#157 Power Drift

Posted: 2nd July 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

523rd played so far


Genre: Driving
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1988
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega

I’m not sure why we’re playing Power Drift today. It was time we played another driving game and this looked fun enough. Sometimes that’s all we’ve got – got to get to it at some point.

Our Thoughts

Power Drift shows how arcades really were ahead of the home machines in the 80s. It plays a lot like Super Mario Kart, with the mode-7 style rotations, constant behind-the-camera viewpoint and cartoony graphics. It doesn’t have the Mario trappings, but it still feels more advanced than the 1992 offering. Proper 3D hadn’t happened yet, which would create the big jump ahead, but this shines here.

The game started off with as a somewhat difficult racer, which didn’t help the initial few runs. This wasn’t as bad as it might seem in other cases, as the colourful graphics with nice backgrounds were just as good, the exaggerated characters adding something fun and the tracks themselves having some added variation. The graphics have a lot of other distortions applied as well, tilting and such, that you don’t really actually notice when playing the game, but add to the experience.

The latter is where this racer feels ahead of Super Mario Kart and other 2D era racers I’ve seen. Aside from seeing the full track, it’s not as blocky as others I’m thinking of. More notable though, there is elevation that is used as well as it can be – I’ve seen it described as a rollercoaster experience, and there is certainly a lot of fun in going up and down, and added challenges in not falling off when you have to zigzag through parts of the track.

Final Thoughts

Power Drift has a lot of elements that made later more casual racer as much fun, taking that over accuracy. It looks good and has enough of a challenge to stay a challenge for some time. It’s a pretty good game.