This week I decided to try to my skill outs on a game that was once used in the Nintendo World Championships way back in 1990. It was announced that Nintendo is bringing the championships back, so I decided to see how I would be if I were to compete back in 1990. In the original championships there were there playable games, Super Mario Bros., Tetris and Rad Racer. Out of the three I wanted to choose the one I had never played before, I sat down and played Rad Racer.
At first I didn’t know if the sound was broken, because until you actually start a race it’s completely silent. You press start to get to a screen where there are two cars shown, I tried to see if I could pick the white car but it wouldn’t let me. You’re shown the track before the race so you know where the checkpoints are, but it really doesn’t matter because you never actually see the map while playing. The only indicator is a series of arrows that light up the closer you get to your next checkpoint, but even those are easy to scale. The controls are as simple as you can imagine, A to accelerate and B to Brake while you use left and right on the directional pad to steer. The game reminded me of a less busy Outrun, the street appears the same way it does in Outrun but you don’t have a girl with you and you’re not near a beach. When driving the car you really have to time your turns because a late turn means you’ll be out in the sand slowing down, or crashing into a tree or pole and losing time. The brake should be used, but very sparingly. You have a timer counting down and you need to get to the next checkpoint to add more time, so it doesn’t matter if you bump a few cars just as long as you stay on the road. After you hit the first checkpoint the game appears to think you’ll perform the next section perfectly because I kept missing the checkpoint by seconds. When you don’t complete the race you get to see the useless map again, but this time you see how far you went and how close you came to your next checkpoint. After a few tries I figured that the mid 3000’s was going to be my best and stopped playing.
The one thing that really got to me was that I couldn’t get past the first course. There are pictures of different levels with actual backgrounds and even some time changes, all of which I will never see because I’m not a perfect Rad Racer driver. The more I play these old games, I feel like the screenshots on the back were there just to suck you into a game where you’ll never see them because its too hard.