Thursday, February 27, 2003

Games People Play VI
One of the highlights last night -- at least for me -- was playing Radikal Bikers. The game has several flaws -- including horrible graphics and a too-linear narrative -- but it's pretty easy to see past them and get into the game. At least for me.

Basically, Radikal Bikers is a moped-racing game set in Rome, Italy. As a player, you have your choice of four pizza delivery people, two of whom are scantily clad women. The goal is to beat a competing pizza delivery person -- labeled "CPU" -- to the delivery points. If they beat you, you cry. If you win, you proudly present the pizza box. The game, while full of eye candy, is extremely linear. If you play it a couple of times, you can map a route to winning, and I'd imagine that it gets boring after awhile.

The game adds some interesting aspects to the race, however, adding shortcuts -- which earn you points when taken -- and special effects such as turbo speed and a power kick so you can destroy cars around you. My favorite parts of the game include scooting through the catacombs, shooting down the side alleys in which laborers are moving boxes, watching the rampaging rhinos escaping the zoo, and cutting through the cemetery, where you encounter zombies. Zombies! And rhinos! Zombies and rhinos!

I'll go back to the Saloon just to play Radikal Bikers. But another thing that intrigues me about the game is the economic story the game tells. Just as it's bad form to call a cab to pick you up -- and then hop into the first cab you see on the street -- it strikes me as silly that two people would be racing to deliver a pizza to the same customer. The delivery people work for competing pizza places, so that means that the customer called both. Does that happen? Here or in Italy? Wouldn't you have to pay for both pizzas because you ordered both?

And, and this is the biggest question, did the customer order the same toppings on both pizzas? Future game play may answer all of these questions, and more.

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