LGR – Cyclemania – DOS PC Game Review

LGR – Cyclemania – DOS PC Game Review


[typing] Yep, it’s Cyclemania, the 1994 motorcycle racing game nobody remembers. Or if you do, you’re probably like me and spent way too much time playing
random frickin’ DOS games over the years. Cyclemania was published by Accolade under their Accolade Sport label and was developed by Compro Games, a division of Compro Software, based in Giv’at Shmuel, Israel. Is this the first Israeli game I’ve reviewed on LGR? I dunno but it’s one of the few I’m aware of so that’s gotta count for something. Compro Games only lasted for a few years, but they did crank out games like Net:Zone and Surface Tension before
leaving computer games behind. Apparently, they developed some pretty
awesome video streaming technology while making these games, and in the later ’90s reinvented themselves as Skyline Software Systems. Under this name, they developed various applications for the Israeli Armed Forces, as well as 3D visualization products like TerraExplorer. This Earth-exploring program predated Google Earth by several years, which led to a huge failed
lawsuit against Google in 2006. But whatever. Back to Cyclemania, their first commercially released piece of software. The game box boasts box art featuring what I assume is a human trying not to die while riding a bike. It also has a number 4 on it, which is a stroke of pure genius in my eyes. If you exist in the third dimension, you can turn the box around
and look at the crap on the back. “Real bikes. Real roads. Real competition.” Hmm. You know, what is real? If you’re talking about what
you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical
signals interpreted by your brain. Inside the box, you get REAL cardboard. But that’s just packaging. You also get the game on a certified REAL CD-ROM and a REAL manual filled with REAL information about this… GAME! Really. Install it and start it up and
you’re greeted with logos, including that of Compro, which is a reference to the whole “give me
a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world” Archimedes quote. Once you reach the menu, some REAL mod music starts
blasting from your REAL speakers– Okay, this is getting old. And you have the option to choose some options. Pretty self-explanatory stuff, and
I don’t feel like going into each option because that would be an
incredible waste of my time and why am I still going
on about it? Just choose whatever race type you
would like to play and play it. Quick Race and One Race are the same thing, except Quick Race, you choose
the settings in the options menu, and One Race, you choose
the options before the race, where it actually makes sense. I guess Quick Race is handy if you only ever like to play on one track with one bike on one difficulty, but it’s amazingly redundant
when you think about it. When starting an actual race, you get to choose a bike from a list of six. Although, you also get
a driver with the bike, each of which has a lame one-liner, making sure that you
hate whoever you pick. So if you want someone with a faster bike, but don’t like their attitude,
that’s just too darn bad. If you’re in One Race mode, then next you get to choose a track. Kind of. Choosing this sets a pre-rendered 3D cutscene showing a sleazy-looking room
with a sleazy-looking shirtless guy sporting the most definitively
’90s shaded polygons. You then get to watch him watch TV, consisting of short clips of
random real-life motorcycle wrecks. [quick channel changing] Um, I thought this was track selection? Switching the channels mostly just
reveals a bunch of random wrecks. And it’s not until you go through all of them that you see five track selection videos, each of which is narrated by some lady who is obviously WAY too
excited to have this job. LADY: Desert Heat. [stiffly]
Feel the hot desert wind strike your face as you race your bike
down the hot sizzling roads and treacherous turns of Desert Heat. LGR: [mimicking stiff reading]
Wow. Those tracks… sound absolutely exhilarating… [normally]
If you can somehow
contain your elation, choose a track and it’s
onto the race settings. You’ve got laps, starting position, race type, difficulty level, and handling assist options to choose from. The only thing that really needs explaining here is the race type. A Friendly Race is a simple race
