There's a new approach to racing with the latest release
from Activision. Tour De France is a cycling
game (could it be anything else, one asks?) and it challenges
you and up to seven other players to complete and gain
record times in what must be one of the world's most
gruelling cycling races.
you first start the game you are asked to select the
number of players and input their name and country.
Once that is done, you can select the sort of race you'd
like to compete in.
there is the single stage race where you can select
one stage of the race and try it. This is a good option
if you want to practise a certain run or don't want
to have to bomb all the way around France.
other option is the Tour De France itself; this is the
proper race, taking you all the way round France in
a series of stages. Once this option has been selected,
it's out and out cycling to try to break those record
you race you'll find that you're in fact the only rider,
a bit of pain if there are eight of you racing because
you each have to wait your turn.
of the bike is like a rather leisurely Decathlon;
just move the joystick left and right to speed him up.
Once you've reached a good speed it is possible to coast
along, only needing to waggle the joystick occasionally.
Steering isn't so hard either, it just takes a little
while to get used to it. To move left or right round
a bend you have to keep your finger on the fire button
and then move the joystick in the appropriate direction.
This causes the bike to rotate Asteroids-style.
There are also gears on your bike -- tapping up or down
will put you in either high or low gear, and these have
to be used when going up and down the many hills.
The scenery is particularly good, although the roads
are a bit thin (when you start going really fast you'll
find yourself going off the road and crashing). The
landscape contains all sorts of buildings, loads of
people, advertising hoardings and of course the twisting
road with lots of hills and corners; there are signs
along the way to warn you of approaching hills, but
none to give warning about the corners though.
screen scrolls along with your bike in all eight directions,
making the game look really good to play. After the
race or practice, you can have a look at the score tables
to see how well you've all done. Also, as you're racing
you're given your time up on screen which changes colour
so you can gauge how well you're doing.