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Vigilante | 8 | 2nd Offense | review | game | Lollipop

Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense

(Activision for the Nintendo 64)
by Brian Johnson

It's somewhat comforting to think that the gearheads who infested your high school's auto shops, smoking cigarettes and sporting mustaches, will still have careers in a post-apocalyptic land. The sequel to the refreshingly original Vigilante 8, V8 2nd Offense, sets out to reclaim the magic which made V8 such a success. It's hard to say if 2nd Offense packs the same hock value that the original did. As our friends at Coca-Cola can attest, sometimes the original flavor is still the best.

There's the same retro flavor with '70s muscle cars and Afro-sheened drivers, with the addition of robot drivers, moon rovers and hot disco chicks. Although I personally can never get enough of driving the kind of cars the tough guys drove around my neighborhood when I was a child, I'm still an El Camino kind of guy. In addition to the original cars, 2nd Offense offers 18 new cars, eight new destructible arenas, and the ability to upgrade your car through the quest mode. All this adds up to more time spent rotting your brains in front of the boob tube, and I thought it was bad when I got the Spice channel for free one night.

While the story is still irrelevant to the overall playing experience -- it's 2017 and a former vigilante-turned-terrorist has traveled back in time to destroy the United States, yadda-yadda -- V8 is still all about one thing: wrecking shit. The programmers decided to add more depth to the single player level by extending the length of the courses, adding objectives, and generally trying to make it more of a quest game. I'm still a little suspect about the lengthening of the levels because the quest mode seems hampered by needless tasks that take away from the overall game experience. Multi-player is solid, as are the survival modes, the controls are easy to master, and the graphics are once again very solid. In addition, the game still sports the same robotic disco music. Thank heaven for the little things.

Overall, V8 2nd Offense is a solid game which continues in the same smash 'em up spirit as the original. However, if your looking for something radically different, you needn't bother purchasing this game. Sure, there are new cars, some new features and expanded quest modes, but if you want a whole new kind of car-smashing experience, try one of the other games on the market.


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