Fashion statement

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Trying to stay cool is a hard thing to do in the year 2000. You can't keep up for style shifts and fads, and once in a while it's nice to take a step back into the past and revel in fond memories of yesteryear. And with a memory as fond to some as the Dukes of Hazzard, you'd think a games developer would have to be pretty careful to maintain it's coolness for the license. But, as is mostly the case, no. The thing about DOH (a rather appropriate acronym, I thought), is that it's one of those games that isn't blatantly terrible when you start it up, yet after the first couple of levels you realise that it isn't going to be getting any better. After ten or so levels, you're starting to despair and any further into it and you're foaming at the mouth. Well... I know I was...

Horror story

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The game generally revolves the Duke's driving ol' General Lee from one point in Hazzard to the other, along which seems to be the exact same road, sometimes against a time-limit, sometimes being chased by Sheriff Rosco (the curiously and amazingly persistent law enforcement officer), and sometimes both. The extent of Rosco's police tactics involve hurling his patrol car randomly at you until you spin out of control, and it is literally impossible to lose him. There are also a couple of races thrown in for good measure, and some Chase-HQ style criminal pursuits involved bashing the seven shades of (moonshine - Ed) out of your pursuees until they pull over - again taking place on that strangely familiar dirt track. Yes, ladies and gentleman, these are exciting and challenging times. The missions (if that's what you can call them) are all linked together by pre-rendered cut scenes, which are honestly the best part of the game, simply because there are so many of them and they're so rubbish it's funny. The human models in the scenes look like they would be more at home as undead extras in Resident Evil.

Not purdy

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The General looks like a huge novelty condom (albeit a rather uncomfortable one) and handles like one, too... one that's been filled with helium. Your success in reaching your location is pretty much assured as long as you don't hit one of the indestructible signposts along the way. If you do, you'll manage to send yourself into an uncontrollable spin for about 10 seconds. And the signpost stands unscathed. By now, you've probably got the impression that the game isn't all that great to play, but what about the graphics? Well... Sinister Games have done a really, really good job of imitating that authentic 70's Crap-O-Vision feel, since the majority of vehicles and scenery look like they're built out of cardboard, with textures scanned from a six year olds Crayola drawings on sandpaper. And although the PSX is famous for polygon warping, it's worse than ever here. The really confusing aspect is why on earth all the roads look the exact same, and why it appears that you are going up the road, and then back the other way, and back again... over, and over, and over, and...

Sounds like a turkey

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Although you appear to be driving the king of behemoth sex toys (sorry), it certainly doesn't sound like one (not that I... err...) - instead the engine noise resembles that of a wheezing hairdryer (obviously re-created from the 70's, too). Coupled with an infuriating comedy country & western sound track, you soon get the picture of how much sheer audible joy I managed to gain from my playing experience. The peak of stereo sophistication in this game presented itself in the form of your driving partner, Luke, pointing out each and every little mistake you make. Controlling the contraceptive-with-wheels is hard enough without some grating hick accent blaring in your ear; "Dang, Bo!" and "Watch out, Bo!" every time you come close to one of those titanium-reinforced signpost-cum-bomb shelter's.

Conclusion

It's a shame the license was wasted like this, as DOH (hee hee...) really could have made for a fabulous game. But instead you're left with a dull, ugly, shallow, unfunny and stupidly easy game. Someone may very well try to tell me that the whole point of Dukes of Hazzard was its light-hearted relief and it's not supposed to be taken seriously... but when you're paying money for a video game it's a whole different ball park, and throwing caution to the wind (perhaps substitute "caution" for "content", in this case) to the expense of genuine entertainment just doesn't cut it, y'all.

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