Coder Makes 20-Year-Old SNES Racer Finally Playable!

At the risk of having the comments flooded with examples to the contrary, by and large, most gaming ports that were brought to the SNES were fairly decent. No, the games themselves were not always great (Shaq-Fu certainly comes to mind), but generally speaking, they at least fan fairly competently.

However, if you do recall “Race Drivin'” released for the SNES back in 1992, you quite possibly still have moderate nightmares at how it largely threw out single frame per second levels of performance. Well, thanks to coding engineer ‘Vitor Vilela’, through a labour of extreme love, he has found a way to turn that stuttering chaos into near silky-smooth goodness!

Race Drivin’ SNES – The Road from Stuttery to Silky!

As you can see in the video below, putting the two versions next to each other is like night and day in terms of the performance. How was he able to make it so much better though? Well, it was through the utilization of the SNES SA-1 chipset, something the original version of the game did not use.

Similar to the FX-chip, as I understand it, the SA-1 was an additional performance booster that could be added to cartridges to alleviate some of the performance stress from the SNES’ main CPU. Offering potentially four times the comparative processing speed (with a number of highly-technical caveats), the utilization of this hardware clearly offers a huge performance boost to a game that, ultimately, turned out pretty garbage without it!

More to Come…

Vitor Vilela has, apparently, make it something of his mission to show just how much better SNES games could’ve been with more expansive use of the SA-1 chip. As such, while this is exceptionally impressive, it’s just a small slice of what he eventually plans to do to improve even more games that, due to poor choices and/or programming, could’ve run a lot better on the SNES.

If you do, therefore, want to learn more about this, you can check out his official YouTube channel via the link here!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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