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Carmageddon II: This Year's Best Sequel
(Star Wars is a Prequel, People)
April 20th

Gary: It's here! It's here! I have been waiting for years and it is finally here!

Randy: Finally hitting puberty?

Gary: For every crack I hear out of you, I shall kill you! Better yet, I just won't let you play Carmageddon II: Carpocolypse Now.

Randy: What?!? It's here? I have been waiting for years!

Gary: Yeah, we just went through that, dude. Stay with me.

Randy: Gimme that disk! Me first! Me, me, me!

Gary: Oh, yeah?

(eighteen hours later)

Randy: Me, me, me!

Gary: Oh, yeah?

(another eighteen hours later)

Randy: Gary, I'd like to buy a vowel, because…O… My… God, this is amazing!! Let's have a moment of silence for the millions of pedestrians that gave their lives so that we could have fun.

Gary: That was awesome, man. That may be the most satisfying sequel ever. The boys at SCi really did it right this time. They kept everything that was right about Carmageddon and added great new features as well.

Randy: First and foremost, Carmageddon II supports both ATI Rage and 3Dfx cards right out of the box for ultrasmooth gameplay and stunning effects.

Gary: The first thing I noticed was how the pedestrians are no longer 2D sprites with a few pre-programmed moves. Now they are 3D polygon-based entities that respond to the physics of the game. For example, if you hit one just right, you can pop their little heads right off.

Randy: That's gross, man. I like it when you clip them and they wander around dazed and wounded, tripping over things and bending over to catch their breath.

Gary: Then what?

Randy: I kill them.

Gary: There is a lot more variety as well. There is a lot more wildlife to slaughter this time around, and many different cars to drive.

Randy: But there is so much more than just better victims and cars. Take the scenery for instance. In the original Carmageddon, all the buildings were solid objects, and when you hit one you took your damage and went on your way. However in C2 you can plow through most any structure if you are going fast enough. Glass windows, fences, boulders - even reindeer!

I can't tell you how much fun it is to barrel through the wall of a high rise condo and smear everybody in the lobby onto the ceiling!

Gary: Many times you can use the movable objects in the environment to help you crush the competition. For instance I was able to create an avalanche that wasted some of my fellow drivers by ramming my car into boulders perched on a cliff.

Environmental puzzles like this add to the overall game complexity and make C2 so much more than just a racing game.

Randy: You are so money on that point, Gary. While SCi kept all of the things we loved about the first Carmageddon, they really worked hard to make C2 a totally new experience.

In the first Carmageddon, the player ran a series of races and successively moved up the ranks to get to the harder races. The only goals were to kill everything - including your fellow drivers and every poor bastard you saw walking down the street - and not to run out of time before you finished the race. If some races were too hard, you could replay other races you had already won and still get an advance in rank.

However in C2 there is a whole new set of goals. The game is divided into sections each composed of several races and ending in a mission. The races are pretty much in the style of traditional Carmageddon fun. However, the mission is quite a bit different. Each mission has its own goal, whether it's just make the number of laps in the time allotted, or to leap from roof top to rooftop smashing all of the satellite dishes before time runs out. Players must finish the mission before they can advance to the next section of the game. And just to make it really challenging, the missions have fixed time limits. So killing your other drivers and pedestrians won't help you here, only excellent driving skills.

Gary: That is a good point. In the first Carmageddon, you could advance by just smashing all of your opponents. The new mission setup forces you to focus on your driving skills.

Another thing that is greatly improved is the interface. The original Carmageddon had a clunky interface that included having to hit the escape key when on a certain screen to get to another screen so that you could load and save games. I had to reference the manual to figure that one out.

C2 sports a much more elegant interface that is faster and easier to use.

Randy: Speaking of faster, the excruciating load times of the original are a thing of the past as well. No longer do I have time to make a grilled cheese sandwich while a race loads.

Gary: What makes a successful sequel is knowing what to keep from the original. And SCi got this right also. If you are familiar with the first game and don't want to read one single word from a manual, you don't have to. All of the key commands are exactly the same so you can get right to slaughtering. It is worth noting that the controls are finally configurable, a nice touch.

Randy: The original Carmageddon was a pleasure to setup and configure for network gaming, and C2 does not disappoint here, either. The very first time we tried a network game it worked flawlessly over our local Ethernet. However, you do need a Carmageddon II CD-ROM for each player. The original just required a CD-ROM in the machine hosting, and a full install on the others.

Gary: Once again, the true test of a game is how much fun it is. Carmageddon II: Carpocolypse Now is more fun than a pantload of possums. This does not happen very often, but I recommend a four stick rating.

Randy: Well, I went out and bought a T2 steering wheel from Thrustmaster because I like this game so much. Get 'em while they last, folks at Small Dog Electronics. We'll let you know how much fun Carmageddon II is with a steering wheel soon.

And I go with a four stick rating as well. We have waited and waited for this game and it was worth every second. Let's just hope that Carmageddon III is released simultaneously for Macintosh and PC's.

Gary: I hope they don't even release a Windows version.

 

Carmageddon II: Carpocolypse Now gets He blowed up real good.

Carmageddon II: Carpocolypse Now
Interplay
MRP: $49.99
System Requirements:

Power Machintosh 603 at 180MHz or faster or 604 at 120MHz or faster
32000k free memory (16000k can be virtual)
Mac OS 7.6 or higher (Mac OS 8.0 or higher recommended)
350 MB hard disk space; Double speed CD-ROM Drive
Keyboard
Mouse
Supports 3D Hardware Acceleration (3Dfx and ATI RAGE)
Network for 2 to 8 players on a IPX LAN.

 

The Idiots use a four stick rating system to rank the games we play. Here's how it works:

= Lame = Sales Bin Only = Pretty Cool = Excellento!

Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.

The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.

You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .


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