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Power Drift

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For the Saturn version, see Sega Ages Power Drift.

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Power Drift Title.png
Power Drift
Publisher: Sega,
PC Engine
Asmik,
Commodore Amiga
Amstrad CPC
Atari ST
Commodore 64
IBM PC compatibles
MSX
ZX Spectrum
Activision
Developer:
System(s): Sega Y Board, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, PC Engine, ZX Spectrum
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade (Y Board)
JP
¥? ?
Arcade (Y Board)
US
$? ?















PC Engine
JP
1990-04-13 ¥6,900 AS02002
Commodore Amiga
UK
£24.99[1] ?
Commodore Amiga
UK (The Hit Squad)
£7.99 ?
Atari ST
UK
£19.99[1] ?
Atari ST
UK (The Hit Squad)
£7.99 ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Cassette)
£9.99[1] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (Disk)
£14.99[1] ?
Amstrad CPC
UK (The Hit Squad)
£3.99 ?
Amstrad CPC
ES (Cassette)
? AMC 768
Commodore 64
US (Disk)
$39.95[3] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Cassette)
£9.99[1] ?
Commodore 64
UK (Disk)
£14.99[1] ?
Commodore 64
UK (The Hit Squad)
£3.99 ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (Cassette)
£9.99[1] ?
ZX Spectrum
UK (The Hit Squad)
£3.99 ?
ZX Spectrum
ES (Cassette)
?Ptas LYSEC-714
IBM PC compatibles
US
$? ?
IBM PC compatibles
UK
£29.99[4] ?
MSX
ES
?Ptas ?



Power Drift (パワードリフト) is a 1988 kart racing game developed for the Sega Y Board arcade platform. It was designed by Yu Suzuki and developed by his team at Sega AM2.

Gameplay

Like many games for the hardware, Power Drift makes heavy use of sprite scaling and rotation, often referred to as Super Scaler technology. It is one of the more ambitious efforts for what is considered at its core to be "2D" hardware, attempting not only to simulate driving down a road (like OutRun), but hills and bridges, as well as a camera which can tilt as the player drives around corners.

In Power Drift the player chooses one of twelve characters and attempts to beat them over the course of five "courses", labeled A through E, each with five tracks. Unlike most Sega arcade racers which rely on an in-game timer to determine whether a user has failed, in Power Drift the player must finish third or above in a race to continue playing.

If the player finishes first in all races, a sixth "special" track is unlocked, where the player has the option to play as the F-14 Tomcat from After Burner (A, C, E) or the motorbike from Super Hang-On (B, D).

Drivers

Michael
Keith
Jason
Storoganoph
Tom
Mark
Jimmy
Emily
Lucy
Jeronimo
Harry
Eric

History

Power Drift was the first kart racing game, predating Nintendo's Super Mario Kart by four years. While less known in America, it was critically and commercially successful in Europe, according to gaming magazines of its time.

Improving on the "Super Scaler" technology and road scrolling effects of Hang-On, Out Run and After Burner, it created all of its track layouts with flat bitmaps to simulate a wholly 3D space using strictly 2D technology, making much use of sprite-scaling and rotation to create a 3D effect.[6]

Legacy

Unlike other works by Yu Suzuki, such as Space Harrier, OutRun, and After Burner. Power Drift skipped most home consoles and did not appear on a home Sega system until the release of a Sega Saturn conversion in 1998 (as Sega Ages Power Drift). It was instead ported to the PC Engine in Japan (by Asmik Ace Entertainment), and a variety of home computers in North America and Europe, including the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, TurboGrafx-16 and ZX Spectrum. All computer versions sacrifice many of the sprite effects, and though some were well received by the gaming press at the time, the limitations turn these versions into very different games.

The arcade version of Power Drift was also included in Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1 for the Sega Dreamcast. The arcade version has never been re-released in the western world.

Unusual for Sega's "Super Scaler" arcade games, Power Drift was never ported to the Mega Drive console. Dempa was planning to port the game to the Mega Drive, but it was later moved to the Sega CD, before the project was eventually cancelled[6]. When Dempa's license expired, Sega briefly worked on a Sega 32X version[7], which also did not see the light of day.

