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Eighteen Wheeler American Pro Trucker Package Art
†GENRE
††Racing
†DEVELOPER
††Sega AM2 / Acclaim Cheltenham
†PUBLISHER
††Acclaim
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-2
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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Eighteen Wheeler American Pro Trucker

What could be better than parking a monster rig in the tightest of terrains? How about crushing cars on the streets of America with that same beast of a truck? If trucking has been your life long passion, then you should seek counseling. However, if you like the idea of riding in a big and bad-ass beast, then youíll love the Sega/Acclaim joint production, 18-Wheeler American Pro Trucker.

The cool thing about a big rig is the environment. Sitting in that big oleí truck with the good luck charms dangling from the ceiling... The high-up seating, the road-dominating feel. While the interior view in this game does a great job of capturing the feel of being in a rig, thereís something missing... the steering wheel! You know, that big 'n bad steering wheel, nasty chair and cabinet that the arcade version of this title came out with all those years ago! Maybe Interact will make a "truck driver wheel cube" accessory? Donít count on it, Dojo Disciples.

While 18 Wheeler does loose some of its charm because of the lack of the arcade set up, itís still a fun ride while it lasts: but thatís an issue in itself.

visuals

Think Crazy Taxi: Those fast, smooth graphics with big colorful environments and lots of on screen action. While there may not be a tonne of polygons in the models, they certainly look solid and get the job done. Keep in mind that trucks are naturally slow, so the game does obviously have a bit of a slower feel than car-based games. One also has to remember that this Dreamcast game has been ported out to so many systems, itís beginning to resemble a nightwalker in the middle of Mardi Gras. This game wonít be the Rogue Squadron showpiece for the graphic prowess of the GameCube but it will be what itís supposed to be. Fun!

Having said all that, Acclaim Cheltenham has done a solid job working the Sega title for the GameCube. I was disappointed to see pop-up in some of the environments. While the interior cockpit animations were cool and the exterior/interior views worked well, 18 Wheeler doesnít seem to have the graphical polish of its cousin, Crazy Taxi for the GameCube.

audio

Would someone pull a Harvey Keitel in the Bad Lieutenant and put a bullet hole in that CB? God! The rival trucker you race against is about as appealing as the whining, bitching voice of your grade three teacher. The unfortunate thing is that the blaring sound effects and painfully disturbing voiceovers grind over a pretty solid hick-soundtrack. Thereís some head boppiní, dirty baseball cap wearing, bad hair cut tunes in here, but try and pick them out from the audio mush.

I suppose that the idea here was to create a hectic environment, since this is an arcade game thatís supposed to be fast and furious. The hectic part was achieved, but when you put it in a home console environment, it just seems to get annoying after awhile.

gameplay

Grab it and go. Thatís always been a Sega hallmark. This is definitely the case with 18 Wheeler. You only have to contend with a few button controls. The brake, shift, gas, and horn functions familar to most auto-based games are present.

Of course, thereís the Z trigger button which is a hidden feature in the game. Oh yeah, really it is. When pressed, your driver reaches under the truck seat and cracks open a beer and pulls down a nudey mag from the sun visor. But you have to press it at just the right moment in the game-- look for the lens flare as you come over the hilly road in the level where... oh forget it, if youíve been reading this far youíre obviously a Bob Saget fan and your best medical treatment is a mercy killing!

The real problem here is that this game is way too damn short. If you were playing it in the arcade, it wouldnít be such a big deal, but unfortunately you slapped down some bones on this bad boy. Iíd say the average player can get a good 2 hours out of 18 Wheeler. Thereís a parking mode that replicates the mini game feeling of the "bowling" and other challenges in Crazy Taxi, but even this is over rather quickly. Much like Winona Ryderís chest, there just isnít enough there.

multiplayer

Race a friend in head to head mode. Boy, would some 4 player mini games and races really have hit the spot here. Once again, to remind developers, the Cube doesnít require a multitap. 4 players are standard. Please take advantage of this.

overall

18 Wheeler Pro Trucker American is like a teenager hooking up with a lady. Itís fun while it lasts, but it doesnít last long!

I wouldnít have a single qualm with this game if it were an exclusive rental in a Blockbuster promotion, but because itís a full-price purchase, this is a different issue. The game is fun, but it just doesnít last and its replay value is very, very limited. Combine those elements and youíve got a sad situation. This is a great rental, though!



final score 4.0/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Eric Mattei
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"Lost like tears in rain"


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