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November 23 2017

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  Stakes Winner - ©Saurus 1995





Click here to view the image gallery for this game -->


Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
Sports/Horse racing

Size:
98 Megs
Japanese Name:

Stakes Winner

Released On:

Home/MVS/CD




Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
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Other Opinions - More Reviews On NG4L:
Review 2 - by PeterD


Review Introduction:

Well this game is certainly something different! Stakes Winner is a horse racing game (now that's something you don't see every day)! I've heard of one or two Playstation horse racing games and I've also seen another game in the arcades (where you actually SIT on the horse!), but I didn't think there were any on the Neo Geo. Then I got hold of this game and was quite surprised!


Gameplay:

Obviously you can't make a horse racing game in the same way you would make a normal car racing game (i.e. Horses don't have accelerators and brakes! ;), so Saurus have made this into a button basher. In the tradition of International Track and Field, you have to hammer your buttons to make your horse run faster! Basically, you use 2 buttons. The "A" button is the normal power button, which makes your horse run at a normal pace, while the "B" button makes the rider crack the whip, which obviously makes your horse run faster. You have an energy bar at the bottom of the screen which decreases the longer your horse is running and decreases rapidly the more you use the "B" button. Next to your energy bar is a small picture of the horse's face, which changes depending on its condition.

As you can see from the screenshot above, you get to select from a variety of different horses that all have varying speed and stamina stats. The higher your stamina stat, the longer the horse can withstand being run at full speed. If your energy bar reaches zero, then your horse will automatically be retired from the race. This means that you have to be very careful about pressing the "B" button too much. Along the way you can pick up various items, which have different effects. Some give you a quick burst of speed or boost your energy bar, while others have an adverse effect, like slowing your horse down.



Graphics & Sound:

While the game can be fun, the strong point of it is not the graphics. The animation is passable, probably better than some other games I have seen in fact, although its far from the best seen on the Neo Geo. The graphics are OK overall I guess, but there isn't really anything that stands out. As far as the music and sound effects go, they aren't the sort of thing that you would want to turn up, but they aren't exactly the sort that you would have to turn down either. It suits the game, but some of it can get annoying after a while though. In fact, after you have actually finished playing this game, you will probably still have some of the music going around in your head and it will take a while to get rid of it!


Overall:

This can be a fun game to play for a while, but like many button-mashing games it won't take long for you to get bored of it. There are a few extra things in this game that help to hold your interest for a while longer, such as the bonus sections that boost your horses stats if you complete them fast enough, but at the end of the day the game play is still very limited. The only strategy comes from deciding when to use the A/B buttons so that your horse's condition doesn't deteriorate too much.

I can imagine that this game would be a good laugh in the arcades and that it would be even more fun in two-player mode. Overall Stakes Winner is fun and addictive for a short while, but it won't take you long to get bored of it. Not to mention the possible damage to your joypads/arms after an extended playing session on this game! :) I wouldn't recommend buying this game for your home Neo Geo or MVS unless you really must have it or are a collector.


Graphics: 6.5/10
Sound: 6.5/10
Game play: 6/10
Replay Value: 6/10

Overall Rating: 6/10



Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


N/A

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Stakes Winner 2 - The sequel, good fun too!


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