Rapid Racer, known as Turbo Prop Racing in North America, is a racing video game developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and released for the PlayStation in 1997. In the game, the player takes control of a motorboat and races around six different tracks. Eventually, all six tracks can be raced mirrored, as well as set at night time.
|Developer(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment Europe|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment Europe|
By winning championships and completing bonus rounds (unlocked by five yellow icons during a race but first two day tracks), players can unlock them which they can use to either upgrade their boat or unlock a higher-powered one.
Rapid Racer was one of the first PlayStation games to take full advantage of the DualShock controller; the game allow steering with the analog sticks, and the gamepad vibrates during gameplay. The intensity of the vibrations depends on what type of water the player is in; calm rapids mean low vibrations, while heavier rapids give high vibrations.
After reaching a certain point in the game, players can unlock the Fractal Generator. This feature allows the player to select from a large number of tracks besides the normal six. Players can either allow the generator to randomly select a track or manually input their own.
Work on Rapid Racer began in 1995. Six months were spent modeling the physics and behavior of the water. The European version of the game runs at 50 frames per second, while the North American version runs at 60 frames per second.
The game's soundtrack was composed by Apollo Four Forty (Loudmouth in Turbo Prop Racing). The game's main theme "Carrera Rapida" by Apollo 440 was released as a single and on their 1997 album Electro Glide in Blue.
Rapid Racer received mixed reviews from critics. GameSpot criticized the courses for being very narrow and limited, but praised the game's "hip-hop/techno" music, comparing it favorably to that of Wipeout. Edge highlighted the fluid graphics and frame rate, but criticized the unoriginal gameplay and unrealistic boat handling, which can frustrate players. The magazine concluded: "As a technological showcase, Rapid Racer is a truly impressive achievement. As a game in its own right, however, it falls disappointingly short of the expectations aroused by its glorious visuals."
- Ryan Mac Donald (August 4, 1998). "Turbo Prop Racing Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- "NG Alphas: Sony Computer Entertainment U.K.". Next Generation. No. 23. Imagine Media. November 1996. pp. 135–8.
- "Rapid Racer". Edge. No. 51. Future Publishing. November 1997. pp. 88–89.
- "Turbo Prop Racing". GameRankings. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- Randy Nelson (August 24, 1998). "Turbo Prop Racing Review". IGN. Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
- "Finals". Next Generation. No. 45. Imagine Media. September 1998. p. 129.