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NEC Interchanel






E (Everyone)



Q2 2003



- Looks pretty darn slick

- “Pick-up and go” play

- Keen music

- Good AI challengers



- Vanilla racer

- Sense of speed is lacking

- Not many different tracks



Review: Burnout 2 (GC)

Review: Rally Fusion (PS2)

Review: Twisted Metal Black Online (PS2)



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Tube Slider

Score: 6.3 / 10


NEC is probably most known for its Turbo-Graphix 16 console of yesteryear and games like Bonk (about a thick-skulled caveman bonking bad guys with his head).  NEC returns to gaming with Tube Slider (TS), a vanilla racer to be sure but at least NEC’s back.


tube slider gamecube review           tube slider gamecube review


With that last paragraph you’ve probably already hit the “back” button.  But according to most consumer surveys, vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor – so it’s not all bad.


TS brings to the table all the usual suspects of the racing genre: a bunch of vehicles, a few racing modes, various tracks, and solid AI challengers.


The vehicles are probably the most noteworthy aspect of TS.  Designed by some of the minds behind the anime classic, Akira, the vehicles are each unique and sport their own attributes like speed and handling.  There are tubby, slow racers and speedy featherweights.  If you want a severe challenge, picking a slower racer with good handling and poor acceleration and top speed will force your concentration to breaking point.  But most of us like to win with a bit of challenge, which is why the speedy racers will probably be used the most.





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Possibly the biggest letdown of TS is the small number of tracks available.  The tracks included are well designed.  All the tracks are enclosed tubes – hey, that’s where the title came from! – and whip around and around some cool environments that you can never take a good look at unless you like riding in 4th Place.


The presentation is great but also lacking are the racing modes, which break down to the bare necessities: Time Trial, Grand Prix and Free 


Race.  You have to compete in Grand Prix (and win) to unlock racetracks for the other two modes.  There is also some multiplayer racing to be done too, but it doesn’t matter what mode you’re racing in the sense of speed just isn’t there. (Less so for multiplayer races.)  Punching the boost propels most vehicles into the 700mph range but you’ll only feel like you’re going a fraction of that.  The sense of speed pales in comparison to titles like Burnout 2: Point of Impact and the upcoming F-Zero GX.  Most of this can probably be traced back to the number of straight-aways and gradual turns.  Throwing in more corners would have made the racing more tactical and created a sense of speed.


tube slider gamecube review          tube slider gamecube review


Tube Slider could have had quite a bit more depth.  It has moments of complete enjoyability but doesn’t go far enough.  Although the AI is challenging and the game is undeniably good looking, there aren’t enough tracks, the sense of speed is lacking and the racing modes are very limited.  I expect NEC's next foray will have some chocolate, sprinkles and whipped cream on top of the vanilla.


- Omni

(June 1, 2003)


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