LGR – Mag Racer – DOS PC Game Review

LGR – Mag Racer – DOS PC Game Review


[fizz, sip] Aahhh! Take Mag Racer, for instance. Made by Infinite Dreams UK. Translation: a teenager in a bedroom. Probably. I found this, or rather, a friend of mine back in the day found this. Yeah, sometime around 1990… I think it was Walmart. It came in a plain jewel case like this. Mag Racer for Windows 95. Ten free hours inside of CompuServe. Value for your money, I’ll tell you that. “Enter a bizarre world of towering TV’s,” “skyscraper speakers and monolithic books.” What the balls, man? “The miniature Mean and Green Racers from Pod”– [record scratch]
Wait. THAT Pod? Hmm. Coincidence, I’m sure. –”from Pod have crash landed and built
an exciting life in their new table-top world.” [record scratch]
Wait, you mean like Micro Machines? Wait– you know, never mind. “The MAG Racers–” “the elite of their alien Pod species–” “gear every moment around their
passion for racing their Magster’s.” Their Magster’s what? Why is there an apostrophe there? “The competition is fierce and
only a few make it to the line.” Of… cocaine? The system requirements are a Pentium 90 and Windows 95. I’m only mentioning that because that makes absolutely no sense. The game does, in a way, install through Windows, but the icon leads directly to a DOS program, which is the game itself. This is a purely DOS game. There’s nothing Windows about it, except for the shortcut icon they place on your desktop. So, let’s see what we have here. I’ll just go into Practice Mode here. [sexy music, deep voice]
Practice… Mode…. No, not THAT Practice Mode, Mr. Rock-Climbing Guy. There’s several different types of cars to choose from, like a Bugatti EB 110, Jaguar XJ220, some muscle cars, a Lamborghini, those kind of things. and for some reason, there are about…
six cars that are exactly the same. All the different Bugatti colors. They just change the palette. So I’m going with the Jaguar. Or “Jag-u-ar.” Whatever. You can also choose different drivers. Which are all made of clay. Yeah, that’s another one of these, um, games that does that. Using digitized artwork like
Mortal Kombat and Depth Dwellers. Of course, all the drivers really are the same. They’re just something else, I guess, for you to pick from to make it feel like you’re getting more from the game. There’s also several tracks. Which all end up looking about the same, really. The shapes of the tracks do differ, but it really does not make much of a difference. And don’t ask me why, but for some reason the PC speaker is used for the startup sound effects. The rest is all done through Sound Blaster. The music never changes.
It’s the same dance, electronica beat playing over and over. The driving itself is… completely horrendous. I can’t stand it. Imagine Mario Kart where you can’t turn. There you go. The graphics themselves, uh… well, you can see they’re not exactly great. Well, especially considering this
was 1997 when this was developed. You do have to drive almost completely perfectly. If you run off the road even in the slightest, your car will explode after only a few seconds. It makes sure to punish you. And it will say “stop exploring and start racing.” Ha! Okay. I only find that funny because I’m not exploring. There’s nothing to explore. Although, I might like to explore. This looks like a nice place
to take the family for a picnic. It just handles so bad, I can’t stay on the freakin’ road! So let’s try a league race here. It does have sort of a… career mode,
which is the league mode. Whatever. You race against a bunch of other ugly cars, which look just like Hot Wheels cars. With really bad, like, GIF images or something converted over into sprites to make these look like they’re turning. It’s a really, really bad effect. It’s similar to what was done on
