Super Street: The Game Review

By Kevin Tavore, 27 days ago
When I was first assigned to review Super Street: The Game earlier this week, I was excited to learn more about it. The game’s name immediately brought about two pressing questions I needed answers to before I began playing: (1) is this a mobile port and (2) what on Earth is “Super Street” and why is there a game based on it? The first question was answered easily enough — no, this is not a mobile port. Phew. The second question was a bit more surprising. No, “Super Street” is not a direct-to-video movie; it’s a magazine dedicated to (super) street racing. Because when I’m reading a magazine, I often dream about why there can’t be video games based on them. I’m talking about you, Cosmopolitan. Unfortunately, Super Street isn’t nearly as good as its printed forefather and it’s certainly much worse than the Burnout series it clearly takes inspiration from.

Screenshots

As its namesake is based on the hip street racing scene, so too is Super Street. Upon loading up, you’re immediately thrust into one of a few derelicts straight from the junkyard as your own. You’ll need to choose wisely, as this will be the only car you’ll ever own in the game. Then, just like real street racing, you’ll immediately be sent to the garage where you can spend the rest of your meager savings to pimp your ride, namely by buying performance and visual upgrades. More on that in a bit.

With your car ready to go, you’ll be immediately thrown into the game’s career mode. It’s a series of events of varying styles of races, from checkpoint sprints to elimination to style point challenges. It’s kind of like Project Gotham Racing, though that comparison should end firmly right there. The career mode has no soul at all — it’s just race after race as you rise in fame and collect money to further upgrade your car. This isn’t surprising in the racing genre, but it’s hardly going to encourage you to come back for more once you max out your stats a third of the way through the career, which is around the point you’ll have experienced each event type once or twice. The best I can say about it is that the variety keeps the career grind from becoming monotonous. Still, the career is so bland it’s barely worth mentioning. I’ve only done so here to mark this as the highest point of success the game achieved. Everything from here on out speaks only to the disaster that Super Street is.


When you watch Olympic speed skating, have you ever imagined trying to do it yourself? As I play this image in my head, I can only imagine myself attempting to make a turn as the skates slip out from under me and I careen across the ice until I slam into the wall at 30mph, likely breaking multiple bones in the process. That’s what taking a turn in Super Street feels like. The handling is, bar none, the worst of any racing game I’ve ever played. If you try the standard brake and then turn, you’ll find your car’s brakes practically don’t work at all and the turning radius is so poor you might as well not bother. It’s clear you’re meant to use your handbrake to drift, kind of like Need for Speed, but even then your braking power is so light it usually just means you’re going to slam into a wall sideways instead of front-on. After upgrading your car fully and putting hours into the game, this does slowly get better and you will grasp how you're meant to drive, but getting to that point is simply miserable.

The game does not feature licensed cars purportedly due to the developer’s intent to ensure car destruction was relevant in this game. It’s not. Burnout is famous for wrecking everything while racing, and its physics model is excellent and on point to ensure it’s always a great time. Super Street’s physics model is nothing like that. Cars will bounce around and off of each other with no damage or in a catastrophic wreck. There’s no rhyme or reason to what happens. When you run into oncoming traffic, you’ll alternatively come to a dead stop or ramp off of the hood high into the sky like you’re playing a worse version of Rush 2049 and your wings were clipped. There were countless occasions where I threw up my hands in frustration when something absolutely mundane caused the physics engine to spaz out and spin me into a whirlwind. There were also countless occasions where I expected a badass wreck and ended up feeling like I’m driving a children’s bumper car. For a game that claims to put damage and destruction on a pedestal, its physics engine is an utter failure.


