Posts Tagged ‘racing games’

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What the hell am I doing? I mean, seriously?! I haven’t written a damn thing in 8 months and I come back with THIS?! I hyped my blog up to an audience in a completely new area of the country. “Oh I review a lot of retro games and hidden gems, check it out sometime.” I get them to like the Facebook page, I tell them something new is coming, and then… Then I give them HELLO KITTY CRUISERS FOR THE WII U! Ya-friggin-hoo!

Okay, to be fair, I was dared by a co-worker to play this game. I caved because YOU DON’T DARE ME TO DO STUFF, TAYLOR!

*ahem* Sorry.

So, let’s take a look at the back of the box bullet points to see what we can look forward to in this adventure.

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Everyone in the split-screen screenshot is doing terrible. Symbolism?

Okay, so nothing specific. You can race boats, karts, and planes with up to 4 people. Basic stuff, nothing you couldn’t do in Diddy Kong Racing 18 years ago. Speaking of Diddy Kong Racing, I’ll just come right out and say it: in every way, Diddy Kong Racing is an infinitely better game. Shocker, right? Did anyone reading this really thing that Hello Kitty Kruisers would be a good game? A diamond in the rough? A 6th round pick that leads his team to 4 Super Bowl victories?

Alienating my readers in 3... 2... 1...

Alienating my readers in 3… 2… 1…

So there’s not much meat to the bone that is this game. There’s a championship mode that I completed within the hour and an adventure mode ripped right off from the mission mode in Mario Kart DS. Now I will say that this game deceived me just a bit during the first cup. It was a bit bland and slow, but otherwise there was nothing I’d say was bad. In fact, the races using the airplanes were actually pretty decent. The airplane controls and physics, while not complicated, were surprisingly unterrible. It was during the 2nd cup where I ran into my first set of issues.

Unlocking this fat French dog being one of them.

Unlocking this fat French dog being one of them.

It was obvious that the kinks and bugs were worked out of the first cup. But I feel like the developers went “Meh, no one is going to want to play it after that. I think we’re good. Ship tomorrow.” One race I was sucked into guardrails no matter how much I positioned myself in the middle of the track. It didn’t help that the environment was an egregious rip-off of the Mario Kart 64 version of Rainbow Road. But what I encountered most, and my biggest gripe about the game, is the A.I. and the timing issues. A.I.-controlled cars would easily get stuck in walls or turned around. Now, when I say turned around, I don’t mean they’d spin out a lot. They would start driving in the complete wrong direction. These guys were more confused than Geno Smith playing football.

More football jokes!

More football jokes!

The timing issues were really weird. Things like extremely long lap times, lower-placing finishers having better overall times than those placing higher than them, and the bad A.I. and timing issues going hand-in-hand to create a mess of a post-race leader board. The following images are just a glimpse of what I saw.

Notice the last two times. 10th place has a better overall time than 9th.

Notice the last two times. 10th place has a better overall time than 9th.

I had lapped everyone in this race. Somehow, me and 2nd place had identical times.

I had lapped everyone in this race. Somehow, me and 2nd place had identical times. Also notice last place’s extremely quick lap time.

Hello Kitty spent the last 2/3rds of the race going backwards. Despite this, I somehow only beat her by .23 seconds according to the official scoring.

Hello Kitty spent the last 2/3rds of the race going backwards. Despite this, I somehow only beat her by .23 seconds according to the official scoring.

I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone. Not to kids, not to enemies, not even as a “Hey, let’s get drunk and play this game” game. Even if you’re a fan of Hello Kitty, you won’t like it. It borrows many elements from games much older and better than itself and proceeds to do less than nothing with them. The only thing I would like to know is who was the moron that was scoring the times on those races?

Aww, sonofa---

Aww, sonofa—

Thanks for reading!

Recently I took a trip to my local GameStop upon hearing of a sale that was right up my alley. Buy 5 Playstation 2 games priced at $.99 or less for $1. That means, 20 cents each! Also they did a Buy 2, Get 2 on anything $3.99 and less. I took advantage of both offers. For the 5 for a dollar deal, I chose all racing games. I picked out Pro Race Driver, Gran Turismo 3, Choro Q, Ridge Racer V, and Top Gear Dare Devil. For the others, I picked up SSX 3, Soul Calibur II, MLB Power Pros 2008, and Ultimate Muscle Galactic Wrestling. Nine games for about $8.50. Not bad. I figured one of these days these 5 racing games might make for a nice little article. Then something unusual happened.

I’m sitting in my game room one day when my girlfriend decides to pay me a visit. We live together, but she rarely hangs out with me in my room of game. So this was a rare occasion. She is also not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. She’ll play the occasional Professor Layton game or Monopoly on the 360, but nothing more than casual gaming fare and no more often than roughly once every 6 months. So the next words out of her mouth caught me by surprise.

“Do you have any games I could play? Like, racing games? Not old ones, but something on PS2 or something.”

