San Francisco Rush
Reviewed by Raymond Almeda
The Nintendo 64 is rapidly emerging as the system for state-of-the-art
racing action. After a year in which a grand total of three racers were
available for the console, suddenly N64 owners are being besieged by a
bewildering variety of killer racing titles, from Top Gear Rally to Extreme-G
to Diddy Kong Racing. One of the more promising additions to this list is
Midway's best N64 game to date: San Francisco Rush.
San Francisco Rush eschews the realism of Top Gear Rally in favor of
good old-fashioned arcade fun. This N64 port of the popular arcade game
features excellent graphics, and more importantly, plays like a dream.
Arcade-style racing means wild jumps, fast cars, and lots of spectacular
crashes. The jumps are made almost supersonic by the game's bizarre
gravity system. It's as if you are racing through a San Francisco with the
gravitational pull of the moon. Cars even sail over buildings at times! One
of the most exhilarating challenges in San Francisco Rush is recovering
from just such a ridiculous flight without crashing.
Gameplay emphasis in San Francisco Rush is on speed, jumps, shortcuts,
and secrets. Every track in SF Rush contains a bevy of great secrets, and
it will take some time for gamers to find them all. While six massive tracks
make up the core game, the addition of mirror and backward options make for
an impressive total of 24 track possibilities.
San Francisco Rush is also loaded with other secrets in addition to the clever
shortcuts. For example, each track contains hidden "keys." Players who collect
enough hidden keys will unveil the ultimate San Francisco Rush secrets.
These secrets are said to include hidden cars, and even a hidden track.
The audio in San Francisco Rush is at best average. At worst, the audio
is bizarre. Indeed, many people have touted the San Francisco Rush soundtrack
as among the worst of all time. Actually, I think it is so unusual that it is
kind of entertaining.
Control in San Francisco Rush is also average. There is no powersliding,
and the brake is not very useful either. The game makes decent use of the
N64's analog joystick, but overall the control is not as precise as in other
Again, the crux of this title is the fun gameplay. Despite its flaws, there
is simply tons of fun stuff to do in this game. Thanks to the massive variety
of track options, the replay value of San Francisco Rush is very high. This
excellent play value is enough to overcome some of the game's weaknesses.
As always, we recommended you rent this game before making a purchasing
decision. San Francisco Rush will not be everyone's cup of tea, and there are
plenty of other great N64 racers from which to choose. But those seeking
great arcade-style racing need look no further.
Overall 9.5 out of 10