Game Size: 128K
Game Type: Isometric Racing
Other Ways to Play: Wii Virtual Console (SMS)
Power Base Convertor Playable?: Yes, 6 Button Pad Capable.
Price I Paid: 5 Dollars
Price I Would Pay: 5 Dollars
Condition: Game, Case, Manual
Game Rating: OK
My History: Bought roughly as I started the project. One of my first pickups.
Enduro Racer is an arcade conversion, but a conversion in the NES school. Since it couldn't remotely match the arcade game which was another of the Sega Scaler styled third person view games (even though they tried a large amount of times on the SMS, and a number of 8 and 16 bit microcomputers of the day got ports trying to play like the arcade game) Sega decided to make an isometic racer instead to maybe compete with Excitebike on the NES.
Next three shots are from an actual SMS
Next two shots are from a Genesis with Power Base Convertor
Except without course editors or multiplayer. And everywhere outside of Japan apparently only got half the courses. Yes. Sega cut their game effectively in HALF outside of Japan.
You see in this game you race your dirt bike over ten courses trying to beat the timer which sometimes adds in a few rollover seconds to the next course. In between races you get points you can spend on one race upgrades for your bike, including the mysterious ITEM which fixes some damage to your ride. (The only real carry over between each race.) These points are gained via passing the dumb as bricks AI vehicles who are the only thing that really changes on races 6-10 where you replay the first five tracks only with a shorter time limit. They become more aggressive and ruin your racing line.
Oh yeah, and you cannot touch them. You touch them you crash, costing you valuable seconds. You can also have this similar effect via hitting walls, large rocks, pits, or going for a glub glub sinkage in water hazards.
Next seven shots are from the Kega Fusion emulator.
Catching big ass air while on the same track as a bunch of dune buggies. That makes sense.
I crashed into a thing. Was it an AI rider or the stonework still on the track? I dunno.
Mistakes have been made. And now my rider has a sinking feeling.
Since this isn't a 70's movie my bike merely slides down and doesn't tumble and explode at the bottom.
The graphics honestly are quite nice for a 1987 game. Provided you play it in an emulator or have a Genesis with Power Base Convertor and all that PVM nonsense with the SCARTS or whatever the hell else one uses.
Doing a pretty good run here.
Now the dune buggies are gone. In their place are a bunch of annoying ass dirt bikers who keep getting in the way of my near perfect racing line. Jerks.
In general your goal is to memorize each track to keep your speed as close to maximum as you can which is slowed down via things like going off the track, driving over rough terrain, smaller rocks (which also cause a few minor points of bike damage), and other such annoyances. In a few of the tracks there is a nearly ideal line you barely have to deviate off of once you get your slightly difficult to see bike on said line. Given the isometric 8 bit perspective it is not always perfectly clear if you are lined up perfectly. And of course most of the tracks do things to keep you from just holding the gas button and just driving in a straight line. (The manual says you can keep your speed decreasing from ramp landings by adjusting your bike on the ground contact but if it does anything I sure as Hell can't tell!) Memorizing the tracks is also essential so you know when and where to use your upgrade points for the next race. The points can only be used once and the upgrade is only for that race so you gotta be smart.
Control is pretty solid otherwise, with some big air you can catch and even control your movement during so which is kind of fun.
The problem is? There just isn't much to it all. I haven't even completed it. I have made it to the second run of the tracks but have no real desire or interest to master the game to the point of making it through them since if you time out it is GAME OVER, no continues.
(And while I DO sometimes use save states in emulation to make it further in these games for the reviews I just don't have that great of a desire to do so this month for the reviews. This is my slack month.)
Master System Play: It seems to pretty much look the same as the Genesis with Power Base as the screenshots above show. The Genesis has slightly less bleed but in general it doesn't really effect things at all. Control is solid with everything besides the Master System Pad. Genesis 6 button pad and the SMS stick work lovely though.
So for this game I can honestly give it only an OK. It isn't awful but there isn't a whole lot to it and there isn't much to keep you playing it. Even if it had all ten tracks it would still rate the same, but it would be a more solid OK as opposed to the OK I am giving it. Its just a minor and irrelevant diversion that really doesn't do anything WRONG, but doesn't really do anything RIGHT. Its just middle of the road in pretty much everything.
Next Review: We continue Bike Month with HANG ON since it is even simpler than Enduro Racer sadly, though it at least tries to keep it like the Arcade original. I might even have some comparisons with the arcade port I have on my copy of Shenmue and the Saturn Hang On GP which I purchased last week along with the Racing Wheel as I just don't have enough ridiculous game accessories clogging up my house.