- NA release: 23rd November 1998
- PAL release: 25th November 1998
- JP release: 19th March 1999
- Developer: Snowblind
- Publisher: Kemco
- N64 Magazine Score: 79%
The Top Gear series of racing games is a bit like Need For Speed in terms of how it can cover a variety of different racing game styles. While Top Gear Rally was a more simulation-based racing game, this is more on the arcade side of things – and unfortunately that includes having you starting in last place with all the other racers already racing.
The racing itself is quite smooth, especially once you earn cash to upgrade your car. There’s a good sense of speed, but the cars also feels a bit too light an fragile, with your car flying over a turn or exploding when grazing a wall. Parts of some objects can be destroyed, but other things can be smashed through and it isn’t always clear.
There’s a good variety of cars, including some fun silly designs to unlock, and they’re all really nicely detailed, including also having a basic interior with see-through windows. The tracks also look nice, with detailed “skybox” backgrounds and a good amount of detail – plus zero pop-in. It’s unfortunate, then, that this has a similar problem to a lot of other racing games on the N64: the number of tracks, with five main ones and one bonus track.
Overdrive does take the same “seasons” approach as Top Gear Rally, where you play through a few courses to complete a “season”, then play through variants (mainly different weather) before reaching the “new” course of that season – eventually adding mirrored versions into the mix.
Top Gear Overdrive is a good racing game, but there’s nothing particularly special or spectacular about it.
But, somehow Overdrive just isn’t quite good enough. Or, at least, it foolishly undoes a lot of the very, very good things it’s managed to bring about in the first place.Tim Weaver, N64 Magazine #24
Remake or remaster?
As mentioned previously, a Top Gear collection would be nice.
Official Ways to get the game
There is no official way to get Top Gear Overdrive