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.
Six Flags 2099
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.