This wasn’t one we owned on the N64 back in the late 1990s. Although we have vague memories of playing it at a friend’s house.
What we do remember is N64 Magazine slating it with a 10% score. Hurray!
Aero Gauge launched in late 1997 over in Japan, and spring 1998 for the rest of the world.
Locomotive Co. Ltd.’s hovercraft racer is set in 2065 in Asia. Across six tracks (yes, only half a dozen of them) you must race to win.
That’s it. Once you claim a title, there’s a reverse track mode.
It’s a fairly standard racer from that era. You’ll note the appalling pop-up with the graphics in the various clips.
It was a real problem for many games of that era. On the N64, titles like Turok Dinosaur Hunter put extensive fogging in action to hide it.
The pop-up and fogging ensured titles like Aero Gauge could blast along at full speed. And it moves at a decent rate of knots.
But from descriptions of the game we’ve seen, computer players cheat, it’s frustrating as all hell, and isn’t very entertaining.
It just looks like a bit of a mess. Here’s IGN’s footage of it from back in 1998.
But we mean… six tracks!? This thing would have been about £50.
That meagre amount reminds us of MRC: Multi-Racing Championship from around the same time. A bit better as a racing game, but only three courses. For shame!
Anyway, what sticks with us for Aero Gauge is that 10% score from N64 Magazine. We’ll try to hunt down that issue the next time we’re at our parent’s place.
We have old issues of it stored there, like the dorks we are. We want to check those for two reasons:
- To pluck some quotes from the review.
- But, also, despite slating the game, there were major marketing ads for Aero Gauge on N64 Magazine.
Fun and games in the world of journalism, eh? Slag off a title, then promote it for additional revenue.
Still, at least the N64 Magazine staff members had honour. They stuck to their guns with their opinion, which is what we respect.
Anyway, the fun thing about the full page spread ad for Aero Gauge was the marketing team’s arrogance on it.
We’ve no idea who Locomotive Co. Ltd. used for its marketing purposes. It was either in-house or, more likely, an agency to create the ad for the developer.
But the advertisement bears this legend on its final line:
"This will be game of the year."
Well, no. It wasn’t. In 1998 that went to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Aero Gauge’s generic mishmash of average speedy racing wasn’t quite up to that level. But, hey, don’t let that hold you back, game!
Hopefully later this year we can get a picture of that ad. So we can come back this post and repurpose this with the image.
As we think it’s Aero Gauge’s crowning glory. Ignore the dodgy reviews. Ignore the mediocre game you’ve made. Hype it up and sell it!
Compare that to the lovely ISLANDERS (2019), which features a humble marketing campaign suggesting players might want to but it.
You live and learn, Aero Gauge. You live and learn.