REVIEW # 00000000 00011101
California Games II was one of the mini-games found on some compilation (I don’t even remember which one) that was always installed on my PC. Not because was a big hit, but because it was a light game, useful to spend 10-15 minutes. It was for me like Minesweeper was for early Win 3.1 PCs.
My heart says…
I always loved the blusterous style of the game an its balck comedy style. I mean it’s not easy to find a sport game in which the main character dies smashed against a wall whith visibl blood and where we can see his friends and relatives looking on his grave at the funeral. And this also with some caustic captions!
A bit poor, but the hectic music along with the California plate we see on the screen is a good way to introduce the player to the game style: simple, a bit stupid and (despite the sound) relaxing.
On the other hand it’s a good idea to have a menu with nothin written in it: you can choose the event you want to practice by only moving the sagull on one of the 5 characters of the game. Good!
Despite the game is dated 1990, the graphics is stil quite Eighties-ish, very simple and with a limited color palette. However, especially ad we can see in some of the events, it’s quite colorful and this let us overlook the obvious lacks. But again, this wasn’t (I think) ment to be “The Godfather” of video games so even with some limitations the graphics are enjoyable.
California Games II it’s a multi event sport game in which the challenges include hang gliding, jet ski, snowboarding, bodusurfing and skateboarding. So the kind of sports you can expect to find in an actual Red Bul competition nowadays.
My favourite has always been the skateboarding at the point that I played 99% of the time spent on CGII trying not do die against a tunnel wall. It was quite frenzied because when the speed start to increase it’s difficult to choose the right moment to tdo a trickj, a flip or simply choosing the right moment to stip to enter the tunnel.
Amond the five events it’s quite lacking the Jet Sky, which I always hated and are quite easy the body surfing and the hang gliding. Let’s say that CGII it’s like a container of some different small games you could find elsewhere, such as PowerBoat Pro Simulator (1989) or Skate or Die (1988).
There is also a Championship Mode, but it’s almost useless since this title better lends itself to be played for 5 minutes maximum…
As you can imagine the best of all the musics is the one we can hear during surfing. This is the best part of the whole game. The rest of the muics and the sound effects are quite “normal” so there’s nothing special to hear.
Theorically quite high, pratically quite low. I mean this is not the game you will play three hours a day for a month trying to make the best times, to get the high score or stuff like this. It’s a game you can play. Stop.
Final Score 67/100
Games Mode: Single Player, Multiplayer
Original Platform: MS-DOS
From same developers/publishers:
- Jumpman (1983)
- Pitstop (1983)
- Pitstop II (1984)
- Summer Games (1984)
- Summer Games II (1985)
- Destroyer (1986)
- Skate or Die (1988)
If you liked you can also try:
- Ski or Die (1990)
Other chapters of the saga:
- California Games (1987)