Be Excellent To Each Other

And, you know, party on. Dude.

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Reply to topic  [ 78 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 4:48 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Need For Speed 4: High Stakes / Road Challenge

What the hell is this? I was all making fun of NFS5's driving model, saying it's all slippy and whatnot, but this game is, for want of a better word, wack.

At least NFS5 -has- a driving model. This game just has manic speeding all over the place. The cars don't seem to drive anything like anything! In fact, they remind me a lot of how old fashioned stripey-road driving games would work, with the nose of the little sprite car gently shearing to the left or the right and the world sliding into position. There's no weight, just weird arcadey grippy magic. Every race begins with all the cardboard cars blinding smashing together then shooting off into the distance, leaving you in their dust.

This is the first NFS game with a persistent career mode. NFS3 had progression and goals and unlockable bonus levels and cars, but it didn't have any way of holding them all together. If you looked carefully you could perhaps see a little checkmark or some golden text, but otherwise you'd never know that if you won a tournament on each track you'd unlock a bonus level.

In Heist Aches you've got a series of trophies to aim for, each one requiring you to get a medal in a set of predefined events. And these events start off pretty long and only get longer. Two two-race tournaments with three laps. By the end... I don't even want to think about it. You can buy cars as you go, upgrading them to get minor bonuses in all your stats, which also adds STRIPES! to your car. Higher levels give your driver dude a racing suit to wear. You can pick an arbitrary colour for your car and everything, so of course you'll get attached to 'em. Who doesn't want a Mercedes SLK?

Later on you get the titular High Stakes races. Simple: you and a CPU opponent do a race. Winner gets the opponent's car. Tension! Drama! Threat! Loss! Of Hours Worth Of Racing Money In A Single Race! (And exiting mid-race counts as a loss, buddy.) You thought Dark Souls was hardcore? Suuuuuure.

What I don't understand is how I used to like this game. This used to be my favourite one! But then again I could never get past the first tier of cars when I played it, plus I was twelve years old.

This one gave me tons of trouble when I tried playing it on the Pegatron (on Windows 7). Couldn't get it out of software rendering mode (where it looks like a Playstation game) and it doesn't support widescreen resolutions by default. Modern patches let you pick widescreen resolutions, but they seem to just offer various kinds of upscaling from 4:3. I installed nGlide, which got the 3dfx logo coming up when I started the game, but it still kept on using the software renderer. I'm pretty sure I used 3dsetup.exe to change it, but nothing I did worked. Joystick worked great though!

All the old cars (I think?) and all the old tracks from NFS3 are back again as bonus levels, which makes this game feel almost like an expansion pack of sorts. The cop modes are still there and everything. However! The modern patches for NFS3 seem to work a lot better, my bro is running 3 on his Win 7 machine with full everything at 60hz, while I'm stuck with everything terrible. Plus, I had tons of custom cars and tracks downloaded for NFS3 back in the day and I'm not sure if they're compatible with this one.

Hot Pursuit might be the better game after all...

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 20:07 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo

(That's Italian for 'hey, that spells SCAR!')

Fresh from my success in the realistic world of GRID, I've laid out the princely sum of a single pound and bought myself a Proper racing game for the original Xbox. Proper licensed cars from a manufacturer you've probably heard of and Proper real-world tracks you've probably already gotten sick of in more popular games.

And no gimmicks. Alright, maybe one. But it's a doozy!

According to the back of the case, SCAR is the 'very first CARPG'. Yep, it's a car playing game. You thought you were playing at cars in all those other games? Don't be ridiculous. This is the very first time you've been able to play as a car in a game. Wait, what? No, that's stupid. You don't play as a car at all. And even if you did, the chibi-toy-car ChoroQ licensed game Road Trip Adventure came out first and you DO play as a car in that!

So what is a CARPG?

Does it have an expansive overworld for you to explore, an intricately designed chain of towns each with their own self contained plots and characters all subtly linked together to slowly involve the player more and more in the events that will define the future of the world? Do you increase in power and influence as the game progresses, gaining access to increasingly sophisticated forms of transportation to allow travel to even more remote locations? Does it have a series of cunning antagonists each hiding behind one another's spoken and unspoken agendas, making and breaking alliances with the player as suits their needs? Does it have deep dialogue options for the player to project a personality of their choosing onto their avatar, with characters within the world reacting seemingly spontaneously to this new free agent in their midst? Does it have a moving score that surges and ebbs to reflect the action depicted on screen - tense confrontations, comedic asides, life or death rapidly changing encounters in the wild, pivotal confrontations encompassing a battle of wills as much as a battle of physical and magical prowess?

No. No, it doesn't have any of that stuff. It's just a fucking car game. And as you might have guessed from the way it has Alfa Romeo in the title, that's all the cars you're gonna get.

(Surprisingly enough... For a stupid, wacky, rush-translated kiddie game, Road Trip Adventure does have quite a lot of the stuff I listed... after a fashion...)

But anyway, if there's no high adventure and you don't play a role, what exactly is SCAR's claim upon the name CARPG?

It has stats! Totally unlike the stats you get in, say, every other racing game where you upgrade your car, like Crazy Cars III or Super Cars on the Atari ST or whatever. No, these aren't car stats... In SCAR your driver has stats!

Heart! Vision! Intimidation! Handling! Acceleration! Recovery! Anticipation! Endurance!

Wait! Two of those sound like things that should have been car stats! Never mind. Lets give the game the benefit of the doubt and assume that you're improving the driver's ability to get the most out of their car.

