RS II – Riding Spirits
Riding Spirits 2: you have got to admit that the title sounds catchy. However, all the rest this game has to offer is not. I am not just making this up, I’ve spent days trying to come up with a “pro” but there simply is not a single one heavy enough to be a serious one. Unless of course you take its less bad point and compare it with all the utterly bad ones but that is naturally of no use.
I had more fun looking how ugly the graphics are than focusing on the road which is not quite the problem it seems as there is so little to do while driving you have to find something to keep you occupied. The different tracks are diverse though, unfortunately that does not make it feel any better than a polished Playstation One environment.
The worst thing I have ever seen, or heard to be exactly, in my entire life are definitely these sound-effects. When your bike is at top-speed and the road runs straight ahead you will still have to let go of the throttle because the sound that engine makes is unbearable. It’s like a taped sound of a big mosquito buzzing next to your ear and when your bike is at top speed that sound is looped continuously. My friend and I actually made up a game that was more fun based on that sound: you drive your bike with maximum acceleration and the one that can endure the sound the longest wins.
In-game music is turned-off by default and unless you have the brain of an ant, you know what that means. The victory sound reminds me of a “Wheel Of fortune” tune but it expresses the right feeling and some ditties even kept playing while loading. (I really liked that.)
The gameplay concept is quite good I must say, but it is a pity that the elaboration is lousy. They intended to make all different kinds of bikes handle in their own, proper way. For example a dirt-bike requires a completely different handling technique than a naked-bike or scooter. The problem is that it feels as if each bike has a couple of variables like speed, turning-stiffness, acceleration and so on and that they simply gave other values to them for each type of bike which simply doesn’t work. Like in almost all of the racing games you get an intro where they explain that the performance of the bikes are tweaked. “Riding Spirits 2” is no exception although I think they misunderstood a tiny but crucial detail: you have to tweak them for better performance in stead of making them accessible to a ninety year old man who sees a nice substitute for his electric wheel-chair in it.
The single, but very short moment of feel-good was while racing on a dirt-bike as part of the arcade mode “battle 100”. Of course I wanted to repeat this moment of glory hoping this game would have some value after all. Guess what: I can not choose to play this mode separately which was extremely disappointing to say the least. Furthermore you can not change driving position, crashes are plain dumb and the career mode does not encourage to play either.
Crafty as they are, the developers did put some effort in making a tutorial with video interaction and a possibility to try the lesson out which is nice, but they are extremely short and for crying out loud if you want to slow down real quickly you hit the brakes, who on earth does not know that! It reminds me of myself and my year-project of Object-Oriented programming in Java with Swing, XML, threads, sound and everything that you could imagine and I used it all in Mastermind (also known as Code-breaker). Who the hell needs sound or a help built from XML in Mastermind?!
Frankly there is no reason to buy this game, unless you want to please someone who made it. No lack of good intentions, but they ought to work them out properly. The sound is crappy, graphics are far from pleasing and gameplay doesn’t succeed in making me feel more tough than when driving my father’s Astra station-wagon in a 30km-zone. Even the intro can’t show some spectacular footage. I appreciate the effort but it would conflict with all reviewer’s ethic’s to praise this game. Sorry guys.