Racing games are probably one of my favorite genres, but they really didn’t come into their own until the 32/64 bit generation of consoles, when systems became capable of things like analog control and respectable 3D rendering. It’s hard to stress just how important those things are to people who haven’t experienced them firsthand. Playing a racing game on the Genesis is kind of like trying to drive a car with severe cataracts and some kind of advanced degenerative nerve condition that really, really impairs your motor skills – you can only see about 10 feet in front of you, your steering wheel is capable only of going perfectly straight or swerving as hard as possible in either direction, and every time you hit the gas or brake, you put the pedal to the metal.
In other words, every console driving game prior to 1995 was basically just Pole Position, except (maybe) prettier. There are a few Genesis racing games that managed to overcome these shortcomings and actually be fun, but most were just frustrating, which, for those of you who are sticklers and demand that we have valid explanations for crossing games off our list– that is the real reason why we’re eliminating these ten games today.
Of course, for those of you who are just here for a laugh, we also went ahead and came up with an alternate silly reason to revoke each game’s Seal of Quality. Enjoy!
Outrun 2019 – If your futuristic rocket car were really going 600+ mph like the game says it is, those skyscrapers in the background would have to be over 13 miles away for you to not reach them until the first checkpoint. Isn’t math fun?
Outrunners – Because this is what we were really looking for – a split screen version of Outrun so it’s even harder to see what coming up on the road ahead.
Kawasaki Superbike Challenge – Complete this sentence: “Despite crashing his motorcycle directly into a pole at 172mph…”
- …investigators were eventually able to identify the remains.”
- …doctors believe the rider may eventually walk again.”
- …casualties from the collapsing grandstand were relatively low.”
- …the rider managed to hang onto his lead and win the race.”
Apparently, the correct answer is #4. Who would have thought?
Virtua Racing – It took the additional power of the 32X just to make this game only sort-of terrible, so no – the regular ol’ Genesis version isn’t very good.
Quad Challenge – The title either refers to the fact that this is a game about racing 4-wheel ATVs, or – more likely – it’s an admission that it sucks about 4 times as much as most other racing games.
ESPN Speed World – A completely disappointing sequel to the classic ESPN Cocaine Adventure.
Super Hang-On – Ironically, the only really fun parts of the game come whenever you fail to hang on to the bike.
Ferrari Grand Prix Challenge – I slid off the course and hit a sign on almost every single turn, and still managed to finish second-last. What was the other guy driving, a Ford Focus?
Super Monaco GP – Combines the excitement of Grand Prix racing with… well, something that is really good at neutralizing excitement, I guess.
Skitchin’ – It’s skatin’. It’s hitchin’. It’s fuckin’ atrocious.