San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing

Last updated
San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing
San Francisco Rush Extreme Racing Cover.jpg
Developer(s) Atari Games (arcade)
Midway Games (N64)
Climax Development (PlayStation)
Publisher(s) Atari Games (arcade)
Midway Games (consoles)
Producer(s) John Ray
Designer(s) Spencer Lindsay (arcade)
Ed Logg (N64)
Programmer(s) Alan Gray
Composer(s) Gunnar Madsen (Arcade), Doug Brandon (Nintendo 64), Matthew Simmonds (PlayStation)[ citation needed ]
Series Rush
Platform(s) Arcade, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Windows, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release
December 24, 1996
  • Arcade
    December 24, 1996[ citation needed ]
    October 1997 (The Rock)
    1998 (Wave Net)
    Nintendo 64
    • NA: November 8, 1997
    • EU: December 1997
    PlayStation
    • NA: February 28, 1998
    • EU: April 2, 1998
    Windows
    1998
    Midway Arcade Treasures
    • NA: February 17, 2006
    • EU: March 17, 2006
    GameCube
    • NA: September 26, 2005
    PlayStation 2, Xbox
    • NA: September 27, 2005
    • EU: October 14, 2005
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade system Atari Flagstaff

San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing is a video game developed and published by Atari Games. This game was first released in arcades in 1996 and was ported to Nintendo 64 in 1997 and the PlayStation in 1998. San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing is the first game in the Rush series.

Contents

Development

San Francisco Rush was built around the 3dfx Voodoo Graphics dual chips. [1] The 3dfx hardware was cheaper to develop for than proprietary systems, and Atari used the savings to sell the game at a lower price to arcade operators. [2] It was unveiled at the 1996 Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA) show. [3] After originally looking at maps of San Francisco, knowing that the cars would be going 150-160 mph, they realized that they would instead have to craft an alternate version of the city that was more 'fun'. [4]

The new tracks included in The Rock: Alcatraz Edition were actually designed for the Nintendo 64 version of the game, with the sole exception of the Alcatraz track. [5] [6]

Release

Arcade

Released in 1996, the original San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing features three tracks that take place in San Francisco, California and eight playable vehicles. San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing is the first game to use Atari Games' Flagstaff engine.

Released in 1997, San Francisco Rush: The Rock was a ROM update for the original game, allowing arcade owners to extend the life of the original cabinet. [5] The update brought four tracks, including the Alcatraz track, and four new cars. [6] [7] The arcade cabinet is seen in one clip in the music video for Len's "Steal My Sunshine" (1999).

Released in 1998, San Francisco Rush: The Rock: Wave Net is the third and final installment of San Francisco Rush. It's an updated version of The Rock with support for online multiplayer.

Nintendo 64

Rush was ported to the Nintendo 64 in 1997. This conversion contains six tracks, with two of them containing secret stunt courses, plus one hidden track from both San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing and San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition. The regular tracks can be run in either reverse or mirrored modes and feature added collectible hidden keys throughout the track that can be used to unlock hidden vehicles. Most of the original cars appeared in this conversion, but some from San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition are not present. This conversion contains a Practice Mode and a Death Race mode where all cars that crash during a race remain on the track in a wreck, [8] thereby ending the game if the player crashes. The Nintendo 64 port of Rush also includes a Circuit Mode and a save system for Fast Times, circuit progress, and hidden keys that the player can find on secret spots to unlock new cars.

