A Stellar start for what could become a gaming institution.

User Rating: 8 | AudioSurf PC
Modern games are having to shift their focus away from old gameplay concepts to gain attention these days, and it's been doing this in several key areas, with well-known gaming and development dynasties heralding these new frontiers. Creativity is one; being able to take what the developer gives you, and then add, subtract or change whatever you like. The Sims and The Elder Scrolls series are pioneers in placing faith in the gamers to alter their games to their own individual requirements, and the results have shown that not only can creating custom content be even more absorbing than the game itself - both series boast large ranks of content creators who haven't actually played the games proper for a long time, but that they can come up with some stuff that can exceed even what the developers gave us. Another area is the intimate multiplayer setting... rather than gaming alongside hundreds of strangers on a network, the new multiplayer of choice is the party mode; you, a few mates and lots of action both on the screen and in the living room. The Wii is leading the way, but anything from SingStar to those dancing games with the mats is getting this subgenre serious recognition.

So, why am I telling you about things you probably know, and have very little to do with a game I haven't yet told you about? Because the game itself is as simple as games can be. If you have read the official GameSpot review, then you know everything you need to about the gameplay... Tetris meets Wipeout with you in charge of the choons. But what makes this game special is that you can see the multitudes of possibilities that are there, just waiting for some big name developer to tease out (or ruthlessly hammer out, if you happen to be the biggest developer). Graphics, track customization, play modes, group play, vehicle customization... it's all possible, and this game, despite the lack of all these features thus far, can still keep you playing for hours on its simple merits alone. And when you have a great idea to start with that can only get better, then you can't wait for the sequels...