So, you put in your character's name into the very tiny box. And the game doesn't even put it on the back of your car. LAME.

So, what the heck do all these amazing stats do?

The manual goes into absurd detail over all of these. It dedicates a page to each of them, explaining how each stat represents a different facet of your experience as a driver. Or rather, to be more direct, the manual is full of epic amounts of bullshit. Every page waffles on and on in the most flowery indirect language ever trying to make the most basic of game mechanics sound like Shakespeare and Keats's very own blessed baby barf.

I'll simplify it.

In game you have two health bars, your driver condition and your car condition.

The driver condition represents the racer's mental state. It starts at around 150 and decreases when they're in situations that would cause them to lose their calm. Which in SCAR's case is 'another car being somewhere near them'.

If you're drafting behind or hanging beside another racer, you'll cause him to lose condition (this is listed in the games menu as the bizarre and immersion-breaking term 'intimidation damage') when a computer player hits zero... Boy, are you in for some fun...!

Is what I would say if intimidating a driver had any effect. As far as I can tell, driver condition only affects a racer when it hits zero. In the computer players case it causes them to wobble a bit. Maybe in a championship other than the Rookie one this would result in a devastating spin out, but you're only allowed to play the single player career mode (sorry, the 'Dynasty Mode') in order, with no 'winning the Hard cup counts towards the Easy cup' rule, so I never felt like I'd deliberately knocked out another racer with my intimidation ability. (And really it's not much of a 'Dynasty' if there's no interstitial videos introducing the locations, no narration and no car ownership, customising or colouring. A dynasty is all about owning shit!)

Human players are also affected by intimidation. If your condition reaches zero, the screen goes out of focus. Or, to put it another way, you get GTA 3 trails for a moment. I suppose its designed to be off-putting, but I'm playing this original Xbox game through composite cables upscaling onto a 32 panel so it all looks a bit naff anyway.

Your car condition is a hit points gauge that starts at 100, goes down when you get hit, and when you get to zero, your car is dead and you lose. Getting damaged dings your bodywork but doesn't affect the car's performance. You can't get burst tires. Inexplicably, you can get Gear that increases your car condition!

Oh yeah let's talk about Gear. You've played BioShock infinite, right? You remember how it had four slots for hats and jackets and things and each slot gave Booker a little twist to one of his basic innate abilities like making you invulnerable for a short time after a melee kill or making every other ammo reload cost nothing or something like that? Well SCAR has that too!

Except we're in very basic RPG land so you just get simple stat increases. Boo. This does lead to the scenario where your character can have racing boots so intensely powerful that they increase the probability of the racers in front of you losing their focus and spinning out.

What I said about the game looking naff wasn't entirely fair. The graphics in SCAR look rather good. You just don't go to many different places. The grassy roads are all colourful. The racetracks are all racetracky (and I could've sworn I've been to a few of these famous places in GRID before, so they're accurate), but the city courses unfortunately look entirely dead.

Again, maybe its because I'm trapped in the noob zone, buuuut... There are no.crowds in this game! No.matter where.you go, from the huge stands and the nurbenburger, to the deathtrap-corner American cities, everywhere is totally deserted. It's like the game wasn't finished.

But hey, at least all the gear is pretty colours so you can make your driver look like however you want! Except your driver has no physical avatar in this game. You name him but never see him, ever.

And speaking of making the game feel unfinished, there's no in game race music, again. You're on a system that supports custom soundtracks. If you can't afford a composer (and you can, 'cause you've got menu music), and you can't afford EA Games Trax or what-have-you, allow the player to play music stored on the console, you divvies.

Driving feels solid and weighty. I've gotten used to the no fun allowed style of racing from playing GRID. Every straight is balls to the floor acceleration. Every corner is slamming hard on the brakes until scraping around the corner at 10 MPH. Unlike in GRID and especially GRID 2, skidding in SCAR slows you down. You really need to keep traction if you want to stay fast. So it's no speed allowed, and no hot-dogging allowed.

GRID 2 introduced the much maligned corner cutting feature where if you tried to improvise and have fun the game would tell you in big capital letters that you were doing it wrong and slam you down into first gear. GRID lets you corner cut as much as you like as long as you don't mind the journey from tarmac to tarmac being entirely ballistic. SCAR compromises by allowing you to go offroad and make like an ice cube as much as you like, as long as you don't mind it sapping your car condition like the grass is made of lava. If you're willing to give up the Clean Lap XP bonus, you can make a mockery of some of the hairpins on the Serious Racing TM courses by powersliding a neat tiny curve miles away from the hairpin itself and re-enter the track facing the right way having lost hardly any speed.

In fact that's the only way I won the first race of the second difficulty because computer cars just don't make mistakes... Ah! But! What about the intimidation? It doesn't quite work nicely in practice. You can't really choose when you're intimidating an opponent. You're too busy racing and going to fast to select a clever alternate racing line to cause them to crash (which they won't) while staying in the correct position to take the next turn. You can't turn it on or off.

Aside from all the cars being identical within a single race, I couldn't tell the difference between any of the cars provided throughout the game. They all sounded and drove the same. Sorry, Black Bean, but all your authentic recorded Alfa sound was for naught. Every so often I'd be told that I'd reached a new total XP amount which granted me access to A BRAND NEW CAR, but since the cars are selected for you in Dynasty Mode, you can't do anything with unlocked cars except use them to play in multiplayer. And this game only supports two player multiplayer and despite being from 2005 doesn't work with Xbox Live.