San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition was presumed to be ported to the Nintendo 64 for release in 1998, but advertisements included in the box of the Nintendo 64 version stating the game was "Coming Fall 1998 for Nintendo 64" were later reported to be in error. The advert was actually intended solely for the arcade version, which includes all of the tracks that were already in the Nintendo 64 version. [9]

Sony PlayStation

Rush was ported to Sony PlayStation in 1998. This conversion contains three tracks, plus an exclusive bonus track. None of the original music from the arcade versions is present, and the announcer voice has been modified, but some of his voiceover is included in the game. Some of the modes from the Nintendo 64 port are included. The Death Race mode was renamed Extreme Race, and circuit mode was included but with fewer tracks. There are two exclusive modes: the GP Mode where the player plays ten races to earn points depending on where he/she finished, and the Explosive Mode which is a single race where the player's car will go ablaze and end the game if it goes under 60 mph. The PlayStation version has all eight original cars but none of the San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition cars. The gameplay is also different from the arcade version, as the gravity is higher than the arcade version, reducing the jump airtime, and the steering sensitivity was also modified.

Other ports

San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition was released on PC exclusively with the Quantum3D Raven video card, [10] [11] and was designed to run only on that specific card. It can, however, run on more modern video cards through the use of modified .exes and a glide wrapper for glide support. It is a near-perfect conversion of the arcade game, although it suffers from several collision detection issues and other bugs.[ citation needed ]

San Francisco Rush was planned to be ported to the Game Boy Color, but the project was cancelled.[ citation needed ]. A prototype was discovered and released in January 2022.

San Francisco Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition was ported to Midway Arcade Treasures 3 in 2005 for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox and a similar version is also included in Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition for the PC. The Arcade Treasures version is a recreation of the original game, with a new physics engine[ citation needed ] and sound changes: The game's audio was replaced entirely with a new announcer voice, uses remixed or altered music tracks, and has completely different sound effects. This version received heavy criticism by fans for the alterations made to the audio along with the new physics engine[ citation needed ] that was reported to be buggy and therefore would mess up the gravity[ citation needed ] in the game. The PC version had a critical bug where the car would go over 200 mph and then blow up if gas was held on without braking.

Reception

San Francisco Rush was a major hit in arcades, and was cited as a comeback title restoring Atari Games' fortunes as an arcade game developer. [2]

Next Generation reviewed the arcade version of the game, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "what's coolest about this game are the shortcuts: into sewers, off broken-down freeways, onto skyscraper rooftops, and other unexpected places. Camouflaged in the urban settings of San Francisco, these shortcuts can cut players far ahead of opponents, or if they blow it and crash, a shortcut can set them back to the end of the pack. Either way, it adds a thrill of discovery not usually found in driving games and makes the risk well worth it". [17]

Reviews for the Nintendo 64 port ranged from mixed to laudatory. For example, while Electronic Gaming Monthly 's Kraig Kujawa called it "a nice-looking racer with major problems", co-reviewer Kelly Rickards described it as "fun to play and a solid addition to the Nintendo 64's already large library of racers", [12] and Next Generation concluded that "SF Rush is just short of brilliant. It's a fun, challenging game that keeps you playing over and over again". [18] Critics widely applauded the game's numerous hidden shortcuts, [12] [15] [16] [18] [14] exhilarating and unrealistically high jumps, [12] [16] [18] [14] and inclusion of a multiplayer mode with a solid frame rate. [15] [16] [18] [14] GamePro remarked: "Never mind your heart - the death-defying leaps will make you leave your stomach in San Francisco". [14]

The Nintendo 64 version's controls were more controversial. Next Generation and IGN both praised them as tight and balanced, [16] [18] but other critics experienced problems. GamePro, which gave the game a 4.5 out of 5 for fun factor and graphics but a 3.0 for control, said: "The analog stick just isn't responsive, and there's no way to power slide". [14] John Ricciardi and Crispin Boyer of Electronic Gaming Monthly both found the brakes so ineffectual that they had to put the car in reverse to handle turns, while Rickards said the control takes getting used to but ultimately works. [12] The game's soundtrack was widely derided as the worst part of the game, [12] [15] [16] [14] though Next Generation deemed it enjoyable, [18] and some critics found that a few of the tunes are so strident that they add a humorous camp value to the game. [12] [15]

