Buggy Heat - Dreamcast

Also known as: TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat

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Buggy Heat (Dreamcast)
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Off-Road
Arcade origin:No
Developer: CSK Soft. Co.: SEGA
Publishers: CSK (DE/ES/FR/GB/US/JP)
Released: Sept 1999 (US)
Oct 1999 (DE/ES/FR/GB)
Unknown (JP)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Visual Memory Card


On its release in the Autumn of 1999, Buggy Heat was touted as the wildest racing game on any console ever. Grandiose claims like that can sometimes earn one a smack in the chops, but on re-appraisal, and after rash of frankly underwhelming releases for the Dreamcast, Buggy Heat reveals itself to be a racer of some worth. Patently not the greatest in its genre, it’s certainly one of the best for the DC.

The first thing that strikes you is how good looking Buggy Heat is on-screen, a pleasant surprise after the uninspiring packaging. Looks aren’t everything though, and while the in-game menus are easy to navigate, you’ll find yourself worrying that there may not be much game-play here. Practice, Time Trial and Championship are on offer, and there are three levels of difficulty. The encouraging thing is that the folks responsible for the game code have not made things easy for the player to storm through all modes and levels before turning in for the night. Buggy Heat can be equal parts frustrating and genuinely exciting, but always an enjoyably challenging experience, as the courses become progressively trickier and the vehicles (not all of them are buggies, oddly enough) must be able to handle varying surfaces and weather conditions. Make a point of visiting the in-game garage between races to optimise your performance, or progression through Buggy Heat will take a long, long time. But hey, at least that would guarantee the game’s longevity and value for money.

Buggy Heat is definitely worth close inspection if the racing genre is your thing. Rather than churn out yet another rally or Formula 1 title, the developers have come up with, if not a groundbreaking game, a handsome little beast. Clad in a sleeve-shot you may easily pass over, Buggy Heat will worm its way into your heart if you give it a chance.