Where Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing failed, Speed Devils succeeds. Speed Devils is very easy to pick up and play. The controls consist of using the analog pad, L and R buttons and the B button. The analog is used to control the car. R is used for acceleration while L is used for braking. The B button provides turbo boosts once they are earned. The control mechanisms of the cars are more of an arcade feel than a simulation. This actually works quite well within the confines of Speed Devils. Each car has different attributes when it comes to speed, acceleration and braking. These affect the extent of the control of each car. While power sliding is not essential as it is in Sega Rally 2, it still is useful in the more difficult tracks and higher levels.
When competing in championship mode you will be faced against 17 other opponents each with their own unique set of characteristics. These unique points are carried over quite well using the diverse AI present in the game. For example, aggressive racers will try and run you off the road, while crafty racers will pursue the many hidden shortcuts.
Replay value is a high point in Speed Devils. There are three main modes to choose from: Arcade, Championship and Multi-player. With a total of 11 cars and 12 tracks there is plenty to offer.
The arcade mode is a simple load and play mode where players will initially choose from 6 cars and 6 tracks and simply go out and race. Additional options will let them set specific parameters such as time of day, checkpoints, and more. After reaching particular objectives in the championship mode, players will unlock additional cars and tracks in the arcade mode.
In championship mode, you are able to purchase different vehicles and store them in your virtual garage. Here you can repair your cars, purchase upgrades, store your trophies and banners and prepare for the next race of the season. Once you reach the end of a season, you may get offered to move up to a higher class if you have earned enough driver points. You can earn money by placing well in the races, busting radars or winning bets against other drivers. This is fun and includes vendettas whereby you race one on one against a competitor with the winner taking the loser's car. Once you reach the final class, you will have to beat the infamous Driver X to complete the game.
In the 2 player mode players choose from the available arcade cars and tracks and can choose between 5 different modes. These modes include head to head, defend and attack, distance lag, time lag, and special challenge. Each has its own unique fun factor to it and you will spend endless hours having a good laugh playing friends.
Ubi Soft has developed the first "must have" racing game for the Dreamcast. The tight controls and gorgeous graphics will keep gamers coming back again and again to this title. Where problems have existed in Sega Rally 2, Hardcore Heat, and the great Hydro Thunder, Speed Devils surpasses them all. Speed Devils is a barrel of laughs and a high point in the first generation of Dreamcast titles.
Review By: Mike Weatherup