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Is this 3d or 2d?

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By, uh, mixing 3D terrain and 2D sprites. That sample seems to use extremely low-res texturing on basic cube or deformed cube geometry for the ground. For the sprites, just use vertical-axis-aligned billboards, and perform a calculation to determine what sprite set to display based on a comparison of the unit's facing direction and the direction from the unit to the camera.

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Yeah, it looks quite 2d to me, and the way the graphics are I don't even think it was pre-rendered 3d either, though I could be wrong on that one.  It looks cool though.

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Yeah, it looks quite 2d to me, and the way the graphics are I don't even think it was pre-rendered 3d either, though I could be wrong on that one.  It looks cool though.

It's from 1998, it predates the use of cel-shading style rendering, so I don't think that at that time it would have been possible to produce this particular style of sprites by pre-rendering 3D models.  Also the proportions (arm length and stuff) aren't consistent across frames of animation, which wouldn't happen if they started with a 3D model.  But currently one could produce almost indistinguishable sprites by making 3D models instead of 2D drawings.

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it looks like basic mario kart 1 graphics to me. Which means you need the mode 7 tilemapped floor, and then sit the sprites on top of it for the characters, its actually pretty groovy :)  I can see why you are interested...

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