Despite it being silent and feeble and samey, I was having an acceptable amount of fun until I completed the first difficulty and moved onto the next and then it was too hard and I stopped having any fun.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 20:21 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
The US title for Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo is 'Alfa Romeo Racing Italino'. As in ARRI. As in YER A WIZARD 'ARRI.

Because I totally forgot to mention in my post that you are in fact a wizard. Despite being a Level 1 driver, you start off with the ability to call upon your decades of driving experience to anticipate future conditions and react to things before they transpire. It's called The Tiger Effect.

You tap the Tiger button and everything slows down, smoothly whirls back a little undoing your mistakes, then resumes naturally.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSb7dfsyg50#t=11m42s

Yeah, it's got GRID's trademark Flashback feature three years before GRID came up with it. (Or to be exact, it's -identical- to GRID 2's version, complete with the smooth reversal and resuming of time, a timeline-less version of GRID 1's having traded the accuracy of the timeline for instant restarts.)

It's such a non-entity in gameplay it didn't even occur to me to write about it. You start off with enough T for a single Tiger and it lasts one second. You can level up the amount of stored T, the length of a Tiger and the regeneration rate, but for the majority of the game you're going to have a single restart at your command which lasts for one whole second. It regenerates at 0.1 per 28 seconds, so if you can last four and a half minutes, you'll get a second one.

Some of the races are nine laps long. Nine, three minute laps long.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 19:34 
User avatar
Thanks

Joined: 11th May, 2008
Posts: 12485
Latest NFS.

Lootboxes to make your car go faster.


_________________
The Premium YouTube Fruit Machine Emulation Experience - https://www.youtube.com/c/DegsyDegworth
Only £2 per month! *
* Not really.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:38 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
I'd really like to like Payback. Somebody buy it me and I'll write about it!

Need To Pee: Hot Fursuit
I've finally gotten all golds on Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit: New Edition, and the game has really grown on me. Now that I'm old and wise enough to realise that sometimes letting go of the accelerator is probably a good thing, my skill levels have shot through the r00f. A little. There's not enough music in HF, so be prepared to mute it twenty minutes in. And I never found a purpose for driving anything other than the fastest car I had in any given class, but there's achievements for winning specific races with specific cars, so cheese-fiends have nice stuff to do.

I got HF and The Run out of my cupboard and played them alternately and gawd lawd do you get a screenful of carbutt in The Run. It basically makes the game unplayable for me now, even though I used to like it. :( So I'm stuck with HP.

I'd say it's the NFS that I'd most readily recommend. You race fast cars in pretty places. There's easy levels, difficult levels, and stuff to listen to while you do it. It's what the original 3DO Need for Speed was trying to do all along, except it doesn't have any FMV stuff (which other people inexplicably hated anyway) but instead has annoying, almost blinding, YOU UNLOCKED SOMETHING animations.

It's also got weird wacky catch upping, stupid gadget weapons, and frustrating interactions between the two that mean people hit with spikes and weapons will somehow be shooting past you in seconds, but hey you can't have everything. If the weapon gauge is on screen, prepare yourself to play a race that's superficially racing, but really a skewed psuedo race thing.

And the Cop levels are super easy, but that's alright. Any harder and they'd be disc-snappingly bad. Hold Y/Triangle to turn off the annoying siren.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:40 
User avatar
Thanks

Joined: 11th May, 2008
Posts: 12485
Hot Pursuit is two games in one.

Racer mode is a 9/10

Cop mode is 6/10, at best.

This is the last full price game I bought for the XBox 360. Then subsequently bought it cheap on Steam for PC. (This is back in the days before Origin was a thing.)

My advice these days would be to buy it cheap on Origin. Play racer mode. Ignore cop mode.

viewtopic.php?p=490667#p490667

_________________
The Premium YouTube Fruit Machine Emulation Experience - https://www.youtube.com/c/DegsyDegworth
Only £2 per month! *
* Not really.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 15:02 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
There's not a lot to distinguish them for me. Racers have 'you have to get to the end in this time' races and shitshow 'cops everywhere and you just chuck whatever powerups you lile everywhere' pursuits and almost puzzle-like 'survive until the end with these feeble powerups' races where there's finite cops, finite powerups and you have to figure it out. Cops gets 'you have to get to the end in this the but you're penalised for collisions but we expect you to crash so here's tons of extra time' races, kinda tense and fun and Burnouty 'you have to eliminate all the racers by touching them' pursuits and finally 'there's one racer but he's tougher than usual and sometimes he turns around but he has a tendency to do it so that he hits your spikestrips and helicopters twice so its piss easy' interceptors.

I did all the pursuit takedowns first, then all the racer pursuits, then the racer races, then the cop trials.

I thought the trials were going to be my least favourite levels because I expected the time limits to be really tight but they were pretty straightforward and they're easily the most fair out of any races in the game. Your success depends on your ability to stay in the nitro lanes as long as possible more than anything else - its kinda Trailblazery. You could drive perfectly but if you dont have or use any nitro you're going to fail.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 22:07 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Need For Speed: Most Wanted: Black Edition (PS2)

Quote:
The Black Edition is a special collector's edition of Need for Speed: Most Wanted released in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Need for Speed series. The Black Edition features additional events, bonus cars, three bonus vinyls, and a special challenge series event. It also comes included with a special feature DVD that contains interviews and videos relating to the development of the game. It was made available for the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox releases in North America, but was only made available for the PlayStation 2 release in Europe.


Yup, there's a Special Edition of the Best Need For Speed racing game (and therefore the Best Racing Game of All Time).

Over here, you can only get it on PS2, which is really damned weird. What do you get?

A single new Challenge event!

