Beetle Adventure Racing is a cult classic on the Nintendo 64, it introduced in 1999 right after the new beetle launched in America. The game is actually a pretty decent racing title, I wouldn't rank it up there with Sega GT or Gran turismo but it is pretty good. The game features a number of Customized beetles, the number I can't think of off the top of my head. They include slower models with excellent handling, or high speed models with poor handling. The game starts off with only two levels unlocked, County Cove and Mount Mayhem, the first level is a nice day time level that is perfect for beginners, and ladder of the two is a slow filled ice level that takes some practice to master. Beetle adventure racing combines the right amount of driving fun with interesting level design aspects, like being able to jump onto the top of buildings, or drive through walls and ice. The game has so many interesting aspects that in the mount mayhem level when you jump off the side of the bridge you land into a crashed UFO, this is classic EA at its best.
The game doesn't save level progress so when you win levels you will need to win all of them if you ever want to drive them again. I would say the average play time for the whole game is about twenty hours, which is with all levels included. Basically with every level you win a faster car, until the final level when you unlock the police car which not only has top speed and steering, but when you honk the horn its police lights turn on. The game provides plenty of useable jumps for the adrenaline junkie in all of us, I love the amount of jumps you can find on boats, buildings, etc. And the voice acting is really comical, when you find the lady bug box your car will make fart sounds and the guy says nasty. This definitely increases the replay value, and makes the game unexpected. This isn't your average racing title and it shows in so many different ways, including the adventure and comedy aspects.
The controls of the game are tight and well mannered, you won't find your car slipping off the road unless you have a bad controller. I used this game with a N64 steering wheel and it worked like a breeze, I think that this game would really shine in arcades. And the car colors are amazing, you can paint your beetle almost every color you would ever want. The levels are also very interactive, when you take the first turn to fast in country cove you will crash into a pay phone and you can actually hear the operator talking into what's left of the phone. And when you go to race in the third level, Dinosaur Island the dinosaurs actually jump out and try to attack you or run by the screen.
Other aspects of this game that make it amazing are the helicopters following you around, the skiers waving at you from the ski lifts. The cheering crowd that boos you when your car crashes or becomes last place, and the secret tunnels throughout the game. The battle mode is also great if you have family members that want to join the fun, you can blow each other up with rocker launchers. Or you can lay bombs for one another until somebody blows up, and you can also shrink down to the size of an ant. The sound on beetle adventure racing is great, the cars all sound different, sound effects are interesting at best, and the voices are crystal clear. If I could change anything about this game it would be the increased number of environment tears throughout the game.
Beetle Adventure Racing is definitely worth considering for your N64 library, especially if you have played all of the other racing games and you hunger for licensed cars. In a console full of flying animals or plumbers in go karts it's great to know you can come to the normal world of beetle adventure racing.
~Thanks for reading~