Giant Bomb Review

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Road Fighter Review

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  • XBGS

You might be able to find this sort of reflex-based gameplay in a free Flash game nowadays, but Road Fighter still holds up pretty well.


Fight that road! Fight it in the FACE! 
Fight that road! Fight it in the FACE! 
Road Fighter is a pretty misleading name. Absolutely zero percent of your time with Road Fighter is spent punching and kicking streets into submission. In fact, there's no traditional fighting at all. Road Fighter is a driving game. This top-down racing game is another sort-of-obscure arcade release for Microsoft's Game Room, and unlike most of the other games that hit alongside the release of this new emulation shell, Road Fighter can be kind of addictive.

If you've been raised on a steady diet of modern racing games, Road Fighter will probably feel really archaic. There's no chase camera here, no analog control... heck, there isn't even a brake pedal. The original game used a joystick and two buttons--low gear and high gear. You'll start moving by holding the low gear button, then you'll have to swap over to the high gear button to continue accelerating once you've topped out in low. Once you get moving, you'll dodge left and right to avoid traffic and other racers.

When you tap into another car, you'll start to slide and careen off of the road. It's not an immediate death, so if you quickly let off of the gas and start correcting your course, you can keep moving. Crashing into a tanker truck or the side of the road, though, will blow up your car, which costs you a chunk of fuel. You'll need to get to the end of each course leg before running out of gas in order to refuel and keep moving. As you might expect, the later sections get a lot harder to navigate than the first leg.

It doesn't have much more complexity than a Flash game might, but there's something mesmerizing about dodging cars while moving at top speed, and the tiny vehicles have a pretty cool look to them. Competing for high scores is fun, and the tricky later courses make starting Game Room challenges off of late-game replays exciting, too.

If you're into the idea of Game Room, Road Fighter is one of the better games available at the service's launch, as long as you've got a friend or two to make the challenge system worthwhile.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+