The Sonic Drift games for the Sega Game Gear handheld console were based on the gameplay of Power Drift, but with characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.[8]

A remastered version was released by M2 and Sega for the Nintendo 3DS as a part of M2's 3D Classics line under the name 3D Power Drift. This version is a port of the arcade version but with added functionality, such as 3D stereoscopic support and customizable controls.

Versions

Amiga and Atari ST versions

The Amiga and Atari ST versions were programmed simultaneously by Zareh Z. K. Johannes of Software Studios, better known by his alias, "ZZKJ". It is in some ways an evolution of ZZKJ's previous project; the Amiga and Atari ST ports of Super Hang-On.

Sega failed to give the team any of the arcade game's assets or source code, meaning artist Saul Marchese had to take "hundreds" of photos of the arcade machine in action, and watch footage of someone playing the game to the end[9]. Due to the limitation of 16 colours per sprite, DEGAS Elite was used as the primary graphics editor[9].

Unlike Y Board hardware, both the Amiga and ST are incapable of natively scaling sprites, so to create the illusion of depth, all graphics had to be rendered at multiple sizes. A program written by ZZKJ allowed these sprites to be generated on the fly, with Saul touching them up before use[9].

The Amiga port is spread across two floppy disks, while the Atari ST port needs three. To reduce the amount of disk swapping, course graphics were stored on disk 3[10]. Atari ST users also have to choose between music and sound effects, while the Amiga supports both simultaneously.

Code was written to allow Amiga and Atari ST users to compete against each other by using a null modem cable[10], but this feature was not implemented in the final product. Its existence would have made Power Drift the only Sega-to-computer port to adopt this feature, and indeed one of a small handful of games in the entire Amiga/Atari ST shared library to support it.

While the arcade version of the game targets 30FPS at all times, Power Drift on the Amiga and ST averages 6-7[11]. Attempts to mitigate the choppy nature of play involved the manipulation of up to 50 sprites per frame[10].

The Amiga version is optimised to some degree for systems equipped with Motorola 68020 processors[12]. At the time, only the Amiga 2500/20 from 1988 came with this processor out of the box - other Amiga computers would have to be upgraded.

Commodore 64 version

The Commodore 64 version of Power Drift was written by Chris Butler, following his conversion of Thunder Blade and being subsequently poached by Activision to work on new titles[13]. Work began in February 1989 with a deadline of September, the contract had a £250 penalty clause for every week missed past this deadline[13].

The Commodore 64 version loads in one go, devoting roughly 32kB to graphics, 20kB to the game and 6kB to music[13]. A further 1-3kB is reserved for "emergency backup purposes"[14].

The game was written on an Amstrad PCW running WordStar, before being assembled by Avaset X-ASM[14]. Priority was given to eliminating the "wobble" of graphics as they move into the screen (as seen with Butler's conversions of Thunder Blade and Space Harrier)[14].

The development team only had the Power Drift cabinet for four months before it was sent elsewhere[14].

ZX Spectrum version

Power Drfit on the Spectrum was created by Software Studios, with programming by John Mullins and graphics by Clive Paul. On a 48K Spectrum, Power Drift is a multi-load game with each circuit being loaded individually[15], but if played on a 128K machine, everything loads in one go (and includes better music and sound effects).

Again, Sega did not provide the team with source code, meaning the game was created by watching videos and analysing screenshots[16].

The graphics are reduced to simple OutRun-style roads, where corners and hills are simulated, but the horizon is static and the camera does not rotate. The screen updates at about 8-10 frames per second, owing to the way the road moves up and down[16]. For this reason, Power Drift is slower than Mullins' previous Spectrum conversion, WEC Le Mans [16].

Music was developed on an Atari ST[16].