on a track with boring opponents. And an Aggressive Race is a simple
race on a track with heavy traffic and boring opponents who may sometimes bump into you. Finally, you can practice,
qualify, or just start the race, and you’re off to full-motion video land! [engines revving] [engines starting] WOMAN: Ready! Set! Go! [tires squeal] [engines revving] LGR: As you can probably guess, the track itself is just
video of a real-life road with some sprites laid on top of it. A similar effect was used in
quite a lot of FMV games back then, dating all the way back to certain
Laserdisc arcade games in the ’80s. Sometimes this method is believable. Sometimes it’s not. And in Cyclemania,
I find that it gets the job done, and for a DOS game from 1994,
it’s not too shabby. The entire race takes place from this third-person
perspective behind your bike with the dashboard down below, somewhat similar to Road Rash’s layout. Well, unless you try the awkward map view, which shrinks the video
footage down to Sega CD size. Another thing that I just have to point out is that the viewpoint is just a tad low, which means you, your opponents and traffic tends to get in the way of you,
your opponents and traffic, resulting in some unavoidable crashes. Simply due to the fact that
you can’t see what’s going on. And each time you crash,
you’re given one of these random clips of a bike wreck from the TV earlier. It has no relation to
the wreck you just had, so it’s entirely pointless and
deserves to be turned off under the Visual FX option. Racing is incredibly straightforward. You accelerate, brake, and move left and right. There is no handbrake, no power
sliding, no popping wheelies. It’s just you moving forward. You earn points for accelerating
and bumping into opponents, so that’s… something to do, I suppose. Developing on the difficulty level, you’ll also have crap to avoid along the way, like your opponents, a few kinds of traffic vehicles, low-flying planes that do nothing but fly low, cows, horses, tires, oil slicks. You also have cops on bikes
with their sirens wailing, but they don’t seem to do anything
differently than regular traffic. I’ve never gotten busted, so I guess they just kind of
ride along and abuse their siren. However, you can crash out of the race if you wreck enough times to
deplete your damage meter. Doing this will call an ambulance to come by and run over your body. Apparently so much that it’s ground
into the pavement or something, and your game is over. [ambulance siren] And winning races is just as odd, as the race doesn’t exactly end once it ends. You get this “Race Over” message flying at you several times and eventually the race will just… end. This confuses me. After the race, you earn some cash based on however many points
you accumulated during the race. If you have the money, you can choose from a list of upgrades to soup up your current bike. Not that any of these actually DO anything, at least that I can tell. Seriously, the only one that seems
to make any difference to gameplay is the engine upgrade, so you may as well save all your cash for that. And… that’s it. You continue racing the same five bland tracks against the same bland opponents and earning the same bland
points for the entire game, with some races having as many as thirty laps. [chuckles] Can you tell I’m not particularly
amused by Cyclemania? I mean I suppose there is the novelty of racing on top of streaming video of real-world road. A boring one but… a real-world road! And the controls aren’t the worst. I mean, once you get used to the awkwardness of the landscape and perspective, that is. It’s just that there’s nothing to keep me going once I’ve played those five tracks once or twice. There is almost no variation in gameplay, the upgrade system is broken, and the racing is just. Plain. Boring. And I like racing games. It’s not that I don’t like racing, it’s just that this racing is… ewwch! If there were more of a combat element or cops chasing you down, or people to run over, or actual worthwhile upgrades to get, then it could be awesome. In other words, if it were Road Rash, it could be awesome. But it’s not, it’s Cyclemania. The game isn’t awful enough
to be so bad it’s enjoyable, and it’s not good enough to
warrant any kind of recommendation. Cyclemania is adequate at what it does. But that’s… not saying much. [revving, sirens]

