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Neo Drift Out - September 23, '99 by Maddog
Game:Neo Drift OutCompany:Visco Games
Type:RacingPlayers:1

Neo Driftout (subtitled New Technology) is a game of roaring engines,screeching tyres and vicious crashes :) .Yep,you guessed right, what we 've here is yet another racing game,one of the few available for the Neo Geo system...
You have to take part in the World Rally Championship.This means taking your amazingly powerful sportscar and spreading fear all around the globe,in a series of increasingly tricky stages.Time limits are very tight,so every misjudgement brings the infamous Game Over message so much closer.Make it in time and you get to do it again in another part of the world.The game offers a choice among three well known rally cars:They are Toyota Celica,Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Lancer.Supposedly, they differ in speed, handling and body strength, although the differences are rather minor and don't seem to be an important part of the gameplay-but, admit it,some variety never harmed anyone! Stages are well thought out,with many bumps,jumps and tricky curves.You will also race in all kinds of surfaces, ranging from tarmac to ice,which will affect your handling rather adversely ;)
Neo Driftout is a pretty recent game,dated 1996.This is n't always reflected in it. Graphics will leave you with mixed feelings. The scrolling is very fast and smooth and most trackside objects are well rendered, but the main car sprite could be done better imho and sometimes the graphical variety seems rather limited (this is evident in the Scandinavian stage,in a rather funny way :There's ice and snow all around and many of the spectators wear shorts and minis **shiver** as they are exactly the same sprites as in other stages!Sound is mostly good, with great effects and speech and a good-but-not-the-greatest soundtrack. All in all and compared to the other Neo Geo racer of the same era (Overtop) the game leaves you with a sense that some more polishing was required. A good thing to add is that the game is challenging: Time limits are very tight and it is not easy to qualify. Seems it would take a real world class driver to finish the game in one go! Playability is also above average and will have you try more than once your driving skills.
To grumble some more,the game is strictly one-player only (you can attribute that to the nature of the game) and has a limited lifespan as you will eventually master it and then it will have nothing new to offer.I guess that fans of the genre will enjoy it as it is,but for all the others there are other racers around that will offer more-look at Overtop or OutRun...
The game is emulated by both NeoRage X and MAME.Emulation standards are very high by now and there are no obvious glitches, so you can use any of them that fits you better.The game is big as all NeoGeos (although it's not as insanely big as some others...) so download only if you like racers.What I have to add is that Visco should have burnt a couple more roms,as most of the game's shortcomings arise from that :)
So,if you feel a brilliant driver wiggling inside you,Neo Driftout will offer a good challenging game,especially if you choose to ignore the obvious lack of polishing and fine detail that makes a masterpiece...
Graphics
7
9
Sound
Play Control
7
9
Challenge
Replay Value
5
10
Performance

Screen Shots

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1999 EmuViews