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Overtop by Maddog
Game:OvertopCompany:ADK
Type:RacingPlayers:1

Well,people,wear your helmets and gloves,fasten your seat belt and follow me to a thrilling and ruthless racing experience:Overtop! It is one of the few Neo-Geo racing games around and I think it's the best of them,so let's take a look at it,shall we?
The plot is classically non-existent:Drive your car as fast as you can through several twisting stages,while the time ticks away.If it gets to zero,it's the dreaded Game Over message,otherwise you'll get a time extension,to try and beat the next,toughest stage.To add a little much needed variety,ADK has thrown in 3 more computer-controlled opponents to race against...and most likely,lose from! :) You can also take alternate routes at some places (keep your eyes peeled and you'll see them),although not all of them are better than the standard course. Also,if you think that grabbing that ultra-fast supercar is always your best option,think twice!As soon as you leave the tarmac and find yourself in a track full of sand,snow or gravel,you'll regret your initial choice.So,make sure you study carefully the abilities of each vehicle available to you.There's a good,varieted choice,including even jeeps and a motorbike,plus a welcome choice of color for your mean machine.Several bumps,jumps and breakable objects are there,too,to let the adrenalin flow somewhat faster.
This is a modern game (dated just 1996) and it shows.Starting from the impressively rendered initial screens,graphics are quite detailed and the scrolling is very fast,although some occasional breaks in the movement may be noticed by the most careful of you.Sonically,the game rocks!All the expected vrooms,screeches and crashes are there for your aural pleasure,along with some cool modern rhythms that accompany your efforts.Unfortunately,this is a lonely effort...no second player is allowed (you can blame the game's type for that,unless you think they should have tried a split-screen approach).
Another grumble is that the game is very easy up to a point and then suddenly gets almost impossible-I always get stuck at the Park stage!And,weirdly,there's no continue option,either...Repetition lurks in there somewhere,too,despite the considerable efforts of the programmers to add variety:Eventually,you'll learn every car,curve and route available and that will be it for the game...
Overtop is emulated by the pioneer Neorage (Neobeta version) and by MAME.If your machine has the necessary horsepower (MHz,not BHP!),go for MAME.Latest version (0.34) offers the full Neo-Geo sound and adds much to the game.There's not much point in driving at 8000 RPM and not being able to listen to your engine's roar ;) Also,make sure you get the new ROM dump,otherwise there goes the nice sound...Finally, arm yourself with some patience:It is a whopping 11,8 MB download!
If you like this kind of game,this one is quite a good choice and you'll get back to it several times.And,kids...you can drink and drive,if it's just a game and not real life!
Graphics
8
10
Sound
Play Control
7
7
Challenge
Replay Value
7
9
Performance
1999 EmuViews