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Thunder Alley Package Art
†GENRE
††Racing
†DEVELOPER
††Pronto Games
†PUBLISHER
††XS Games
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1
†CONNECTIVITY
††No
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Thunder Alley

When I first booted this game up, I was pretty pumped to see it was an early crack at psuedo-3D development on the GBA. My resulting time with the title was filled with a few highs and lows, but mainly just the lows. In fact, itís pretty tough to see how this game was actually released. It feels more like an early tech demo than an actual title.

visuals

I was initially impressed with Thunder Alleyís visuals. Being one of the first titles on the GBA to have a 3D look to it, it was somewhat shocking to see on my tiny little GBA. But alas, as I hit the accelerator, that initial wow factor quickly wore off. The game just looks horrible in motion. Normally you can let this pass to some extent, but unfortunately, it actually hampers the gameplay quite a bit. The main problem I found in this was an extraordinarily limited draw distance. You can just imagine the issues this brings up in a racing title and not knowing whatís 2 feet in front of you.

audio

Audio was another swing and a miss for Thunder Alley. There are essentially 2 sound effects in the entire game: a horn (at least I think that thing squealing when you hit the R-Button was a horn) and a droning engine sound. In the background you have simplistic little tunes played so softly, thereís no possible way you could hear it over the roaring engine. This may have been an attempt to make your car seem more powerful, but in reality it did nothing but annoy.

gameplay

Surprisingly, the controls in this game actually felt nicely tuned. At first your car seems over-responsive, but after a few minutes you get the hang of the drifting and can actually employ skill as you race around the tracks. Another positive surprise was the gameís difficulty. There was a nice balance of challenge and skill versus the computer players. Unfortunately, thatís about all the praise I can offer up for the gameplay experience.

As I noted before, you really never really know where youíre going due to the gameís draw distance. While you do feel in control when you can see where youíre going, youíre found driving blind more often than not. This in addition to an unacceptable 4 tracks, 8 racers with no noticeable control difference, 2 modes of play (Practice and Tournament), no difficulty settings, and no multiplayer means you can literally see all this game has to offer in under half an hour.

multiplayer

N/A

overall

What started out as simply an under whelming experience soon unfolded into a flat out joke of a game. While the developers did have something going in the original concept, it seems like the publisher pulled the rug out from under them giving little to no time to create an what could even be considered an actual game. You see promise lying underneath, but in the end all you have is a choppy tech demo with little to no redeeming qualities.

final score 1.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar John Guesnier
Staff Profile | Email
"Life without appreciation is a life not worth living."


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