Review

Lowrider

Lowriding is one automotive sport that has nothing to do with speed. Which is not to say the cars don't move: They just move in ways that only a chiropractor would enjoy. The goal is simple: Find a classic ''ride'' (favorites include '66 Chevy Malibus or vintage Cadillac Coupe DeVilles); rework it with a gleaming paint job, shiny chrome fittings, a chain-link steering wheel; and then -- this is the important part -- install hydraulic pumps that will raise the chassis up to 12 feet (!) off the ground. Aficionados of this car-customizing subculture, regularly seen in rap videos and immortalized in a classic War song, compete at events to see who has the finest detail work and biggest bounce. Astute readers, who have now deduced that news of a lowriding videogame is imminent, give yourselves a pat on the back. What's strange, though, is from whence this title comes: Even though the sport originated in Southern California, it took a Japanese company to concoct this wonderfully detailed sim. ''Lowrider,'' a rhythm-action game in which players buy a ride, upgrade the hydraulics, create detailed hood ornamentation, and go bumper-to-bumper against other drivers at hops, dances, and cruise shows, is debuting for PlayStation 2 in the U.S. later this month. And it's got plenty of bounce: ''Lowrider Magazine'' has given the game its seal of approval, and the soundtrack includes the hip-hop hit ''Get Low'' by Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz. We'll see ya in the parking lots.

Originally posted Oct 17, 2003 Published in issue #733 Oct 17, 2003 Order article reprints