XGRA (Acclaim) Review | Official Xbox Magazine - Everygamegoing

Future Publishing

By Acclaim
Xbox (EU Version)

Published in Official Xbox Magazine #21

A white-knuckle ride or will it all WipEout?

XGRA (Acclaim)

So what do you get if you take the excellent light-cycles from the classic Disney movie Tron and mix it with the stomach-churning maps of WipEout? The answer is XGRA - a game that's been saddled with such a clumsy name that it doesn't so much roll off the tongue as crawl clumsily out of the mouth.

Think Quantum Redshift without quite so much graphical splendour, level variation and general coolness. In fact, think of any futuristic racer you've ever played and you'll get a taste of the brew that XGRA is serving up. Except Pulse Racer - don't think about that at all, please. Official Xbox Magazine will not be held accountable for any homicidal tendencies...

The silly name is actually short for Extreme G Racing Association - which has been the cornerstone for a series of games that's had many an incarnation over a number of different consoles before finally getting a place on the Xbox starting grid. It's got all the necessary ingredients, breakneck speeds, multiple weapons, tracks that make your guts feel like they're on a Blackpool big dipper and the obligatory kick-ass dance soundtrack to reinforce the feeling that yes, you really are playing in the future. But in this case, it doesn't all add up to a good game.

For a start, it's difficult to get any real momentum going because you'll often be too busy ricocheting from side to side like a psychotic pinball on wheels. Airbrakes are in effect, and you can even manage braking severity through a workshop option, but the handling is still too light. There'd probably be more control if the vehicle was a ship rather than a bike, giving you more opportunity to bank instead of brake, but that's not the case.

Then there's the weaponry - it's not a simple case of collecting weapon-specific power-ups. Instead you have to collect a series of orbs that then increase what weapons you can use - so without looking out for these power-ups you're not going to be getting any righteous firepower... not very useful when trying to navigate an unpredictable course at warp factor nine.

To its credit, XGRA does try hard. It generally looks good, especially when you're tearing through a tunnel while following a colourful array of light trails from opponents' bikes. There's certainly enough mission variety to keep the action interesting too, as your success is not always based on coming first, but rather on fulfilling contracts - for example, beating a certain opponent or killing a set number of your fellow racers.

But repeatedly bouncing off walls whilst negotiating snaking tracks that make even Graham Norton look straight will only take you so far and, as a result, XGRA offers a diversion rather than a compulsion. One that perhaps will only be truly appreciated by the lightspeed freaks out there.

Good Points

  1. Very, very fast!
  2. Some good looking tracks and effects
  3. Varied objectives keep it interesting

Bad Points

  1. The weapon system is clumsy
  2. Multiplayer is messy!


More speed than you need with few framerate issues. Saves and loads are swift.

Decent soundtrack and nice touches of opponents taunting you, combined with good visuals.

Killing other racers is frustrating, as is handling - but there's lots to unlock if its your cup of rosy.

Multiplayer is messy and the single-player game is really a case of short doses.

Quantum Redshift is a better game, but there aren't many other future racers out, so this comes in second by default.

Steve O' Rourke

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