Production credits

Arcade version

Amiga and Atari ST versions

  • Programmed by: ZZKJ
  • Graphics by: Saul
  • Music by: Uncle Art
  • Produced by: Neil
  • ©1988 Sega Enterprises Inc.
  • All Rights Reserved.
  • Activision UK Ltd
  • Authorised User.
  • Game ©1989 Activision
  • A Software Studios Production
Source: In-game credits

Amstrad CPC, MSX and ZX Spectrum versions

Source: In-game credits

Commodore 64 version

  • Copyright (C) 1988 Sega(R)
  • Activision Inc. Authorised User
  • C64 Code Copyright (C) 1989 Chris Butler
  • Music by: Dave Lowe
Source: In-game credits (UK cassette)
Source: In-game credits (US disk)

MSX version

The MSX version shows the following additional credits, besides those also seen in Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum versions:

  • MSX Version by: New Frontier
  • Coding by: Zydro
  • Music by: MC Alby
Source: In-game credits

PC Engine version

Original Concept
  • Sega Enterprises Ltd.
Conversion to PC-Engine
  • Programming: Ishikawa, Kudo Johnny B. Good Eiji
  • Music: Don
  • Graphics: Metali Kawachi
  • Test Play: Push Pop Masa, Ontakesan, George, Andlle Kazama
  • Special Thanks: C. S. All Stars
  • Music Programming: Ishikawa
  • System Creator: Eiji Kudo, Ishikawa
  • Special Advisor: Hiroshi Okamoto, Kazuyuki Takasaki
  • Tools: TRR Team
  • Data Organization: Baja Baja Kudo
  • Visual Sketch: Metali Kawachi
  • Music Direction: Bakabon Papa
  • Graphics Direction: Zepher
  • Program Direction: Kyusyu Danji
  • Coordinator: Push Pop Masa
  • Producer: Kazuyuki Takasaki
  • Director: O-Boss Y.
  • Support: Nanchan, Mariko Koizumi, Michiyo Sugawara, Gim Keiko
  • Jammer: Meko Saitou, Kaeru Sakurai, Yuco Matui, Hokken Katsu, Takion, Nari Ozzy
  • Ochakumi: Jyoshidaisei Yuriko, Nari Ozzy, Naaa Kaaa Jieee
  • Executive Director: Toshiyuki Futamura
  • Executive Producer: Takahiro Minami
Source: In-game credits

Photo gallery

Magazine articles

Main article: Power Drift/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

{{|}}}}

CVG UK 095.pdf

PDF
Home computers print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #95: "October 1989" (1989-09-16)
also published in:
  • ACE (UK) #26: "November 1989" (1989-xx-xx)[18]
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #96: "November 1989" (1989-10-16)[19]
{{|}}}}

CommodoreUser UK 74.pdfCommodoreUser UK 74.pdf

PDF
Home computers print advert in
Commodore User (UK) #74: "November 1989" (1989-10-23)
also published in:
  • ACE (UK) #27: "December 1989" (1989-xx-xx)[20]
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #97: "December 1989" (1989-11-16)[21]
  • Amiga Format (UK) Not implemented! (xxxx-xx-xx)[22]
{{|}}}}

ACE UK 28.pdfACE UK 28.pdf

PDF
Home computers print advert in
ACE (UK) #28: "January 1990" (19xx-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #98: "January 1990" (1989-12-16)[23]
{{|}}}}

PowerPlay DE 020.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Power Play (DE) #11/89 (1989-10-xx)
{{|}}}}

PowerPlay DE 021.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Power Play (DE) #12/89 (1989-11-xx)
{{|}}}}

PowerPlay DE 021.pdfPowerPlay DE 021.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Power Play (DE) #11/89 (1989-10-xx)

Physical scans

Y Board version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
60 №61, p97[24]
77 №3/89, p60[25]
100 №79, p82/83[26]
Arcade
79
Based on
3 reviews

Y Board, US
PowerDrift YBoard US Manual.pdf
Manual
Y Board, JP

Amiga version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
64 №27, p92/93[1]
83 №3, p76/77[27]
88 №20, p35[12]
92 №5, p42/43[28]
79 №1990-01, p10/11[29]
69 №9, p108[30]
91 №12/89, p53[31]
70 №74, p36/37[32]
83 №96, p16/17[33]
90 №25, p90[34]
85 №2, p26[35]
65 №57, p71[36]
Commodore Amiga
80
Based on
12 reviews

Amiga, UK
PowerDrift Amiga EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Amiga, UK (The Hit Squad)