What are Challenge events? They're a mode distinct from the Career mode consisting of distinct levels each with a pre-chosen car and track, arranged in ascending difficulty and car speed. It's just like the Event Mode in Super Smash Bros. Melee and onwards in fact! Except without the interesting gimmick levels or gimmick enemies. They're just, y'know, more races, like the ones you select from the Blacklist tiers except you don't get anything for completing them. Not even an Achievement on the 360 as the game came out prior to the now-established pot-pourri Achievement norms, so the NFS:MW achievent list is simply Beat The First Boss, Beat The Second Boss... Beat The Last Boss. (And the game is bugged so it'll dole out Achievements to random players if there are multiple people signed in on the console).

The standard list has 68 challenges for you to complete, or rather get bored after the first few because who wants to do a bunch of circuit lap races in a lousy-ass car for no reason when the Pursuits are where it's at, but you have to complete specific prior events (and the hold-ups are usually boring ones) to play the proceding ones (the good ones) so let's just give it all a miss. It's a little like the Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 single player event tree in that respect, except they didn't lay it out like a tree in MW even though it logically is one. The last Event is 'survive a pursuit for 30 minutes' which sounds like slippery controller time to me.

There's a secret 69th Challenge that you can unlock in any version of NFS:MW by typing in a secret code. The Burger™ King™ Challenge™. It's just a normal race (no BK branding mysteriously) except you play in the Titular That's My Damn Car (the blue (sometimes coloured green because the filters in this game are strange) BMW from the box), which is nice since it has all the max-power parts from the Career mode. You only receive the car normally in the single player after you win the entire game, and there's no real reason to drive it when you get it unless you're a mad completionist.

Black Edition owners get the 70th Challenge, which is puts you in an orange-with-black-stripe 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS on Heat Level 7 (usually it goes up to 5) against Supercharged SUVs. I honestly didn't notice a difference between this and a regular pursuit. And there was no new music to go with it. Still damn fun though.

It's a shame that it only came out on PS2. Playing it on a HDTV through RGB SCART is a bit nasty, but as far as I can tell the entire game is still present and correct - every race and every car. It doesn't do any ridiculous GTA3-style loading screens between islands or regions. It's just in 30fps and 240p as opposed to 60fps and 768p. And the accelerator is the X button or the right-stick up. I'm really glad for the right-stick up method because the X button uses the much-maligned button pressure sensitivity, so unless you're holding the pad in your hands like an industrial press, your car will eventually run out of puff as your hands tire and you'll be wandering around at 70mph without realising.

I did enjoy the extras DVD though! It was 90% terrible, and there were no interviews on it that I could tell. It's just a DVD video, so you have to endure a horrible pre-rendered video transition between menus and you're never really sure what you're selecting. There's some concept art for the city but it's baked into a rolling video, so you can only see the preliminary blocky untextured city layouts and annotated route diagrams for split seconds before the video fades to useless, pointless prerendered ingame footage of the final city, which you're already familiar with from having played the game at all.

The real fun stuff is the FMV cutscenes shown in their original green-screen form without the backgrounds added, everybody doing cocky tilted-shoulder gangsta poses or leaning on green cushiony props, fake car bodies and car doors. There's very little in the way of actual interviews here, which is a shame, and it doesn't last very long (but then again if you put all the cutscenes in NFS:MW back-to-back it'd be about fifteen minutes max anyway).

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:00 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Burnout Paradise

Is it Burnout Paradise or is it Burnout: Paradise? The two different typefaces in the logo make me lean towards the latter. Either way, everybody's been pronouncing the title wrong: little does everybody know that the word 'Burnout' is actually French, and thus pronounced 'Burnoh'. (N.B. May not be actual fact.)

The game opens with so much speaking. Endless, endless speaking. I'm not going to skip it. I paid for it, so I'm going to enjoy it to spite the game.

Actually, no it doesn't. I'm getting ahead of myself. The game opens with god-damn, dog-damn Paradise City by Guns & Roses. It's cute the first time you hear it, but if for example you worked in the building where they were testing the game and had to sit next to a guy who was assigned to it for months at a time, you'd go... absolutely... crackers. And also you can't skip it because if you're playing from scratch you've got the 1.2 GB big Burnout: Paradise 1.9 Patch to download first before you can play. Do yourself a favour and get your console downloading this one in the background while you play something else.

Next-first, the city gets described to you by a lass who does her best to make a tedious description of finding game events at traffic intersections into some kind of seedy sex chat recording.

Also: "Events in Paradise City finish at one of eight locations. One for each point of the compass." I think calling Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest compass points is stretching it.

Having every race in the city end at one of eight locations doesn't seem to have any practical use for the player in my eyes. It just means that you know in advance that you'll be seeing the same damn roads again and again for the entire game. Start the game well by tainting the entire experience with bad news.

And then you get passed to an American radio gent named DJ Atomica who prolongs the preventing-you-from-playing sequence by describing the license system in full a second time for some reason. I keep getting him mixed up with DJ Stryker, who was the DJ in Burnout 3: Takedown. (I was worried I'd made up DJ Stryker, getting him mixed up with MC Striker from the first Guyver movie.)

He finally offers you a brand-new, disconcertingly pre-crumpled Learner's Permit after it being built-up so much and a smashed up Hunter Cavalry made-up car and tells you to go for it! And then a few seconds later the game stops once more and he tells you exactly what to do to get the car repaired. And from there the game stops again and again every twenty seconds to point out that you've passed something or that an event can start at your current location and it'll be added to the map.