Critics almost unanimously said the Nintendo 64 port satisfactorily emulated the arcade version, [12] [15] [18] [14] and praised the added console-exclusive content. [12] [16] [18] [14] However, GameSpot concluded that while the port was as faithful as it could be given the limitations of consumer hardware, it could not fully recreate the feel that sitting in the arcade cabinet gave. [15] By contrast, IGN opined that "because of all [its] new options and modes, SF Rush for Nintendo 64 feels like a whole new game -- a much better game designed for the home". The reviewer particularly noted how the additional secrets and the removal of the need to insert quarters more strongly encourages the player to explore. [16]

Reviewing the PlayStation version, French magazine Player One praised the better steering when it comes to sharp turns, but criticized the graphics. [20] Spanish magazine PlanetStation praised the jumps, speed, music, and multiple game modes, but criticized the graphics that are inconsistent with the framerate, and the minimal distinction between the playable cars. [22]

Sequels

The San Francisco Rush series was followed by three sequels. The first was Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA , released in 1998 exclusively on Nintendo 64. The second was the futuristic San Francisco Rush 2049 which was released in 1999 for the arcade and ported to the Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 in 2000. The third and final one was L.A. Rush released in 2005.

Related Research Articles

Racing games are a video game genre in which the player participates in a racing competition. They may be based on anything from real-world racing leagues to fantastical settings. They are distributed along a spectrum between more realistic racing simulations and more fantastical arcade-style racing games. Kart racing games emerged in the 1990s as a popular sub-genre of the latter. Racing games may also fall under the category of sports video games.

<i>Cruisn USA</i> 1994 video game

Cruis'n USA is an arcade racing game originally released in 1994. It was developed, published, and distributed by Midway Games. It is the first game in the Cruis'n series and features races set in locations across the continental United States.

<i>Cruisn World</i> 1996 video game

Cruis'n World is the 1996 sequel to the 1994 arcade racer Cruis'n USA. Cruis'n World allows players to race on various tracks around the world. The game also features more cars than Cruis'n USA. This game introduced stunts to the Cruis'n series. They served to dodge obstacles, take close curves and so. If the stunt makes the vehicle fly in the air, the game gives the player extra seconds of time. The game also uses small rocket boosts to speed up.

<i>Cruisn Exotica</i> 1999 video game

Cruis'n Exotica is a 1999 racing video game developed for arcades by Midway Games. The game is a sequel to Cruis'n World and is the third entry in the Cruis'n series.

<i>Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA</i> 1998 video game

Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA is a racing video game developed by Atari Games and published by Midway Games exclusively for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It was released on November 10, 1998, in North America, and February 4, 1999, in Europe. Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA is a sequel to San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing, and the second game in the Rush series.

<i>San Francisco Rush 2049</i> 1999 video game

San Francisco Rush 2049 is a racing video game developed and published by Atari Games for arcades. It was ported to the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, and Dreamcast by Midway Games. It was released in 2000 on September 7 for North America and November 17 for Europe. It is the third game in the Rush series and the sequel to San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing and Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA. It is also the last game in the Rush series to be set in the city of San Francisco, and the last released on a Nintendo console. It also serves as the final game for the Atari Games label, which was retired shortly after the arcade release. The Dreamcast version was later re-released as part of Midway Arcade Treasures 3 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube; and later Windows as part of Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition.

<i>Top Gear Rally</i> 1997 video game

Top Gear Rally is a 1997 racing video game developed by Boss Game Studios and released for the Nintendo 64. A follow-up to Kemco's original Top Gear game, it features a championship mode where a single player must complete six seasons of two to four races, as well as a multiplayer mode where two players may compete against each other via a split-screen display. The game's tracks combine both road and off-road surfaces and can be played in different weather conditions, including night, fog, rain, and snow. Players may customize their car with different tire grips and adjust its suspension stiffness and steering sensitivity. An option that allows players to custom paint their cars is also included.

