You liked the Fast and the Furious ? Well, then you would love Street Legal -- if it wasn't for the choppy frame rate, underdeveloped and ambitious new engine. The game idea is quite good : build your dream race car with the parts you want and go to the streets to gain respect and money.
There's a nice variety of parts to choose from when building your car, from typical ricer bumpers and wings to bigger engines and forced induction ways such as NO2, Superchargers and Turbochargers. It's quite fun to modify your car when you're not fighting with this new engine Invictus developed or trying to figure out why your new setup doesn't work.
After you get some work done to your car, take it to the track or to the streets. Cruising around you'll ask pedestrians where to find a race or auto shop. Sounds like fun! Again, if it wasn't for the choppy frame rate when you're on the streets...
The graphics in this game are pretty decent but not extraordinary and you shouldn't expect so because this is an Activision VALUE release. But even being a value release that you can buy for 19 bucks, I think it looks quite good.
One of the problems is that some textures take won't load until you actually face the 3d object, especially upcoming traffic. Expect to see a non-textured dull 3d model ahead of you. But then again, if those textures actually loaded up you would be in serious trouble since the frame rate is already terrible.
I played this game on my Athlon 1ghz w/ a Geoforce 2 and I had a hard time with the frame rate. I tried changing to lower resolutions such as 640x400 at 16bit but still got a crappy choppy frame rate, so I don't know if the game will actually run nicely on your computer, be aware! Maybe if you have a 2.4ghz processor, latest geoforce card with lots of ddr ram and a SCSI hard drive you will be able to run this game nicely. I mentioned the scsi hd because it seems this game actually reads from the hard disk during gameplay and that's probably why it's so slow, but then again this makes you able to have such large environment like we have in this game.
Sound is pretty simple. The engine sounds are not a state of art beauty
but they do the job. Don't expect to hear fancy effects like blow off valves and screaming pedestrians. You can honk and well I guess that's an extra for the sound.
The music, well there's a very limited selections of music in this game (only two radios!), but good thing is that it's not annoying or singed, just plain instrumental so it's ok. I personally don't like music in racing games anyway.
Tuning cars and racing them is very fun! Especially for me who does it in real life. The handling of the cars is pretty good and the game idea is phenomenal : build your own street racer, tune it up, take it to the track, test it in the 1/4 mile, hit the streets, race others, get caught and run from the cops, go to auto shops, gain respect, talk to pedestrians, etc... but there's just too many problems to make it enjoyable for everyone.
First problem is that everything is in 3d in this game, even when you're doing work on your car you have to fight with this new 3d engine that is very annoying to get the car/parts in the position you want.
Second problem is that you have to disassemble the whole car in order to remove or fix a part, that's very annoying because you will not only be fighting with their 3d engine but also trying to figure out which part is to be removed. They will tell you what part you have to remove, but good luck finding out what is it and where is it. Oh yea, good luck getting to that part if you have a 2 button mouse with no wheel like me, you'll have a hard time moving around the engine. There's buttons that can remove the body and the running gear from you view so you can easily find the parts, but it's still annoying. The developers should have made this part in 2d or simpler.
Third problem is that they WON'T tell you that a certain part or setup won't work in your car ! That's right... you'll have to buy it to figure it out. You might want to buy a big ass turbo and the supporting parts to set it up in your car, but it won't work! That is so frustrating, they should at least say what applications will work with a certain part, because this game is not like tuning in real life, so even if you did some tuning before you will find out that certain things do not make sense in this game.
Fourth and biggest problem with this game is the CHOPPY annoying frame rate. Don't expect this game to run fast on your computer! It looks like their engine is unfinished, I don't know if there was any rush to put this game out, but it would definitively be worth the wait. This game needs a some work still, it is fun, but the problems might just overcome it.
Street Legal could have been a great game if it was given the time and dedication for a proper development. It's true that being a value release you shouldn't expect much, but this game really had all the elements of a killer game and got released with an unfinished aspect. If you really like working on cars and racing them then you should check this out, hell it's only $ 20 USD !