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Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: November 6, 2000
Sierra Attractions has specialized in getting the most out of every product line in recent years. For example, after 3-D Ultra Minigolf, the company released 3-D Ultra Minigolf Deluxe adding several new courses; and after 3-D Ultra Traintown, it is releasing 3-D Ultra Traintown Deluxe with similar kinds of additions. But for many among both the gaming press and consumers there has been the nagging question of whether enough extra value was added to each offering to make purchase of the deluxe version worth the money. Now, with the release of 3-D Ultra Radio Control Racers Deluxe: Traxxas Edition, a sequel to the original 1999 offering 3-D Ultra Radio Control Racers, the same query emerges again.
The most obvious addition in Radio Control Racers Deluxe is a doubling of the total number of tracks from eight to 16. The 14 regular tracks are: Thrill Ride, Traxxas Challenge, Desert, Aztec, RC Racers Pro Am, RC Offroad Classic, Frog Pond, Under Construction, Hillbilly Hill, Backyard, RC Pro-Extreme, Minigolf, Haunted, and Ultimate RC Raceway. The first six of these are new, and they are even more fun with a more varied set of challenges than the old ones. No two tracks present similar challenges, so you have to modify your control techniques as you move from course to course. It is extremely convenient that all the tracks, which present quite diverse indoor and outdoor environments, are open for play from the outset.
Perhaps the most exciting innovation, however, is the introduction of two exciting new game modes, which dramatically expand the whole nature of the offering. The two tracks designated for this purpose are Soccer and Battle Ball. In Soccer you try to use your vehicle to knock a soccer ball into your opponent’s goal; and in Battle Ball you use your vehicle to knock balls of your color into a scoring pit (the balls start out as gray and must be touched to turn color). In both cases computer opponents get tougher as you begin winning more games. Continued from the earlier installment are the single player options of either racing against the computer on a single track or racing in circuit mode — a career option where you may select amateur, pro, or a custom series of races, earn prize money, and purchase upgrades (motor, shocks, and tires) to your vehicle.
The final major change in Radio Control Racers Deluxe is the inclusion of a full-featured body paint editor. For the first time, you no longer are forced to select simply from a few predetermined color schemes. The RC Racers Custom Design Editor puts a robust set of car design tools in your hands. You get to select from a wide assortment of decals, color schemes, and special visual effects. More specifically, in your artistic creation you may either choose from four templates — Blobs, Flames, Stripes, and Chex — or import a custom bitmap of your own. Unfortunately, when you actually race, the vehicles are so minuscule that you can hardly see the effects of your aesthetic designs.
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