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Genre: Racing/Driving :: Players: 3+ :: Released: 12/2/06

Raging Thunder 3D Review

Developer: Polarbit

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Stunning graphics and sound
Online and bluetooth capability
3 cars to buy and upgrade

Cons

Controls take a little getting used to

Sound
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
Network
See Compatible Handsets

94

Graphics

95

Sound

94

Controls

88

Playability

96

Lastability

95

Review Details
Handset Nokia 6680

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 12/2/06

It's a shame that we didn't manage to review this game before our awards 2005 as it would have made the choice for top driving game a lot tougher!


With our hectic schedule we don't always get around to reviewing games as early as we would like and Raging Thunder is a prime example of this. If we had managed to fit it in before our awards then it would have been one of the finalists in the driving category, the game is that good.

Graphically, these are probably the best driving game graphics I have seen on a phone. There are some games which look better on some phones than others (like V-Rally on the P900 when it came out) but this just looks stunning on a few different handsets. The cars themselves have a large amount of detail, although I may be biassed as the middle car which is red with white stripes looks exactly like the car I drive in real life :). The cars and tracks are rendered in a 3D polygon environment but what makes the game look so great is the smoothness of the polygons and the way it is rendered. Vivid and full of colour, with graphics this good you may be forgiven for thinking the animation would suffer but no, the cars zoom along the courses, fly through the air and bump into each other with such a sense of speed that you really do enjoy the experience.

I always moan about sound in games. Poor sound or poor FX or both but in this game I have been pleasantly surprised by the fact that you have sound AND FX as wel as controllable volumes on both! The main tune and in game tune is an up tempo funky number which really suits the speed of the racing world and the sound effects both within the game (screeching tyres and great engine noise) and on the menu screens (whizzing piston-like sounds when you select) are superb. You can't really ask for more.

The controls are a little tricky. The car autoaccelerates and so all you have to do is concentrate on steering. Easier said than done as there were no instructions in the demo version. Still, it doesn't take a genius to figure out 4 and 6 turn left and right. 1 and 3 turn while still accelerating and 7 and 9 turn while braking. And for full braking use the 8 button. The car is responsive to controls but some courses you have to turn quite hard and you find yourself bumping along the walls. The different cars have different levels of control and speed is a big factor. You'll pick it up fairly quickly but mastering takes time and for the harder levels it's one of those games where you do have to brake for some of the corners.

Playability is great. As with all driving games what's needed is a sense of fun and speed. This has both in abundance. You can play single player mode to create your profile and race in a quick race, arcade or championship. In championship you can collect cash during a race and also depending on what position you get. You can only progress to the next course once you have qualified (come in positions 1-3) on the existing one. As you get more cash you can soup up your car and buy another one. One slight drawback is there are only 3 cars in the game but this is the demo version so in the final version we may have more. The game gets harder and the courses are all fairly different. What's great about the game is that it's unlikely you'll qualify first time on each course so you have to replay them a few times, building up cash and souping up your car to stand a good chance. During the race there are other icons as well, the lightning symbols are essential to winning the course as they speed you up immensely and the skulls should be avoided as you'll be treated to a sinister laugh as they slow you back down. The variety of the courses is impressive too as there are straight courses, ones with walls, jumps, tight bends etc and each one is different and challenging. The difficulty level is pitched just right as the game gets harder the more you progress. With the courses so much fun to play and the sound and graphics top notch the playability really shines in the game.

The lastability is also excellent as the developers have opted to throw everything in there. In the game you can create up to 3 profiles which you use when playing the different modes. In championship you soup up cars and these are loaded with your profile. The game has the potential to be played via bluetooth or even online! In the online mode you create your own rooms (which have a passcode so not everyone can join) or you can try and join existing rooms and race against whoever you want! As this was a demo version we were unable to test this feature but the final version will have the full functionality. With all of this and the fact you can save your progress and suspend and resume the game, the lastability is as good as the playability.

I think we have a new winner so far in the 2006 category for best driving game, gentlemen, start your engines!