Originally released in the arcade in 1989, Hard Drivin’ was pushing polygons, speed and a sexy sports car-inspired cockpit. The gameplay was fast, fun and influenced a ton of games afterwards, espe­cially the Cruisin’ the World series. Essentially running on 32-bit hardware, Hard-Drivin’ was the equivalent of a Sony PlayStation game, more than a half-decade before the console was released. For that reason alone, it was a sexy beast of a driving game and a success in the arcades.

“This was an extremely difficult title to convert to Genesis, and frankly I can’t say that I’m 100 percent satisfied with the result. First of all, the Genesis hardware was designed to do 2D character-based games, not 3D; it not only doesn’t have any help for 3D calculations, but it also doesn’t even have a bitmap. So, we had to do 3D calculations on a pretty slow processor using as few multiply instructions as possible (very costly in terms of cycle time) and never a divide instruction (prohibitively slow), then map the resulting display information onto a matrix of ‘stamps’ that Genesis used for backgrounds, which due to the need for double buffering and rela­tively small amount of RAM had to be handled by a custom memory manager we wrote. In other words, it was a total nightmare. The resulting average frame rate was way below what we would have preferred.”

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Patrick Hickey Jr. (193 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com