Wednesday, August 30, 2017

VETTE! (PC) Review

VETTE! is an open world racing game by Sphere and published by Spectrum Holobyte in 1989 for MS-DOS and later on the Apple Macintosh. In this game, you race your Corvette against opponents in other supercars.

I love cars. Every job I've ever had involved cars in one way or another. I've driven Ferrari's, Bentley's, Aston Martins, and everything in between. When I found a Delorean for sale near me I went to the bank to secure financing to buy it but I was too slow. I've looked around for a Yugo but I live in the North East and the winters have rotted away all of them around me. Except for the very first car I bought which needed a mechanic to fix some suspension parts for the safety inspection, I've fixed all of the mechanical issues that have come up that weren't warranty work. One time I was at a speed shop buying headers for my Mustang and I came across a cardboard box full of car magazines from the 1980s, I asked if they were for sale and when I was told they were I bought the whole box. I think at this point you can tell that I love cars.

Let's go back to the early 1990s. I was in a store with my mom and I must have had my birthday because I had twenty bucks to spend. I was looking around at video games and I saw VETTE! It was about racing Corvettes and was twenty bucks so it was a done deal. We got home and I opened the box and to my horror, the game was on 5 1/4 disks and our computer only had a 3 1/2 disk drive. My dad said that he would be able to make a 3 1/2 disk at work but since he wasn't technically supposed to he didn't know when I would be able to play. He worked at night so every morning I would wait to see if he'd have my game to play. Eventually, he came through and I popped that disk into the computer and booted it up. I can say without a doubt VETTE! is one of the greatest games I had ever played. But before we get to that let's go over the game itself.

The main purpose of the game is to race an opponent to a certain location in the city. You had your choice of four different Corvettes to drive while your opponent could drive a Porsche 928, Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, or a Ferrari F40. The game would start and you had to beat him to the finish line to win. Unlike popular racing games at the time link Ridge Racer or Outrun VETTE! took place in a 3D version of San Francisco and it's an open world for you to drive around in. You can go anywhere, this blew our minds, my brother and I. But there is more to it than that, there are police roaming the city and if you speed or drive erratically by them they would pull you over. You are given a list of excuses to give the cop and if he excepts it you're free to go.

The city is also populated with regular cars and pedestrians. You can run them down and kill them and this game came out years before Grand Theft Auto. Crashing your VETTE! into cars, people, buildings, etc will damage your VETTE! which would make your car run like garbage. Fortunately, there are gas stations scattered throughout the city and going to them will fix your car back to new. I even wrote a little jingle about the gas station when I was a kid.

The dash was fully functional and with the little bar increasing as you drive faster just like in real Corvettes. You could even look out the left and right windows. Without a question, this game was ahead of its time.

I ran him down because it looks like he has a gun!!

To a person looking back at the graphics, there is no doubt that they don't hold up today. The city of San Francisco is modeled pretty accurately to the real city but because of the power of the computers of the time, there is no detail on the polygons at all. The cars and people are in the shape of what they are supposed to be but it is very basic like a kid cutting out a paper man.

Golden Gate Bridge

The game has no soundtrack and I was fine with that back in the early 90s. There are sound effects, engine noises, and so on. They don't sound great to my ears today but they were fine for the time.

Most people today that know Corvettes like this model the least but It's my favorite and I'm sure it's due to this game. When I finally got a chance to drive one in the real world I can understand, to a point, what they are talking about. You sit very low in the seats and the door sill is like six inches wide making it really hard to get in and out of. And because it's a car from the 80s the interior is not the greatest but when I fired it up and gave it some gas the gauge on the dashboard moved just like in this game.

252 mph years before anyone else!!

I love these Corvettes and I love VETTE! It is without a doubt light years ahead of racing games of the time. My brother and I played this game for years after I bought it and honestly nothing even remotely like this came out for at least a decade. For the amount of fun, my brother and I had driving around the streets of San Francisco, and for many things that we take for granted in racing games today I give VETTE! a 10 out of 10!

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