100 thoughts on “LGR – Cyclemania – DOS PC Game Review

  1. There's a train simulator game that uses this real video technique (was it densha de go?), it's actually pretty cool on that kind of game.

  2. Go and watch the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races or other Irish road racing events, that will make you change your mind.

  3. This game is or at least at the time was much better than it is portrayed here, especially if you don't care or like the fighting component of Road Rash. You have to use the brakes & you can shift manually, so it's not a pure arcade-racer. The upgrades you can buy made a huge difference. It was good fun if you crashed while leading and hoping that the chasing pack falls over you instead of speeding by. The quick race/single race option was directly copied from Microprose's grand prix games.

  4. the game doesn't look particularly fun, but I'm really into the real life video look, some developer should make a game with similar graphics but more interesting gameplay

  5. 6:58 Ohhh I thought you were following that guy and the actual view was your bike.

    I wondered why you kept stopping -_-

  6. Ohmygosh, this game! THIS game!

    Even to this day, I still have an unexplained fondness for FMV games. I love them. Even though the games are almost always terrible. X3

  7. "If you exist in the 3rd dimension, you can turn the box around and look at the crap on the back!"

    Man, this guy can make anything hilarious!

  8. It took me all the way to the end of the video to realise it's not actually 1st person, but you're controlling the bike in front of the dashboard thing. Awkward.

  9. thank you for alerting me to the stupidest funny thing ive ever heard: sue-ing google for taking pictures of earth and publishing them- that is very very dumb.  what if they had won, would have sued everybody for walking about looking at it (earth)?  it's a funny thing to hear but the more i think about this the more scunard (scottish for pissed off) with their actions i become.

  10. This game is REAL good…well for a while, then to me, it got pretty boring and not that fun. but then I played Motocross Madness 1 and 2 when they came out and they made this game seem pretty lame, but it was probably good for a while when it came out, at least the graphics looked decent for the time.

  11. If you think that it was released in 1994 the game is pretty enjoyable. I played it, and ok it's like a movie of a road track moving in front of you, but the control of the bikes is pretty decent and it could give some leisure back in the days. Obviously Road Rash is way better, but I think this game reaches the sufficiency.

  12. Why is the bottom of the prerendered videos when racing distorted? Does this just happen to give the illusion of speed or are you running ahead of the video?

  13. I'm just glad to finally see this in motion, as the only other time I saw it was on the back of the box at the game store in the 90s! I love these bizarre game engines.

  14. Waitaminute. You can clearly see a dashboard with dials and meters, implying that you're driving the bike in first-person. However, your racer also appears on screen, ahead of the dashboard, being controlled from a third-person perspective. What?!

  15. I don't suppose anybody knows the creator and title of the first song in this video? LGR usually puts some soundtrack info in the description, but not here unfortunately. I'll appreciate any help.

  16. I got this free with my Compaq presario back in the day. had a Pentium 75mhz, 8mb ram, 500mb hdd, and a super speedy quad speed cdrom. this game was amazing to me, and I spent hours playing it. couldn't believe how realistic it looked

  17. What I remember the most vividly about this game is how the ambulance would always drive over me while trying to pick up my passed out body. Class acts, those emergency docs.

  18. Why choose between a first or third person view when you can have both at the same time? It definitely wont be the most confusing fucking thing to look at, ever… It's like, instead of trying to appeal to the first or third person crowd, they decided to just appeal to no one.

  19. Thanks for reviewing this. My Dad got me this game when I was really young and I've been trying to remember what it was called for years.

  20. Were there any prerendered racing games like this on the Sega CD? I don't mean interactive movies/cartoons like Road Avengers but games like this one?

  21. I tell you what they was not far of with what were doing now Gran Turismo 7-8 photo mode when placing high quialty model cars onto photographs. I think this game predicted the future it seems, Will the next granturismo do what this game failed at?

  22. Man that HUD is REALLY distracting. Just watching the video I kept looking at it thinking the game was in first person view and kept wondering why you stopped every time the racer in front of you crashed, ha.

  23. Game made in Israel huh ? Probably loaded to the gills with SPYWARE. Israel is the #1 “friendly” country that actively spies on the USA – #2 “friendly” (aka allied) who spies on the USA ? England.

  24. I played this as a game a lot and as a i really enjoyed nature and forests, and there was a map with a race in some kind of forest or near forest, i really loved this game.

    I forgot the name and never found it again. I was searching for this game since years now and i found it by pure accident finally!

  25. Another Israeli game from 1997 for windows with great and interesting idea…the game map is based on the computer hard drive contents you are using.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus:_The_Game

  26. I playd this back in the days wen i was at my onkels house and i only played it to See the chrass. Sorry for my bad English spelling. Im from Denmark

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