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November 18 2017

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  Stakes Winner 2 - ©Saurus 1996





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Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
Sports/Horse Racing

Size:
178 Megs
Japanese Name:

Stakes Winner 2

Released On:

Home/MVS




Reviewed By:
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Review Introduction:

This game was a bit of a surprise for me. I liked the first Stakes Winners game, but I found it very shallow and boring after a while. I imagined that this game would be basically the same, but it has some nice improvements that make the game a bit more involving to play and keeps you interested for a while longer than the first game.


Gameplay:

For those that are unfamiliar with the first game, the unusual premise is that you race a horse (OK so that is stating the obvious) to win money. This is done in true International Track and Field “button bashing” style where you must hit your buttons as fast as possible to run faster. However, if you just continually mash your buttons, your horse's stamina will run down quickly which makes you slower. This means that the game is very similar to the 1000 metre or more races in Olympic games where you need to conserve your strength for later on, otherwise you will fall way behind.

So what has been added for the sequel? First off, the money that you collect when you win a race has a useful purpose this time. It can be used in a shop in between races, where you can buy power ups that make your horse faster, or give it more stamina etc. You can Also buy power ups that give your horse special abilities, such as enabling it to bolt out of the starting gate more quickly. You can also buy special moves, which you activate in race by pressing the "C" button. Apart from improving your horse's ability by purchasing different items at the shop, you can also improve them on the various bonus stages that you can do after every few races.

There is now a choice in bonus courses. You get to pick from either training your horse on dirt, turf or water, and all improve your horse's stats in different ways (Stamina, Speed etc). There is also an option to train your jockey, which lets you learn different special abilities. These include "Hyper Dash", "Incentive" and "Extra Push", which all effect your horse in different ways.

To quote the game itself: "The tactics you learnt in Stakes Winner won't work in this game". There are many subtle changes in game, such as the fact that you can no longer ram into the other horses without being penalised. One of my favourite tactics in Stakes Winner 1 was to ram other horses to slow them down, but you now get penalised if you do it. That is, unless you buy an item from the shop that let's you do it freely for one race! Other changes include the game being more difficult than before. It is a good idea to use the whip button more frequently to make your horse run faster, or everyone else'll leave you behind. This may decrease your power bar quickly, but there now seems to be more power ups around on the track to boost it back up.

Graphics & Sound:

As you would expect, this game has a slightly improved look. The animation seems to have been enhanced a little and everything in general has a better overall look. The main thing that is really well done though is the presentation. All the menus look much more classy than before and they give the game a nice feel. Cool! The sound in this game is quite cool too. A lot of the music is actually remixed versions of music from the original and it sounds great. The new music that you get when racing is also fairly good too, and I think that it's a lot better than in SW1.


Overall:

If you enjoyed the first game, then you will LOVE this game. If you found the first game too boring after a while like me, then you should still try this game as it is a lot more fun, although it definitely requires more practice to be able to win races. This game is still much more fun in two-player mode, but at least there is a little more to do in the single player mode this time... I'd actually consider buying this game, which is more than I can say for the first game.


Graphics: 7.5/10
Sound: 8/10
Game play: 7.5/10
Replay Value: 7/10

Overall Rating: 7.5/10



Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


Review by Dan Elektro

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Stakes Winner - The original, good fun too!


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