Who else likes this game? Victory Run was one of the very first games I ever got for TurboGrafx-16 and although I was frustrated with it as a kid and felt let down by the fact that the game didn't have the cool red sports car that was on the box art, the game has really grown on me over time. I love it!
You may know that I'm a tremendous Out Run fan. I have the second highest known score and the highest score that was performed publicly and video taped. I also really loved Rad Racer on the NES. When Victory Run came out for TurboGrafx-16 I was so excited. I saw the red sports car on the box, racing down a nice clean strip of highway towards the Eiffel Tower and thought "Awesome, this will be like Out Run for TurboGrafx!" I was right. But I was so wrong.
What you find is a game that forces you to use your brain and pushes you beyond the limits of where Out Run takes you. Victory Run is a pretty good representation of the Paris to Dakar Rally (at least for an 8-Bit or 16-Bit system). In the game, just like in the real Paris to Dakar Rally, you race a souped-up off-road rally car from Paris, down through the south of Europe, into North Africa, through the Sahara, and then take a turn into West Africa until you reach Dakar at the western edge of the continent.
There's a lot more to be thinking about in the game than in Out Run. As you move further into the game, the course changes from paved highways, to dirt tracks, Sahara sands, rocky roads and grass fields. Each track makes the car handle differently, and occasionally there are rocks and other obstacles in your path that will affect your driving. The different terrain also takes a tremendous toll on your car. At the beginning of the game you stock up on a total of 20 car parts that you can take with you on your journey. They include:
- Gear (Transmission)
- Suspension (Shocks)
There've been lots of 8 and 16-bit car games that have shops and replacement parts. Fatal Run on Atari 7800 comes to mind. Smack into the back of a car and replace the bumper at the end of the level. Those are cartoonish consequences though, and not many games integrate realistic consequences of wear and tear with strategy like Victory Run does. Headed into a rough level with a bumpy road? Is it a good idea to replace your half-used tires? Is it worth it since they'll be worn out at the end of the level anyway? Do you even have enough tires? How many seconds will that shave off your time? Is it worth replacing the transmission before it wears out in the middle of the level? These are all things you need to be thinking about in Victory Run as part of your strategy to win, that you don't need to think about in games like Out Run and Rad Racer.
And as it turns out, the reason the car isn't the red sports car from the cover is because it's supposed to be the white Porsche 959 rally car that won Paris to Dakar in the late 1980s when this game came out. So it's actually really cool that they used the real life car in the game. Why they didn't show that on the box is beyond me.
So who else likes this game? Do any of you own it?