Juberline reporting in for another indie game review. I have been wanting to review Ocean Drive Challenge and it’s because of one word, nostalgia! This game simply oozes with it. It’s a point-to-point racing game that takes inspiration from such classics like Hang On and Outrun. These games are classics and have helped shaped racing games as we know it. Ocean Drive tries to capture some of that magic. It has it all from the classic 16-bit graphical style, disco soundtrack to the ridiculous speed.
The Game itself hides nothing; it is very simple pick up and play fun. You choose from three cars (one fast, one good at handling and one all-rounder) which are very well balanced and you race from start to finish going through checkpoints to keep the timer alive. Each stage is littered with traffic and every checkpoint is visually different and more difficult. There are other racers but they do not factor into your performance and merely pose as nothing more than faster traffic obstacles.
This is where I get to my gripe with this game, the traffic. To put it simply there is too much of it. At first dodging and weaving through a few cars and racers is fun and satisfying. But as the stages progress the traffic becomes more dense and the road becomes narrower. Hitting another car will slow you down to a halt and it takes a while to get going again. At some points the traffic will become impossible to dodge and you’ll scream out in frustration. Outrun handles traffic perfectly and this is one of the things I wished Ocean Drive took from that.
But that aside I can’t think of anything else wrong with this game. Sure there are only three cars, three songs and one strict route but they are all of very high standard. Again the cars are well balanced and are great to drive. The soundtrack is small but it is good and if you don’t like it then this is a game that is perfect with custom soundtracks. You may not be able to choose a path to your goal (like outrun) but the stages are nicely done and diverse even if a bit bare.
This game is a steal at eighty Microsoft points. It is a great title that reminds me that nostalgia can be just as important to a game as innovation. Sure Ocean drive has no innovation, but with as much nostalgia as it has it doesn’t need any.
Nostalgia of classics, Balanced choice of cars, Great graphical style, Cheap!
Too much traffic, Only one mode, No two player