Accolade’s Cyclemania is a motorcycle racing game played against a backdrop of full-motion video. Unfortunately, the game’s execution isn’t quite up to the concept behind it. In full-screen mode, the graphics suffer from an advanced case of stuttering; an oncoming car or truck is just a blob of color until it’s right on top of you, and a tight group of motorcycles is one big cluster of random pixels even as you try to pick your way between the bikes.
Cyclemania’s biggest selling point is that the races take place on real roads, videotaped and digitized as full-motion video. But at standard VGA resolution, the tracks just look like reasonably good computer-generated art. It’s only in the hi-res, Super VGA mode that the scenery begins to look photo-realistic. And the tracks do look good at this resolution — the one called “Forest Shadows” is especially nice, as you zip in and out of the shade on a wooded mountain road.
Problem is, the only way to view the tracks in SVGA is to choose the “overhead radar” screen, which gives you a map of the track and a quarter-screen view of the action. The map is certainly useful, but the small size of the race window cancels out the added quality of the graphics. The game could have been impressive if there were an option for a full-screen SVGA view.
The game isn’t completely devoid of good qualities, though. The track graphics are nice in the high-resolution mode, even as small as they are. The cows and horses you’ll occasionally have to dodge are good for a laugh, and an option to improve your cycle at the performance shop keeps things interesting. There’s also digitized video footage of some of the worst motorcycle wipeouts in history, played every time you crash — but these scenes don’t have much connection to the actual race, and they’re repetitive enough that you’ll probably end up turning them off.
System Requirements: 386DX33 MHz, 4 MB RAM, DOS
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