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Big Car Hunter in Demolition Racer: No Exit (Dreamcast)

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Demolition Racer: No Exit was made in 2000 by Pitbull Syndicate for the Sega Dreamcast and was released exclusively in North America. No Exit is the upgraded version of a game which was released a year prior for the Sony PlayStation and PC. This review will just briefly talk about the main game and instead will focus on the bonus game "Big Car Hunter" which is an unlockable extra.

Demolition Race: No Exit is a racing game, in which the final placing is not the most important thing. Instead it just affects a factor which is then multiplied with the points which were gained during the race. Points are yielded by actions such as crashing into competing cars or by turning them around. Besides the races, demolition derby competitions are held. The game has no story at all and plays very arcady.

There are two main modes: Single race and a league. The league is the place where tracks, cars, modes and extras are unlocked. One of these extras is a light gun game called "Big Car Hunter". It is unlocked by completing "City" in the league. Alternatively the player may cheat to unlock the game by pressing left, right, X, left, X, right, X, Y at the main screen.

Big Car Hunter can be played using a gun controller connected to port D. The game is compatible with the Dreamcast Gun which is curious as this gun was soft locked to be incompatible for many North American games after the Columbine High School Massacre incident. There is no calibration routine in the game, but luckily when I use a Dreamcast Gun at my particular PVM I have no offset at all. When using a Mad Catz Dream Blaster instead I experience a notable offset.

Three degrees of difficulty are selectable. Hard is indeed quite difficult. I can’t beat this mode without a full automatic gun controller. In the game the player parks in the middle of a Demolition Derby arena while cars are appearing from three directions. These cars head towards the player and attempt to collide. The hostile cars arrive in waves. After each wave the player changes the orientation of the own car in order to face the next set of cars. The waves are getting more and more frantic the further the player progresses. Eventually the game ends and presents the player with a score screen. If the cars are shot they explode, but often they keep their trajectory for some time and remain a threat to the player. If the player gets hit, the live counter depletes and the windshield gradually cracks. Car wrecks can obstruct the path between the player and the approaching cars, and therefore they can act as a shield but the wrecks can be dangerous too, as sometimes they are propelled against the player upon colliding with a car.

Big Car Hunter is very simple but I enjoyed it a lot. It is challenging but controls well enough to feel quite rewarding. I like the background music very much. It is a kind of Electronica which I would describe as a love child of big beat and acid house.

By looking at the other extra games it becomes clear that the people at Pitbull Syndicate are tremendous video game enthusiasts themselves. One game is a variant of pong, in which the metal ball hurts the cars upon impact. Another game is clearly inspired by the Worms series. The player controls a car throwing trebuchet by adjusting the angle and the tension.

I like the cover a lot. It shows how a car is approaching another car from above which is one of the two insta-kill mechanics inside the game. I imagine people were irritated when they read on the back of the game that it is light gun compatible albeit being a racing game.