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Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing

Box shot

Jan 21, 2004

Platform: Windows
Developer:
Stellar Stone
Publisher:
GameMill
Reviewed By: Clayton "Alkaiser" Chan

Gameplay: [0] Graphics: [0] Audio: [0] Replay: [0] Overall: [0]

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January 19, 2004 was a day most other people in the US would spend celebrating with their family and friends, as it happened to be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I had to work, but that wasn't the only unpleasantness that this day had in store for me.

Also waiting for me was a friend...or so he claimed. I had no reson not to trust his clever friend disguise until he handed me a box and said, "Here, try this. Bet you've never played anything like it."

"Truck Racing?! Everyone knows you can't beat All American 18 Wheeler and Art Truck Battle 1 and 2," I responded.

"Oh this will beat it..." he cackled, "Only not in the way you're expecting! Muahahahahaha!"

As the game started auto-installing, I heard the yelp of my dog being punted for distance. This entire scene disturbed me because, I didn't have a dog, and none of this happened...except for the part about Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing!

Story

Um...you're a trucker. And you have 4 trucks to choose from. Thunder, Megaone, Thunderbull, and Sunrise W12. (He's the one they don't like to talk about. He's...you know...W.) After that you'll choose which course to race on...will it be Devil Passage 1? Or the far more sophisticated Devil Passage 2? Perhaps try your hand at Forgotten Road 1? Maybe you consider yourself up for the challenge of Nightride? Or try to master the esoteric curves of Small City Road!

Whatever you choose, as the game says, “You're Winner!” Just beat the parked truck to the finish line and drop off your stuff. Oh wait, you're NOT CARRYING ANY STUFF!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

What kind of madman would force me to race in a cargo hauling race but doesn't provide me with either cargo OR an opponent?! Damn you, Clayton Forrester!!!! (BTW...why exactly are all movie, TV, and video game characters who share my first name evil for some reason? Think I can finally cast off the yoke of this stereotype any time soon? Hm?!)

Gameplay...er Gripes.

The Gripes, Gameplay, and Graphics section will be all rolled into one. I mean...they're all the same in BROTRR. The first sign of trouble with this game hits you right at the Options Menu. You can choose between graphical detail levels of the default, "Low", or the upgraded, "Normal", textures, and that's it. You know a game sucks when they don't even let you choose “High”, which, of course, is what they'd expect you to be if you bought this game. You may as well cater to your target audience.

Then there's the race. As I've stated before, you're supposed to be hauling cargo in a race (which for some tracks is a lap...meaning you never deliver the cargo ANYWAY.) a la All American 18 Wheeler. But your truck never gets a cargo attachment. (Unless you choose one of the two models that have it attached.) You're just racing the cab. Apparently, all the extra weight does a little something to the truck's top speed and acceleration because your opponent NEVER MOVES.

Even if you try to get behind him and push him to the finish line, that's no good...because you clip right through him...and everything else in the game. Mountains, trucks stops, signposts. None of them exist. It's like you're in some sort of wacky alternate future timeline, and you're trying to get back home. You may as well just run over everything in your path... They don't exist, right?!

But seriously...clipping through mountains? That means that you can take every curve by just ramming your truck straight on through like it was being driven with the force of John Henry's hammer.

The awesome "YOU'RE WINNER!" screens that pop up after your no-contest victory over the guy who actually delivers his cargo not only doesn't make any sense, but it teaches kids of today a bad lesson. Don't play fair, cheat, and on top of that, don't do your job. Hell, don't even learn good grammar, because at the end of the day, you're still going to collect the trophy. "So long, Productive Suckers! I'm calling it a day, and you'll just have to haul my cargo tomorrow!"

The malevolent mental patients at Stellar Stone, TS Entertainment, and GameMill Publishing are all to blame for this horrid mess. If you see their names on ANYTHING in the near or distant future don't buy it. Ask why your local store is degrading its shelf space with such garbage. Call up the publishers of the titles next to copies of the game and ask, "Do you know that your game sits right next to the worst game ever pressed at (store X)?"

Overall

I had a couple of friends who took a game design course. They had this fancy, schmancy adventure game all planned out, and had 10 weeks to do it. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. What they ended up with was a voice-over, 1 room, and a guy who moved around it with programmer art functionality icons.

I rate Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing below even that...Big Rigs doesn't have an interesting voiceover to start the game. In fact, I now name this my least favorite game of all time. This "game" is simply a camera fly-by through some tracks the designer created. Truck Dismount had a higher level of completion and coherence, plus it had cool audio.

I know what you're thinking..."Worst ever? Not worse than Reah...not worse than Tsunami 2265?"

Yes. Worse than those two pillars of pathetic programming. At least those two games worked. Since there are absolutely NO categories that this game can claim to have completed, it gets a 0. In everything. Gameplay is a 0 because those goal you have in the game isn't really a goal. With no competition, and no cargo, it's degenerated into 3D connect the dots. With no clipping, the Graphics score a 0. There's no audio, and with no gameplay, there's no replay. It's an aboslute failure in all departments of what a game should be. I see game design professors around the country (all 3 of them.) buying this and displaying it to the class as an example of what not to ship. The only reason this game doesn't get a negative score is that I don't think our php gurus envisioned us ever giving a game a negative score, and because I reserve negative scores for a game that makes me physically ill.

A lot of you out there are probably thinking, "How bad could this possibly be?" This game isn't even bad-good, like one of those guilty pleasures games, or Unintentional Comedy. The only thing that'd make you laugh about anything in this game is the "YOU'RE WINNER!" screen. You can see screenshots of it like, everywhere. The game is BAD-bad, as in Battlefield 3000 AD or From Justin to Kelly on audiocassette. Not only does it suck, but it's a long boring journey on the road to Suckville, and there's no interesting scenery to pass the time.

To put it more tangibly, if they were handing out free copies of this game at the grocery store and they were next to some AOL 30 free minutes CDs, you'd take ALL of the AOL CDs before it even crossed your mind that the Big Rigs CDs performed just as admirably as drink coasters or as microwave light displays.

Don't give any of these companies money. Give them the finger. Proverbially. Or maybe in e-mail...but no further than that, ok?! I mean...they can't even spell right on their company web page. We here at Netjak make sure we try and take the hit before you do. The faster word gets out, the faster you, the gaming public know, and the faster you can inform your grandparents that this would be a really, really bad gift idea.

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