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CONSOLE: PlayStation DEVELOPER: Graphic Research Inc. PUBLISHER (US): Atlus
RELEASE DATE (NA): March 31, 1999 GENRE: Racing
// review by Beverley

Looie Looie...

I have to admit -- I am not great at racing games. I'm not even good at driving in real life. I don't have a driver's license because with my eyesight, hand-eye coordination, and tendency to start thinking about what would happen if I were alive during the time of the Incas and I was a character in that Disney cartoon I would probably make a point of... Oh snap! That was a stop sign, wasn't it? Despite my poor driving skills, I can still appreciate a well-done racing game like Mario Kart, but Bomberman Fantasy Race is an entirely different story.

The introduction for the game features some very cute cartoon footage of Bomberman and his buddies racing on giant kangaroos, supposedly called Looies (isn't that what you call it when you spit phlegm?), and having a great time together. Unfortunately, instead of using those adorable cartoon graphics for the game, we see some ugly polygonal figures. I try to keep in mind that this game was originally for the PlayStation, the console that featured such beautiful three-dimensional graphics as the deformed faces of Sentient, but still the fact remains: these graphics are ugly, plain and simple.

So before you begin playing, you can select your character from White Bomberman, Black Bomberman, Pretty Bomber, Mach Bomber, Burglar, and Mechbomber 015. I have no idea about the last three, but I think it is pretty obvious numbers two and three were there as tokens. You've stolen my heart, "Graphic Research Inc." So after choosing your character you can choose one or two players, choose an animal to ride, either a Looie (the kangaroo-like thing) or a Tierra (a rhinoceros-like thing), your weapons from a collection of ambiguous symbols, and the one track that is openly available.

Kangaroo racing has been outlawed in 63 countries. But not this one.

Now comes the fun part! Hold the X button to move forward and use left and right to steer (naturally). If you press forward, it gives you are temporary speed boost, and using the circle will allow you to use your weapons. Of course, it doesn't really matter because the race is hard as a dried-up dung ball! If you are stuck going in the wrong direction, you are toast because Looies are apparently extremely hard to steer when you are going slow, and there is some giant pad with a paw on it that everyone but you can jump on to get a speed boost. Oh yeah, and enjoy the stupid repetitive music as you repeatedly fail this course.

Once you win that course, which will never happen, you can supposedly get money to buy new Looies and Tierras and unlock new courses. But you can forget seeing any of that because the first course is impossible to win! Coming in second is a major achievement! MAYBE THE REST OF THE GAME IS INCREDIBLE BUT YOU WILL NEVER EVER KNOW! So basically, you just paid for a game with one stinking track, one Looie and one Tierra, plus no chance of ever winning! Thank God I don't believe in getting angry over stupid things or else I would be poop-my-pants enraged right now. If you are the kind of person who enjoys having your eyes jabbed with a hot poker, then this is the game for you.

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