Blizzard Arcade Collection – Making of: Rock N Roll Racing

Blizzard Arcade Collection
In celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary, Blizzard Entertainment released a compilation called Blizzard Arcade Collection in February 2021, for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. The collection includes three Blizzard’s classic video games: The Lost Vikings, Blackthorne, and Rock n’ Roll Racing. Some of the modern features include 16:9 resolution, 4-player split-screen, rewinding and saving of game progress, watching replays, and adding graphic filters to change the look of player’s game. Larry Huffman supplied additional voiceovers for this release.

Rock n’ Roll Racing is a vehicular combat-based racing video game developed by Silicon & Synapse (now known as Blizzard Entertainment) and published by Interplay Productions for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993 and the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1994. The game prominently features a number of popular heavy metal and rock songs in its soundtrack, hence the game’s title. The game was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2003. In celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary, Rock n’ Roll Racing was re-released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as part of the “Blizzard Arcade Collection” in February 2021.

Rock n’ Roll Racing was initially developed as RPMII, a sequel to the company’s SNES game RPM Racing. At the end of the project, Interplay marketing added licensed music and changed the name to Rock n’ Roll Racing. It is also similar in gameplay to Racing Destruction Set where it got its logic/AI engine and the NES game R.C. Pro-Am developed by Rare in 1988.

The game pits four racers against each other, with up to two of them being player-controlled from a colourful collection of comic book inspired humans and aliens and the rest being AI opponents; ‘Rip’ and ‘Shred’ who appear in all races plus a third character unique to each planet/level in one player mode. Each race consists of four laps around tracks viewed from an isometric perspective, which enables players to discern the presence of frequent sloping sections spread throughout the game’s various tracks. In addition to navigating the turns, racers must also maneuver hills and dips without falling or jumping over the guard rail at the track’s edge.

A race on the SNES version.
While it is a racing game, there is heavy emphasis on attacking competitor’s vehicles; since the cars always reappear with full health just a few seconds after blowing up, the only “harm” done is falling behind in the race. Players are rewarded with a monetary “attack bonus” each time they provide the finishing blow against another car using their forward or rear weapons (and a similar “lapping bonus” when they gain a full one-lap lead on an opponent during the race). In accordance with the continual destruction and restoration of the racing vehicles, the tracks are littered with mines and health power-ups, as well as money power-ups. Other hazards include oil slicks, snow drifts, and lava, depending on the planet hosting the race.

Players are updated on the race by commentator “Loudmouth Larry” (Larry “Supermouth” Huffman), who makes enthusiastic comments like “The stage is set, the green flag drops!” (or “Let the carnage begin!”), and “(player name) is about to blow!” at appropriate moments during the race.

Between races, players can spend the money they have earned on more advanced equipment for their vehicle (engines, tires, shocks, and shielding) or on increasing their capacity for the frontal weapon (energy blasts or missiles), rear weapon (slip sauce or mines), and turbo boost (jump jets or nitro boosts), each of which can max out at seven. Despite their limited capacity, every vehicle will have its weapon and boost charges replenished at the completion of each lap in a race. Racers can also buy more advanced vehicle models; however, all equipment and weapons upgrades are lost when a new vehicle is purchased.

The first three drivers to complete a race are awarded both money and points according to the final standings. Points are required for advancement to the next racing division or the next planet, with two divisions on each planet. A player who has not obtained enough points during a division’s racing season must repeat the division, again starting with zero points, but all changes to the player’s money and car remain in effect.

The songs were uncredited but included:
Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Highway Star by Deep Purple
Paranoid by Black Sabbath
Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini
Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf
Radar Love by Golden Earring (Sega Genesis only)

Description by Wikipedia


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