Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing




Ubi Soft



TV System: 



VMU, Jump Pack




Known as Redline Racer in Japan, Ubisoft picked up the publishing rights, slapped on the Suzuki Alstare license and renamed it Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing for the North American market. The game is a PC conversion from just over a year ago, but has undergone some changes including the license and cosmetic changes to the graphics engine in order to take advantage of Dreamcast's capabilities. The premise of the game is simple: you start off as a rookie rider, whose goal is to become part of the prestigious Suzkui Alstare team. In order to achieve this goal you will move your way up the ranks of novice, reserve team, and if you are good enough you will make it onto the official Alstare team.


Criterion has done an admirable job in improving the overall look of the game from its Japanese release. Bikes and riders consisting of 3,000 polygons each coupled with incredibly detailed environments create stunning 3D graphics and a fluid racing experience. The game maintains a solid 60 frames per second refresh rate. There is however minor draw-in on some tracks and certain points. The draw-in gets worse in the two player split screen games even though the detail of the tracks remain intact. Each of the 12 tracks are spread over 7 diverse environments, including country roads, city streets, ocean side beaches and desert highways.


The sound effects are pretty basic with the engine hums of each bike. The soundtrack on the other hand is quite impressive. A mix of techno and rock and roll tunes nicely complement the insane speeds one attains as the game progresses. Perhaps Criterion could have added some more human elements in the sound. For example when a wipeout occurs we hear nothing from the rider who is flying in the air and slamming into a side of a cliff.

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