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Cruis'n World

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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the developers behind the awesome conversion of Mortal Kombat 4, took the responsibility of translating a seemingly outdated, but fun, racer into a really wild racing experience.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.

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