Speed Punks Preview

Speed Punks is a promising looking racing game that is similar in style to titles like Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing. T

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Speed Punks is a promising looking racing game that is similar in style to titles like Mario Kart and Crash Team Racing. The game was first released in Europe and received high accolades, so Sony has decided to release the game here in the States.

Just about all of the racers you can race as are children who have very distinctive personas, which shine through in their appearance as well as in their racing styles. Here's the rundown on the roster: Brains, Monty, Beemer, Monica, Tempest, Tabatha, Buster and Wedgie, Tetsuo, and Cosworth. Some of the racers are available from the game's outset, while others can be unlocked if you perform well in the tournament. The game plays very similar to Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing in that you simply race around the track picking up power-ups and blasting opponents out of your way. It's superfun because Speed Punks gives you a variety of weapons to do it with, such as missiles, green ooze, and all kinds of different fun stuff.

The controls are very simple and straightforward. All you really have to do is go as fast as possible, use the turbo button on the straightaways, use the tight-turn buttons on the corners, and blast foolish competitors when they get in your sights. Right now the control is a little too loose and the cars are incredibly touchy. Sony plans on tightening the control up a bit before the game is released. Other than that, the game plays just fine and the version we tried was really a lot of fun, especially with a multitap, since the game supports four-player simultaneous play.

Visually Speed Punks is very impressive. The tracks and racers look incredibly sharp, even though the racers are composed of very simple polygons - the look really suits the game. The game features a lot of cool lighting effects that give the game a very polished look, and they make the explosions look cool too. Most impressive is the game's superfast and consistent frame rate that even holds true when playing with four players. All that and the game doesn't even have any pop-up.

While Speed Punks certainly looks pretty solid from the near-final build we received, we'll have to reserve judgement until we get our hands on a finished version of the game. If you're a fan of racing games such as Crash Team Racing though, you should definitely be excited about Speed Punks.

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