the Super Nintendo for Mario Kart, or even on the earlier PC game Wacky Wheels. If they were trying to copy the kart games, they didn’t do the greatest job. There is a high and a low gear. And I did not realize that for a while because I was going so slow and
everybody else was like, vroom! So I don’t know what happened. And then, ah, okay. I figured out, I think it’s A and Z, that you can shift up and down like in OutRun. So… that’s useful. Except that it just makes the
handling that much more sensitive and that much more over-the-top that you just end up flying everywhere,
bouncing off of everything. I don’t know if you’re noticing all of
this horrendous jerkiness to the video. I wish I could say that was just
an encoder problem or something. No, that’s actually the game. You’ll end up flying through the geometry or sometimes you’ll just jump over it. There’s different little things that will make you jump. And of course, there’s random
power-ups here and there. Which you can press spacebar to use. Half the time they don’t do anything but screw you up, so I don’t recommend using them. There are upgrades that you can purchase later on, but I’ve never really gotten them to do anything that is worthwhile. So I don’t recommend doing that either. In fact, I don’t recommend playing this. Unless you just like being tortured by bad games. Which I will admit that I do from time to time. Hence the reason for this. It would be interesting if you explore around slightly, because some of the track
designs really are interesting. You know, the top of a table, the kitchen sink, underneath the couch, things like that.
They’re kinda cool, but it won’t let you explore at all. Then again, half of the track design set pieces look like something out of an
expressionist artist’s nightmare, so maybe they’re actually doing us a favor. And then when the handling isn’t bad enough, the track just gets so complicated and full of crap everywhere that you just can’t navigate anything at all. It seems like it would be easier just to be able to go… taking shortcuts or something like that. But no, you can’t. You just have to deal with all this junk in the way. Probably the most fun I had in this game at all was this one or two tracks where you could actually run over the different pod people. You can just straight up blow
them up. I mean, they explode into very nicely animated piles of pod people… gore. It’s actually more graphic than
Carmageddon in that respect, so… It’s interesting that they didn’t rate this game at all. There is no ESRB rating. So I’m surprised Walmart and
other places even carried it at all. Still, I’m glad they left it in there, as it is about the only redeeming quality
of this game that I’ve come across. They could have made it more
like Stunts or something where… the jump and things actually did something. But all they do is make your
car hop around and look weird, while simultaneously throwing you off-course and completely ruining your day. Or even like Bump ‘n Jump on the Atari where maybe you could land on top
of the other cars and crush them or… just… ANYTHING! Make the weapons work, perhaps? It would appear that this is one
of those strange events where, for some reason, a student project was turned into a retail game in America. In some cases, that’s not bad. Look at Portal. That’s the same kind of thing. But at least they took that and polished it. So maybe if Valve picked this up,
it would have been awesome. I could see the pod people replaced by Vortigaunts. And, you know, you’re Alex, racing around a combine landscape, running these things over, while giant Gordon Freemans are smashing your television sets all around you. And your opponents are all the
different characters from Team Fortress and you have to run over the G-Man in order to get his briefcase power-ups. Maybe in another reality. Mag Racer for Windows 95. Such an extreme disappointment, I don’t even know what to do with myself.