<i>Automobili Lamborghini</i> 1997 video game

Automobili Lamborghini is a 1997 racing video game developed and published by Titus Software for the Nintendo 64. It is a successor to Lamborghini American Challenge.

<i>Midway Arcade Treasures 3</i> 2005 video game

Midway Arcade Treasures 3 is the third and final compilation of classic arcade games published by Midway Games for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. This compilation includes 8 racing games that were not in the 2003 and 2004 releases Midway Arcade Treasures and Midway Arcade Treasures 2. Like the first and second installments, however, the Xbox version is not compatible with the Xbox 360. Unlike the other installments in the Midway Arcade Treasures series, it is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.

<i>Mace: The Dark Age</i> 1997 fighting arcade game

Mace: The Dark Age is a fighting video game released by Atari Games for arcade machines in 1997 and later ported by Midway to the Nintendo 64. Like many fighting games of the time, its style is marked by extreme violence, with characters graphically slaying defeated opponents. Utilizing 3Dfx Voodoo chips for the hardware, the game received attention for its cutting-edge graphics and turned Atari a profit in the arcades. Critical response to the gameplay was much less enthusiastic.

<i>Need for Speed II</i> 1997 racing video game

Need for Speed II is a racing video game released in 1997. It is a part of the Need for Speed series and is the second installment, following The Need for Speed.

<i>V-Rally</i> (video game) 1997 video game

V-Rally is a racing video game developed by Infogrames Multimedia and released for the PlayStation console in 1997. The first game in the V-Rally series, it is based on the 1997 and 1998 World Rally Championship seasons, and features officially licensed cars and tracks inspired by real locations of rally events. Players drive rally cars through a series of stages spread over eight different locations, ranging from European countries like England, Spain or Sweden, to island countries such as Indonesia and New Zealand. As a simulation game, V-Rally places a strong emphasis on replicating the behavior physics of real cars and generally requires more practice than arcade-style racers.

<i>Hydro Thunder</i> 1999 video game

Hydro Thunder is an inshore powerboat racing video game, originally an arcade game and later released for the Sega Dreamcast as a launch title in 1999. It was also released for PlayStation and Nintendo 64 in early 2000. This game is part of Midway's Thunder series of racing games, which includes Offroad Thunder, 4 Wheel Thunder, and Arctic Thunder. Hydro Thunder Hurricane, a sequel to Hydro Thunder, was later released for the Xbox 360 on July 27, 2010 on Xbox Live Arcade.

Rush is a series of racing video games by American-based company Atari Games and published by Atari Games and Midway Games for home consoles. The series debuted worldwide in 1996. Games consist mainly of racing with various cars on various, and to some extent, including stunts in races. Since L.A. Rush the series has adopted its street racing atmosphere.

<i>AeroGauge</i> 1997 video game

AeroGauge is a futuristic, sci-fi hovercraft racing game designed for the Nintendo 64 game console and was released in 1998. The game was originally set for a U.S. release in February 1998, but it was delayed first to April 2, before finally getting the release date of May 21, 1998.

<i>California Speed</i> (video game) 1998 video game

California Speed) is a racing video game developed and published by Atari Games and Midway Games. The game was first released in arcades for Atari/Midway Seattle Arcade System hardware in 1998 and was ported to the Nintendo 64 in 1999 by Midway Games. The Nintendo 64 version of the game contains support for the Controller Pak and the Rumble Pak also the full support for multiplayer mode.

<i>Off Road Challenge</i> 1997 video game

Off Road Challenge is a video game developed and published by Midway Games. The game was originally released in 1997 for arcades using the Midway V Unit hardware. It is part of the Off Road series which began with Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's Super Off Road.

