If you were a fan of RC Pro-AM for the NES and wanted to see how amazing it would be on the Super Nintendo, well you were completely out of luck. There is a Super R.C. Pro-AM, but don’t be fooled because it’s just a Gameboy version. However, there was a 16-bit version of the game for the Sega Genesis.
That’s right, Rare Ltd. and Tradewest, both of which are well known for their NES titles, teamed up (again) to bring the classic over to the Sega Genesis. Why only the Sega Genesis and not the Super Nintendo as well? Your guess is as good as any, but regardless that’s all in the past.
Your goal in Championship Pro-AM is to control your tiny radio controlled vehicle and finish no lower than third place in each race to continue advancing. Along the way you’ll need to collection parts upgrades, as well as letters to spell out the word Champion, while avoiding track hazards and staying ahead of the competition. If you do happen to place lower than third you’ll be given a total of three continues, but once those are used up it’s game over for good. Also, if you need to use a continue, you’ll not only retain your upgrades and letters from the previously lost race, but you’ll be able to collection additional ones once you restart the race.
Collecting tires, gears and motors helps your RC car handle better as well as makes it go faster. It’s important to collect these whenever possible as the competition gradually gets better, regardless of whether you’ve collected the upgrades or not. Collecting letters (one per track unless you use a continue) spells out the word Champion, much like RC Pro-AM spells out Nintendo. Once all the letters are collected your radio controlled vehicle will be upgraded, as will the competition’s, and your parts upgrades will be reset to none. Both upgrades and letters are strewn about the tracks and usually tend to be in fairly easily obtainable places, very rarely will you have to go out of your way to drive over one and pick it up.
Another thing the player can collect are weapons, which are activated by using the horn button. You’ll be given the choice of two weapons: rockets or bombs. Rockets can be fired directly at the competition or blind fired, in hopes to hit competition which may be off the screen. Bombs will be released with a short time delay, unless the competition makes direct contact with the bomb. Weapons affect the competition only for a short time, but if used thoughtfully it can give you a good lead. If you run out of ammo collecting stars on the track will replenish your stock, but as soon as ammo runs out hitting the fire button will simply activate the horn again, denoting you’re out of ammo.
If you thought racing an RC car around a track was going to be a cakewalk, think again. Not only does the competition get increasingly difficult, but the track is your enemy too. Anything from rain clouds and water puddles slowing you down to oil slicks that will send your car spinning out of control. There are even elevating walls that will pop up in front of you and cause you to crash like a Crash Test Dummie. All hope is not yet lost, as you will sometimes find a roll cage on the track, temporarily making your vehicle impervious to damage. Sadly this too goes for the competition and renders them impervious too, even to your rockets and bombs.
Learning to race each track is essential. Learning to drift the corners, collect the upgrades and letters, and avoiding all the hazards are all important. In terms of difficulty Championship Pro-AM isn’t much more difficult than good old RC Pro-AM, if at all. Other than holding a different controller, the obvious graphics and sound changes, it feels pretty much the exact same. They even kept the trophy room between races, but added shelves and made it look more organized. RC Pro-AM is a nostalgic blast from the past and always will be, but it would have been great to see Championship Pro-AM for the Super Nintendo. Regardless of why it’s only on the Sega Genesis it’s still very much a fun game to play.