100 thoughts on “LGR – Mag Racer – DOS PC Game Review

  • September 21, 2011 at 4:43 am
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    Omg i really feel sorry 4 u for playing this bad game 🙁

    Reply
  • October 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm
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    Hey, Pod came with a free demo of Strife! I loved that game! You should review that.

    Reply
  • December 2, 2011 at 10:47 am
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    This game isn't that bad, you just suck. Running around in low gear all the time lol. If you pick up the Tyre thing the handling is heaps better. There's power ups too ^_^

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  • December 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm
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    another reality = garry's mod HELLO!!!!!!!!!

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  • January 6, 2012 at 11:26 am
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    @phreakindee dont forget avout depth dwellers too

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  • January 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm
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    The screenshots on the case of Mag Racer shows that there should be skid marks on the gameplay.

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  • March 23, 2012 at 1:24 am
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    What`s that about Strife on the cover of Pod?

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  • March 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm
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    That's what caught my eye as well. He totally needs to review Strife, love that game.

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  • March 27, 2012 at 6:39 am
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    this looks like the first game I ever made in opengl….

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  • March 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm
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    This game destroyed my friends PC. I also remember it being next to impossible to launch on Windows 98

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  • April 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm
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    You should review Speedrage and Winter race 3D.

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  • April 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm
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    you guys are forgetting big rigs over the road racing

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  • April 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm
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    Another awesome game is the Big Red Racing, specially with the Red-book audio music from the CD 😀

    Reply
  • April 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm
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    I had this game. I played it when i was 10 or younger. I thought it was terrible then, so i just played Carmagedon

    Reply
  • April 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm
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    am i the only one who liked this game? oO

    Reply
  • June 10, 2012 at 10:48 am
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    Do you think you could please do a review of Hover? I'd also like to see you review Rise Of The Triad, that there was one awesome first person shooter.

    Reply
  • June 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm
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    My god, this game is so shit it physically hurts.

    Reply
  • June 14, 2012 at 2:40 am
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    What in the fucking hell………………….

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  • June 14, 2012 at 2:44 am
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    "A student project was turned into a game" well that made me think of portal

    Reply
  • July 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm
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    WATCH THE ENTIRE VIDEO NEXT TIME. JESUS CHRIST.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm
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    I noticed that in the game, the screen was shaking a little every second, or it was your recording? I don't know…

    Reply
  • August 1, 2012 at 11:08 am
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    "And everyone else was like *bruuuuuuum*"

    Best LGR quote ever.

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  • August 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm
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    This game made me wanna play a good racing game… say … Destruction Derby II ! I'd love it if you reviewed that ! (if you have it!)

    Reply
  • September 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm
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    Pentium 50? really? hahahahahahahaha *hits himself with a Pc speaker*

    Reply
  • September 7, 2012 at 12:39 am
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    I just looked on MobyGames and found out why Mag Racer wasn't really good at all:

    "The game was in development for just over two years but due to severe lack of resources it failed to meet its initial expectations and was released due to increasing commercial pressures. The technical lead and project leader, Ian Fayers, struggled under mounting pressure to wrap-up the game and despite assistance from Chris Fayers (his father and co-worker) the game never realised its full potential."

    Reply
  • October 5, 2012 at 4:05 am
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    The look of the game reminds me somewhat of the 2.5D FPS made with the Doom engine or Build engine.

    I wanted to try it out just for curiosity, but seems that DosBOX just doesn't like it.

    Reply
  • November 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm
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    FUN FACT (that was probably mentioned by someone else, but whatever)

    The illustrations on the jewel case and manual were taken from the covers of Top Gear 1 and 2 on the SNES, also British-made racing games, but ones that were actually good.

    Reply
  • November 29, 2012 at 3:56 am
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    Can you upload the first song that plays. That song is so awesome, please upload it. Thanks.

    Reply
  • December 1, 2012 at 1:30 am
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    That car on the cover is also used on the cover art of a SNES game called Top Gear, no relation to the british TV show.

    Reply
  • December 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm
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    You forgot buying the weapons with hats.

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  • January 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm
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    For almost 20 years I thought I was the only person in the world to have this game.

    Reply
  • January 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm
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    Pentium 50? LOLWUT?

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  • January 23, 2013 at 12:20 am
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    I used to have this. I think I bought it at the dollar store. It sucked so much
    lol.

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  • January 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm
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    No, it's not like that at all, since I'm not basing that statement on liking a single game. I'm basing it on two decades of game-playing and finding that a very large number of them are British.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2013 at 1:38 am
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    banjo kazooie is british?

    Reply
  • January 30, 2013 at 4:02 am
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    so was it the all american companies that ruined the fable series?

    Reply
  • February 1, 2013 at 1:15 am
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    it doesnt really matter if they have the right to screw it up, what really matters is how hilariously bad fable 3 is

    Reply
  • February 2, 2013 at 1:22 am
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    wait wait WAIT, rare was english?

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  • February 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm
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    VALVE isn't britsh and it makes great games

    Reply
  • February 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm
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    One of the worse driving games and one of the worse PC games ever!

    Reply
  • February 24, 2013 at 7:09 am
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    What? Did I say that only the British can make good games? No. Just that, as a whole, I find British games appealing.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2013 at 8:36 am
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    The car on the cover art is the same cover art on Top Gear for SNES!

