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Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: January 19, 2000
Many of you may have missed it, but while 1998 was an absolutely banner year for arcade racing titles, 1999 was a real bust for this genre. I remember right before Christmas thinking back over the year in sorrow, without a single offering released since last January that I could honestly place among my all-time favorites. While many arcade racers were published, all had major flaws. I was beginning to despair about this, as I truly love this type of digital entertainment.
Then, out of the blue, I heard of a German arcade racer named Killer Loop developed by VCC Entertainment and distributed by Crave Entertainment. Its advertising said it was “the ultimate racing game,” so I swallowed my skepticism and decided to give it a look. While the Europeans have historically released the very best arcade racers, they have come from Britain, France, and Sweden. Germany had been strangely silent, and what with VCC having no prior experience developing racing titles, I questioned how this product could be any better than the countless mediocre ones I had seen earlier. I am now a confirmed convert. Squarely in the futuristic category pioneered years ago by Psygnosis’ Wipeout XL and exhibited most recently by Acclaim’s Extreme-G 2, Killer Loop involves an entirely new kind of racing experience developed in the 23rd century as a new form of challenge long after all war and disease had been eradicated.
The innovation and ingenuity in Killer Loop are present in every facet of its design. For example, you do not race cars or motorcycles fueled by gasoline, but rather tripods fueled by magnetic charges, and compete against others in the Magneto-Kinetic League. These swiveling vehicles facilitate a whole new set of racing strategies. You may choose from among 12 different Tripod vehicles, each with unique appearances and performance characteristics, from three different manufacturers, one of whom emphasizes reliability, one safety, and one speed. Although none look like anything you have ever seen before, the differences in the way they skid over the tracks is more than sufficient to provide quite varied racing.
There are no courses that even remotely resemble conventional racing circuits. There are eight tracks available, including Moscow, Mars, Hawaii, two in the Himalayas, Needle Rock, Space Station, and Holodrom. I have never seen a more beautiful set of courses, and each track is so long, I could not believe the time it took before I began the second time around. While normally I just have one favorite track, here I have three: The Hawaiian track with its amazing curving underwater segments; the Needle Rock Track, which astoundingly has you racing around a towering vertical structure; and the Holodrom track, which incorporates racing within a holographic flight simulator that is so psychedelic–with pulsating arches overhead–it is beyond conventional description. The standard of futuristic track design set by Ubi Soft’s POD has not just been exceeded, it has been obliterated.
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