Amstrad CPC version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
91 №51, p50/51[37]
45 №26, p21[38]
Amstrad CPC
68
Based on
2 reviews

Amstrad CPC, UK (cassette)

Amstrad CPC, UK (disk)
PowerDrift AmstradCPC EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngPowerDrift AmstradCPC EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Amstrad CPC, UK (The Hit Squad)
PowerDrift CPC UK Box HitSquad.jpg
Cover
PowerDrift CPC UK Cassette HitSquad.jpg
Cassette
Amstrad CPC, ES (cassette)
PowerDrift CPC ES Box Cassette MCM.jpg
Cover

Atari ST version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
100 №2/90, p57[39]
84 №26, p21[38]
60 №38, p85[40]
76 №21, p48/49[41]
83 №6, p62/64[42]
Atari ST
81
Based on
5 reviews

Atari ST, UK
PowerDrift ST UK Box Back.jpgNospine.pngPowerDrift ST UK Box Front.jpg
Cover
PowerDrift AtariST UK Disk1.jpg
Disk 1
PowerDrift AtariST UK Disk2.jpg
Disk 2
PowerDrift AtariST UK Disk3.jpg
Disk 3
Atari ST, UK (The Hit Squad)
PowerDrift AtariST UK Box Back THS.jpgNospine-small.pngPowerDrift AtariST UK Box Front THS.jpg
Cover

Commodore 64 version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 №3/90[43]
72 №27, p92/93[1]
92 №12/89, p53[31]
87 №8.5, p50/51
85 №98, p18[44]
41 №15, p49[45]
80 №74, p38[46]
92 №25, p90[34]
92 №64, p32/33[47]
94 №55, p68/69[48]
95 №39, p16-18[49]
Commodore 64
83
Based on
11 reviews

Commodore 64, US
PowerDrift C64 US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngPowerDrift C64 US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Commodore 64, UK
PowerDrift C64 UK Box Back.jpgNospine.pngPowerDrift C64 UK Box Front.jpg
Cover
PowerDrift C64 UK Cassette.jpg
Cassette
Commodore 64, UK (The Hit Squad)
PowerDrift C64 UK Box THS.jpg
Cover
PowerDrift C64 UK Cassette THS.jpg
Cassette
Commodore 64, IT

DOS version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 №106, p54[50]
62 №8, p167
IBM PC compatibles
71
Based on
2 reviews

DOS, US
PowerDrift IBMPC US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngPowerDrift IBMPC US Box Front.jpg
Cover
PowerDrift IBMPC US Disk1.jpg
Disk 1
PowerDrift IBMPC US Disk2.jpg
Disk 2
PowerDrift IBMPC US Disk3.jpg
Disk 3
PowerDrift IBMPC US Disk4.jpg
Disk 4

MSX version

MSX, ES

MSX, ES (alt)
PowerDrift MSX ES Box.jpg
Cover

PC Engine version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
60 №35, p60[51]
90 №7/90, p62[52]
86 №2, p9/60[53]
87 №33, p52[54]
53 №23, p65[55]
81 №6, p90[56]
76 №50, p58/59[57]
PC Engine
76
Based on
7 reviews

PC Engine, JP
Power Drift PCE HuCard JP Back.jpgPower Drift PCE HuCard JP Spine.jpgPowerDrift PCE JP Box Front.jpg
Cover
PowerDrift PCE JP Card Back.jpgPowerDrift PCE JP Card.jpg
Card
Power Drift PCE HuCard JP Manual.pdf
Manual

ZX Spectrum version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
81 №71, p70[58]
71 №95, p63[59]
79 №93, p39[60]
81 №118, p49[61]
82 №49, p23[62]
ZX Spectrum
79
Based on
5 reviews

ZX Spectrum, UK

ZX Spectrum, UK
(The Hit Squad)
PowerDrift Spectrum EU Box THS.jpg
Cover
ZX Spectrum, ES
Power Drift Spectrum EU MCM Box.jpg
Cover

Unreleased versions

Notavailable.svg
Power Drift
Publisher: Sega
Planned release date:
Sega Mega Drive
1991
Sega Mega-CD
1992-04/1992-05[63]
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-CD, Sega 32X

