Vigilante 8 was not a racing game. Although the idea was the same. Various vehicles from small cars to school buses to pick up trucks each with their own stats as far as speed, handling, weapons, and hit points. But unlike S.C.A.R.S. where your end goal was to reach the end of a race track, V8 was about driving around in an open ended arena and getting as many vehicle kills as you could. The arenas were well laid out and varied giving you a lot of locales to play in. If I recall you had an option between having a certain amount of respawns or playing on a time limit where most kills wins. The game was insanely fun and the retro 70s theme of the characters, vehicles, and music was an amusing twist to the game. The game at the time was popular enough to get its own sequel which was even more awesome than the original. Sadly this was not the case for S.C.A.R.S.
If I had to pick a favorite of the two...I couldn't. They were pretty different games overall and played differently. Although I will admit S.C.A.R.S. was more intense due to the fact that you were racing AND blowing shit up.
There has been several vehicular mayhem games since those 2 but few have been even close to really being in the same league. Auto Assault (which i didn't play) was an MMO based around V8s concept only in a much larger world with RPG aspects. But sadly that game died and was shut down so I never got see if it was any good. Crashers which is an indie game just came out which looked similar to V8 as well but the control in that game was horrendous. I tried to demo and the demo was crap. One thing I did find which made me quite happy was a remake of V8 (the first one sadly) on Xbox LIVE arcade. My friend and I messed around on it and had quite a bit of fun just dueling.
Even with the discovery of the V8 remake I still longed for a real current/next gen type of game in that category. They're just so much fun and I can't understand why there hasn't been more of them made.
....and then my waiting paid off. Sort of. I saw on steam about a week ago PAM: Post Apocalyptic Mayhem. After looking at the trailer I was amazed. It looked like S.C.A.R.S. and V8 had a love child. It had the kind of racing and tracks S.C.A.R.S. had but with V8's kind of cars and weapons. On top of that the graphics and gameplay looked amazing and the fucking price was $7.99. I jumped alllll over that shit. Sure enough the game is insanely fun. The only draw backs I see is its scale. There is only 3 tracks to play on and 5 vehicles. Also there's only 2 modes, and both are the same thing. First mode is single race, second mode is a back to back to back race on all three tracks. The other thing that sort of bugs me is unlike S.C.A.R.S. where you only destroyed other cars as a means to get ahead or stay ahead, in PAM you HAVE to destroy other cars because it keeps track of your kill count. Races are timed and at the end of the timer the one with the most laps AND kills wins meaning being ahead really doesn't mean crap if you aren't killing anyone. So the drawbacks are saddening but the game does seem to support downloadable content. So I'm hoping the game is popular enough to convince the developers to put out more tracks, cars, and game modes through DLC.
Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense gamplay
Post Apocalyptic Mayhem gamplay