Remembering classic games: Street Racer (1994) | Top Gear
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Remembering classic games: Street Racer (1994)

Shamelessly mash Mario Kart and Street Fighter 2 together, and you get this riotously fun SNES game

Published: 28 May 2021

If you were scratching your head, looking for ideas for your thinly veiled Mario Kart clone back in the early 90s, you could do worse than to cast your eye over the videogame charts where Street Fighter 2 was busy selling approximately a quintillion copies. That's the only explanation for the existence of Street Racer, a game which had about as much in common with Fast and Furious style illegal street racing as, well, the recent Fast and Furious movies.

Instead, Street Racer was essentially Street Fighter in go karts, something the marketing team for the game attempted to make as clear as possible without accidentally waking up any lawyers. Fortunately in addition to being a shameless rip-off of not one but two classic Super Nintendo games, it was also an absolute riot to play. If you wanted to do some damage to an overtaking opponent, rather than deploying anything as child friendly as a green shell you simply leant out of your car and punched them in the face. Much more straightforward.

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Each of the colourful cast of racers had unique special moves as well, whether that was blasting other racers into the weeds with a pair of concealed bullhorns, releasing an angry spectre to terrify them off the road or converting the car into a World War I triplane and temporarily taking to the skies. What's more, up to four players could compete at once in the split screen mode, though this being the 1990s that meant each player ended up with only a handful of fist-sized pixels with which to discern what was going on.

Arguably even more memorable than the racing were the two mini-games. Rumble placed you on a platform hanging over an abyss and tasked you with shunting your opponents into oblivion. Soccer, meanwhile, was a surprisingly addictive take on football in cars. Someone should probably do that in real life. Maybe put it on television?

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