When finally you're allowed to enjoy yourself, the Cavalry slides around the map at a moderate walking pace, making a sound like an angry, confused lynx with a head cold, constantly snorting ever upwards through a seemingly infinite array of gears. Like Split/Second there's no speedometer or tachometer, so you're just left to guess at how fast you're going. If I was being pessimistic, I would suggest that they don't show you because there's something bad they want to keep hidden.

I decide to drive a full lap around the outside edge of the map to start to fill in all the blanks on my map and get used to the controls. There's the main city area, which looks like a mixture of flat roads and flat buildings with all the zaniness and spontaneity of a car park, and the mountain area which looks identical to the Route Adonf in Need For Speed 4 High Road Challenge Stakes. Colour, layout, level of detail, you name it.

Image

The whole game has a sort of bland visual style to me. Flat. No shaders. Little colour. Barely any darkness. Kind of like the opposite of its over-detailed shiny successor Need For Speed Most Wanted 2012 Crap Edition.

While I'm driving around, I'm nagivating by the mini-map in the bottom right, as you do. But it's a weird thing: the map doesn't rotate as you do like it would in, say, Grand Theft Auto 3 or Driver. Of course, I can just change it in the options...

Uh..

PAUSE THE GAME CHAPTER 1.

Dear Google: "how do i rotate mini-map burnout paradise"

Quote:
Did they patch in a rotating minimap? (6 years ago)

Apparently, at one point, they were talking about adding an option for a rotating minimap through a patch. Did that happen?

And please don't tell me how great the game is even without a rotating minimap, or how I shouldn't need a rotating minimap. I just want to know if they eventually added it, or not.

Quote:
Nope.


Fab. Even back then, games had the option to have a rotating minimap, or not, as your orienteering preference dictates. Hell, the interfaces for Need For Speed 3 and 4 were customisable to the extent that you could drag all the pieces around with the mouse as you pleased and individually enable or disable them.

You know why a minimap would rotate? It's because it imitates the visual experience of driving, and greatly reduces the thought required to nagivate from said map. Things that would appear to your left and would require a left turn to head towards appear on the left. It's obvious and intuitive.

The only reasons I could think of for the map to not rotate would be to match the pause map which is always North upwards. Or perhaps they want it to mirror the layout of a paper map. But I'll call you a stinky liar if you've never rotated a physical map in your hands in order to check what a route looks like from the perspective of driving it.

They're imitating a thing that was a necessary limitation of SNES/Mega Drive tiled graphics for no good reason.

The bad reason might be to get you to not focus on the minimap while you're driving, in which case they can naff off. The reason I fly by the instruments in so many games is because what I'm shown on screen is useless! Give me a better camera and I won't use the radar!

Anyway. Options: a good thing.

And still Paradise City is playing in the background. When the EA Trax logo flashes up in the bottom-left corner of the screen to announce the start of a different song, I'm so relieved I decide to celebrate with a big cup of tea and a long, well-deserved break from the game.

There's a special kind of event called a Burning Route that can only be attempted in the appropriate car. I've driven past a few of these for cars that I don't have (I don't know how the car ownership works in this yet), but by luck I find the race for my starting car. I decide to open the map and plop down a marker to lead me back towards it. It's my first day, I don't know the good routes yet.

Open the map. The legend doesn't tell me how to put down a marker.

PAUSE THE GAME, THE SECOND.

Dear Google: "burnout paradise waypoint"

Image

Soooo, you've just got to remember it then? That's a little strange. Maybe the game is set in 1987, when the song Paradise City was released.

Early 3D games didn't have dynamic routes lit up on the map for you, it's true. Good algorithms for finding optimal routes are decades-old old news, but putting them into games in real time is a slightly fiddly business. As soon as it became trivial to do so, open-city games put it in. Coincidentally it would appear in games alongside the rise of in-car GPS systems, with game publishers eagerly arranging sponsorship deals directing players through their (long dead) Cingular phone to engage their branded GPS to head to their next destination. As a result, game players were fascinated and gratified to find little cool maps appearing in their cars more frequently, and real life people were comforted by the appearance of in-game guidance systems resembling real products making games more approachable and realistic.

Conclusion: everybody expects GPS in city car games: it's a real thing.

Maybe I can warp to this race from the menu. There wasn't a button listed for that either, but...

Ugh. I don't know why they didn't put in a warp.

Need For Speed Underground 2 was the first Need For Speed game with an open world with race start triggers within the city that you had to drive to, and I'm fairly sure you couldn't warp to them. They weren't in the next game, Hot Pursuit 2, but they were in the next three: Most Wanted, Carbon and Undercover. Do you know why you don't remember that? Because there was no point to doing it instead of selecting the races from the menu. Driving without an objective was, and is pointless. It's backtracking, and it gets rightly and loudly booed whenever it appears in any other game in any other genre.

Sure, there's billboards to destroy and gates to smash through. And that'll pass the time while you head from point A on the map to point B. Once. And then what? Not being able to warp reeks of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g - not respecting the player's time.

Test Drive Unlimited has a great big pretty tropical island (well at the time it did) and it also had a slick warp sequence where the camera would lurch down from the satellite map of the island to ground level to reveal your car waiting for you already on the road. TDU2 lets you slurp up small change from driving to improve your collection of hideous golf clothes.

So I turn the game off and moan about it on Twitter without even starting the Burning Route, the end.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:01 
User avatar
Thanks

Joined: 11th May, 2008
Posts: 12485
So many words. So much wrongness.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this game, I played it through to completion on XBox 360 (launch day purchase for £49.99). Then I bought it again on PC and completed it again. Then I bought it again recently for my XB1X in its 'Remastered' form and I'm over 25 hours into that playthrough.

