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Hooters Road Trip

Developer: Hoplite Research | Publisher: Ubisoft
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 03/25/02 | Genre: Action

Apparently I had entirely underestimated the contempt that Kaleb, our boss here at CV-games, has for me. I can envision him twiddling his fingers maliciously and snickering the entire way to bring this game to me. This abomination of the gaming industry is arguably the most well rounded failure that I have ever laid my hands on. Every single imaginable facet of the game has been twisted to cause seizure-inducing pain to all that dare to insert the disc and press the power button. If you're brave enough, and have a few brain cells to spare, delve into the black, festering heart of this review.

The Good:

One or two of the Hooter's girls did not use the awful southern contraction "ya'll" during their clever video clips that mostly involved them jumping up and down and welcoming you to the different race settings. Also, the game did not contain images of Jon Lovitz in a string bikini. I did in fact survive playing the game for a little over an hour, albeit being a changed and broken man. That's about all.

The Bad:

The developers at Hoplite apparently elected to use the original "Road Rash" Genesis graphics engine, or some similar creation. One of the featured Hooter's girls would probably be able to count the number of polygons on screen without getting confused. Soapbox cars look more aerodynamic and streamlined than the monstrosities in Road Trip.

The graphic interface during racing is banefully horrible. You get a speedometer and your position in the race. You do not get rear view mirrors. You do not get a miniature map of the track showing you where the tight curves are or where your opponents are. Instead, you get a flat gray line with a little green square that moves left to right to give you an approximate idea of how much more agony you must endure until the race is over.

While playing Hooters Road Trip, I learned a few things about the geography of some of the southern US cities. First off, all roads around these cities are completely fenced in. This is probably to keep you from getting lost in the cities, which consist mostly of trees, giant cows that are almost as tall as trees, big grayish-purple globs that may or may not be boulders, and scattered, eerily-similar houses. In fact, southern cities only have about 6 or 7 houses located close to one another, and they are placed right next to the finish line. In addition, in the south, trees spring to full-height from the bowels of the earth while shrouded in a magical mist that is always moving about 50 yards in front of your car. This mist also spawns the following: road paint, the fences that might also be rope ladders, and other cars or trucks.

To keep the sound on par with the graphics, Hoplite surely went through the trouble of tracking down the mysterious Hagasaki brothers, the sound effects geniuses behind several select low budget martial arts movies. I believe they were responsible for the auditory delight in "Ninja Camel: Night Death Assassin".

The following is how I envision the sound recording session took place:

Lead Designer: Ok, now we're going to play a silent version of our game, and you play the sound effects you've recorded.

(car accelerates)

Hagasaki sound system: (a toaster pops)

(Hagasaki brothers smile, obviously pleased with themselves)

Lead Designer: Hmm...

(car blows horn)

Hagasaki sound system: (a duck quacks, quickly followed by a bubbling sound)

Lead Designer: And one more...

(car crashes into a fence/rope ladder)

Hagasaki sound system: (a horrifying sound, best described as a moose inserted into a giant blender)

Lead Designer: Yes! Where's the beef, baby!

Hagasaki sound system: (begins playing Disco Inferno by the Tramps and the Hagasaki brothers and designer start dancing)

That's probably not exactly what happened, but I assure you, the sound effects are impossibly terrible.

Oh, and the music sounds sort of like an electric guitar being fed through a cheese grater.

Suffice to say, controlling your car is not unlike trying to steer a drier sheet through a wind tunnel. Tapping the control stick in either direction sends you careening into the fence/rope ladder, and the cars accelerate and brake implausibly quickly. Each subsequent "Road Trip" consists of one more wickedly distorted version of a southern city. This unlocks other ugly cars, such as the Plow-200 or the Thunder. You then have to license these cars by finishing a course in an allotted time before you can drive them. Successful completion of a race will have a short video sequence of bouncy Hooter's girls in bathing suits congratulating you for actually finishing the race and not trying to slice your wrist with the controller cord.

Conclusion:

I would not buy this game unless you're looking for an overpriced beer coaster. I would not rent this game. In fact, I recommend doing anything more fun with your PS one or PS2, such as lifting the system above your head and then thrusting it down forcefully upon your testicles repeatedly until you pass out or vomit blood. Trust me, after playing this one, you will find death even more enjoyable.

By Farmer Monkey - 07/12/02
ESRB Details: Suggestive Themes
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Screenshots for Hooters Road Trip

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