Reviewed by Joe DeGarmo
Four years ago, Midway/Nintendo developed two arcade games,
Cruis'n USA and Killer Instinct, which were eventually ported
to consoles. The Super NES version of Killer Instinct was great,
but Cruis'n USA ended up being one of the worst translations
ever seen on the N64. Then both arcade games spawned sequels,
Killer Instinct 2 (Gold) and Cruis'n World. Eurocom Entertainment
Software, the developers behind the awesome conversion of
Mortal Kombat 4, took the responsibility of translating a
seemingly outdated, but fun, racer into a really wild racing
experience. Cruis'n World is the game that Cruis'n USA should
have been, plus more.
Graphics 8 out of 10
Eurocom has put in a fine effort to polish up the game to meet
today's standards. The cars (and trucks, buses, etc.) look
noticeably better than the arcade and more realistic. For
example, the Banzai GTV (which is my favorite car, by the way)
has a darker tone and is more detailed, despite the absence of
the text "STOLEN" from the license plate. (It would have been
nice if they could have printed "BANZAI" on the license plate
and "BELAIR" on the plate of the El Nino.) The backgrounds have
a nice touch of 3D with fragile statues and stone pillars, while
the different roadways and terrains have nice texture to them.
The frame rate moves at a steady rate with no slowdown, even
on the multiplayer mode. The only major graphical flaw with Cruis'n
World is the lack of visibility in the roadways. It seems as if
though most of the track has been cut off and you can only see
from about 100 yards away. But that's due to the lack of complexity
on the tracks, which does not carry as much as Rush 2. Other
than that, Cruis'n World is a nice looking game.
Music and Sound 9 out of 10
When you crank up your TV or entertainment system, you will
notice the beauty of the sound effects. The crunching of
car collisions, horns, engines, and tire squealing have a
realistic feel to it. You will also notice that when you set
the audio mode to stereo, crashes can be heard from the
speaker that resembles the side of your car that the collisions
occur. Although the sound effects are programmed in stereo, the
music is still monaural. Even with that, Cruis'n World has a
fine soundtrack that plays different tunes, depending on the
country that you are racing on. "Euro House" and "Cairo Cruis'n"
are perhaps the finest well-done tunes and are CD quality. The
other tunes are also good arcade conversions.
Game Challenge 8 out of 10
Cruis'n World offers three gameplay modes: Cruise, Championship,
and Practice. The Cruise Mode is just like the arcade; race
down a strip of road while avoiding traffic. The Championship
Mode pits you against your opponents on a loop with no traffic,
while racing in laps. The Practice Mode lets you drive at your
own pace on any track and if you select the same track after
completing it, you will race against a ghost version of your
car Mario Kart-style. As an added bonus, if you can successfully
beat the target times on the Championship tracks, then you can
gain access to many new screaming machines. Of all the gameplay
modes, the Championship Mode is the most challenging way to
cruise. With lots of secrets, a point-scoring system, and over-
the-top stunts, Cruis'n World is a game that is difficult to
put down, especially if you have loved the arcade version.
Game Play-Fun 9 out of 10
Cruis'n World packs in a lot of elements that make it a fun
game for all ages. For one, no more cheesy collisions found
in Cruis'n USA. The style moves allow for lots of strategy
as you can pull off stunts as you need them in different
situations. Beating the record times, especially your own,
is quite a chore, but a good reason for you to keep coming
back for more. If you feel like it, you can select the Cruise
Mode and intentionally plow into traffic cars and hear the
drivers scream, just for fun and laughs. Driving the different
types of vehicles provide a cool experience, especially when
driving the double-decker Conductor bus on the moon.
Rumble Pak 10 out of 10
As far as I am concerned, Cruis'n World supports the Rumble Pak
better than most N64 games on the market. Not only does it give
you the feel of sheer realism, but individual settings can also
be modified. For example, you can choose the Rumble Pak to either
vibrate softly or shake violently when driving off-road. The
high settings provide incredible force feedback, but be warned
that higher settings will wear out your batteries quickly, so
adjust the settings reasonably.
One of my biggest complaints about Cruis'n World is the lack
of difficulty balance of the tracks. Most of the tracks are
pretty simple, but a select few, like Australia and the moon
tracks, are annoyingly difficult and most of the time, are
almost impossible to beat. Also, what happened to the running-
over-the-poles deal from the arcade version? Every time I
run into a street lamp, my car completely stops, causing me
to lose several places.
Replayability 9 out of 10
Once again, if you liked the arcade version, chances are you
will like the N64 version more. The wide variety of tracks
will surely keep your interest up for a long while when you
are attempting to hack away at the record times. The vehicles
feel different when it comes to handling and speed and
eventually, you would want to attempt to complete the gameplay
modes with every vehicle. The three and four-player modes are
not quite up to par, but the two-player mode rocks. Overall,
a great game for all age groups.
Game Value 9 out of 10
If you have always had the habit of frequently running down
to your local arcade and dropping lots of quarters in the
Cruis'n World machine, then the N64 version will solve all
of your problems. For those of you that have never played it
in the arcade, then you might want to rent this game first
before purchasing. Good price for the game.
Control 7 out of 10
Cruis'n World controls remarkably better than the original.
The cars turn smoothly, though there is still a little bit of
oversteering that plagued Cruis'n USA. Fortunately, that is
not as bad as before. The trick moves take some time to master,
but there are several neat tricks that you can pull off.
Sometimes, you may have trouble performing the move that you
want. There may be times that you would try to do a side-wheelie
to pull off a Mega Roll, but your car does a Super Heli instead.
For that reason, trick moves must be timed perfectly in order
to be executed.
Overall 9 out of 10
Overall, Cruis'n World is a good game that can appeal to all
gamers as a whole. The tracks, cars, stunts, and humor employ
a fun racing experience as well as making it a great party
game. Better than the arcade, Cruis'n World is one of the
best driving games that the N64 has to offer.