    Reply
  • April 2, 2013 at 10:58 am
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    Yes, Rare's main office is located in Twycross, a small village in Leicestershire.
    I've been past it before while on a trip.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm
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    Once your innocuous statement was put through an internet translator it came out as: "British gaming owns you! All others are teh inferiors!!1!1!!!1!"

    Reply
  • June 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm
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    A pentium 90???

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  • August 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm
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    Is the car on the cover taken from Top Gear for the SNES?

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  • September 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm
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    The trance soundtrack seems good.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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    The US had to fight the British for independence. Are you a traitor?

    Reply
  • October 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm
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    What's that song at the beginning of this video

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  • October 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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    DOES A PENTIUM 90 EXCICE?

    Reply
  • October 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm
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    I'm British :),.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2013 at 7:27 am
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    That sounds delicious, if this is the punishment for treason in this country, count me in

    mmmm sedi-licious

    Reply
  • October 20, 2013 at 7:28 am
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    I don't know what this even but yes

    Reply
  • November 23, 2013 at 2:29 am
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    3:42 giant wang

    Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm
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    I can see it now… VALVE RACING!

    Reply
  • January 21, 2014 at 8:07 pm
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    we brits usually do make some odd but memorable games ^^ anyone heard of fable or wipeout XD

    Reply
  • March 1, 2014 at 10:43 pm
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    It would be awesome if you did a review of POD sometime. I still have my original copy of it. It holds up nicely today too for its awesome gameplay.
    Weren't you the one who set up POD Phreak?

    Reply
  • March 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm
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    What genre is the intro music? Hardubstylestep? Hahaha. No, really, what genre is it?

    Reply
  • April 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm
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    Hey!!! The cover picture of the CD has been ripped off from the SNES Classic TOP GEAR 2!!!

    Reply
  • May 22, 2014 at 10:34 pm
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    The trick is to not look at the screen when you're driving.

    Reply
  • June 7, 2014 at 10:50 pm
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    My dad done the graphics for this a game

    Reply
  • June 29, 2014 at 12:23 am
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    @PressStart420 "better than big rigs over the road racing :)" I'dd say not really. Although its an awful game, it didn't jump about like this game does. It also didn't stop you exploring around (well that was because there is non existent collision detection in big rigs, at least you could go anywhere). Also Big rigs,you could have a laugh with the way it plays, in this, not so much.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2014 at 12:01 am
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    Just got this piece of shit for 50 cents today!
    I really regret it.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm
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    Can we just acknowledge for a second that the cover of Mag Racer is basically the EXACT SAME cover as the cover of Top Gear for SNES but merely from a different angle. Same car, same flames in the back… at least Top Gear was like 1000x better than this game, despite being made 5 years earlier.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2014 at 11:00 pm
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    I love yr old intro, the track for one, but also seeing you there, so funny! Wouldn't mind a revisited one nowadays 😉

    Reply
  • April 29, 2015 at 2:35 am
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    12 hour night shifts, might as well start at the beginning-ish!

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  • August 16, 2015 at 9:53 am
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    I thought just maybe something good would show up. Thank FSM for you LGR! At least you show off a higher cool shit percentage. But this is garbage.

    Reply
  • September 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm
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    You have POD? O3O I lost the disc LOOONG ago. I played the shit out of it on my 98 laptop. Damn!

    Reply
  • October 4, 2015 at 1:16 pm
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    It could have a ELSPA rating though.

    Reply
  • November 8, 2015 at 2:56 pm
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    I remember buying this game, I'm sure it was out earlier than 97 as it was before I had a ps1. Anyway I played it for about 10 seconds then never played it again. and probably just threw it away haha. Absolute garbage

    Reply
  • February 12, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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    I love your old intro music.

    Have you ever reviewd POD? I searched your channel but didn't see anything. Seems strange since your POD site is still one of the few still kicking. 🙂

    Reply
  • February 17, 2016 at 2:17 am
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    Hard drugs would explain a lot about this game's existence. But I seriously doubt even cocaine would drive you this crazy. Also 6:21. What's that face supposed to be?

