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Last V8, The (1985)            

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Details (Commodore 64) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Mastertronic Added Dimension
Racing / Car
David Darling, Richard Darling
Yes, required
Audio cassette
UK (£2.99)

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Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64

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Your Reviews

eJay Pierre (Unknown)   23rd Mar 2013 10:18
"The most irritating classic game in the world!"

This game is donkey's years old so I'm going to do my best to be objective here. I tried it out again recently (''now'' being 2003 for anyone who's reading this in the far future) because I had fond memories of playing it many years ago and getting tremendously frustrated by the enormous difficulty of the thing.

The plot details are, as ever with 80's budget games, hazy at best. You have a car (the eponymous ''Last V8'') which is red and fast (two almost mutually exclusive concepts in many 80's driving games), and you're stuck 4 kilometres away from your base (why 4km? I don't know). To make matters worse, there's a nuclear bomb about to drop, and patches of the earth are severely irradiated. It's up to you to save... well, your own behind, really.

V8 is a top-down driving game. Sort of. The actual display of your car's instrument panel and various status readouts take up a good three quarters of the screen and, while admittedly impressive to see working rev counters and speedo's in glorious C64-o-vision, it does leave a miniscule window for you to see where on earth you're driving.

The gameplay is essentially a test of how steady your hand is. The slightest clip of a treeside object will see your lovely car bursting into flames and leaving you dead in the forthcoming atomic blast. Cheery. What you have to do is negotiate the road carefully and make your way to your base in the underground bunker, steering carefully around tricky roads and speeding through irradiated areas.

What makes this task somewhat more difficult is the rather peculiar control system. While you initially think it's the standard ''Asteroids'' system (i.e. turn with left and right, push up to accelerate) in actual fact it's somewhat more unnecessarily complicated. Push a direction and your car will accelerate in that direction if it's facing that direction. If it's more than 90 degrees away from that direction, it will turn towards that direction. For example, if you're heading left and you push up, your car will turn to the right, towards the top of the screen.

Confused? Thought you might be. It's this control system that makes what would already be a tricky thread-the-needle exercise into a teeth-gnashing ordeal from Hades' very posterior. It's difficult enough to successfully negotiate the first corner, let alone pull off the flukey performance shown in the demonstration mode.

That said, despite it being incredibly irritating, it has a certain addictive quality. Perhaps it's because you start to feel that it can't possibly be supposed to be that difficult. Perhaps it's the groovy Rob Hubbard music. Perhaps you like the grainy sampled speech of one of the programmers yelling ''V8! Return to base! Immediately!''. Or perhaps it's the little gaming demons tugging at your pleasure centres, telling you that you WILL enjoy this game.

So there you go. By modern standards, it's a big pile of donkey droppings but it does have a retro charm all of its own and its extreme difficulty makes excellent bragging material to other children of the 80's if you ever manage to negotiate the first corner. The Rob Hubbard music is excellent, the graphics are good (for a C64, naturally) and the gameplay is, well, a gigantic pain in the bum really, but who cares really? It's not as if anyone's going to read this review, are they?

If by chance you HAVE stumbled across this review, dig out V8 and see if you can do any better than me. I reached the big 90-degree corner where you have to turn to the south.

Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/14/03, Updated 07/14/03

(Anonymous) (Unknown)   19th Sep 2016 12:59
Issue 9, Dec 1985 (Zzap! 64)   18th Mar 2013 01:32

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This title was first added on 26th March 2011
This title was most recently updated on 19th September 2016

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