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Space Ribbon

Experience psychedelic space racing. Intelligent track generation means you will never drive the same course twice, making this is a true test of driver skill. Unlock new... read more

Space Ribbon Preview

Author: Daniel Gaudiello
07-Nov-2016

Category: Preview

The year is 2132. Creatures have been found in space that vomit race tracks from their mouth. Umm...start your engines? That's what I said to myself When I read about this game. Sounding weird and being weird is what this game is. Is it worth a look?

Space Ribbon Preview

Introduction

I like racing games. Before Criterion took over Need for Speed I was hooked. I've played obscure games like Automobili Lamborghini on my Nintendo 64. My favorite was Mario Kart 64. I liked the odd yet familiar race tracks and I also liked the weapon play. My least favorite level in that game is Rainbow Road. Yes it psychedelic colors, but it had nothing interesting about it. It didn't remind me of any level in the Super Mario Bros. games like the others did.

So I come across Space Ribbon. It peaked my interest so I played it. It's a pretty clear and concise racing game. You get points and that is based on your standing. You can unlock new cars and parts, but you have to get 1st for those awards. The only way you can use the awarded parts and cars is after completing the cup. Panda Cup is the first and easiest at your disposal.

Space Ribbon is available Early Access on Steam for 9.99$

Narrative

The only way to explain Space Ribbon is to construct sentences based on the information I know to be factual. The year is 2132, 116 years in the future. Creatures have been found deep in outer space. They vomit races tracks out of their mouths. (Yes go back and read again if you don't believe what you just read) So we as humans decided to race on these tracks.

That's the best I can do. You might ask where can I read this in the game. The answer is nowhere. I read this information on the bottom of their Steam page. So I had no clue why the game is the way it is until I found that insane explanation.

My first thought was, who made this game and what were they on? So I did some research and it's made by Onteca. They are and indie developer out of Liverpool. they made on other game called Monster vs Robots. So they have on credit to their name.

Gameplay

Now the gameplay. It's pretty classic and simplified compared to your Need for Speed and Burnout games. It's as simple as Mario Kart 64. Using my trusty Xbox 360 gamepad I'll give you those button as the layout. The right trigger or A button is to accelerate. Control Stick or d-pad is for steering. The X button is to brake. Two more buttons are used for battle and that's my next paragraph.

There are certain cups in the game. You start with the Panda Cup. If you scroll through the cups towards the end of the list, there are war cups. This is where the game turns into a graphically superior version of Mario Kart 64. Here there are two things I realized in the races, shields, and missiles. Those are the first two things you get to use. You get one shield no matter how many you drive over before using the first one you acquire. Once you use it, a little meter that comes up so you know when it's over. For attack, you get rockets. They fire straight then turn, no guarantee you'll hit someone unless they're directly in front of you. There is a third power up. The icon looks like a ghost. It makes you transparent for a short time. You cannot be attacked and you can literally pass through other cars. This saves the need to go around them. As you race the shield will be a blue circle on the course, missiles are red, the ghost is black.

Space Ribbon Preview. The finish line
No matter what race you choose, the goal is always the same. Get to the mouth. See that panda? That mouth is the goal. the panda will keep vomiting track until you race into its mouth. Regardless of what you place, you get points, if you win based on points, you'll unlock a car at the end of the cup. You only get upgrades for your car if you place first. The game does get harder in the later cups. You can only receive the upgrades and keep them if you finish the cup. You can go back to the title screen to upgrade your car in the middle of a circuit. If you're having trouble, go back through a previous cup and you'll get more upgrades bases on what you already have so level 3 upgrades will come after level 2 upgrades regardless of what cup you're racing in.

I did run into one problem that happens after the first cup. You can easily pull an 180-degree turn. That can kill your lead and make you lose. It happens too easily. Also cars at random like to smash into you, that makes you turn sometimes also. One time I was stuck because the AI car made me turn sideways and the other AI cars just keep going into me. This made me unable to turn and them go slow.

Graphics

Like any Steam game, you have to check the minimum requirements to make sure the game will run at all. After you determine that, like my Mantis Burn Racing review, you will have to go into the options menu and tinker with the resolution. They simplified it with words that you would use anyway. My computer was set to beautiful. It has many different settings so everyone should be taken care of.

Space Ribbon Preview. Old car, Good performance
The game takes place in outer space. So all you see is stars and a colored sky. The cars look good. I mean you start with old cars, but they just added some futuristic cars to the game. The cars all look like they belong there being that this game takes place in the far future.

Final Thoughts

As with any early access game, this is not the finished product. So keep that in mind when you buy this game. There should be an in-game version of the story, graphics will receive more polish, and they will iron out any minor bugs. If you like obscure racing games, this is right up your alley. If you want a realistic racer like a Need for Speed  or a Burnout, then steer clear of this game.

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