Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

 

18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker

 

  The title of the game may suggest to you what it is about.

Taken straight from the Arcades, ‘18 Wheeler’ puts you in the driver’s seat of a large Juggernaut. 

The concept of the game is to deliver certain packages across parts of America, trying to avoid damaging the truck and the goods along the way.  The only problem is that you have a rival, who’s intent is to knock you out of the way and beat you to the finish line.

  At the start of each ‘race’ you choose what package you want to deliver.  For example you might be given a choice between delivering a large Bulldozer or A huge pile of Tree trunks.

 

Graphics:

    If you’ve played the Crazy Taxi games you should know what to expect.  I believe that it uses the same graphics engine so that is why they look very similar.

  For those that haven’t played Crazy Taxi, the graphics are very good.  The vehicles on the road are very solid and smoothly rounded, with a slight shiny effect to them.

  The detail on the roads is quite high but some items may not be incredibly detailed. However there is a lot to look at as you drive across the varied roads and highways of America, plenty of cars on the road to get in your way making it a lot harder to complete the levels within the given time limit.

  Most games you tend to find that the main vehicles (you and the enemy’s) are of a high detail with loads of attention to detail, but the random cars that are there to get in the way are very basic and look ‘crummy’.  But this is not the case in 18 Wheeler.  The main trucks (yours and the enemy’s) are very well detailed, as are the other vehicles.  Admittedly, the cars on the road aren’t quite as good as your truck, but Sega did them justice seeing you only really see them for a second as you pass by or ‘accidentally’ knock them off the road. 

  One nice little touch is when your in the ‘cockpit’ view, you have various items on the dashboard (depending on which character you are) they might be a pair of sunglasses and magazines, which slide around as you take corners too fast or get knocked about by the rival trucker.

  There is a bit of pop-up along the way, though it doesn’t diminish the gameplay at all.  Mainly it will be random objects like trees and lampposts that will suddenly appear, otherwise anything else that pops-up is a good distance away.

 

Ryo Hazuki  has left China and is now chasing Lan Di down the American highways in this fast and furious car chase scene.

 

Gameplay:

  The game is very simple to get used to.  Literally accelerate, brake and turn occasionally.

  The game would be very easy if your only problems were that of the annoying traffic and the even more annoying rival trucker, as he drives by dropping a load of crates in your path that slow you down.  But fortunately Sega added a few extra problems, each level has an ‘environmental’ challenge, this could take form of large boulders rolling towards you as you take a shortcut across a mountain road, or a large twister that swirls by picking up and throwing other vehicles in your general direction.  It is a nice touch and when you first see these you do think, “Mummy!” but I have to say, once you know what is coming it becomes second nature to avoid it, as it never really changes.

  The game does offer a couple of challenges, other than Arcade Mode.  There is a Parking game, where you have to follow a line of floating green balls and park in a highlighted area of the course within the time limit.  If you hit anything then you lose time, so you have to very careful when turning corners.  It is a good little mini game, but can get very frustrating.

  There is also a Score Attack where you race three laps around a circuit trying to accumulate the most points by crashing into certain vehicles.

  The two-player mode is pretty good fun, where you race around a circuit basically trying to beat them.

 

Presentation:

  The whole game has a great ‘Arcade-y’ feel to it. What with it being a direct port from the arcades.  It has the welcoming ease of Sega arcade games, where you can just pick up a controller and go, no phaffing around trying to sort out your vehicle specs or make sure that you have the right tires for the course.  Nope, just click ‘Arcade mode’ then select one of the four lovely characters and away you go.

  The music in the game is good enough, giving you the ‘pumping’ sensation needed to help keep you focused on the road ahead (you know what I’m talking about, even if I don’t)

  Though I do find that the voices in game annoy me- especially the rival trucker with his ‘tacky’ sayings “There’s a traffic jam and it’s all your fault!” Nice the first time, but when he says it three times in a level (each level) and your still trying to complete the level, cause you just keep running out of time right near the finish line, you start to get so annoyed that you rip down your helicopter wallpaper.

 

 

It looks like this guy had a little too much of Grandpa's old cough medicine.

 

Replay Value?

  The game can be quite addictive, but there is one huge let down, and that is because the game is very short.  There are only a few levels to complete, which won’t take you more than 10 minutes each, plus a few bonus type levels that give you the chance to upgrade your vehicle.

  When you first get the game I can assure you that you will endeavor to complete it if it’s the last thing that you do, because it is so addictive and can be a bit of a challenge when you try to get used to the levels.

  But when you do complete it, you will probably be a bit disappointed seeing as there isn’t much else to keep you going.  There aren’t really any extra features that you can unlock once you’ve completed the game.  But you can always try out the Very Hard difficulty if you think you’re up to it. Personally got annoyed with the Very Hard levels, I seemed to forever be repeating levels, only to run out of time right by the finish line- so I just keep to the lower difficulty settings.

  The ‘mini games’ will keep you entertained for a little while, but once you’ve played them to death you won’t be playing it as much as you would have hoped.

  But it is one of those games that you will find yourself having the sudden urge to play.

  And the two-player mode is entertaining, but it would have been better if they could make a four-player game.

 

Worth Buying Now?

  It is a very good game, but the fact that it is too short really lets it down.  The game length was good for the Arcades, but Sega really should have added extra levels or some bonus features that you have to unlock. Like they did with the Crazy Taxi games.

  So if you are considering buying the game, make sure that you get it for a good price, it is not worth paying full price for the game.  If you’re really not sure whether to buy it or not, try playing the game in the arcade just to get a taste for it.

 

No, this isn't a still from The Fast and The Furious 3.

 

Sum mary:

  A good, original concept for a game and pulled off quite well.  Good fun, while it lasts, with a few exciting and memorable moments. It is just a pity that it’s so short.

 

Graphics: 8

Gameplay: 9

Presentation: 8

Replay Value: 5

Worth Buying Now? 7

Overall: 7

~G~