High Speed

The fuzz is the least of your worries on this godforsaken playing field!

By Daavpuke, Posted 15 Jul 2010

Zooming into fifth gear easily, High Speed is yet another game published by Rare on the NES. Back in the day, Rare used to bring out a slew of games, and so they built themselves up to be a powerhouse through hard work. They would bring us a series of classics later on the N64 and would, later still, kind of vanish into thin air. It's one of the things I regret about the game industry, as they did have talent. I own a lot of Rare games on the NES and most of those are good. Now, is High Speed one of those games?

High Speed is not a racing game, as one would come to expect, but a pinball game based on fast cars and fast driving. It has one play board and a lot of flashing lights everywhere. So far, all is standard and as far as pinball games go, how much more can you implement? Well, a lot can be done apparently.

In this game you'll be dodging ball-eating fireballs, destroying flipper-crushing bombs, outmaneuvering pirate mechanics and more. To add even more to the punch, you can also save up three items of the same kind and unlock a mini-game. On one hand, you have a mini Pachinko game. For those unaware of the game, it's based on getting balls on a set space on the board. It's a popular Japanese arcade game. On the other hand, you have a fun race game where you boost your vehicle by shooting it with your ball or crash other cars by shooting them. It's a nice change of pace to take you away from the one game board. It's also a completely different type of challenge.

Other than that you have your standard pinball play with jackpots, multi-balls, extra balls, ramps and all that stuff. All the features are well represented on the board and it's fun to try and acquire the set goal laid out for you.

Graphically, High Speed takes some getting used to. With gritty and flashy colors everywhere, you might lose track of your ball once in a while. And when you are operating a multi-ball, things will become absolute chaos. It doesn't help that the game only splits into a split screen that's confusing when speeds are up. The screen also only disappears a moment before the ball hits.

Overall, all the board's unclear actions might confuse you as they're happening simultaneously. But with time, all will seem clearer and you'll know what blotch means what. In all, Rare made a good attempt at better, more "adult" graphics, but it kind of backfired in the perspective of gameplay.

Another poorly executed effort is the sound. This really is the worst part of the game. In their aim for realistic sound, they've made some of the most awful and downright annoying noises out there. Every time you'll get a point countdown, you'll think your television is dying. The only thing that really works out on this level is the police radio, with voices of police officers. As radios always sound a bit distorted, this sound comes off really well and it's nice to be chased by the cops for real. Although, the fuzz is the least of your worries on this godforsaken playing field! Other than that, I can only urge anyone to play with sounds low.

What saves this game is the replay value it holds. Just like other pinball games, if done properly, you'll replay the same experience over and over again. It becomes trickier with time and with all the extras on the board. As the animations are trying to cut your progress short, you'll try again and again to get as far as possible. And every time you meet a new foe, you'll wonder what else this game has in store for you. To really pique your interests, Rare has put a clever mental challenge into High Speed, by putting a monstrous high score on first place. And with only three balls, you'll sweat out your best game and try to get there by any means necessary. To help you in that quest, it is possible to replay a ball with an extra ball if you play well enough.

I'm lucky I found this game in my collection, as I had forgotten I owned it. Rare pulled off a lucky shot, overcoming all odds with the gameplay the game holds. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to try and reach my favorite mini-game ever: Racing on a pinball game!

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed.

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  • Haha I remember this game. It was pretty cool.

    Posted Jul 16, 2010

  • @fishdalf: I'm amazed someone knew this game. Kudos to you, sir :D!

    Posted Jul 16, 2010

  • I think I played this game as well, but I might be wrong. After it was a looong time ago...

    Posted Jul 18, 2010

  • I didn't even see the light of this world when you guys played this game

    Posted Jul 19, 2010


General Information

High Speed


Platform(s): WII
Publisher(s): Tradewest
Developer(s): Rare Ltd.
Genres: Pinball
Themes: Pinball
Release Date: 1984-04-28

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