Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense
Contrary to its confusing title, this is not a sequel to the seventh version of a game called Vigilante; rather, it is the follow-up to Vigilante 8, a game that first appeared on the PlayStation in 1998. Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense has a variety of modes and multiplayer options, but they all are minor variations on the same gameplay concept: Destroy the opponent cars before they destroy you.
The game's best feature is its selection of 18 different vehicles, which include muscle cars, a stunt cycle, a bus, and a garbage truck. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and handles just like you'd think it would. Plus, the opportunity to drive a garbage truck is just too good to pass up. The locations are also suitably varied, with urban, snowy, swampy, and desert environments available to keep you busy.
In the Arcade mode, after choosing a vehicle and location, you're placed right in the middle of the action against four enemy vehicles. Scattered around the terrain are additional weapons and power-ups; collecting plenty of these is the key to success.
Quest mode merely adds a thin story and additional objectives (such as collecting objects or destroying buildings) and has a rushed, tacked-on feel to it. The gameplay is no different from the Arcade or competitive modes; and there's no map, so it's difficult to know where objects and buildings are. However, Quest mode is the only way to unlock secret vehicles, so you'll probably end up playing it anyway.
Not surprisingly, the game's visuals are better than what the Nintendo 64 or PlayStation can turn out. There are only a few instances of pop-up, and everything usually chugs along at a smooth frame rate. The quality of the graphics is so good that the introductory video clip and actual gameplay look almost identical. Equally as good is the game's music and sound effects, which complement the action without overwhelming it. The soundtrack is, appropriately enough, made up of '70s-style funk tunes in the vein of Shaft.
In short, Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense does one thing and does it well. There isn't much to the game beyond simple chasing and shooting. Depending on how you look at it, that's either good or bad. If you're looking for depth, you'd be wise to look elsewhere. But if exploding vehicles are what you crave, this game definitely delivers. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide
Top-notch visuals with a hint of slowdown when there is a lot of action. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide
Appropriate soundtrack and great sound effects. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide
Your enjoyment will depend on your taste in games. If you like shooting without much strategy, you'll like this game. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide
Once you've tried out the different vehicles there isn't too much more to the game. If you have enough players for multi-player, the replay value will go up. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide
Great instruction manual with descriptions of the main characters, vehicles, weapons, and power-ups. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide