Rocket Coaster

 

In this special series on the Pioneer LaserActive, guest author Taylor Pinson will be discussing some of the games released on the Sega PAC, an add-on for the LaserActive that could play Genesis, Sega CD, and Mega LD titles.

 

rocketcoaster-cover

Six Flags 2099

 

PLAYERS: 1

PUBLISHER: Pioneer

DEVELOPER: Taito

GENRE: Racing

RELEASE DATE: 12/20/93 – (JP)

                                      05/26/94 – (US)

 

And so we come to the last Sega PAC release of 1993. The LaserActive’s releases so far have run the gamut from forgettable to awful. Can Rocket Coaster turn the tide and give us the system’s first gem?

 

2

Screenshot/cover art synergy.

 

Rocket Coaster is a very pretty game. It makes good use of the laserdisc’s vast storage capacity to create some beautiful pre-rendered race courses; definitely the nicest looking LaserActive game I’ve reviewed thus far. While it does have generally catchy music, its gameplay and controls could use some work.

 

3

There are three courses to choose from, each with multiple levels.

 

There are multiple courses to choose from, but you can’t race against a second player or the computer. The only gameplay option amounts to a Time Attack mode. The racing itself isn’t bad, I just wish there was a little more to work with.

 

4

Well, that’s not good…

 

Control is where the game stumbles the most. You’re given three racers to choose from. Each of them handles differently, but no matter which one I picked, I found myself constantly flying off the course and dying whenever I came to a sharp turn. I could only avoid this if I immediately slammed on my breaks, but even that didn’t save me every time.

 

5

Elon Musk would be spinning in his grave if he saw these gas guzzling Teslas.

 

I’d be inclined to blame the control issues on myself and not the game. But with a name like “Rocket Coaster” and its focus on scoring a low time for each course, the game seemed to encourage me to try and go as fast as I could, before punishing me for doing so. And since there are no rivals to race against or even obstacles to dodge on the courses, the dodgy controls are the only thing that adds any challenge to the game.

 

6

But I thought we went back in time to stop the Candy Land takeover.

 

Rocket Coaster isn’t a bad game, just unpolished. If the controls were a little more refined or if there was a couple more game play options, this could have been the LaserActive’s first great game. Instead, it has to settle with being decent.

 

B-

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4 thoughts on “Rocket Coaster

  1. This game I think needs to be seen in motion to be appreciated. After watching that YouTube video I have much more appreciation for it than looking the screen shots.it looks really nice and seems to play somewhat smoothly. But watching it it feels like somewhat of an unfinished game. The gameplay seems pretty bare bones. Like I could totally see a a Mario Kart or F-Zero clone that looked way better if they had fleshed out the gameplay some more. Instead it seems barely more complex than an Atari 2600 game. Hell, most Atari 2600 games had other racers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This certainly looks the best Mega LD game reviewed to date.
    Seems like a cross between GP World (the Sega LD arcade game, not the SG-1000 version) and the Mega CD game MegaRace.
    The main problem with these FMV racing games is you feel no real connection with the racing surface.

    Liked by 1 person

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