficulty 88, and overall, 76. It claimed that the graphics were sharp and colourful, the sound being boring and 'dead', the gameplay being somewhat eclectic with future setting and weaponry and cartoon-ish graphics.
Computer & Video Games rated the Windows version in 2001, giving it an overall score of 4.9 out of 10, claiming that the weapons in the game are cool but a bit annoying.
- http://uk.psx.ign.com/articles/159/159925p1.html IGN review in 1998
- http://www.sports-gaming.com/racing/scars/review.shtml The Sports Gaming Network review in 1999
- http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=3389 Computer & Video Games review in 2001