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Days of Thunder

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Reviewed by David F. Hello? What's this? A Days of Thunder game, based on that movie? That's what I thought to myself when I was looking through the Game Boy section of a Funcoland flyer. I went to the store to get it, only to find out that they only had about a dozen Game Boy games (This was the day after Christmas). So I went to and only paid a dollar more than Funcoland (Shipping is another story). Not having a manual, I combed the web trying to find one, but never did. However, this NASCAR type game is relatively easy to figure out: A to accelerate (once you let off the gas, it stays at the speed you accelerated to. 207 mph tops.) B to decelerate (you can only decelerate to about 85 mph.) Left & right to steer. Start to pause. Select brings up different information on the dashboard, including tire wear, damage, fuel, position, lap times, how many laps to go, and speed. Pitting is exceptionally easy once you figure out how to do it. When the car pulls in, you slide the left jack in with the right button, then hit R again to get the left rear tire changer to grab onto the tire. Then you hit Up to get him to put the tire to the side. You then hit down to get him to grab hold of the new tire, and then R to put it on the car. You should usually hold the button, because if you don't, the job will be half done and you'll have to press the button again. This counts for both the jack and the tire changers. When you're done with the LR tire, you then go to the left front tire and do the same. The tire that is next to be done will flash until you hit R. When that tire is done, then you hit L and the jack will slide out, and the other side is to begin. Reverse all D-pad controls except the up and down ones-those are the same on both sides. When the car flashes (after you are done with both sides), that means that you are ready to leave the pits. Hit the A button and the car will leave pit road. One thing I found odd about the pitting is that the usual reason to pit is damage or fuel, but when you pit, nobody puts in fuel or fixes the damage, but when you pull out, the car's gassed up and lookin' like new! :)

Graphics: 6 out of 10

This game actually has pretty good graphics for an original Game Boy game from 1991. However, because of that, the color palettes that are included with GBC don't match the car and scenes up with the ones used in the movie. The race track is always black and white, color or not. I've heard people say that the tracks in this game have nothing in common with the ones in real life. That's not true. I've been to the Daytona speedway, one of the tracks used in the movie, and it is VERY MUCH like the one in the game. Michigan is very true-to-life (I have a friend who has been there), and so is Phoenix. One odd aspect of this game is that there is a Miami track. This might not seem odd, but there was no Miami track on the NASCAR circuit, let alone in the movie (NASCAR started racing in Miami in 1999 on a track built a few years before. The track bears no resemblance to the one in the game.) I have no idea why they put one in the game. The wreck scene, while not animated, is kind of funny. The car is shown, on fire, all crushed, and with the driver's arm hanging out of the car. It is kind of comical, actually. When you win a race, a smiling guy who looks a little like Tom Cruise is shown getting out of a car in victory lane with his crew in the background as victorious music plays. It makes kind of a nice ending for a hard race. When you hit a car on the track, the screen shakes. In my opinion, I thought this had a pretty good effect. While playing, I would reccomend playing in black & white because the game plays better the way it was meant to be played. Note: You can tell this game is old, because when you win the championship, it says "Congratulations, you have won the Winston Cup" This would never be allowed nowadays, because Winston is a tobacco company.

Music and Sound: 10 out of 10

This was one of the higher points of the game. Instead of music playing while racing, there is just an engine noise, with scraping and bumping noises when cars collide. Many people say that music is better than engine noise, but I prefer the engine noise because most racing music is too repetitive. The music in the game is all from the movie. It plays in three places: When you wreck, when you win, and right after the "Game Boy" starting sequence. If you listen long enough, you can pick out the parts that play in the win and wreck pictures.

Game Challenge: 5 out of 10

I found this game relatively easy to beat. I won a race in my fourth try, and have won at every track except for Phoenix (I've had the game for a week and a half). I've found that if you can qualify well enough, which can be a challenge, and get in the lead quick enough, you can get about a half a lap ahead of everyone by the time you have to pit (In a 15 lap race), and come out of the pits about 10 feet in front of your nearest competitor. This will work if you have not hit the wall or slid into the infield.

Game Play-Fun: 9 out of 10

I found this game to be very fun. The only thing that could've made it better would be if they put real NASCAR drivers in the game and made the cars look different from each other. I will admit, however, that I am a sim racing fan, and also a NASCAR fan. So I've made the chart below to put how different gamers would like the game. Regular Gamer: 3/10 Sim Racing Gamer: 6/10 NASCAR Sim Gamer: 9/10


Not much here. I almost never get frustrated with this game, because everything in this game is pretty easy to beat. However, the car turns like an aircraft carrier in dire situations (You hit L and a second later the car starts to move.) The solution to this problem is STAY AWAY FROM THE WALL! That's the only place that this turning problem will cause you trouble.

Replayability: 7 out of 10

This game is still fun to replay even after you've beaten it because, well, it's a fun game. It's not like in role-playing games where you know the whole level and know where all the enemies are, because the routine is different every time. One time you might win, another time someone might knock the heck out of your rear bumper and put you out of the race. One time I was leading on the last lap at Michigan, and I could see the finish line, when I got mashed in the rear bumper. I finished 18th. The possibilities are endless.

Overall: 8 out of 10

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