You pretty much just have to learn the city, really. The Burning Routes are joyous, I'll happily spend an hour or more on a single route until I get a run I'm happy with.

This run is FAR from perfect, but I did have the route nailed down. I'm just waiting for Trousers to get the game on his birthday in a couple of weeks and then we're going to start Leaderboard jousting like we did on OutRun2 on our original XBoxes back in the day. (Although the leaderboards for that weren't online so we emailed pictures of our times to each other.)

Oh yes the soundtrack for Paradise isn't great, (it's no Revenge, that's for sure), get a decent playlist on Spotify for music, and just have the effects for the game.


_________________
The Premium YouTube Fruit Machine Emulation Experience - https://www.youtube.com/c/DegsyDegworth
Only £2 per month! *
* Not really.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:37 
User avatar
Unpossible!

Joined: 27th Jun, 2008
Posts: 35295
Yeah, criticising Bury Pee...

Giphy "that's a paddling":
https://media3.giphy.com/media/GQMYzsHTdSsmY/giphy-loop.mp4

EDIT: FUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK YOU, GIPHY!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:54 
SupaMod
User avatar
"Praisebot"

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 15329
Location: Parts unknown
I agree.. Never saw the fuss about Burnout Paradise.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:04 
User avatar
Paws for thought

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 16516
Location: Just Outside That London, England, Europe
You never tried to fit 8 people on Dimrills plank.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:15 
User avatar

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 32201
Mr Dave wrote:
You never tried to fit 8 people on Dimrills plank.

I did, and I still very much don't see what the fuss was about Burnout Paradise.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:26 
User avatar
Comfortably Dumb

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 10782
Location: Sunny Stoke
I'm not sure what it was that didn't grab me about Burnout Paradise. I wasn't massively keen on the open world nature of it, but then I enjoyed Test Drive Unlimited, so maybe it was just the brash presentation of it all that rubbed me up the wrong way.

_________________
Consolemad | Under Logic
Curse, the day is long
Realise you don't belong


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:40 
SupaMod
User avatar
Est. 1978

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 67000
Location: Your Mum
Everything about Burnout Paradise is great, except for Doc complaining constantly about Burnout Paradise while you play Burnout Paradise.

Oh, and the way you create a multiplayer game, which is whack.

_________________
Grim... wrote:
I wish Craster had left some girls for the rest of us.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:52 
User avatar
Can't re-member

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 53376
Location: Liberty City
I loved it at the time and I will pick up the remaster when it's onions. I'm glad they patched in a restart for the single player events though. Having to drive back to the start was a bit tedious, especially when you only gag a few events left.

Multiplayer challenges were indeed glorious.

_________________
I am currently under construction.
Thank you for your patience.


Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:44 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Quote:
So many words. So much wrongness

Wrong about any specific thing or just wrong in general?

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:01 
User avatar
Lord Humongous

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 45560
Location: The erogenous zone
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Mr Dave wrote:
You never tried to fit 8 people on Dimrills plank.

I did, and I still very much don't see what the fuss was about Burnout Paradise.

It wasn't so much about the game. It was more about an excellent chunk of time when you had guaranteed full lobbies of BeeXers LOLing over each other.

_________________
Flickr Behance Discogs

'Not without talent but dragged down by bass turgidity'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 13:30 
User avatar
Thanks

Joined: 11th May, 2008
Posts: 12485
MrD wrote:
Wrong about any specific thing or just wrong in general?


Well it's obvious you don't like the game and didn't really give it much of a chance. Not liking the minimap implementation and lack of GPS is fine, and factually accurate, but it's always been a total non-issue for me.

I think the point of having the fixed eight finish points is that you naturally learn more and more of the map over time, and as different events run through different sections of the map, but finishing at one of those eight points, you start to knit the map as a whole together in your head.

The time limits for just about all the events are very generous, so you can sort of 'muddle through' but you'll feel you're not doing well and it won't be satisfying - I think the joy of the game is getting to the point where it all flows naturally and you can sort of 'zone in' like a fucking Burnout Jedi.

The fact you don't know how car ownership works suggests to me you played it for a very short period of time (for reference, as you complete events towards your licence unlocks, new cars will enter the city and when you encounter them you need to take them down and then they become unavailable at the Junkyard).

For an arcade racer it's quite a demanding game, but it rewards both effort and skill in equal measures. It also ramps up the difficulty of events in a rather forgiving manner, it's only when you're working towards your ELITE licence that it starts to get fairly punishing.

I also love the way there are different event types, sometimes I'm in a RACE mood, sometimes I'm in a ROAD RAGE mood, sometimes I'm in a MARKED MAN mood, and sometimes I'm in STUNT mood - and they all require a different driving approach, and different cars. (And sometimes I just go off for a cruise to find a couple more billboards or smash barriers, or work out how to do a super jump.)

Driving to the event makes sense in the context of the world, even on this, my third full playthrough, I've seen new opportunities for different routes on events, which only happened because I was on my way to an event start line and saw something I decided to take a closer look at. (Admittedly the original incarnation whereby there was no restart event option was way over the line, but they patched that in fairly early on.)

I can understand why some people don't like the game, but for me it's one of the best single player arcade racer games ever.

_________________
The Premium YouTube Fruit Machine Emulation Experience - https://www.youtube.com/c/DegsyDegworth
Only £2 per month! *
* Not really.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 21:40 
User avatar
Thanks

Joined: 11th May, 2008
Posts: 12485
This run was after about 40 minutes of practice. I'm still waiting for TROUSERS to come on-stream in the game for some real leaderboard competition.

Note that to do a run like this waypoints and GPS and rotating minimaps and nonsense like that cease to mean anything, you need to know the route, know where you're going, and how you're going to do it.

This is, once again, very far from perfect, but it's a decent marker in the sand.

Direct link to the run - https://youtu.be/H6oKVbUyfOM?t=1m38s

With a couple of poorer results included below. In 4K if you've got the capability to watch at that res :)

Also I think DJ Atomica is deliberately tongue-in-cheek.


_________________
The Premium YouTube Fruit Machine Emulation Experience - https://www.youtube.com/c/DegsyDegworth
Only £2 per month! *
* Not really.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 0:36 
User avatar
Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 45212
Location: West Yorkshire
Love Burnout Paradise. Buzz about and knock off a few events,Atomica is chill and BOOM! NEW CAR.

Rinse, repeat. Love it.

_________________
Mr Chris wrote:
MaliA isn't just the best thing on the internet - he's the best thing ever.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:41 
User avatar
Thanks

Joined: 11th May, 2008
Posts: 12485
Mali understands it.

_________________
The Premium YouTube Fruit Machine Emulation Experience - https://www.youtube.com/c/DegsyDegworth
Only £2 per month! *
* Not really.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:33 
User avatar
Can't re-member

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 53376
Location: Liberty City
Hearthly wrote:
Mali understands it.

I think most of us do. It's not exactly a niche Beex gaming experience!

_________________
I am currently under construction.
Thank you for your patience.


Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:39 
User avatar
Thanks

Joined: 11th May, 2008
Posts: 12485
Opinion across the last few posts seems pretty evenly divided, and MrD clearly didn't like it at all!

_________________
The Premium YouTube Fruit Machine Emulation Experience - https://www.youtube.com/c/DegsyDegworth
Only £2 per month! *
* Not really.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:57 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Ridge Racer: Unbounded (Demo) (PC)

It's a special occasion, so I had cause to re-download the demo of Ridge Racer: Unbounded and give it a go. And I figured I might as well update what I'd written here previously about it.

Which, somehow, was nothing at all. I was expecting a thousand words of Ridge bashing from Past MrD that I was to ignore before I wrote another thousand words of Ridge bashing from my present, older, wiser self, but all I can see is ""It's Like Need For Speed Except Deliberately Not Fun" isn't really the way to sell a game to me. If I wanted that, I'd start up a Carbon career using Muscle cars. Or Ridge Racer: Unbounded. AHAHA." and "absolutely impossible to play due to visual effects, like Ridge Racer: Unbounded", so I can't cheat by copying from my prior self even if I was tempted to.

But I'm not, because my opinion is pretty firmly set. Ridge Racer: Unbounded is a whole bucket of proper slop. It's fancy slop, but it's definitely slop.

Let's start again, a fresh slate. Clean brake. All that. I downloaded the Ridge Racer Unbounded demo on Steam (it's still there) and had a quick whirl.

The basics:

Everything is very murky, like a used, burned teabag. It's somehow dark, even when it's bright. The visuals have a limited range of colours, like it's a HDR game that's been poorly mushed through and out of our feeble human technology. It looks better to watch than to play.

There are obstacles in your path (like in CUBE) and sharp turns everywhere. There's no map. I don't know why there's no map, but there is no map. Which makes where you are supposed to go a complete mystery. The chevrons that are supposed to appear around the outside edge of the track to guide you are infrequent. They do seem to appear somewhat reliably when you're supposed to turn, but they -don't- appear when you're -not- supposed to turn, which makes it unclear when you're supposed to go in a straight line. Occasionally you'll rush up to a coffee shop at 200mph that juts out into the road (you're going 200mph, the shop and the road are stationary), and you won't be sure whether it's the start of a ninety degree turn or just a lane blockage.

Crashing isn't so bad. There are very forgiving NFS-style wall slides, rather than the 'orrible grotty early Ridge sticky-slow-you-down walls. Crashing isn't the problem - you'll get killed more or less randomly anyway as you race if you stick next to other racers. You get a Burnout style 'TAKEDOWN!' sequence with your car flying in slow motion, except this isn't Burnout so instead you get FRAGGED. And also because this is Not Burnout, you don't have a boost gauge*, you have a POWER gauge.

Everything in RRU revolves around POWER. When you activate it (and it's only available on a full gauge), you become a super-faster, near-invulnerable version of yourself. Touching other cars while under the influence of POWER will hurl them sideways away from you in a fiery explosion (putting you into another YOU FRAGGED THEM sequence that lasts a million years with your car under automatic control). It even makes certain scenery elements destructible!

It's really inconsistent about that. Some obviously indestructible things like solid girders holding up the elevated railway are little more than painted plaster even outside of POWER, and other times a shortcut will lead you into tiny little wall of the kind you've been pushing aside like bead curtains and it will be instant death while within POWER.

When you have a POWER ready, the devil on your shoulder will fill your vision with hallucinatory text instructing you in block capitals that you must DESTROY SHOPPING MALL (even Skrillex is telling me to 'Kill Everybody' for some reason). And the devil is correct, for if you ram headfirst into the indicated wall with your POWER active, you will fly through the building and cause untold chaos, scoring massive points and launching out the other side, having taken a shortcut. And since you scored massive points, another POWER will almost certainly be at your disposal.

