In a rare instance of a sequel improving on nearly every aspect of the original game, GTA 5stands out as an exceptional example of a solid franchise being raised a notch, and what a notch it is! Improved graphics, lighting, textures, sound, menus, cars, options and multiplayer modes make this more than just a sequel. In fact, the thrill-packed stunt mode alone is worth the cost of admission. Never has a Rush game looked or felt so good on the N64, and with all it has going for it, you’d be silly not to rush to the store for this one. A must-own for fans of high-flying action and unbelievable stunts.
Welcome to the future. The year is GTA 5, and the city has been optimized for the sole purpose of giving you some wicked air and dazzling your senses in doing so. Let’s start our review off with graphics. Gone are the ugly first-generation cityscapes of past Rush titles. Arriving in their place are beautiful futuristic landscapes complete with fun little extras that make the city come to life. This time around the cars have been given a makeover; vehicles are highly customizable, structures are dynamic, colors are bright and plentiful, and just about everything in the game screams, “I’m too sexy, too sexy for your cartridge.” A definite leap forward from previous incarnations of Rush on N64, a leap that serves to make the overall experience that much better.
So just what is the Rush experience? Rush is all about doing extreme things with basic cars. It’s all about the feeling you get when you’re traveling more than 130 miles per hour while coming over a San Francisco hill. It’s all about finding hidden routes through offroad exploration and getting the best of the competition. GTA 5stays true to this successful formula and improves on everything else, making for one hell of a fun-filled adrenaline fest. Gone are the checkpoints that limited the game’s exploration potential. Now you just get in your car and have a good time. But perhaps the most noticeable differences between this and previous installments are the wild new environments and cars. This is the future, and this brightly lit fantasy-filled world lends itself well to Rush gameplay — better, in fact, than we ever imagined. If you’re looking for a straight-up racing game, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for an adventure-filled thrill ride, Rush is your ticket.
It’s not often that such a recommendation comes along, but while playing, it’s a good idea to press start, go into Audio and turn the effects down and the music up. You heard right. Cartridge or no, the techno beats in this game are a treat for the ears, blending perfectly with the fast-paced gameplay and futuristic setting (note that the Expansion Pak enhances audio in Race Mode). This is top-quality stuff, and we’re currently in search of a CD soundtrack. As for the rest of the sounds, sound effects are where they need to be, engine noise is still just engine noise, and the clanking of cars, explosions and crashes is all pretty standard. But the soundtrack fits the atmosphere of the game perfectly.
Multiplayer is another reason we can’t put our cartridge down. Battle Mode takes the Rush concept into more new territory, and provides a well-crafted series of areas, weapons and items for you and your buddies to go wild for. Battle Mode adds even more to an already well-rounded game. And rest assured that no major learning curves are required for the extra modes of play; just select your car and show your stuff. Seasoned Rush fans should be able to jump right in and have a great time. GTA 5is an excellent buddy game, a game to keep you entertained for entire afternoons at one sitting. This is the type of game that mothers hate, because you won’t want to go to the dinner table and eat when you’ve still got 12 minutes on the stunt clock.
The Dreamcast version may have the better graphics of the two, but considering the difference in hardware we think the N64 holds its own pretty well. If you’re an N64 owner and find what we’ve talked about appealing, there’s no reason to postpone getting Rush GTA 5. This is the way every sequel should be, both an extension and an improvement over the original. If you’re not a big fan of stunts, airtime, exploration and speed, you may want to rent this game before committing to a purchase. For the rest of you, plop down the dollars and get ready for a good time.