RIDING HERO / NEO GEO AES, NEO GEO CD / 1990
What is Riding Hero ?
About Riding Hero.
Riding Hero review.
Riding Hero intensively use the zooming abilities of the Neo Geo, but speed sensation are still not exhilarating ; the player moto have very few animation step, 4 depending on the rider angle. The story mode is a visual-novel with racing action dual: Graphics are kinda realistic, as early Neo Geo games try to do... its somehow charming, but still ugly.
Riding Hero provides also some very, very cliché soundtracks from early Neo Geo works ; well, this is typical 1990 music. Some tracks are catchy, but nothing really epic. W.G.P provides some good tunes, almost each tracks with its own music. Sounds are OK, but quite boring, motors doesn't have a furious tone, and digital voices are few and repetitive "alright, I'll bet you !!"
In one hand, motorcycle handling is OK. A to accelerate, B to brake (useless) and C to use the boost (called turbo). Unlike a lot of racing games, the machine will keep turning once you push a direction ; you must push to go back in a straight line. A genius move, we will retrieve with the famous arrow in HumanGP.
Unfortunately, that good playabilty is useless, Riding Hero suffers of major gameplay issues. First, the time limit is very unforgiving: Only one crash, then get ready for game over; second, collisions are extra stupids, almost stopping you dead if touch an opponent. And third, the opponents are just overpowered... and evil: Even if you cruising at top speed (specially if you are in first place), they will overtake (hit you) from behind you at a surnatural speed, causing you to stall/fall, with no effects for those AI riders. Unfair and raging. And ultra repetitive. So frustrating it's ruing the all gaming experience. The only to race (survive) is to follow the 1-2 riders and use your turbos one the last curves. Fun, uh ?
If you survive to this gameplay from hell, maybe you will enjoy to ride throught 1989 GP500 World Championship. Of course, no offivial licence, but very recognizable circuits (10 races from 15 real rounds of 1989), and seven reknown riders, with slight name change (W.Gardmer, F.Spenker, you got it?). Background are fun, with geographic nosense, such as Eiffel Tower at Le Mans, Pisa at Misano, Grand Canyon in California... Story mode offers a good zero to hero experience, with some "Whaoo" moment ("Susie, really?"), and a cool finale at Suzuka 8 hours.
A final word with mulplayer, kind of urban legend: 2 consoles linked together, 2 games, 2 screens... Is anyone have already do this ?
Retro value. 3/5
WGP 500 1989