By Tibe

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Neo Geo did not hosted a lot of racing games during its career, the most popular probably remaining Riding Hero and Thrash Rally, released during the youngest years of the system. If Neo Drift Out from Visco was released only for the MVS, ADK's Overtop was sold for the AES the same year (1996). Both titles kept relatively confidential, as Neo Drift Out experienced a moderate success in the arcades while its rival is to this day one of the rarest Neo Geo games, due to the low amount of sales. Nevertheless, we're still facing in this match the best "arcade racing games" of the machine! Accusing respectively 106 and 212 megs at the weighing, our two competitors use a 3/4 high view specific to this kind of game in the nineties. Visco's soft even features a zoom system when the speed is high, in order to provide a better field of vision.

GRAPHICS

And these famous zooms allow Neo Drift Out to offer a closer view and therefore more details on vehicles and roads sides. However, the game from ADK is more varied about the surroundings, but also more finely drawn and more colored. The game interface is also more fun with different "dashboards" for the vehicles. If its rival still does pretty good and offers very nice graphics, we must recognize that Overtop aesthetics are a little better, either for the tracks or the different cars.

NEO DRIFT OUT .......... 81%

 OVERTOP ..................... 84% 

ANIMATION

In this kind of racing game, reflexes are put to the test! Forget Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo: realism and technical moves stay in the locker room! The titles in this versus are two worthy representative of the arcade racing style as it was meant to be in the nineties. Scrollings are very fast, physics of the cars are dynamic and well decomposed, all this serving a gameplay that requires cat reflexes. Neo Drift Out here takes a slight advantage on Overtop not only with its zooms that are well managed and provide a real plus to the action, but also with the pace that is a little more dynamic than its rival. ADK's title is still dynamic and fast-paced, and makes up a little with the amount of animated details, better than NDO.

NEO DRIFT OUT .......... 93%

 OVERTOP ..................... 90% 

SOUND

If Overtop features more different themes than its rival, one can not say we're facing virtuosity on one side or the other. The engine sounds are really average, especially for Visco's baby: the three cars have the same sound, namely that of a lawn mower. Overtop is a bit better and proposes different effects for each machine. The various sounds during races are substantially equal in both games, lifting the soundtracks of our two titles at a decent level ... no more, no less.

NEO DRIFT OUT .......... 76%

 OVERTOP ..................... 78% 

REPLAY VALUE

Overtop as well as Neo Drift Out are relatively short with respectively six stages, three different vehicles, fifteen minutes to complete the game for Visco's game against seven races, eight vehicles and only five minutes for ADK's soft! But rest assured, the reasons to come back willingly are many: first you have to clear the game, which can hardly be done the first time you play. Particularly for Overtop which is more difficult than its opponent. Then the challenge against the clock is exciting, and it's a treat to try improving your best lap while discovering the many shortcuts that hide in one and the other. There's finally the pleasure of discovering the different vehicles, and there Overtop takes advantage with eight cars against three. The replay values are proving good although the games are short, with a persistent replay value, even after hours of play.

NEO DRIFT OUT .......... 62%

 OVERTOP ..................... 67% 

GAMEPLAY

Reflexes, skill, anticipation, precision... arcade racing is a genre that requires a lot of qualities! But the room for improvement is good : if when you start playing you're a little rubbing against the walls and make the mower, one quickly learns to fly with this aerial view and ends up mastering rapid scrollings and turns. Neo Drift Out is a showcase for slippage and speed : forget the brake pedal , it's useless ! Oh yes, you'll use it two or three times all through the game... You'll have to anticipate the best trajectories, to use carefully the stick when passing the curves as fast as possible , but also to learn the stages roughly by heart, in order to use the most effective shortcuts. The three cars fly in much the same way: there's the fast one (Celica), the one which hangs the road (Lancer) and the balanced one (Impreza). Different surfaces affect the grip and performance of cars, it's up to you to adapt! In Overtop , the environments are more varied than in NDO : asphalt , mud, sand , snow, ice , river, rainy road, night ... what a variety! And all the eight vehicles have their strengths and weaknesses. If Lamborghini and Ferrari are untouchable on the asphalt, good luck in stony or snowy passages ! However, the Jeep or motorcycle prove absolutely comfortable everywhere but are slower, while the Peugeot 106 or 4x4 are more balanced. Every car behaves differently, and maneuverability in Overtop is a little different from that of Visco's soft. If the brake pedal is a little more used, the control isn't more technical , but requires a longer learning time.

NEO DRIFT OUT .......... 87%

 OVERTOP ..................... 85% 

CONCLUSION

Neo Drift Out and Overtop are almost even in this match. If the first offers a significantly better driving experience, the second provides more replay value; if the game of Visco has a better animation, ADK's production packs the best graphics... For my part, I give a slight advantage to Overtop: eight vehicles, the variety of environments and multitude of shortcuts to discover make it a little more attractive than NDO, which makes takes advantage on technique and scoring... Now, it's up to you to choose!

NEO DRIFT OUT

78%

 

OVERTOP

79% 


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