    Reply
  • March 11, 2016 at 9:28 am
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    Mag Racer = Big Rigs The Prequel

    Reply
  • May 3, 2016 at 9:07 pm
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    Have you seen Hot Wheels Micro Racers? I played it a lot when I was like 5, but I don't remember it at all. All I remember is that it had the same idea as Micro Machines.

    Reply
  • June 26, 2016 at 5:01 am
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    I remember seeing this like a year or two ago, and didn't there used to be music in the bit after the intro?

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  • June 26, 2016 at 5:29 am
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    Wow, after all these years this video was hit by Content ID. So the music near the start was removed and it made my voiceover sound really, really bad… My apologies :/

    Reply
  • June 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm
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    Something about this makes it look like a 90's era webpage made into game form… I instantly think of the awful backgrounds, centered text in varying font sizes, and tons of animated GIFs everywhere. That menu interface especially, with that crazy zooming in and out on the right side in the vertical bar… yech.
    Other than that, it sorta looks like a really early/lousy version of TTR – Table Top Racing. TTR is actually fun, though. 😀

    Also, sorry you got snagged by Content ID, and it does affect the audio quite a bit, but your vid is still good, so it's quite all right. 🙂 Like usual, thanks for all your work!

    Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm
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    Did you get new audio equipment before finishing the review

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  • November 26, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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    this was made in 1997! carmageddon was made at that time and it was 1 quantilion times better than this piece of claymation crap. even without the violence carmageddon woud be much better than this game

    Reply
  • February 4, 2017 at 9:36 pm
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    T'is a great video

    Reply
  • February 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm
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    Does anyone know what the "Practice Mode" gag is from? I've heard it in so many LGR videos and I can only assume it's referencing one of his earliest videos if it's already an inside joke in 2009.

    Reply
  • April 7, 2017 at 11:09 pm
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    Wow, I believe I saw this on shelves back in the day, it's fortunate I never picked it up. Looks like something that would be exceptional for a middle school CS project, but extremely underwhelming for a commercial product, even in 1997.

    Reply
  • May 22, 2017 at 8:14 pm
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    Pentium 50?? WTF??

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  • November 16, 2017 at 12:48 am
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    Pretty funny to see actual Matchbox, Corgi and Maisto cars in this game 😀

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  • December 6, 2017 at 10:11 pm
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    Review POD you tease!

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  • March 21, 2018 at 4:54 pm
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    It's like Micro Machines on a really bad trip.

    Reply
  • March 24, 2018 at 8:16 am
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    A racing game where you play as alex, and there are giant gordan freemans everywhere?

    modding intensifys

    Reply
  • April 23, 2018 at 10:42 am
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    This game is bad and it should feel bad

    Reply
  • July 12, 2018 at 2:35 am
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    That cover art is the same as Top Gear on the SNES!

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  • September 28, 2018 at 3:35 am
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    This is one the first games of my life. I remember playing this with 4-5 years maybe back in the 90's

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  • October 7, 2018 at 10:40 pm
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    I just bought this… What a load of shit. I like it!

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  • November 4, 2018 at 2:12 pm
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    This game reminds me of airfix dogfight. I'd love it if you reviewed that game Clint!

    Reply
  • November 19, 2018 at 12:34 am
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    Compuserv FTW!

    I downloaded a creditcard number generator from a BBS off the classifieds on computer Shopper, and created an account that was good for 30 days, until they tried to bill it! made a new account every 30 days.

    Just like that I was on the interwebs!

    Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 6:05 pm
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    So they stole Top Gear's (snes) logo AND hot wheels? Lol wow

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  • December 19, 2018 at 7:21 pm
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    Clint, you are awesome, but you are more awesome now than you were back then 🙂 Wow, the audio.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 3:40 am
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    When did the original Gran Turismo came out? 98.
    How crappy is this!!!
    Thanks and cheers

    Reply
  • February 11, 2019 at 9:53 am
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    Man these videos are a throwback

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  • February 28, 2019 at 1:13 am
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    Awesome review is this available on dos box?😊

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 3:05 pm
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    What possesses a designer of a racing game to punish players for trying to explore?

    Reply

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