Ultimate Race Pro

Long ago, a gorgeous tech demo showcased the Power VR’s 3D capabilities. Time passed and a game was developed around that tech demo, and here we have Ultimate Race Pro. Out of the box, the game supports the 3Dfx chipset and Power VR natively, and also works on other video cards through Direct3D. If it doesn’t work for whatever reason, you can still play it with the software renderer.

Snap123Given its history on the PowerVR, it’s hardly surprising that Ultimate Race Pro looked great for its time. You can race at night, with dynamic lighting shinning out of your headlights. And you can race in all sorts of weather, including thunderstorms so intense you can hardly see more than six feet in front of your car. The coolest thing is that the weather changes as you drive. Once you start racing on a rainy track, the first lap is relatively clear. As you make your way around the track rain begins to fall, and thunder and lightning starts. The weather affects your car, too, causing a loss of traction as the rain continues.

The game promises 18 tracks to race on, although that’s a bit misleading. There are actually only six tracks – five race tracks, and a multi-player arena. One of the five race tracks is the simple training track, which leaves only four actual tracks to race on. Kalisto gets away with passing four tracks off as 16 by changing the direction you drive, mirroring the track, and modifying the weather effects. Although mostly an arcade racer, the physics of it all aren’t that bad. Powersliding becomes an important part of driving, although you need to know when it’s better to simply slow down. Given the twisty, bumpy nature of the tracks, you’ll often catch some serious air or find yourself skidding down the road on your roof if you’re not careful.

Multiplayer is the real treat of this game, and getting someone else to play against is a blast. As a solo game it’s less than stellar, and the driving, though not completely arcade, won’t turn the heads of the driving sim nuts.

System Requirements: Pentium 133 Mhz, 16 MB RAM, 20 MB HDD, Win95

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