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While many things have changed over the decades, racing is still very much a form of entertainment in 3000 A.D. Of course, the sport is no longer geared toward humans, but what can you expect from a world run by nine supercomputers? These technological wonders have even developed emotions such as fear and boredom!
In order to satisfy their new need for excitement, the computers designed special vehicles to compete in different races across the galaxy. These aren't your standard vehicles, either. S.C.A.R.S, as they are called, are patterned after animals, each with unique ratings in speed, acceleration, grip, armor and weapons.
S.C.A.R.S is a racing game that emphasizes vehicular combat on nine courses with varied terrain, including snow, water, desert and mountains. The main event is the Grand Prix, where you race against eight drivers in a no-holds-barred fight to the finish line. Grab power-ups and weapons to make the ride smoother, but keep in mind your opponents are doing the same thing!
At the end of the race, you'll receive points based on your overall finish. Ten points are earned for first-place, one point is earned for sixth place and bonus points are awarded for any of the following achievements: fastest lap, causing the most damage, lapping other cars or finishing without a scratch.
These points will then carry over to the next race as you attempt to win one of four cups: Carbon, Crystal, Diamond and the Custom Cup. Players win the initial Carbon Cup by placing first overall, which allows them to compete in a more challenging circuit.
Winning the Carbon Cup also opens up the Challenge Mode, a head-to-head race against a computer challenger. Beat the computer and you'll unlock one of the hidden cars! The nine available tracks can also be customized in two areas: time of day (daytime, nighttime, dusk or rain with fog) or mirror mode (an option only available after completing all cups).
The nine weapons and power-ups are as follows: turbos, magnets (draws vehicles near them), seekers (homing missiles), boomerangs, time bombs, stingers, stoppers (barricades), bullets and shields. While players are allowed to run over as many power-ups as they want, only two can be stored at any given time. Weapons can also be charged for added power by holding down the Z button, and players have the ability to fire behind their vehicles by pulling back on the analog stick.
Options include changing the controller configuration, setting the number of laps, toggling the use of weapons, adjusting game speed and turning on "catch-up" AI for versus matches. Speaking of versus, the game supports up to four players for simultaneous car bashing! Solo gamers can also take part in a Time Attack mode, where they can work on their racing technique against ghost cars. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide