Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sunday full of RPG goodness.

And no, I'm not talking about rocket propelled grenades...

After a fab day of catching up with friends, nerding out with mates (Iron Kingdoms RPG!) and having a bit of a drink I even had time left to write a review of the last FF book I've read.

How good is that??

#13 Freeway Fighter

Life is lawless and dangerous. Survivors like you either live in scattered, fortified towns, or roam outside as bandits. YOUR mission is to cross the wilderness to the far-distant oil-refinery at San Anglo and bring vital supplies back to the peaceful town of New Hope. Even in the armed Dodge Interceptor you are given, the journey will be wild and perilous. Will YOU survive?

Oh yeah...
This is the one.

How cool is this book? I know I've probably exclaimed that almost every book in the FF range was my fav at one time or another - I'm an incurable over exaggerator - but this time I mean it!
Along with Joe Dever's 'Highway Warrior' series, this has to be the book I started and finished the most often.

Just look at that cover! (not mine BTW, the one I own from my spotty youth has bits of tape holding it on...) Its Mad Max without Captain annoying! If, like me, you wanted nothing more than to watch Mel Giboard burn around in a suped-up V8, then play 'Battle Cars' or 'Dark Future' but of course didn't have those games (or any friends who would have played them...) then THIS was the ultimate adventure book!

Speaking of the art, the fantastic cover was created by none other than the mighty Jim Burns who is a veteran SF and apocalyptic scene artist par excellence. His work adorns so many books I saw as a kid that I couldn't even remember half of them if I tried! Interesting then that the interior illos are supplied by one Kevin Bulmer, who like so many illustrators for this series, only got the one book to work in. I always liked the art in this book as it had a realistic edge to it - a graphic feeling. I was reminded about it a while back when I was re reading 'Bean Bandit' by Kenichi Sonoda - famous for the 'Gunsmith Cats' Manga. Sonoda always went for a photo-realistic edge to his portrayals of vehicles and weapons, and thats the feeling I get from Bulmer's work here. Funny that now in the age of the internet I get to look up the unfortunately late Mr Bulmer and discover he was world famous for his work in the field of 2d-3d graphics! Live and learn I guess =)

Ok so the book itself plays like most other FF books, with the awesome exception that you have separate stats for your Interceptor vehicle as well. So cool! There's plenty of both in car and foot-bound fighting to be had and most of the enemies look like they climbed right out of 'The Road Warrior' movie (even down to a machine gun toting 'Humongous' look alike in a motorized chariot!)
The car stats are pretty basic but allow for the use of a few special weapons (spikes, oil slick etc) and of course the most important stat of all - FUEL.

And this is the only gripe I have of the book as a whole - your reliance on finding fuel. I'm sure its been commented on in other reviews so I wont make a big deal out of it, except to say that it really is the only limiting factor of this book. The annoyance of winning the battles, getting the info/items and then outrunning a bunch of gangers only to then run dry is frustrating to say the least.
And yes, before you ask, I did cheat... quite a bit...

That aside, there's nothing wrong with this adventure, which stands alone in its choice of scenario. 


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