Format reviewed: Dreamcast
Submitted by: James Holian
Another early Dreamcast racing title Buggy Heat had a lot to live up to being released so close to Sega Rally 2, and unfortunately it fails on most counts. When Buggy Heat was originally released, it received many complaints due to poor control and slowdown.
There are still some high points and low points in this game. The graphics look great. The cars are really detailed and you can even see the spring on the shock compress after a big jump. The vehicles look great and all have they’re own features. Some weigh more, others handle a bit better and some have more horsepower. The cities you race in are really detailed and have plenty of jumps and sharp turns to keep you interested which is a real plus.
Championship mode starts off easy but gets a lot harder as you progress. It doesn’t have a difficulty setting, which makes the game more challenging. The game probably won’t be that hard for people who play a lot of racing games but for beginners this game will provide a challenge.
The control can be another factor that makes the game harder and planning your turns before a big jump is a must. The control is rather slow to respond but once you learn how to use it you can adjust and use this to your advantage. The most frustrating thing about the game is not the controls, but the incredibly slow pace at which the cars move even at full speed, kind of like a Nissan Cherry driving through a giant vat a golden syrup, (yes that slow). The only game I’ve played that’s slower is ‘Spirit of Speed’, (that’s another story).
Overall, I would only recommend Buggy Heat to hardcore off-road racing fans, (although you‘d be better off with ‘4 Wheel Thunder’). I think while its definitely not perfect, I did have some fun with it. If you do pick it up, just play it for a bit and give yourself a chance to get used to the controls. Chances are, you'll enjoy the game a lot more that way.