*A review of Extreme G 2 (or XG2) for the N64 which primarily focuses on the single-player experience.*
The 'Extreme Contest' (racing in a field of eight) was a let-down, as in Extreme G. The player is required to finish strongly to qualify for the next race - so strongly that the points will have them top the table. It is 'extreme' in that sense, but it's not really a contest when, as leader, there is the risk of being disqualified.
But where there has been change has not been for the better. The 'Shoot Em Up' mode - destroying drone targets for a race duration - has now become 'Arcade' mode, but they may as well have called it 'Sh*t Em Up' as the lack of a limit of laps means it's point system seems pointless and is purely for practice (of which it's no substitute for the real thing).
As if the slight performace problems in the previous game were not present, Probe thought to push things further. Visually, it's excellent, but they pay the price for it - whenever the action hots up the frame-rate can get real jerky, and when push comes to shove, there is slow-down. The rear-view mirror can only hinder, and whilst it can be disabled, the in-screen is used for and to see a handful of weapon-types in use, but the view is small and should be situated at the top. Surprisingly, the G-Bikes are not equipped with lights. The Headlamp pickup is a pickup too many and is solely for the Tethra courses - a pickup cannot be cancelled when in use and dropping a weapon and attaching another is a slow process.
Weapons can be switched off, but where's the fun in that now the G-Bikes can be destroyed? When your G-Bike is blown-up, it's Game Over, but, should you still be up and running and be down in the lowest place, rather than have you complete the race, as soon as the competition cross the line, it's over and you are awarded that position - thus no need to be nursing home the G-Bike in such situations.
Perhaps having played Extreme G only months ago I felt much comfortable with the handling of the bikes this time around. However that's not to say the game was less forgiving. It's a game that thrives on speed - whilst the music doesn't match up to that of it's predecessor, when supersonic speeds are reached a neat sensation is experienced as all that can be heard will be the sound of the engine. But, blind corners aside (it has it's fair share of these), surely if the game were thriving for speed then it shouldn't be following up ramps with such low ceilings. And the camera is not perfect. Being flipped and facing the wrong direction can happen in a flip of the fingers, and whilst recovering from it can be done quickly, the back of the box is right when it says, "one false turn and you're toast".
Extreme G 2 is not too bad a racing game, but if it's not poorly realised modes then it's the poor performance. (Given this problem, I wouldn't have high hopes for multiplayer.)
New worlds, never before seen tracks, tons of added features and enough adrenaline to fuel a herd of elephants! Extreme G2 is the sequel to last year's smash racing hit Extreme G. The racing physics have been tweaked to offer better handling machines faster performance and better gameplay. Acclaim has also added dynamic lighting so your weapons light up the skies while battling fellow racers. The race of the future is on N64!