Super Off-Road review - Nintendo Entertainment System
Fancy yourself as a bit of a boy racer then, eh? Well, this new NES cartridge enables you to test your mettle on eight of the most gruelling off-road circuits in existence against the greatest racers of this age. Make sure you pack your safety helmet though, because when you take the wheel of a powerful 4x4 truck, it's danger and excitement from the outset!
Like all the drivers who casually risk life and limb on the Off-Road circuit, there is only one goal. Winning races is the name of the game, and the resulting flow of prize money can be used to customise your motor at the Speed Shop.
But remember, you're up against the pros in this game, including the legendary Ivan "Ironman" Stewart himself, and as the season progresses the opposition continually soup-up their motors with their prize money. Equipment is no match for skill, though and on the Off-Road circuit, drivers are faced with unforgiving hazards like deep mudholes, steep hills and massive jumps.
But your truck has one subtle advantage over the non-human participants in the Off-Road championship - nitro power! One press of your joypad's B button gives your truck a huge nitro boost that catapults it down the track, but nitros are in pretty short supply...
What the Mean Machines staff thought
It really annoys me that Super Sprint never came out on the NES, but the release of Super Off-Road more than makes up for it! The graphics capture the coin-op almost perfectly with the minimum of flicker, and the gameplay's pretty decent as wall, particularly in two-player mode. Super Off-Road is a tad on the slow side though, and the nitros aren't quite as effective as they should be. Still, not to worry though, because Super Off-Road is still a fine racer. RC Pro Am still ranks as the definitive NES racer, though.
This multi-player coin-op was a pretty good laugh in the arcades, and I'm pleased to see that all the thrills and spills of the original have been captured in this excellent conversion. As a one-player game it's challenging and addictive - especially later on when those computer drivers start getting mean! Super Off-Road really comes into its own, though, when two (or even four players if you manage to get hold of a satellite controller when it's available later on this year) simultaneously participate - many laughs (and more than a few punch-ups) are guaranteed! Check it out if you're after an original race game with plenty of built-in addiction - and put it right at the top of your shopping list if you get a satellite controller!
Chris - 28 Feb 2008, 14:46 GMT
One of the better multi-player racing games on the NES, this one was quite dull playing by yourself, but as soon as friends came around you would be slotting this game in your NES and fighting each other for those nitro's! The problem was you had to be VERY careful in when you used a nitro, as they had a tendancy to not speed you up at all!
Paul - 03 Jul 2009, 00:13 GMT
One thing that puzzled me with this game is that on some tracks, especially 'sidewinder', other cars would speed up at the same time as you did when using your nitro. Worse than that, it was not taken from their nitro count and didn't stop them from swinging around a corner. The result of this is that it cancelled out your nitro. Anyone else experience this on the NES version?
Douggie - 08 Oct 2015, 17:37 GMT
Quick question. I've been playing 4 player off road with some buddies lately. I was under the impression that the only way to lose a life is by finishing 4th. However, I've notice that once a human has been eliminated (and cpu has taken over for him), i lose a life even if I don't finish 4th. Is a third place finish(last of the remaining humans) now considered a 4th place? Also, on a couple occasions, the final 2 remaining humans, get eliminated at the same time. Leaving me to believe that finishing behind the cpu causes you to lose a life, (even if i didn't finish 4th in the race). The humans finished 3 and 4 but both got kicked out. Game over. Anyway, let me know! awesome game, just a little frustrating not knowing the rules. Thanks!