If you’re reading this thinking “Why does a game aimed at street racing enthusiasts who read print magazines focus on arcade controls and destruction instead of simulating the feel of modding and driving a car?”, I have no answer for you. You would think upgrading and tweaking your car would be the star of the show, and at first glance it seems alright thanks to a large array of licensed secondary part manufacturers. For the hardcore, you can pick your favored brands and tweak handling and steering. For the casual, you can just look at how much the stats bars increase and buy based on that. Doing so, you’ll quickly realize a fundamental flaw with the system: all the upgrades are identical. So sure, if you’re an idiot you can buy Brembo brakes for $2000. Or you can buy a cheap knockoff for $300 and get literally the exact same benefit. Rinse and repeat for every part except the engine. This devolves upgrading into a game of “scroll through the options for each part type and buy the cheapest one every time.” It should not need explanation to show how incredibly disappointing this is in a game about modding your car.

The track design is another black mark on the game. The tracks are full of tight turns that are nearly impossible to tackle thanks to the poor handling model and they’re usually followed up with straightaways. This causes you to drive like a teenager in the car for the first time — you give it a boost with your nitro and then slam on the brakes way out from the turn. The effect is that you constantly, rapidly accelerate and decelerate in a way that’s completely unfun. The rotten cherry on top of that track design is the inclusion of oncoming traffic and random, unbreakable objects at the end of turns that you’ll crash into, forcing you to restart the race.


The track design is made substantially worse by the fact the AI opponents don’t seem to be held to the same rules as you. They are much better drivers who can take a turn at a 45 degree angle, which in this game is cheating. They’ll also zigzag around the road and run into you at random to add additional challenge. This makes earning a gold medal in later events extremely difficult as, once you’re behind after the start, you’ll almost never catch up. It’s simply not fun.

A review of Super Street would not be complete without discussing your crew that you unlock as you progress. Your crew is a stable of girls in barely-there clothing whose only purpose is eye candy. Your computer expert is wearing a crop top and panties — that's it, I kid you not. You cannot interact with them in any way and they do not affect how you upgrade or drive your car. Their descriptions indicate they offer boosts to certain stats — it’s not clear if this is true, but these are passive stats and you can’t choose your crew members so it’s entirely non-interactive regardless. It’s hard to imagine how the developers thought this was a good idea.


The achievements are run-of-the-mill and generally see you making your way through the career mode, earning gold medals along the way. The bulk of the game’s miscellaneous achievements involve random accomplishments during the race like wrecking every opponent or driving a clean race. They’ll all come naturally to many and for the few you miss, there are easy solutions to get them popped. All in all, it shouldn’t be much of an effort and only a moderate time commitment of 10-20 hours by my estimation.

Check out our Best Xbox Arcade Racing Games Available in 2018 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.

Summary

Super Street is not a good game. It is borderline irredeemable. I'd be lying if I said I had no fun — some of the events were occasionally a good time if everything went my way and I could pretend this was a normal racing game. But the fact is that rarely happens. Instead you're stuck with a physics engine so lousy it feels like you're always on ice. The destruction feature adds yet another miserable dimension to the game that will make you groan as you're flipping into the air for no justifiable reason. Track design is awful. The AI is blatantly unfair and cheap and stupid. Then there's the gravest sin — the upgrading and modding system being entirely pointless. I'm not sure who the target audience for Super Street is supposed to be. Street racing fans will hate that its nothing like their pastime while arcade racing fans could pick up just about any other title and have more fun. Super Street cannot be recommended to anyone; you should just read the magazine instead.
1.5 / 5
Positives
  • Variety of events in career mode is not horrible, if not good either
Negatives
  • Atrocious physics model ruins both car handling and the game's focus on destruction
  • A street racing game shouldn't have a focus on destruction anyway
  • Terrible track design
  • Miserable, cheating AI
  • Sexy girls in your crew for the sake of it, literally
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent five hours racing the streets of a nameless city and hated nearly every second of it. Nine of the game's 28 achievements were unlocked along the way. The game was played on an Xbox One X. An Xbox One copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
Please read our Review and Ethics Statement for more information.
Kevin Tavore
Written by Kevin Tavore
Kevin is a lover of all types of media, especially any type of long form story. The American equivalent of Aristotle, he'll write about anything and everything and you'll usually see him as the purveyor of news, reviews and the occasional op-ed. He's happy with any game that's not point and click or puzzling, but would always rather be outdoors in nature.