This means that if you want to get anywhere, you'll be POWERing through every shortcut you can find, and attacking each fuel truck in sequence to disable opponents both ahead and behind you. If you try to play it like a racing game you will fail, because it is all about POWERing against objects, obstacles and opponents. POWER is not nitro, using it against no targets is pointless. You've got to be on the ball as you complete the laps for all the triggers and link them up into a seamless run. That's right, this game is Nobody Can Stop Mr. Domino, The Racing Game.

There's no 'ding' when you get a full POWER bar, so you'd better be keeping an eye on the gauge (not that there's much else to look at, the UI feels very unfinished). There's a subtle 'dummm wooooahhhh' sound, but nothing as immediately satisfying as Split/Second's fighter jet 'bi-deep'.

I can imagine the full game getting very samey; all the city destruction stunts look the same when you perform them, with the sole exception of the fancy, convenient shopping mall on Level 2. When you pass through previously POWER-opened shortcuts on subsequent laps, they are marked with a pair of very obvious flames, which is nice. I've never seen an enemy use POWER to do anything but inconvenience me; they never seem to POWER through buildings. Maybe to save the cool stunts for the player?

The inside view is very low and it's almost like it's angled towards the sky.

No announcer. How un-Ridge. But the music sucks so that's authentic - at least what I heard in the demo was some boring nyum nyum nyum techno stuff that left no impact and didn't make me feel like the most important person in the universe, so it was a failure.

Bless you Ridge Racer Unbounded. You came, you were rubbish, nobody cared, everybody knew you were awful, and now you are gone. It's a shame that you took the whole concept of Ridge Racer with you, but I was never that struck on it.

* I'm aware in some special races your orange POWER gauge is replaced by a blue BOOST gauge :nerd: , but that isn't in the PC demo.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:28 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Forza Horizon

Here's a game that frustrates me in its obstinate refusal to frustrate me. It doesn't even do -CRASHED!-. You're in control of your car at all times. Fancy that!

You do races. Or you don't. I've got 9h30m of playtime, of which is 2h in races because I decided to try and get all the billboards (ESSENTIAL) and roads lit up before I did anything.

Each race has a class restriction but all the cars can be upgraded a few tiers above and below where they naturally sit, which is nice, if you have a favourite car you want to use a lot. The upgrade system might be copied over from FM4, but it feels kinda vestigial. There's twenty different categories of options, but all of them seem to upgrade the car in all areas rather than pushing it towards some characteristic extreme, so there's no reason to not just use the auto-upgrader always. (It isn't clear, but the auto-upgrader will just make your car as good as it can within the tier required for the currently active race. It counts as a purchase for the parts bundle so you can switch between the old and new tiers for free.)

There are nowhere near enough races in the super fast zoomy cars. I'm on the final stretch of the game and it's still throwing class C and class B races at me. When I switch from my world exploring Aventador to the Mini, it feels like I'm driving backwards and all these Chucklemobiles will start tumbling down the slightest hill due to lack of power.

The enemy cars are very heavy and any attempt to attack them will result in absolutely nothing happening. But that's okay, because on Medium they are very conservative on corners, allowing you to slip past on the inside like a ghooost. You can selectively turn off any combination of assists you want, in case you don't want the game to steer for you (??) or brake for you (?????).

Um... that's about it. The DJs are deliberately trendy and all that. Everything is really well done.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Need For The Need For Speed (and Friends!)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:07 
User avatar
What-ho, chaps!

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2079
Captain's log, supplemental:

The electronic/bass radio station plays nothing but dubstep, and each time I enter a race, the current station seems to be random. The other two stations seem fairly substantial... until you play the game for two hours straight, at which point boom boom boom boom!

The car livery trading servers still seem to be up, and my search for kittens returned some adorable naff recreations of nyan cat and friends. Don't know if I could pay Cr for it without Gold though.

Oh yeah there's microtransactions everywhere. Bluh.

For some reason I don't mind driving to races in this, even though I hated it in BP. Maybe because there is a 'fast travel anywhere' option... that's paid DLC. So the more I drive, the more I'm sticking it to The Driving Man by not paying. Or maybe the driving in FH is just fun.

Bad things:

Without original music the game doesn't feel like its escalating as you progress through the wristbands. They didn't even have some super cool remix for the final race.

It seemed like there was only a half dozen Rx ranked races in the entire game, which was really lame. I was beginning to hate having to bring out the horrible little Abarth every time the game wanted me to do a C, B, A or S race because it had the best acceleration.

The Horizon Final was just an ordinary town race except with five laps. The track wasn't especially long or complex.

I don't think any races in the entire game used the highway on the west side, only two of the Star Showdowns did. The last Star Showdown was fun, but I don't see any way to be able to replay it...

There's no quick race, and no way to quickly set up a custom race of your own choosing I think. There's an achievement for winning a race on hard but picking one from Race Central didn't count - I had to drive to the already-completed race manually... sucks.

When you win the last Star Showdown and get the boring Ferrari, nothing happens. There are no end credits because the developers dont want you to stop playing, they want you to continue microtransactiiiiing. You can't even buy vinyl designs from the ingame shop for not-real Crs without a Gold account, which is dumb. I wanted a cat car.

_________________
[www.mrdictionary.net]


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic  [ 78 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: agoldfish, Hearthly, Majestic-12 [Bot], Vogons and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search within this thread:
You are using the 'Ted' forum. Bill doesn't really exist any more. Bogus!
Want to help out with the hosting / advertising costs? That's very nice of you.
Are you on a mobile phone? Try http://beex.co.uk/m/
RIP, Owen.

Powered by a very Grim... version of phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.