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Updated November 20, 2004

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Zero G
(Syn9/Ex Machina Studios)

"Futuristic Racing Takes Flight on Air and Steel!"

In the new age of racing, there's no need for wheels or compassion. Armed with mines and missiles, the goal of every race is to win at all costs, whether it's by buying the fastest, most powerful vehicles in the circuit or by blowing up whatever gets in your way.

With six vehicles to purchase and four tracks to choose from, Zero G is at the forefront of 3D QB polygon-based racing games. Can you race to first on all four tracks, including the turn-packed Whiteout level?

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
(Very Good)
Zero G, despite having pretty flat-shaded graphics, has something that nine out of ten qb games lack: style. The entire game, from the logo to the menu to the ingame, is composed of brightly colored, flat-shaded polygons with a wireframe overlay. The resulting effect is brilliant, a sort of cel-shading hack even (despite it being wireframe and not outlined), something never seen in QB before.

In addition, the menu screens are incredible. There are loads of 3d animations decorating pretty, colorful screens. Each ship has its own stylish logo, and everything is presented in a spiffy 2.35:1 aspect ratio, like you're watching a movie in letterbox.

By my testimony one might think Zero G is deserving of the ultimate 5-star rating, but alas, in-game it commits the number-one imperfection of QB games: the black background. No matter how stylish or pretty the foreground is, a plain, unpolished black background is a major no-no, and detracts from the ingame experience. Otherwise, however, these effects are top-notch, and leave the player with a slick experience and an awesome feeling of speed.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A Graphical excellence it may have, but the cars of the future have silent engines and no radio.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
Like many graphically brilliant games, QB or not, Zero G is a little unpolished in its gameplay. Sure, with several race tracks, a few in-race powerups and the ability to buy new ships, Zero G has the standard arsenal for an average racing game, but there arent enough features to make it stand out. In game, you have the option of using auto-locking missiles and speed boosts, but these random powerups are best used as you get them, so they dont add much strategic gameplay to the mix. There isn't much that could have been added, but winning races after awhile becomes a chore rather than any sort of thrilling aspect.
Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) Inspired by Wipeout, Zero G focuses on the gameplay, not so much on establishing a story that explains all the futuristic racing. 
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Once you've finished each race with each ship, Zero G leaves no incentive to come back. By this point, you can easily crush any race, with no challenge to get in your way. Sure, you could beat the game again, which is a decently fun experience in itself, but it's just not enough. The graphics and completeness do earn it a star, though, as it does make a slight difference.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
This game is strictly linear, and is simply a matter of getting enough money to buy the next car. Once you've mastered the controls, (more specifically, the boost and missile buttons), you can win at least one race by trial and error. Given enough money to buy the next ship, the player buys it and repeats the process until there is no higher plateau left. To imagine the sort of challenge the player is given, think of an RPG. When you must simply build your character to fight a boss, it becomes more a matter of repetition than skill, and the challenge score suffers greatly.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
There is something about arcade racers that keep drawing players. Even in arcades today, old racers will draw more quarters than the newest games of any other genre because they are simple, fun, and they give one a feeling a speed that for some reason is just fun to play. Zero G may get repetitive, and even boring at times, but it has a lot to offer in experience. Chances are one won't be able to pull him or herself away until the game is beaten.

Overall it's a flawed game, unpolished in several aspects, especially it's ease, but in terms of fun factor Sny9/Ex Machina Studios is successful. Zero G proves a fun diversion for a few hours, and that makes it worth its download.

Zero G Reviewed by Toonski

Players 1 player Genre: Arcade/Racing Game
Rating To solve: 2 hours Final Rating: 13/35

To download Zero G (139KB), click here.
wTo play Zero G, unzip the file and run "ZEROG.EXE". 

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Syn9/Ex Machina Studios 
Homepage URL
1 player
Final Rating
13 out of 35 points

The Highs: Sense of graphical "style" emphasized by use of brilliant polys with a cel-shaded like effect, all in 3D.
The Lows: Lack of story, sound, and music seriously hurt Zero G's chances of treading the 20-point mark.

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