Together Retro: RC Pro Am
Presented by: Fastbilly1, Marurun, & Racketboy
New To Together Retro? Check out the introduction to the club
If you have been reading Racketboy for the past year you would have already heard some of our opinions on this title. Yes the blockbuster vehicular combat game, R.C. Pro-AM makes yet another appearance on the front page of Racketboy. However this time around we are asking everyone in Together Retro to give it a whirl.
About The Game
Released in 1988 R.C. Pro-AM is an isometric vehicular combat game that in really brought the genre to the general gaming populace. Rareware, known for their amazing Spectrum games, took a bold leap onto the NES and it paid off in spades. While it is not as well known as their later offerings, it did jumpstart a genre and is still a staple of the type. Featuring four different vehicles racing around thirty two tracks of a dastardly caliber, RC Pro-AM is a bare knuckle run of intense RC action.
Using simple controls and hard action, RC Pro-AM is simply elegant. Not elegant like a fine wine or an M.G. Turbo, but elegant because of its simplistic approach and expert execution of the genre. With only an accelerator and a trigger, it some how coaxes a level of depth from the controls that is sublime. Drifting, while essential, is an artform. Timing for the attacks is a skill that must be honed, while the timing for the hazards must come from hard experience. While it may seem pale compared to more modern combat racing games, as I have already said, its simplicity is what makes it amazing. With only a handful of powerups and some of the most difficult tracks for any 8bit game, the game is less about winning by a mile and more about winning by a fraction of a second. Quite often you will find that the race comes down to the last corner for atleast three of the racers (Blue is usually alittle slower than Green and Yellow).
If you’d like to learn more about this game, Fastbilly1 actually wrote a full review for the site a while back.
We will be playing the NES version, but if you grow weary of the same courses you can give the following sequels/remakes a try:
- RC Pro-AM 2 – The brilliant NES sequel that features four player action.
- Super RC Pro-AM – Four player portable sequel care of the Gameboy platform.
- Championship Pro-AM – The Genesis remake with enhanced graphics, five opponents, and numerous gameplay tweaks.
Emulation for RC Pro AM
If you don’t have an NES, emulation is are very viable option. NES emulators are a dime a dozen and available for just about any platform. The best NES emulators really come down to personal preference. All of the major ones run the game fine so really it comes down to choice in user interfaces.
For the PC, I like NNNesterJ, namely since it supports Kalleria, however UltraFCE is a very popular choice, and who can forget Nesticle. They are all drop and play emulators with very little configuration needed.
However if you are clever and would rather play it on a portable or even the Dreamcast, check out the racketboy links below. If you need assitance setting up any emulator, please post your question in the Emulation section of the forum
How To Play / Controls
This isn’t your typical racer, so the steering might take a little getting used to. Other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. Here’s the run-down.
- D-Pad: Your steering is always relative to you car’s current position, not which way you want to go on the screen.
- A Button: Horn or Missile/Bomb
- B Button: Accelerate
There are only a handful of things you will need to keep track of during the races. Most importantly are the three weapons and four powerups.
- Rockets (forward attacks)
- Bombs (rear attacks)
- Roll Cages (invulnerability)
- Gears (acceleration)
- Engine (top speed)
- Tire (grip)
- Letters (car upgrade)
While the powerups effectiveness is debatable, except for the Letters (after completing the word NINTENDO your car is upgraded – Truck to Van to Racecar). Weapons are always useful and while some prefer bombs to rockets the majority find rockets the easiest to use. As for the obstacles, I will leave those up for you to discover on during your races.
Together Retro Discussion
Instead of posting in the comments section of the blog, we will be using the forum for all of our discussion in order to keep things more organized. So play RC Pro-AM and talk to us about your thoughts and play experiences in the forums. We want to know your tactics, your strategies, your successes and your failures