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18 Wheeler

Developer: Acclaim | Publisher: Acclaim
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/14/01 | Genre: Driving

You and I share the highways with them everyday. Sometimes they block exits that we need to use or we are just plain stuck behind them at a light. Everyone who is old enough to sit behind the wheel has undoubtedly had an interaction with the Kings of the Road... the 18 wheelers. They are big and fast and have even been featured as stars of movies as of late (Joyride being the latest) and you don't want to get in their way. But the feeling would be reversed if you ever had the opportunity to climb up and step inside that driver's seat!

The off-the-wall arcade smash, 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker has rambled to the Playstation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube for one heck'uva pit stop! You can get behind the wheel of a 60-foot long, 20-ton, 18-wheeled beast and buckle up as you haul tail from New York to California and everywhere in between in the most intense joyride of your life! 10-4 good buddy - Over and out!

You have probably seen the arcade hit on a number of occasions and probably thought to yourself (as I did) "huh, that's kind of a cool idea. I mean, who wouldn't think that the chance to sit behind the wheel of a 18 Wheeler and just hit the gas would be pretty cool?" And if you did try the arcade smash then you probably know that the experience of the game is pretty sweet. But how would it rate as a home video game? Well, there's only one way to tell!

The easiest way to describe this game to you is to think of another game that was also an arcade smash (and also made by Sega who created and produced this one) and that game is Crazy Taxi. In Crazy Taxi the mission was to take your cargo (the passenger) and drop it off as quickly as possible in order to pick of more cargo... I mean, passengers, to achieve the one main goal and that is of course to make money.

18 Wheeler is very similar because what you want to do is to deliver your cargo (which can vary on the difficulty level you wish to choose) and drop it off before you run out of time. What happens if you don't make it? Well, then you don't get paid (and isn't it already bad enough you're a pro truck driver, let alone a broke truck driver cause you can't get the job done!) Now in order to help you while trying to drive that big ol' rig there are rewards you can get by running over special trucks that give you even more time so don't worry if you like to crash and burn a couple times while driving!

But what would a game be without a villain? 18 Wheeler has us covered on that score, too, because not only are you fighting the clock, but you also must battle with another 18 Wheeler who seems to have only one thing in mind and that's to mess up your run. So you must use your brains and a little bit of your 18 wheelin' size to move that bad-boy over in order to grab the money and position. Speed, strategy and luck must be a part of your world in order to succeed in this game!

In this game overall, the graphics won't rock your world but they are still pretty strong. And with the extra camera views that take you inside the rig the game comes to life right in front of your eyes. The audio, on the other hand, is one of the best features in the game. Not only does this game feature everything from ho-down Country music to CB prompts and taunts but the actual sounds of your rig leaving the dock (or wherever you are leaving from) are very cool and believable. You will hear the gears pumping and cargo moving while making that big run. And the taunts from your fellow truckers are very cool coming from your CB!

I really wish I had a great big steering wheel to play this game, just like the arcade version. The controls themselves aren't bad but I would like to be able to feel the power it takes to turn that huge wheel just like in the arcade. And one more thing that might drive you a little crazy is that some of your missions are very difficult and will leave you swearing like a truck driver (no pun intended there!)

If you are a fan of Crazy Taxi or just a racing fan, you should definitely check this one out! Or if you just think the idea sounds kind of cool, you should check it out as well. I don't think you will be disappointed. And since the game is rated E for everyone by the ESRB, this is one you can play by yourself or with your kids or friends!

By Chris "Hoss" Neupert - 05/15/02

Screenshots for 18 Wheeler

Warrior Kings

Crazy Taxi