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3D Juiced: Eliminator

For: Mobile

You're nothing unless you can win

Product: 3D Juiced: Eliminator | Developer: THQ Digital Studios UK | Publisher: THQ Wireless | Format: Mobile | Genre: 3D, Conversion, Racing | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 532KB | Reviewed on: W810i other handsets | Version: Europe
3D Juiced: Eliminator Mobile, thumbnail 1
Getting your first car is a huge moment in your life. If you've had yours, then you can attest to how big a deal it is. If you're still waiting for that day, the anticipation is so sweet you're at risk of developing diabetes.

No car you ever have in the future, no matter how expensive, ever matches up to the feeling you experience when you get your first set of wheels. It's probably the closest thing that we, in the West, have to a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood.

Your first motor in 3D Juiced: Eliminator is just as significant. In this 3D version of Juiced: Eliminator (the 2D game we rated favourably a few months ago), you assume the now familiar role of upstart street racer in Angel City. Your aim is to become king of the streets, and to reach that point you need to out-race, out-drive and out-pimp the competition.

You do this by accepting and issuing a series of challenges to the local driving talent, ranging from one-on-one races round a circuit, drag races where smooth gear changes are the key to victory, and perfect laps, where you need to complete a lap of a track without coming into contact with the barriers that ring the circuit.

Simple, right? Erm, no. Despite the cool supermini that you're gifted with at the beginning of 3D Juiced: Eliminator, your foes are more than capable of making you eat their dust. Racing in cars that are pretty much equal to your own, the difference has to be your driving ability.

If you can't take the best line through a corner, keeping your speed as high as possible for the upcoming straight, you'll have no chance of keeping up with, or ahead of, your rival. The pressure's not as it could be, though, and you are given a fair bit of leeway, so you don't need to be Michael Schumacher to advance beyond the first few races.

You can also increase your chances of victory by tuning your car. Adding bodykits, turbos, nitro boosts and other items from the Halfords catalogue will improve the performance of what is, to begin with, a standard road-going motor. The additions aren't just cosmetic; each, apart from getting a paint re-spray, confers benefits to your car's handling and speed.

Of course, this investment in your ride takes money, and this money is earned, you guessed it, by winning races. It's a tricky balance, then, and you have to stay ahead of the earnings curve so you can afford the requisite upgrades to win the next race.

This does drop the game into a repeating cycle that's in danger of wearing itself out: you race, tune up, and then race again. It's a similar criticism that we levelled at the 2D version of Juiced: Eliminator but, like then, the racing action is compelling enough to keep you buckling your seatbelt for another lap.

As are the visuals, it has to be said. While the sound effects and music are more Citroen than Subaru, 3D Juiced: Eliminator definitely looks the business. It loses a little when compared to Project Gotham Racing, sure, but it manages to evoke the street-racing scene quite admirably.

Is it quick enough through the corners to keep pace with its closest rival, Need for Speed: Carbon, though? Not quite. It's close, but not good looking or handsomely performing enough to pip EA's racer to the finishing line.

3D Juiced: Eliminator also suffers from being a bit too difficult to play, too, particularly early on. Being faced with a perfect lap race just three challenges in, when you've not gotten used to the twitchy controls, is almost enough to make you want to jack in the whole game. But if you're after a street racing game that'll present you with tough times to beat, this is memorable and accomplished enough to see you across the line.
3D Juiced: Eliminator
Reviewer photo
Mike Abolins | 23 March 2007
Can't quite keep up with the competition but a tidy little ride nonetheless
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