The game was apparently due to be ported to the Mega Drive and Mega-CD. The Mega Drive version was mentioned in the December 1990 issue of Mean Machines, with an expected release date of Easter 1991, and the Mega-CD version was announced shortly before the system launched, with an expected release of "late Spring" 1992 (April/May). Neither version ever came out.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 File:ACE UK 27.pdf, page 93
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 File:Zero UK 01.pdf, page 12
  3. File:CGW US 072.pdf, page 6
  4. File:CVG UK 105.pdf, page 13
  5. http://www.mamedb.com/game/pdrift
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/powerdrift/powerdrift.htm
  7. File:GameFan US 0303.pdf, page 114
  8. http://toucharcade.com/2014/01/03/sonic-all-stars-racing-transformed-review-an-all-star-sequel/
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 File:TheOne UK 13.pdf, page 34
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 File:TheOne UK 13.pdf, page 33
  11. File:TheOne UK 13.pdf, page 32
  12. 12.0 12.1 File:AmigaComputing UK 020.pdf, page 35
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 File:Zzap64 UK 054.pdf, page 24
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 File:Zzap64 UK 054.pdf, page 25
  15. File:YourSinclair UK 091.pdf, page 59
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 File:YourSinclair UK 091.pdf, page 58
  17. http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=power-drift-deluxe-sit-down-model&page=detail&id=19587
  18. File:ACE UK 26.pdf, page 31
  19. File:CVG UK 096.pdf, page 87
  20. File:ACE UK 27.pdf, page 44
  21. File:CVG UK 097.pdf, page 28
  22. File:AmigaFormat UK 005.pdf, page 170
  23. File:CVG UK 098.pdf, page 138
  24. File:CommodoreUser UK 61.pdf, page 97
  25. File:PowerPlay DE 012.pdf, page 60
  26. File:SinclairUser UK 079.pdf, page 82
  27. http://amr.abime.net/review_31948
  28. File:AmigaFormat UK 005.pdf, page 42
  29. File:AmigaJoker DE 1990-01.pdf, page 10
  30. File:AmigaPower UK 09.pdf, page 106
  31. 31.0 31.1 http://www.kultboy.com/index.php?site=t&id=3408
  32. File:CommodoreUser UK 74.pdf, page 36
  33. File:CVG UK 096.pdf, page 16
  34. 34.0 34.1 File:TGM UK 25.pdf, page 90
  35. File:Zero UK 02.pdf, page 26
  36. File:Zzap64 UK 057.pdf, page 71
  37. File:AmstradAction UK 051.pdf, page 50
  38. 38.0 38.1 File:TGM UK 26.pdf, page 21
  39. File:ASM DE 1990-02.pdf, page 57
  40. File:OFSTG UK 038.pdf, page 85
  41. File:STAction UK 21.pdf, page 50
  42. http://www.stformat.com/stf06/index.html
  43. http://www.kultboy.com/index.php?site=t&id=9061
  44. File:CommodoreForce UK 098.pdf, page 18
  45. File:CommodoreFormat UK 15.pdf, page 49
  46. File:CommodoreUser UK 74.pdf, page 38
  47. File:YourCommodore UK 64.pdf, page 32
  48. File:Zzap64 UK 055.pdf, page 68
  49. File:Zzap IT 39.pdf, page 16
  50. File:CVG UK 106.pdf, page 54
  51. File:ACE UK 35.pdf, page 60
  52. File:ASM DE 1990-07.pdf, page 64
  53. File:GameFan US 0102.pdf, page 9
  54. File:TGM UK 33.pdf, page 52
  55. File:Generation4 FR 023.pdf, page 65
  56. File:Joystick FR 006.pdf, page 86
  57. File:Zzap IT 50.pdf, page 58
  58. File:Crash UK 71.pdf, page 70
  59. File:Crash UK 95.pdf, page 63
  60. File:SinclairUser UK 093.pdf, page 39
  61. File:SinclairUser UK 118.pdf, page 49
  62. File:YourSinclair UK 49.pdf, page 23
  63. File:EGM US 029.pdf, page 122