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Top Racer Collection : Review

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When I first heard about the Top Racer collection, I wasn’t too familiar, but after discovering Top Racer is the Japanese name for the popular Top gear games of the early 90’s I whipped out the helmet in excitement and put the pedal to the metal.

Barry Leitch might not be a household name for many, but the man behind the popular Lotus Esprit games was also part of the Top Gear team who brought us Top Gear, Top Gear 2 and Top Gear 3000 in the early 90’s. The trilogy was incredibly successful especially in Latin America, which served as inspiration for the Brazilian developers behind Horizon Chase: World Tour.

Now the originals are being brought back to the modern era, as well as the new addition of Top Racer Crossroads, which is an evolution on the original games rom, let’s see if the collection can keep the speed up.

The Top Racer colleciton delivers us all four games, each game obviously feels very similar, but the main differences are the evolution of the fracnshise from game to game.

Top Racer is a lap-based racer, where you have to battle through a field of 20 racers. Collisions with the other cars slow you down and in typical early 90’s fashion it’s quite a challenging game when the main AI racer would run a near perfect race, making anything better than 2nd place a tough call.

The Second title, Top Racer 2, adds car upgrades, more variation between tracks and a single screen display (rather than being forced to play split-screen, even in single-player, however in what might just be a launch bug, you start with near infinite money, so you can upgrade your car fully straight away. This does ruin any feelings of progression, the other downside is that the game is every bit as challenging as the first game and with other cars swaying around the track, it feels a little unfair but at least you only need to finish top 10 to progress.

Top Racer 3000, feels like the most complete experience from the series, steering is more controlable, hitting obstacles is a hurdle, not a race ruining hindrance and racing feel much fairer, with good performances, usually rewarded with first place.

Theres also a little storyline with a race of the ages held across the galaxy, my only real criticism is why are they still racing old-fashioned cars when they have UFOs that can get from planet to planet.

The final installment Top Racer: Crossroads is very similar to the original and built from the same rom, maybe I’d just had plenty of practice, but I did find it a little easier to control and was able to win races more consistently than the first two games.

As you’ll expect from arcade collections, there’s no real surprises with the graphics or sound, everything is as it should be and most important of all of runs perfectly smooth without any glitches or noticeable slowdown.

There’s also local and online multiplayer, cross-gen multiplayer between Xbox one and Xbox Series gamers, as well as smart delivery.

While I did come away feeling a little disappointed with the first game, it’s commendable to keep loyal to it’s roots, and while I feel the money issue needs fixing on Top Racer 2 for it to be a viable option for game time, there’s nod wanting Top Racer 3000 and Top Racer: Crossroads are both worth investing a few hours into.

The final issue has to be the overall price, at $19.99, it’s not a bad price, but with Top Racer and Top Racer Crossroads near identical, and the money issues preventing any real longevity with Top Racer 2, most of my time has been with 3000 and Crossroads, which makes the $20 price tag feel a little high.

overall, I’ve enjoyed my time with the Top Racer: Collection, even if I feel most of the enjoyment will come from half the package.

I prefer arcade collections with a little more variety, but fans of early 90’s racers will be sure to find at least 1 or 2 of the games well worth the time and money.

Top Racer: Collection

Review by Lee Palmer



fans of early 90’s racers will be sure to find at least 1 or 2 of the games well worth the time but might question the value of the entire package.


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