Supercar Street Challenge may go
down in history as the game with the most wasted potential. Making your own
"supercar" and then tearing around city streets at 250 mph sounds like a gear
heads wet dream come true. It is just too bad that while the game has nothing but
good intentions, it falls flat as far as execution is concerned.
Creating your own car with the
Steve Saleen Styling Studio is really cool for the first five minutes. After that time,
you will have realized that your design choices are severely limited and tweaking your
cars performance consists of allotting points to handling, brakes, acceleration, and
top speed. When altering the look of your car, you are stuck with only changing the entire
front section and the entire back section, choosing from a handful of styles for each end
and then determining how much the new piece influences your car. You can also choose
mirrors, wheels, and spoilers, but these additional options are fairly limited as well.
Creating your own car and then racing it is a great idea, but it is very poorly executed
here. It is too bad that this is the only real draw of an otherwise average game.
Once you either create your car or choose one of the stock cars
such as a Saleen 57, a Zonda C12-5, or a Rinspeed E-Go Rocket, you can tackle the
championship mode and try to earn new parts for your custom car. These races will fly by
rather quickly as they are ridiculously easy. It is easy to win every race and upgrade
your car to its maximum performance. After that, it is just going through the motions to
win races because you will be so far ahead of your computer-controlled opponents. Your
only real threat to winning is your own driving on the somewhat sloppy course design.
Impossibly sharp corners follow long straight stretches and you are expected to brake and
go through slowly. Of course, the computer always seems to be able to corner at twice the
speed you are able to. If you mess up on these corners too much, you will be playing catch
up to win races. It is merely a matter of blowing past the computer on the straights, so
no real struggle to get back to the front.
Graphically, SSC falls flat on its face. Everything looks very
bland and only the cars serve to break up the monotony. What is possibly the worst part,
however, is that the game moves very slowly. You have no sense of speed whatsoever because
the game seems to crawl by despite your speedometer reaching well past two hundred miles
per hour. Braking and cornering becomes guesswork because at high speeds it takes longer
to slow down and corner. That is the same in every game, but because of the sluggish pace
of the game, you either brake too late or too early, making the sharp corners especially
frustrating. Another graphical aspect that is absolutely unacceptable is how poorly the
game runs. For a game that runs so slowly and looks so bland, you would think it could
push 60 frames per second all the time. Sadly, even on my Pentium 4 1.7 GHz with a GeForce
3, the game stumbles and stutters. The rapidly fluctuating frame rate causes the already
slow gameplay to seem all the more sluggish. Ive read several reviews that have had
the same problem with setups similar to mine, and this is just unacceptable. I almost feel
bad for people with slower systems trying to play this game, because it will just look and
play even worse.
SSC sounds as good as it looks, which isnt very good. The
cars all sound like Honda Civics and the music is typical boring house music. Dont
be afraid to just turn off the sound and play with your own music. Or just skip all that
hassle and dont play the game at all. That may be the safest bet.
I had really high expectations for Supercar Street Challenge. I
thought the idea of creating your own car and then racing it alongside all of the great
supercars of today was great. I followed its development up until its release
and read all of the reviews, but hoped that it would be better than they all said. Sadly,
SSC is just as bad as everyone had warned. It is incredibly average on all fronts and
pales in comparison to similar racing titles. It looks bad and moves extremely sluggishly.
Supercar Street Challenge had a lot of potential, but wasted it. Hopefully, this idea of
creating and racing your own car will be attempted again and executed better. Until then,
keep away from SSC.