System Rush Nokia N-Gage Review
System Rush is a cyber-punk styled, high octane, futuristic 3D racing game set in the underground world of unethical multi-nationals. Framed for an electronic crime, you choose between two hackers who hack into the virtual worlds, racing in vehicles called Co-Vecs until the networks are ‘Owned’.
The game has a very nice style to it, taking influences from F-Zero, Wipeout and Tron, it has created a little niche of its own which makes this game pretty good. Beginning with the first network the graphics start off pretty bland with not many effects going off and a very short track. The tracks employ a graphical style with design and colours in use just like Tron; get used to lots of blacks and strobe effects. The Co-Vecs you use are designed with F-Zero/Wipeout in mind and are very minimalistic in their use of colours. This works very effectively though. The game manages to maintain a steady framerate of around 25 fps, although at some points this can drop to almost 9-10 fps when a lot is going on. The only gripe I have about the graphics is that due to the system constraints some of the scenery refreshes very late. It can easily catch you by surprise and one crash means you take a while to get back to speed.
The button layout is easy to pick up and utilises the same slight tapping of the D-pad that other futuristic racers do; think somewhere between Wipeout and F-Zero and you are there. The intuitive controls and the ease with which you control your craft is great for first time gamers and you quickly find yourself zooming through the levels at great speed. The handling of the craft is pretty good and with the styling based between Wipeout and F-Zero it handles similarly to those two games, with quick and twitchy handling you have to be on your toes to win the races. Progression through the levels is made by coming first in each race and, believe me, you have to come first, which initially is quite annoying, especially when you feel cheated by the computer … but then again this always happens in racing games. Winning the races advances you to the next stage, naturally, and with the victory comes credits you can use to upgrade your Co Vec in one of four departments: Grip, Speed, Drift and Aero (Aerodynamics). To be honest I only ever upgraded my Co Vec in the speed dept. The handling was similar to other racing games that I’ve played before so I was instantly familiar with the way the game played and speed was the only area I ever felt needed improvement.
Being played on a small handheld the game obviously does not boast the best soundtrack ever heard in a game, but the sound is consistent throughout, from the thumping soundtrack on the title screen (reminiscent of something from fruityloops or an old school racer) to the little crash sounds when you bash into the walls. The soundtrack tries to be a bit new age with almost dance-lite tracks which never really wow but don’t grate and are easily forgotten whilst racing and straight after the race.
Being a mobile racing game you can’t really be expecting a Gran Turismo style career mode. I must have finished the game’s main story within a week of starting but there are lots of other modes within the game to keep you going such as Free Hack Mode (Time Attack), GP Mode, Multiplayer and the N-Gage Arena (which I wasn’t able to access for some reason).
Being set over five different networks gives you a fair amount of whack to get on with, and for quick journeys via train or bus its very easy to whip out and have a bash (speaking about the N-Gage. DarkZero does not condone the whipping out of your penis on public transport). Coupled with fairly quick load times, and the potential to have a good online following if marketed correctly. This is a game that could, and probably should, be well received by most who play it. The game is no ‘classic’ but the things it does it manages to do convincingly and well. Overall, for a portable racing game you have enough here to sate you for a while and impress your friends at the same time.