Cruis'n is a series of racing video games originally developed by Eugene Jarvis for Midway Games and published by Midway and Nintendo. The series distinguishes itself from other racing games with its over-the-top presentation and fast-paced gameplay, featuring a wide variety of vehicles and tracks based on a variety of real world locations. The series debuted in North American and European arcades in 1994 with the release of Cruis'n USA, which, along with Killer Instinct, was advertised as running on Nintendo's Ultra 64 hardware. Two sequels followed, Cruis'n World and Cruis'n Exotica, which featured new vehicles and tracks. All three games were released for the Nintendo 64 as well, with Exotica also being released for the handheld Game Boy Color. The next game in the series, Cruis'n Velocity deviated from the traditional arcade gameplay of the series and was released for the Game Boy Advance.

Ever since Pole Position in 1982, Formula One (F1) has always played a part of the racing genre in video games. Early Formula One games were typically arcade racing games, before Formula One Grand Prix (1991) popularized Formula One racing simulations on home computers.

<i>Powerslide</i> (video game) 1998 video game

Powerslide is a post-apocalyptic Microsoft Windows racing game by Australian developer Ratbag Games. It was released in Australia, United States and Europe in 1998. Powerslide was praised for its graphics and AI in particular. A sequel, Powerslide: Slipstream, was in development as of 2004, but Ratbag couldn't find a suitable publisher, and shortly after the company was shut down. Powerslide was re-released on GOG.com in 2012.

References

  1. "NG Alphas: San Francisco Rsuh". Next Generation . No. 26. Imagine Media. February 1997. p. 88.
  2. 1 2 "NG Alphas: Atari Comes Alive". Next Generation . No. 35. Imagine Media. November 1997. p. 78.
  3. "San Francisco Rush Extreme". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 89. Ziff Davis. December 1996. p. 144.
  4. EPNdotTV (2016-01-25), Tomb Raider Visit to Core - S1:E4 - Electric Playground, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2018-08-22
  5. 1 2 "NG Alphas: San Francisco Rush: The Rock, Alcatraz Edition". Next Generation . No. 35. Imagine Media. November 1997. p. 78.
  6. 1 2 "San Francisco Rush: The Rock: No Rush to Escape from the Rock". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 102. Ziff Davis. January 1998. p. 98.
  7. Johnny Ballgame (January 1998). "San Francisco Rush: The Rock: Alcatraz Edition". GamePro . No. 112. IDG. p. 68.
  8. "San Francisco Rush: Leapin' Lamborghinis!". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 100. Ziff Davis. November 1997. p. 36.
  9. "Rush: The Rock Not Coming to N64 - IGN". Ign64.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
  10. "Raven & Ventana". The Dodge Garage 3dfx Collection. Archived from the original on February 10, 2005.
  11. "Quantum 3D Raven". TweakStone's Banshee Asylum (in German).
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Review Crew: San Francisco Rush". Electronic Gaming Monthly . No. 101. Ziff Davis. December 1997. p. 192.
  13. "Viewpoint". GameFan . Vol. 5 no. 12. December 1997. pp. 20, 22, 24. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Dan Elektro (December 1997). "Nintendo 64 ProReview: San Francisco Rush Extreme Racing". GamePro . Vol. 9 no. 12. IDG. p. 138.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Fielder, Joe. "San Francisco Rush Review". GameSpot . Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Casamassina, Matt (November 7, 1997). "San Francisco Rush". IGN . Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  17. 1 2 "Finals". Next Generation . No. 28. Imagine Media. April 1997. p. 134.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Speed 3". Next Generation . No. 36. Imagine Media. December 1997. p. 161.
  19. Scott; Dan; Ench; Terry (November 1997). "San Francisco Rush". Nintendo Power . Vol. 102. p. 93. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  20. 1 2 Chon (July–August 1998). "Vite Vu". Player One (in French). p. 138.
  21. "ESPORTE TOTAL". SuperGamePower (in Portuguese). June 1998. p. 44.
  22. 1 2 "SAN FRANCISCO RUSH: No es lo mismo volar a San Francisco que volar en San Francisco". PlanetStation (in Spanish). December 1998. p. 25.