Dale and I are in agreement in that the game basically lives off of the alternate pathway/short-cuts sequences. I found that seeking out and traversing through the often hidden alternate routes to be funny, thrilling and addictive, but where we differ is that while Dale found that there was enough in the gameplay department, I wanted something more. It seemed strange to me that I would play the game expecting an arcade racer, but ended up enjoying this other unexpected adventure/exploration feature. Why force the player into all the typical racing conventions with this innovative feature tacked on to the side? Why not devise a game around the very concept? Blast Corps, a unique game in itself, didn't force players to compete in a race while trying to topple buildings. Toppling buildings was its very objective.

My complaint is really more of a challenge to the developers to really come up with something original in the next go around with the franchise (if there will be one), rather then designing something that feels more like Need For Speed-Lite. Other than that, I have very few complaints. Graphically and aurally, Beetle Adventure Racing is top notch. Controls are serviceable for this particular type of game. Its gameplay is a strange marriage of racing and adventuring and because of it, Beetle Adventure Racing ends up feeling neither here nor there. Despite its confusion (most evident when the laps start feeling too long for a race, but too short to find all the alternate routes), Beetle Adventure Racing is still a very pleasant driving experience. Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui
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