Indie Games, where the heart and soul is!

Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad Review (XBLA)

Review by: Master Blud

I love most racing games, particularly Offroad.  I don’t like the intent of drifting, and street racers.  Although only a select few actually gained my attention.  Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad has some good points and some low points. The fact that 2XL games makes this game at a 60fps confuses me.  Some of that graphical power could have been used for something else within the game.

The gameplay felt great on one side but really fell short in some other ways.  The fact that you are racing offroad is great, the controls seemed well-adjusted at times but kicked your butt if you didn’t know how to drift correctly.  I am very irate at one point of the game.  When you have an offroad track, don’t make it so you can’t go offroad.  I ended up accidentally going off the track and ran into the ugliest wall I have ever encountered.  It was one of those invisible walls from early racing games.  Why?  Well they want you to stay your course and not run around like a crazy driver.  I didn’t like this, so I moved on.  Any who, each car can be upgraded, everything upgradeable.  I found this to be almost pointless, it takes skill to drift offroad.  The physics in this title were not in my favor.  They seemed stiff and too fast-moving compared to actual gravity.  The fact that the car spins straight forward and doesn’t end up bouncing around baffled me.  My only recommendation to you is that you play where you can see the bumpers, aka the hood view, you’ll have better control of your vehicle.

I don’t know whether they were trying to go with a realistic feel or not.  But the courses certainly needed some of those frames per second in order to look more appealing.  I say this because the dirt road and the vegetation on the courses seems to be put back a few generations and stopped at the PS2 visuals.  I ran into a few cacti and grass, they were unaffected.  The only that is affected is the flimsy fencing around the track, it usually broke with the slightest tap and came crumbling down.  The cars are decent looking and could have used some of that power I was mentioning earlier, they were comfortable nonetheless.  The audible department of this game had one minor flaw, the fact that you can hear Jeremy McGrath like he is talking to you from one of those pit radios they talk to the drivers with.  This is only good when you are driving, not at the main menu.  It almost sounds like he was trying to take order at the main menu.  The only way to turn him off is in a race (As Co-Driver), and that is the time you actually need him.  Those turns can be hell without prior knowledge.  Even if you do turn off the Co-Driver (Jeremy) in the race, he is still there at the menu waiting for you with voice and all.

The pros, it’s fun to play with your friends, watching your friend spin in front of you, and after a while drifting becomes fun on dirt roads.  The con, is that you can’t do too many donuts because of the invisi-wall in-game, and the fact that it sometimes feels like you’re playing a PS2 game.  Altogether Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad gets 3.5 out of 5.  Take down a few frames per second, we won’t mind, make those cacti look real, and let me hit them too.


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