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DFG Exclusive Review Summary
A very good game, far above average & recommended.
- Plenty of satisfying action and explosions
- Lots of upgrades
- Automatic pausing is a wonderful thing
- It's not much different from other top-down SHMUPS
- A lot of screens and menus get in the way of starting a new run
Can't Stop Won't Stop
Fastlane: Road to Revenge is an endless top-down shooter/shoot-em-up, so if you know how to not get hit by projectiles while also hitting enemies with your own projectiles you should be in good shape. Still, there are a few details that might be good to know in advance.
The only way to last longer is to get new wheels, then beef them up.
- Always be upgrading. The more more money you pour into a given vehicle, the longer you'll last on the road - and the more money you'll be able to collect because you're lasting longer.
- There's pretty much no reason not to switch. Sometimes when you level-up, you'll unlock a new car. Using that new car will earn you more cash and 'Rep' (a.k.a scoreboard points), and add a new enemy type to the road. If you want to boost your earnings, you're going to have to use these new vehicles once you get them.
- Save up gems (premium currency) to add Extra Guns to your cars. The only way to add an extra pair of guns to your vehicle is to spend gems, but once they're unlocked you can upgrade them with regular cash. This is super useful to do, as it will drastically increase the spread of your machine gun fire and make it much easier to destroy enemies that aren't directly in front of your car.
- Upgrade everything. Cars can be upgraded with better guns and armor, but you can also upgrade power-ups to increase their duration or effectiveness. Eventually you'll also unlock drones, which can be upgraded to do more damage.
Where Rubber Meets the Road
There are a few things to be aware of while driving, as well.
- Prioritize the trucks. There are, of course, plenty of vehicles on the road to shoot at, but trucks tend to provide the most benefits. Some trucks will explode and destroy other nearby vehicles, some will drop a big wad of cash, and some will even give you health power-ups.
- Beware the literal warning signs. Whenever something hazardous is approaching - barricades, spike strips, missiles, etc - you'll get a warning of some kind. Usually a big orange exclamation sign in the offending lane. If you don't get out of the way you'll be destroyed in one hit, so definitely heed these warnings.
- Try to avoid crashing into enemies. Smashing into them does destroy them, but it also damages your car quite a bit. Better to shoot and destroy them from a distance.
Gets the Job Done
Ultimately there's nothing Fastlane: Road to Revenge does that other top-down shooters also do, but that's okay. It might not offer anything new, but it still makes for a decent bit of mindless fun.
Fastlane: Road to Revenge Review
Machine Gun the Engine
If you're not familiar with top-down SHMUPS (aka shoot-em-ups), they're basically games that focus on dodging endless barrages of enemy bullets - while producing and endless barrage of your own - as seen from a top-down perspective. Sometimes there are power-ups that help you out or make it easier to destroy your targets. It's arcade action at its most basic, but also at its most pure. Fastlane: Road to Revenge is basically that, only with endless levels.
Ready, Fire, Aim
The sort of underlying goal has something to do with racing your way back to the top of some sort of violent race-happy underworld, I think, but who cares? The real point is to blow up a bunch of cars while collecting cash and trying to survive as long as possible. I don't really need a reason, to be honest.
As you'd likely expect from a game that centers around gunfire and explosions, there's plenty of mindless action to enjoy. It's really easy to hop into a game of Fastlane and see how far you can make it; just tap and hold on the screen to start and drag to move your car. It's as satisfying as any SHMUP, really - lots of things blow up, there are plenty of hazards to dodge around (slow cars, barriers, spike strips, missiles, etc), and so many fat stacks of cash cascading all over the screen.
There's also a fairly robust amount of upgrades for the various cars, which provides a good enough reason to keep pulling you forward. I ended up getting stuck in the loop of 'race for cash, spend cash on stronger guns/better armor, race a bit better for more cash, spend cash again,' quite easily. It's always nice when a game keeps giving me reasons to play it, even if those reasons are just incremental improvements.
Of course the downside to being so much like other SHMUPs is that Fastlane is, ultimately, pretty much just like any other SHMUP. If you've played one of these things before, this isn't going to knock your socks off. Not to say it's bad, of course - it's a perfectly competent game in its own right - but it's also nothing new. Although I have to say I do really appreciate the fact that the gameplay pauses automatically when you let go of the screen, which isn't a new concept in itself but still very intuitive and handy to have.
A more subjective complaint I have is with the flow of the game once you inevitably crash or get blown up: it takes too long to get back on the road. First you have to skip the Continue screen (or spend premium currency to continue. After that you have to sit through the experience meter filling up, which can be skipped somewhat by tapping the screen. Then there's any bonuses you may have grabbed along the way, further adding to the xp meter. THEN there's the loading screen as you get booted back to the main menu, sometimes followed by yet another pop-up screen where you can watch a video for bonus cash. Considering the fast-paced action, I feel like this game really needs an option to just go right back to racing without having to sit through all of that nonsense just to have to start a new game from the title screen.
Death Race 2017
I honestly don't have much of a problem with Fastlane: Road to Revenge being like other shoot-em-ups. I just really, really wish it didn't boot me back to the title screen after every single race. Other than that it's a perfectly good way to entertain yourself, assuming you're into arcade action games like this, of course.
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