Sunday, August 4, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 35 - Top Gear Overdrive

There are some games that you just want to shout from the rooftops about their greatness so the rest of the world can discover them and today's game for day 35 of Eric Vs. 365 is one of them. I'm talking about the overlooked N64 racing title Top Gear Overdrive. Ok, maybe the game itself isn't that great, but the soundtrack provided by the band Grindstone is memorable and amazing and worth the price of admission. Continue reading for more.

Top Gear Overdrive was released in 1998 as a road racing follow-up to Top Gear Rally. It was OK. It is probably most remembered for letting you unlock silly special cars like the N64 logo, a taco, or a sausage with pickle wheels. For me, though, it was memorable because of the music. Back then I didn't even know videogames could have real music in them, so playing Top Gear Overdrive and having these awesome rock tracks blaring in the background was a game changer. 

That band, Grindstone, seems to have pretty much peaked by being included in Top Gear Overdrive. They broke up in the early 2000's after never really finding mainstream success. It's a shame. You can listen to their first album, which was featured in Top Gear Overdrive, on Last.FM here - .

I have to admit that I've been looking forward to making today's video for a long, long time. I've always really loved the music and wanted to share it with as many people as I could. I remember renting Top Gear Overdrive back in 1998 and holding up a cassette recorder so I could record the music and listen to it later. Back in those days we didn't really have the Internet to just look stuff up so I didn't know who the band was or where to find an album or any of that stuff, so making my own bootleg tape was the only thing I could do. Later on in life I looked them up only to discover that not only did Grindstone not really do much else in their career, but their CD was hard to find and expensive. Every couple of years, though, I still get a sudden strange twinge of nostalgia and give them a listen again. 

So go ahead and listen to Grindstone on Last.FM and maybe play Top Gear Overdrive a bit. It's a surprisingly solid racer that has held up fairly well. Oh, and pardon the graphical glitches in the recording. It won't look like that if you play it on a real N64. The game also has a "high-res" mode that you can use, but it only takes up half the screen. The high res mode actually does look surprisingly good, though.