Sorry about missing last week, I plain forgot about it until Friday and was sidetracked by a few things to sit down and write a review. According to the site I’m posting this on Thursday but for where I am in the world, it still is Wednesday, so I’m not late just yet. This week I am going to review Radikal Bikers by Gaelco, licensed by Atari Games.
Radikal Bikers by Gaelco
Licensed to Atari Games
Players: 1 per cabinet (linkable)
Not every game is a smash hit in the arcades and Radikal Bikers is one of those games. You still may run into it every now and then at a local arcade, although lately I have seen it’s cabinet being used for conversions to other titles. In fact when I worked at an arcade a few years back, this was consistently one of our least popular games, it only would beat out Beast Busters 2 most of the time.
You are a pizza delivery person who must race through the city to deliver the pizza to the set location before your opponent does. Plenty of obstacles get in your way, such as oncoming traffic or other urban hazards so you have to race perfectly to beat out the CPU or other player.
Your vehicle of choice is a moped and there are two characters to choose from. There are several tracks to chose from as you expect from any other racer and the tracks generally make you race through traffic packed streets. Much of the game deals in you avoiding objects to make it to the next checkpoint in time and this takes memorization and practice. Fortunately the game does throw a few power-ups your way, including a cool one that allows you to destroy cars that get in your way by kicking them. You also will find a speed boost on occasion which is only really useful if you manage to avoid the obstacles. On top of that there are short cuts to find which once you know where they are at it will be a big advantage to you in winning the race.
Radikal Bikers would be a decent racing game if it weren’t for the fact that you have to try to like the game, playing it many times before it becomes really enjoyable. Some may say this is OK for a racer game but Radikal Biker’s needed to tone the difficulty down a bit to be a more desirable game for new players. Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually a decent single player game but beyond the difficulty it is not terribly compelling. Two player is more forgiving at least, but it is tough to find two of these cabs in one location. The problem is that most people won’t try to enjoy this game as it is unforgiving when it comes to alloted time for checkpoints. I would label this as a case for when a developer didn’t balance it out just right to keep players wanting more while presenting a challenge.
Graphically the game was good for the time – it seems to fit between the N64 and Dreamcast in terms of quality, with the models are a little blockier than you would find on the DC. In a strange story however, I used to have a friend that salivated over the cleavage from the female model in the game despite the lack of realism but at the time we didn’t have uber-realistic character models yet. Beyond that I suppose it was his hormones. The framerate is pretty good and there are a few nice special effects, but it’s not anything jaw dropping. It’s actually quite similar to Galeco’s other racing title, Rolling Extreme.
The music is forgettable. Forgettable enough that I cannot remember complete one track from memory. It was was a mix of pop and rock from what I recall and most of the music included vocal work but if it was from any famous band it wasn’t apparent.
The control tries to mimick what you would find on a moped and it does a decent job. Fortunately it is not part of the problem you encounter in playing the game.
The cabinet isn’t anything spectacular, with OK artwork but nothing someone would want to put on a poster as it lacks detail in favor of trying to push style.
As I mentioned before, this was not a popular game in the arcade. I gave it a chance for a while and began to like it, but there is no way I would play this over SF Rush 2049 if the chance presented itself. Only insert your coins if you have nothing better to do or you enjoy games that present a real challenge to your skills.