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Thread: Merlin Racing on Nuon and its PS1 sequels

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Default Merlin Racing on Nuon and its PS1 sequels

    One of the Nuon's few games was known as "Merlin Racing" from 2000. It was a kart racer, and in my opinion it wasn't very good. I've never played it, but I have seen videos (and the Rerez review) of it and it looks no better than CTR or Mario Kart 64, if anything it looks a bit worse. The characters are generic with none of the personality and name recognition from those games. I know who Yoshi or Dingodile is, but Cadmus? Also, it seems that most who played it find it way too difficult. Overall, the thing just seems like a generic CTR knockoff. Not an F-grade game, but a solid D.

    Then they broke it up into four games for release on the PS1 in 2003 and 2004. Miracle Space Race, Rascal Racers, XS Airboat Racing, and ATV Racers. Other than Rascal Racers, those all sound like generic clearance bin titles (which they were). And why have one game released by XS Games, but not all four or none? At least on the PS1 the games looked all right (for PS1 games) and an analog controller had been standard on PS1 for 5-6 years by then, whereas a D-pad controller was standard on Nuon with an analog controller a hard-to-find option. They were on a much more accessible console and their generic nature didn't seem so bad when they were cheap, late-life PS1 games. Generic and uninspired isn't bad when it's a 20 buck game, but a game on a brand-new next-gen system needs to have more. Nevertheless, these are still four mediocre games, even with the lowered expectations.

    Why 4 games? Couldn't they have ported Merlin Racing straight to PS1, perhaps with a new coat of paint? Personally, I think selling it as "XS Junior League Racing", possibly using characters from XS Junior League sports games, might have been a good idea and would have made a good game for a budget price. They could also have ported it to the PS2, but it would have needed some upgrades. The graphics of Merlin Racing look awful by PS2 standards, and cranking down the difficulty and fleshing out the characters and plot a bit more would have been a good idea.
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    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    What was the disc size? The Nuon used DVDs(I think) so maybe it was split up as the PS1 used CDs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WelcomeToTheNextLevel View Post
    in my opinion it wasn't very good. I've never played it
    I gotta admit that made me chuckle

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    The Nuon did use DVD's, in fact the system's whole idea was that it was a DVD player that could play games (and there were also 4 movie DVD's that had some gimmicky enhancements). It was instantly obsolete, as everyone knew that the PS2 was coming soon and was also a video game console and DVD player. Even though Merlin Racing probably took more space on the Nuon's DVD than a PS1 disc could hold, they could have easily gotten all of Merlin Racing's content onto a PS1 disc.
    Real collectors drive Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords, etc... not Rolls Royces.

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    If they were released as budget titles on PS1, then I don't think they're gonna go to all the trouble to reprogram and optimize the code to reduce the amount of data usage in order to fit it on a CD. Who knows if these releases turned a decent profit to begin with, so any more investment might've totally killed their financial viability.

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    I have all the PS1 games - I kind of liked Merlin Racing on the Nuon, so I decided to buy up the PS1 games to compare them. One main problem with the PS1 games is that the controls aren't as good as the Nuon version. It's much harder to take corners since the turning radius is much worse on the PS1 games. It made the ports annoying to play.

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