Hello and welcome to another FOG!
Today I’m not gonna bring you another hidden treasure from the golden era of gaming. Instead I’ll show you a bad port. Yeah, a bad driving simulator game, called HARD DRIVIN’ for the SEGA GENESIS.
Released in 1991 by TENGEN this was originally an arcade game with 3D Polygon graphics. The reason why it got released for the Genesis? No idea!
Straight from the manual:
“Sure, driving a real high performance car can be quite a blast. But where can you go to do vertical loops, high-speed races and high flying jumps? In Hard Drivin’, that’s where! Hard Drivin’ is so real you’ll feel like you’re burning up the road in a high-powered car. Two tracks provide plenty of challenge – put the pedal to the metal on the Speed Track or get airborne on the radical Stunt Track! Jump a drawbridge! Do a 360 loop! The true 3D screen display will have you hanging on for dear life! If you lose it, you get to see an instant replay of your accident. Like the incredible arcade hit, this Hard Drivin’ is looking for a few hard drivers. No license – or cars – required!”
Unfortunately these are all lies. The arcade game had it’s merit. But this horrible port is far away from all those promises.
Graphics: Awful. I mean there’s plenty of good 2D racing games for the Genesis, this one features really bad ‘3D’ graphics running very slowly compared to the original arcade game.
Sound: Not so different from the original (which wasn’t great by the way). But it’s not as bad as the graphics
Gameplay: This is one of the main reasons why this game shouldn’t have been released for Genesis. The main reason you would play this game back then, was to get the feeling of driving a real car, which you could barely achieve by playing the original arcade. Even if Genesis had a Steering Wheel and Pedals it would still suck, because the controls lack response and precision. And since the game feels like you’re playing in slow motion, you’d have to steer slowly as well. Cool huh?
There’s another thing I should mention, despite they having said the game features TWO TRACKS, you have only one, divided in two: Speed and Stunt.
As for the default controls:
D-Pad LEFT/RIGHT – Steers car
D-Pad UP/DOWN – Gear change (manual mode only)
A – Accelerate
B – Brakes
C – Clutch (hold and press UP or DOWN to change gears)
But I’m gonna tell you something. I knew the game was terrible, but I played it quite a few times when I had a Genesis. The reason? THE REPLAYS! Everytime you crashed an instant replay starts, showing you from a far camera, what happened to your car. And seriously, I found that quite hillarious. I could spend hours, just crashing, watching the replays and laughing. Yeah I know, silly me…
This is one game to keep very away from you. Unless for completeness of your collection, of course. A true “FORGOTTEN OLD GAME” with lots of reasons for that.
And as always, a video for your delight. This time I’ll show you videos from both versions. See you next time!