Monday, 23 February 2009

MANX TT Review

Well, as I said last week, I was hoping that I would have time this weekend to play through Manx TT...and well, I did. SO here's the review:

My experience with motorcycle racers really isn't that deep. Let's see, Excite Bike, Super Hang On, Road Rash, and Manx TT are really the only motorcycle racing games that I have played...I think. I have a few good memories of ripping it up on the full size Manx TT arcade cabinet back in the day. So since I'm in the middle of rebuilding my SS collection, I figured that this game definitely needed to be acquired. I have never owned the home version, so I was pretty excited to get my hands on it. So far I'm having a good time and enjoying the game. It's one of those titles that has pretty good lasting appeal, since you can just pick it up, and play for a few minutes when ever ever you want. It's definitely not a deep game, but definitely one of the classic arcade racers that any fan of the genre should have in their game library.

I would say on par with the other Model 2 racing ports. Very similar look to both Sega Rally and Daytona USA. The tracks looks really good in some places, and other places, very forgetable. I think Sega always did a reasonably good job porting all of their Model 2 titles to the SS. Obviously none of them ever stood up next to their arcade counterpart, but they graphics were always decent none the less. There are some nice graphical effects like tree shadow on the track, and my favorite, the contrast change after you come out of the tunnel on the Laxey Coast track....something that I never really saw until Gran Tourismo 5 Prologue (2007). Pop-up on the straightaways is pretty brutal. What's interesting is that this game came out after Sega Rally, yet the pop-up is a lot more obvious on Manx TT. When the course stays curvy, pop-up really isn't that noticeable. The bike models lok pretty decent, but the actual rider designs are a bit odd looking....they kind of have the Die Hard Arcade look to, very pointy or something like that. 7.0/10.0

I'm glad to see that all of the Sega Model 2 arcade racers have at least a few unforgetable sounds. Daytona has the "do do do do do do do do do doooo...Daaaaaaaaaaayyyytooooona", Sega Rally had the awesome "Game over Yeeeeah". Manx TT has the weirdest voice I think I have ever heard in a video game. I suppose the voice is supposed to sound British or Irish or what ever the main accent is on the Isle of Man? But to me the voice sounds South African or something of that nature....and the best line in the game is the "passing the checkpoint" that you hear multiple time through out the race. I suppose sega wanted to voice to sound intense as if it was coming from a sports announcer doing live commentary on the race...but it just sounds really bad, in a funny way though. The music is not nearly as good as other Sega racing titles...let's just leave it at that. And the sound effects are fine....similar to other racing titles of the mid to late 90's. 6.5/10.0

The bikes control quite well using the 3D pad. The digital pad can be used fine as well, but it gives the game a very unrealistic feel as the rider tips over 5 - 10 times in a single turn. The 3D pad is certianly the way to go. The arcade mode bike doesn't really have much "weight" and tensd to steer too easy. The Saturn mode takes care of this a bit. I found that I actually liked the bikes with the poorer handling rating much better. The bike itsef has what I call the Ridge Racer Effect, where it seems as if the bike is always pointing forward, and it's the track that moves below you...I'm not a huge fan of this. So what happens is the bike is travelling in a direction that is physically impossible. Once you get used to the handling of the bikes, and the ridge racer effect though, the game becomes much more fun to play.
Only having two tracks is a bummer, but seriously Daytona USA has 3 tracks, and Sega Rally has 4 tracks, so it's not like it's horrible. I'm a much bigger fan of the Laxey Coast track that the TT track since it lets you really open up the throttle, and feels much more like a true arcade racer than the TT track. Having the Saturn mode gives the game a bit more flavor as well. I beleive there is a version of this game that has netlink...which would be a lot of fun to play. Sadly, I'll be playing this version by myself or split screen with a friend. 7.5/10.0

Obviously the game is very repetetive due to the lack of tracks and race modes, but the 2 tracks that are available are really nice, and I know it's only a matter of time before I memorize them and start to try and continually set new fastest laps. The game itself is really fun to play. I don't think that this is a title I will ever sit down and play for hours on end like I have done with Sega Rally and Daytona, but I know that I will be playing it quite often, even if it's only for 20-30 minutes at a time. The graphics are pretty decent (for a SS title), and I'm very glad to finally have Manx TT in my Saturn game library. I think this game is still at the local arcade, so I'm definitely going to have to take a few laps on that one (and definitely bring some hand sanitizer), and compare the two versions. 7.5/10


NebachadnezzaR said...

Excellent review! So much that it actually made me go ahead and give the game another chance.

I tried it with my trusty arcade stick and, after trying a couple of different bikes, I found one that I actually like :D And I'm with you on this one, the poorer the handling, the better they seem to respond. Sure, they take longer to turn, but at least they don't drift into a concrete wall if you turn too much.

Anyway, it's amazing how the gameplay can change if you just pick a different bike, making the game so more fun. Guess now I know why so many of you like this game :)

fatherkrishna said...

Excellent review dear Plushiest! Deserving of more comments too, but that is the way things happen here at the 'yard. Enjoy your time with the game, I'm gonna give it a run out tonight!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most unbiased review about the product.

Duzznake said...

Very good review, I just played the Arcade version and made my review too and its very similar to your opinion, only your comment about the weight, I thinked easy but very heavy to hold the bike, maybe because I played on Deluxe version.
But there are better bike games.