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California Speed

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Reviewed by Roy Koopa California Speed is a fun racing game, and the tracks are cool to race on. However, the lack of three- or four-player action and some things missing from the arcade version downgrade this game. This is a racing game for people who like the "arcade" style of racing games. But if you want a lot of multi player racing action, you should stick with a game like Mario Kart 64 or Diddy Kong Racing.

Graphics: B-

The graphics are pretty nice in places like Silicon Valley and Central Valley (the computer and the mall), but otherwise, the graphics aren't too great. For example, the girls at the end of the races look like cardboard cutouts. The same is true with the people in the cars themselves. Plus, they could have done a better job in the U.F.O. and the aquarium. It just doesn't give you the feel of being in those places, except in the two races I mentioned before (Silicon and Central Valley). The California track also looks pretty nice.

Music and Sound: B+

The music is pretty good in the Central Valley, where it changes from farm music to the mall music quickly. The other music is pretty cool too. However, there aren't too many interesting sound effects. The crashing sounds are good, but it doesn't add sound effects in the U.F.O. or most other places. They could have added more sounds to spice it up, but they did a pretty good job otherwise.

Game Challenge: A-

This game is pretty challenging, especially when it takes you the entire race mistake-free just to catch up with the leader. In this one the computers aren't perfect, and they'll wreck into other cars, which gives you a chance. But sometimes, you'll hit a car, and you'll lose three positions. Plus, if you hit a wall and can't get turned around (no reverse controls), you'll be last for sure. And for even more challenge, they make some shortcuts actually bad to take, which can make you get slowed down more than just racing the normal track. So the challenge is pretty difficult.

Game Play-Fun: B

Here's another mixed review: the tracks are fun to race on, but with only two players available, it loses the fun of a three- or four- player race found in other games like it, such as Cruisin' USA or World. Another problem is the fact that if you want to have a two-player race with a lot of traffic, the game won't offer much, even on Heavy level. (In my opinion, there should probably be a "Rush Hour" setting that is even more hazardous.) The races are most of the time close, so that does add more excitement. But the lack of 3- or 4- player modes hurts this rating.


This game is especially frustrating thanks to a lack of a reverse control. It is even more annoying when the computers start out great and it takes you the entire race to catch up. Sometimes you don't catch up, and that is even more frustrating.

Replayability: B

It is fun to play over again when you like a certain track, but in a one-player race, you probably won't want to keep trying and trying. Basically, it's replay able in two-player mode but not in one-player mode.

Game Value: A-

The only reason I bought this game is because it was on sale at $27. If it was any higher I would regret buying it, but if you can get it at $30 or lower, you should think about buying it.

Overall: B-

This game lacks the fun of the arcade version (trying to run people down is a lot more fun), and the lack of a 3- or 4- player mode makes my opinion of this game even worse. This game is good if you liked the arcade one and like other ones like it (Cruisin' USA and World come to mind), but otherwise, it's only average.

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