Oh… how the stars aligned for this one.

I quickly informed her of my recent purchase of 5 racing games I bought at Gamestop. Knowing her attention span (or should I say toleration) is short when it comes to video games, I had to work quickly. I asked her to pick a game. Our first game was Pro Race Driver by Codemasters, makers of one of my favorite racing games, GRID.

Well… it would have been, had the disc not looked like it lost a fight with a lawn mower. I decided to cheat a little bit and substitute SSX 3 in Pro Race Drivers spot. But for now, our actual first game is Top Gear Dare Devil! Select comments from my girlfriend will be highlighted in magenta italics.

What? One car? What the f*** is this? This game sucks already!

I have to agree with her on this point. From the outset, this game doesn’t look promising. Only one car and one track are unlocked at the very beginning. I can see maybe one track, but why only one car? I get that you want to get people to play the main career mode or whatever, but imagine if you and your friends sat down to play the new Street Fighter and the only available character was E. Honda. We begrudgingly pick our only options, a Mini Cooper-ish looking car, and the streets of Rome.

This game looks ugly.

Again, I agree with her, but I can’t be as harsh on it because I know that it’s a near-launch PS2 game. Still, there’s something about the cartoony HUD combined with the decidedly UN-cartoony environments that just clashes.

I can’t control this thing.

The controls are bad. Gentle corners require heavy breaking. The car doesn’t turn to the left or right as much as you’d think when you firmly press that button.

I ended up winning the race.

Overall Impression: That game sucked.

Agreed. Our next game is Choro Q. This is the sequel to a game I reviewed a while back called Penny Racers on the Nintendo 64.

What the f*** does “Choro Q” mean?

I have no earthly idea what it means, but explaining the finer points of Japanese culture to my girlfriend would take more time than I was willing to risk.

Hurry up and pick a car!

I couldn’t help but look at all the bizarre names for these cars. I can’t remember any of the top of my head, but they were pretty… unique. I had to scroll through and admire them all, but also admire the diversity of car types. Sports cars, sedans, Formula 1, cement trucks, utility vehicles, and more. She ended up with the cement truck and I ended up choosing a 3-wheeled car. Oh boy.

Ugh. I can’t stop spinning out!

If you turn too hard without hitting the brakes, you’ll spin out. Unfortunately, this is too easy to do, but it’s easy to avoid with controlled braking. It’s easy to forget though in the heat of a tight race.

She ended up winning the race. We both spun out on the final turn, but she didn’t take as long as I did to recover.

Overall Impressions: I guess that game was okay.

I agree. The controls take some getting used to, but I think this could end up being a fun game. I’d love to delve into the single-player mode. Next is Ridge Racer V from Namco.

Wait, why can’t I play?

Because I couldn’t find the 2-player option. Later research indicates there is a multiplayer option, but I couldn’t find it in RRV’s busy-looking menu screens. The game plays like any other Ridge Racer game. It’s fun, but there’s not much to it.
Overall Impressions: That game sucked because I couldn’t play it.

I disagree, because I did play it. It was alright. The next game is Gran Turismo 3.

She actually didn’t have much to comment on during the early part of our GT3 session outside of telling me which track she wanted to play. She ended up picking a dirt course, which meant we were using rally cars. Now, I’ve played GT3 before, albeit a long time ago, so I didn’t remember what rally races were like in this game. If they were anything like, well, any other rally racing game, the controls would be loose and precision timing would be required to corner effectively. I warned her of this.

I don’t care. Let’s play.

Rally racing in GT3 was surprisingly not bad. It didn’t play as loose as some rally racing games. I was trying to drift smoothly around corners and I ended up spinning out a few times, while her style of playing it straight as if she were racing a normal car won her the race. I decided we should play a race on the Super Speedway to capture the essence of GT3. She picks a Peugeot roadster, I pick a Nissan Skyline. My fatal flaw in the setup of the race is I picked Drift style over racing. As a result she blew me out of the water as on straightaways she was 15 MPH faster than me. I started the race over after her big win. I ended up choosing racing style over drift. The result was a bit closer, but with me winning this time.

You cheated!

Shush.

Overall Impressions: I guess that game wasn’t so bad.

Are you only saying you like games you win at?

Yeah.

Our last game is SSX 3.


This is actually pretty easy.

This game controls a lot differently than a traditional racing game, and it actually made it more competitive. We traded the lead back and forth before she captured the win.

Where the hell is the finish line?

We tried a one on one race afterwards and it confused the hell out of both of us. Where was the goal? It felt like we were going in circles.  I happened to find it first by sheer luck. She crossed the line soon after.

Overall Impressions: I liked that 1st race better. Not just because I won, but because we got lost during the 2nd one.

Fair enough.

So that will do it for this article! To summarize, Top Gear Dare Devil is a no, Choro Q is alright, Ridge Racer V is nothing new, Gran Turismo 3 is okay, and SSX 3 is better the 1st time around.

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