#506 – R.C. Pro-Am II

                      

                                                       That bi-plane means business. He’ll bomb your truck good.

 

                           

                                                                Pretty much any screenshot of the game looks like this.

 

PLAYERS: 1-4 simultaneous

PUBLISHER: Tradewest

DEVELOPER: Rare

GENRE: Racing

RELEASE DATE: December 1992

 

R.C. Pro-Am broke through the barriers of mediocrity in the NES racing library and zoomed off with my heart. Despite our torrid love affair, I’ll be the first to admit that the game had some issues: steep learning curve on the controls; ridiculously challenging AI; and no multiplayer mode. Well, bust out the champagne and the “Holy Crap! A Developer Fixed What Was Wrong!” balloons. R.C. Pro-Am II is a beauty. Even without any upgrades, the controls are much tighter and more intuitive. Gliding around corners is as smooth as it should be. The race doesn’t seem to move by as quickly, so it’s easier to see what power-ups you’re gathering on the track. The AI is still challenging, but it seems a bit fairer this go-round, especially since you can upgrade your vehicle as you move along. After every race, you win prize money (unless you’re in fourth place… don’t get fourth place), which you can use to buy better motors, tires, or different weaponry. You can still collect letters to upgrade your vehicle (this time, the letters spell out ‘Pro-Am II’), but it’s nice that you don’t have to run over upgrades on the track any more in order to “trick” out your “ride.” Lastly, Rare went the extra mile and bypassed the conventional two-player mode with a four-player mode. Now you and three friends can race and blast each other into oblivion for as long as you’d like. It’s a wonderful addition, and, dare I say, this might be the best four-player game on the NES. If you struggled with the first R.C. Pro-Am, give this much-improved sequel a chance. Perhaps you too will succumb to the siren song of the remote-controlled car.

 

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