Reviewed in 2011 by Tibe

BRAKES ARE FOR PUSSIES

by Tibe

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My god, this is horrible ... The news has just come, please everyone keep calm: Visco has struck again! Certainly, the japanese company showed pretty effective on the Neo Geo, since it shown one of the most prolific editor on the system, next to SNK, the parent company, and ADK, a corporation related to the first one. After the Shoot them Up (Andro Dunos),  the VS fighting (Breakers), the puzzle game (Neo Mr Do!), The soccer (Goal! Goal! Goal!), gentlemen, fasten your seat belts and start your engines, it's racing time! The editor is not at its first attempt in the genre, as it has previously released several arcade version of this game, including the first one in 1991, Drift Out, and a few years later Drift Out 94 '. This version promises to be the most successful of the series with a 106 Mb size, rewarded with the pompous "New Technology" subtitle. It looks pretty good with the dynamic introduction and its techno music, presenting the different cars: we know we'll be dealing with a speedy, intensive game.

The art of drifting will have no secrets for you.
The art of drifting will have no secrets for you.

Only three vehicles are selectable, but not least: you can choose between the Toyota Celica (the fastest one), the Subaru Impreza (the balanced one) and the Mitsubishi Lancer (the more maneuverable). We then get on the first track, which is only a Practice stage to help familiarizing with the controls, before starting the time trials on international renowned events. The commands are very simple: the car is oriented with the multi-directional stick, the A button is used to accelerate and B to brake. B button you'll have few opportunity to use, as the driving is pretty much based on drifting at full speed in the turns! It 's a resolutely arcade gameplay, no doubt on that side. In total there are six races to win, happening everywhere on the globe, bringing you struggling with varied surfaces such as clay, asphalt, snow or ice. The graphics present a nice variety of landscapes, as we move from Africa to Europe via some specials in Scandinavian countries, providing an enjoyable diversity in driving techniques.

Certain shortcuts are good, some other will waste your time.
Certain shortcuts are good, some other will waste your time.

Different environments and vehicles are drawn in a realistic style, certainly not lacking colors: it's visually very nice, with perfectly mastered perspectives. In addition, Visco had the good idea to have the players exploring varied landscapes, providing sometimes snowy roads lined with snowdrifts, sometimes dirt tracks  in the jungle and of course, several open roads through cities. The animation is the main strength of Neo Drift Out. Powerful zooms occur when you're turning or when lowering speed, while the camera moves away from the car when the pace is accelerating, to provide more visual field. All these mechanisms are well managed and provide a nice sensation of speed! The multi-directional scrolling is flawless and stress is quick to come, as reflexes are much solicited. The soundtrack is not lacking quality, with few themes that are a bit repetitive, but catchy enough to fit the action. The voice indicating directions or commenting on your exploits is in the 'racing' line, while the sound effects deserved a little more care, especially for the engines: it's just average.

The Subaru is balanced, with good power and handling.
The Subaru is balanced, with good power and handling.

Anyway, the best feature in Neo Drift Out still remains the driving pleasure it packs! Vehicles meet the finger and the eye, but reflexes above average will be required to pass tight turns, pins and other obstacles while keeping achieving a good chrono. The controls can be learned best by driving and making mistakes, but one can progress quickly and it's interesting to try improving your best times, once you grasp some of the subtleties. Besides improving the trajectories and passage speeds in turns, each race features a certain amount of shortcuts ... that are up to you to discover! The only criticism that can be made to Visco's soft soft is its life. The game offers only six events (excluding practice), and they can be cleared fast. Besides the challenge of improving your own records, you'll quickly make the turn with the three vehicles available. Three or four more races would not have hurt. But ket's not spoil our fun, since we're dealing here with an excellent arcade racing game, packing good controls and memorable fun.


GRAPHICS

81%

The six stages are beautiful and varied, while vehicules are well drawn. Anyway, it's a little bit inferior to Overtop, for example.
ANIMATION 93%
Scrolling speed combined with intense zooms is providing great sensations! Cars moves are well decomposed and it's a pleasure to see such fluidity.
SOUND 76%
Musics are catchy but few, vocals are excellent: effects are just average.
REPLAY VALUE 62%
Fifteen minutes to clear the six races, provided you're not disqualified by the chrono! It's a bit short, but there's still three vehicles to discover and the duel with the chrono.
GAMEPLAY 87%
Mastering the driving doesn't take too long, the car responds perfectly and it's great to drift with these legendary cars.

NEOGEOKULT

RATE

78%
A very good arcade racing game, a little bit short but catchy and well made.

VALUE FOR MONEY

With a such an expensive conversion (about 200 euros), let's say that you have to love 3d isometric racing games! A little expensive considering its replay value, Neo Drift Out yet stands as an excellent racing game for the system.

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