Excellent simulation racer for those who want it
*As a note, I never went through this game 100%. I have played it several times for long sessions but the last time I played it was maybe 2 or more years ago. But want to let video game racing fans know about this game's awesome sim factor*
Okay, let me first start with saying that this game reminded me of "Jarret & Labonte Stock Car Racing" for the PlayStation One since it had the same level of attention to detail, great physics and feel of that game (for those who are familiar with that game). And of "Hard Truck" for the PC released long ago regarding its driving physics.
Anyways, when I first bought this game as part of a cheap bundle pack, I was thinking the worst of this game since it was a bargain binner. Boy, I was surprisingly wrong.
After the cool intro video, the menu music started which I particularly enjoyed since it was electronic. But I turn it off so it doesn't play during races since I race manual and there is no option to have it only play in the menus. Yes, the settings in the options menu are pretty slim from what I can remember but it does have an option to tune/modify settings on your truck but oddly, this is the only place you can tinker under the hood as you can not do it right away after a race or during a race as there is no "garage". There is a fair amount of gameplay modes (i.e. Championship, Time Trial, Arcade, Single Race, Elimination) including a two player option. After races, there is telementary data you can analyze which is decent at best. Also, the replay cameras are well done.
Control is great and can be customized and done with the analog sticks for both steering and accelerating and braking. There is also a button to cool down your drum brakes with water which can also be done automatically if wanted. Framerate is probably above 30 so it feels smooth and never really chugs below that even with a very far draw distance and many trucks on screen at once.
Graphics are great for it and the details such as the truck, cockpit view, skid marks, smoke and damage are great as well. Weather and time of day effects are also well done. Track detail is good but could have been better. The physics of racing and the suspension are top-notch with G forces in all directions and the sense of gravity is mostly realistic but looks fake at times when you rock side to side. Also, you can catch air but I'm not sure if it should even be possible. Turning also feels great as you tend to drift in the turns due to the trucks being rear wheel drive and most of the weight in in the front. Now I have never driven a truck or seen a race in person. Just watched a few races on TV (as this is more popular in other countries) so I wouldn't know. Collision detection is great and not fake like Gran Turismo's bouncing off cars; some mechanical damage is present. Unique engine sounds and other sound effects are great. AI (other computer racers) is pretty good and believable like Codemaster's 'Jarett & Labonte Stock Car Racing' as they can make errors. Presentation is okay and it tries to represent the sport well, including racing rules but no pit ins.
I've always had ideas of what could make this game better in a sequel since this game still had that minimalistic bargain bin feel to it but I couldn't ever contact Jester Interactive so here's hoping. Only 3 people made this game so big props to them. Since there is no other "Super Truck" sim racing game out there for PS2, I highly recommend it for those wanting one.