But Does It Get the Chicks?

With POD: Speedzone, you and your gal can cuddle and compete at the same time with the game's split-screen mode. Speed Devils OR is for that long-distance relationship, since two can play together only while connected online.

POD: Speedzone

By: Ubi Soft Entertainment
Platform: Dreamcast
Rating: 90%
Price: $44.99

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POD: Speedzone is all about racing as fast as you can to outdrive the mutant vehicles threatening your planet. POD's six race courses are set in futuristic and otherworldly places where you'll be leaping over chasms, shooting at enemies and finding sneaky shortcuts.

Most of the unique handling characteristics of each of the wild-looking race cars aren't that apparent in the heat of play. Modifications to your vehicle are made on the fly by picking up power-ups scattered on the road. These provide a boost of speed, or an offensive or defensive weapon, to use against other racers.

Up to four players can compete online, and the game appears to move equally fast whether you're playing on SegaNet or offline by yourself. Unlike Speed Devils, POD can also be played offline by two people together in split-screen mode.

The choice boils down to speed over substance -- the thrill of top-speed racing in POD: Speedzone or the anxiety of betting your virtual money in Speed Devils online. For me, driving faster wins out, though it's a shame that the pretty scenery goes by so quickly.  

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Howard Wen is a frequent contributor to Playboy.com.

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