Your attacks aren’t limited to the front, however, as there are several weapon modules that rear-fire. The most basic of these deploys bouncing mines that scatter across the track, more often than not gouging a chunk out of your enemy’s shield reserves. For those situations when you’ve got a particularly aggressive tail, the rear blasters are a better choice. Benefiting you in two ways, the blasters kick out a lance of flaming propellant behind your bike, thus increasing your overall speed for short sprints. At the same time as you accelerate, the fiery tail can be used to blast the paint from your opponent’s cycle. For the ultimate in pest removal, though, the rear cannon’s diminutive size belies a massive punch, as it can release over 1000 flechettes at a rear target in the span of a minute. The best part about this little eviscerator is that it auto tracks the closest opponent, meaning you can deal death while still giving your full concentration to the track ahead.
Some of the more exotic weapons require a degree of finesse, but will reward you in their use. The disrupter effectively shuts down any bike’s weapon systems upon a successful hit, meaning you can approach, pass and so forth with minimal resistance. You can have a similarly debilitating effect on your enemy’s handling with the destabilizer as well. Finally, we come to the Leech, a surprisingly effective device that latches onto your target for a short period of time. Once it does so, a one-way channel drains shield energy from your opponent’s battery and into yours, resulting in more protection, boost and so forth for you, and the opposite for your target. The most skillful of the finesse weapons, the Leech can easily turn the tide on the final stretch.
There are two distinct flavors of racing in Extreme G 3, and many players will gravitate towards the arcade mode, since it offers both pick up and play appeal, plus the multiplayer modes. Unlike the PS2 release of this title, the GameCube’s version supports four players with no problem, simply quartering the screen. In these modes you select your track from those available and equip your bike with a limited number of weapons and upgrades, then head out on the track. This mode defines quick, easy play and will appeal to arcade sensibilities.
Not all of the tracks are available at first and you’ll have to tackle either the XG Career or Team Career in order to access them. The modes progress very similarly, except that in the team based version you can play in a series of cooperative multiplayer matches. Either way, your racer starts with a bike and little else, the game leaving your fame and prosperity strictly up to you. As you run through the rookie courses, your placing determines your prize and whether or not you will be able to continue in the tournament. At any time off the course you can examine your rider’s bike and statistics, and you can also plan a quick trip to the mall. So long as you have the right funds in your account, the merchants are more than happy to sell you new parts for your bike. Not only will you find the weapons mentioned above, but extra shield batteries, ammo packs, larger engines and more are all ready to be installed. Progressing through the career mode allows you to access new tracks as well, making it a worthwhile investment time wise.