Blast From the Past: Rad Racer


Its been a long time since I’ve done one of these but I finally got some free time so it’s that time again. It’s time for another segment of Blast from the Past. This time around, I’m hitting on one of my favorite games from my childhood and one of the tougher games I played as a kid. The game was harder than but it’s still fun to play and has things that I still love in video games. Put your seat-belts on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Here’s the next installment of BFTP- Rad Racer for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Rad Racer was released for the NES in 1987 and was already pushing the par further than most games at the time. The game came with 3D glasses bundle with the game was showing how innovative Nintendo was being then.( Nintendo working with 3D tech, doesn’t that sound familiar?) In my opinion, Rad Racer is still one of the better racing games around and still one of the most challenging games for the system. The game also has some customization that goes along with it. You can pick one of two available cars to race as well as picking a radio station to listen to while cruising down the San Francisco Highway. Music and game play help make games work and Rad Racer is no exception.

As anyone who reads my posts knows, I’m a sucker when it comes to good video game music. Rad Racer doesn’t have that much music to listen to but the tracks that it does have are some of the best the NES has to offer. You need great tunes to listen to while driving. I would go with the first song for most of my races but that’s just my opinion. Sometimes you need to have the music off, which takes away from the race but that’s the only was you can hear the cars ahead of you coming with the radio off, you can hear them coming fast enough and make turns fast enough. Looks/graphics also give a game that extra something. The NES didn’t have the greatest graphics but did try to make games look great and succeeded most of the time.

For Rad Racer, it appears that slight background images give the player the illusion that they are in a certain location. Rocks and mountains give the Grand Canyon feel to one race and the ruins give the track that “Athens” feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t designed to be a major realistic racing game, the game is designed to be fun. Your car hits a sign and goes flying, is that realistic, no! The game isn’t designed to be as realistic as possible, it’s a racing game that is supposed to be fun, and it is.

Now, every game has good points and bad. Rad Racer is no exception. Rad Racer may look and sound great but does it feel right. What I mean by that is ” do the controls feel comfortable with the action? I’m gonna have to say no on this one. The game was made in 1987 so I’m not going to kill it on control scheme or tightness. What I am going to cry foul on is the fact that the other cars on the road seem to just have that “there because we’re there” feeling to them. Most of the time the other cars just get in the way and other times they make you swerve out of control and drive into a sign or a rock or whatever happens to be on the side of the road. It’s for these reasons I’m giving Rad Racer for the Nintendo Entertainment System an 8.0/10, A good game for 1987 with some great music but could have been better. Stay tuned for the next Blast From The Past. Leave comments and ideas for future BFTP posts and ideas to make them better!

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