AGH Lynx Review:
Let's get one thing out of the way first: Those of you
expecting a complete and perfectly faithful translation of
Atari Games' arcade hit are 1) unrealistic and 2) will be
disappointed. The coin-op original offered sharp polygon
graphics, smooth driving action and killer, in-your-pants
(literally) rumble affects that made an otherwise ho-hum
racer into a decent, if not thrilling, arcade experience.
Surprisingly, the Lynx port serves up much of the good
things that were found in the original, but crashes in
several key elements, rendering this version no more than
an average driving game even when judged on its own merits.
Graphics have been simplified, but is nonetheless effective.
The already sparse playfield of the arcade version becomes
even more barren, no doubt in order to maintain a decent
frame rate. It's still realistic enough, however, that
you won't really notice the reduction of obstacles and
objects in front of you. The nifty replay scenes that follow
each crash has been preserved on the small screen, using
cool angles to replicate your accident.
The most problematic area of Lynx Hard Drivin'
lies in its controls, or lack thereof. Steering and
acceleration/braking of your vehicle is both sluggish and
too sensitive at the same time. How can that be? Each
input of your fingers is met with a slight delay, so you
have to press your desired movement in advance. Once you
do, hang on tight! A slight tap of the accelerator rockets
your vehicle, often during sharp curves and putting you
out of control. Similarly, even a small turn in any direction
will have your car going off in a very sharp angle.
Counter-balancing the abrupt movements of your car will
be an exercise in frustration.
For those of you who can overlook its fault with the controls,
you'll find that Hard Drivin' offers a modest version of the
coin-op experience, with most of the thrills and spills
found in the original. Unfortunately, other racing games
on the system (S.T.U.N. Runner and
Checkered Flag come immediately to mind)
are far more satisfying and should be higher on your buy