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Thursday, August 27, 2015

EORG: Cross-Country

John Marine | 7:53 PM |
The idea of cross-country racing is nothing new. A number of games have attempted to provide the thrill of going across the nation. Specifically for this blog post is cross-country racing in the United States in games. Can you complete the task of completing a cross-country race? I'll be sure to feature some games to discuss this unique racing challenge.

I will embed a few videos. Click on the links to view certain other videos on YouTube based on this blog post. Or click on certain videos in case embedding was disabled. All videos and links are provided for educational purposes.

--- EoRG: Cross-Country ---

EORG Cross-Country or Cross Country
One great challenge in racing games is to go cross-country. Many of the games featured in this post speak to that point and exhibit this challenge in their own unique way.

The challenge of cross-country racing is to endure long enough to go from one side of the country to the other. A number of games in history have focused on this task and offer you the most unique of challenges in going cross-country. Imagine the allure of going around seeing all sorts of sights going from one end of the country to the other.

Remember this post mostly is on Transamerican races. So that means games that have you racing either non-stop through the United States or featuring individual stages as part of a cross-country tour will be featured here. Here are some games to offer the challenge of cross-country racing:

Zippy Race (1983-1985).

You are on a motorcycle battling against cars in a cross-country race in Zippy Race. You're going from Los Angeles to New York City. You need to avoid crashing as much as you can to be able to complete the entire course.

^ "Zippy Race - gameplay"

Super Hang-On (1985).

Even though there is no legitimate tour of the United States with many real-world locations, one of the four courses takes you around America. However, part of me wants to believe you are maybe doing some stages outside of the USA. But... you're doing the United States of America in one of Super Hang-On's four courses.

(NOTE: turn up the volume)

^ Sega: Super Hang-On: Arcade / MAME - Senior / America Course

Turbo Outrun (1989).

Unlike most traditional OutRun games, you are on a set path to go from New York City to Los Angeles. All the while, you will go from New England to the Midwest, the Midwest to the American Southeast, the American Southeast into the Rocky Mountains, and then eventually into Los Angeles. You will be able to upgrade your car at the major checkpoints.

^ "Turbo Out Run 8'32''79 ALL"

Rad Racer 2 (1990).

Rad Racer featured eight stages that took you around the United States. You begin in Florida and go through various other locales like New York City, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and more. Try to clear the checkpoints to extend your run. Try the unique power trick to get an epic boost from a stand still.

^ "Rad Racer II - NES Gameplay"

Rad Mobile/Gale Racer (1990).

The game that debuted Sonic the Hedgehog was "Rad Mobile." Rad Mobile challenged you to race an intense 20-city cross-country race going from Los Angeles to New York City. You will be contending with a variety of different hazards in this wild cross-country race. You are also racing against 19 other drivers in this cross-country race. You will be going from the Pacific coast, through the Rocky Mountains, into the Midwest, and into New England. Certain cities have unique hazards and features such as rain conditions and night conditions. This game would see a home port for those with a Sega Saturn. For its time, this game was graphically impressive with its unique sense of 3D.

(forgive the introduction to this video)
VIDEO SAMPLE: Rad Mobile Arcade Game-Play

Full Throttle Racing/Full Power (1994).

A cross-country race featuring two different kinds of machines was provided in a game called "Full Throttle Racing." You could embark on a cross-country race on motorcycles or on jet skis. Your ultimate goal is to be the finest racer on a bike and on a jet ski. Are you that championship rider? You can upgrade your machines by collecting credits in races. You can also try to kick your opponents to throw them off a bit. Oh, and one last thing... you can actually damage your machine so much to where retirement can be forced. So be careful.

Gameplay - Full Throttle Racing SNES

Cruis'n USA (1994).

Cruis'n USA was a game that would usher in the power and performance of the Ultrs 64- which we'd know later as the Nintendo 64. In "Cruis'n USA," you embark on a wild cross-country race to go from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. What's the incentive and the endgame? You get to party with the President of the United States (who was Bill Clinton at the time of this game)! This game played very smoothly even if it wasn't as graphically impressive as another game around its time- Daytona USA. You could race individual stages or Cruise the USA.

^ Cruis'n USA

Need for Speed: The Run (2011).

The Need for Speed series took a different sort of turn in 20 when "Need for Speed: The Run" was released. In this game, you embarked on a cross-country race taking you from San Francisco to New York City. All the while, you are taking part in certain cinematic moments behind the wheel and even when not driving. This game wasn't too well received by certain people.

This video is NOT a gameplay video, but a trailer of the game:

^ Michael Bay's Need for Speed The Run TV Commercial

These racing/driving games exhibit some of the insanity of cross-country racing/driving. There are perhaps many more, but these were the ones to come to mind for me. Now for some Honorable Mentions...

Honorable Mentions...

These games feature racing across the United States, but not as part of a true cross-country event. Here now are Honorable Mentions:

Formula 1: Built to Win (1990)
The Nintendo game "Formula 1: Built to Win" is an Honorable Mention since you can go across the United States to try to earn funds, buy cars, compete in races, and more. However, there is no cross-country racing action that is paramount to the relevance of this post. Also, you get to race a Formula One car outside of the United States. So this is a unique game I added as an Honorable Mention.

Road Rash 2 (1992)
Road Rash 2 did not have a proper continuous race through the United States, but you do race in the United States on motorcycles. Anyone who knows the Road Rash series knows it for no-holds-barred racing on motorcycles. Since it isn't a continuous cross-country race, I included it as Honorable Mention. You race in five different US states. You can also purchase a great variety of motorcycles to get a leg up on the competition.

Lamborghini American Challenge (1994).
The Lamborghini Diablo is yours to race around the United States. You can race in almost any of the game's different cities granted you have a proper license to compete in those cities. Races begin with you placing bets. The racing that ensues is winner-take-all.

RUSH 2: Extreme Racing USA (1998).
This game gets Honorable Mention because you are racing around the United States, but not in any kind of cross-country race. You race around various American locales like Los Angeles, Seattle, Hawaii (Honolulu), and New York City among others. The low gravity, brutal crashing fun of San Francisco RUSH finds its way into this Nintendo 64-exclusive game.

Driver: You Are the Wheelman (1999).
You do not go into any cross-country action in the very first Driver, but you do get to embark in intense action across the United States. Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are yours to drive around in wild action.

Midnight Club 3 (2005).
Midnight Club 3 takes place around three American cities- Detroit, Atlanta, and San Diego. As you are probably seeing as a theme, you are not doing any cross-country racing even though you race exclusively in the United States. "Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition" featured one non-American city: Tokyo.

The Crew (2014).
The Crew from Ubisoft features you having the United States to race around. There is no cross-country racing, but the game does feature re-creations of six major US cities: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, and New York City. There are also a number of other cities also implemented as part of this game's vision of the United States. Though "The Crew" wasn't well received by many, you still get a fairly good interpretation of the United States. You could also set up your own cross-country tour if you so incline.

That concludes this look at cross-country racing.

This post is over.

What are your favorite cross-country racing/driving games? Are there any other cross-country racing/driving games that wasn't included in this post that you like?

Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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