Simon's Psychobabble ~ Outside the 107% #7

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Simon Smith, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. Simon Smith

    Simon Smith
    Always running at 107%

    Racing Snail ONLY White Small.jpg Otherwise known as the Snowy Simon's Psycho Secret Santa's Seven Simulation Sin's of 2010. <- Same my name, SAY MY NAME! Ok now you can click to read more!
    So for the plain english explanation, Simon's been busy looking over his racing games he's bought for 2010 and wants to give out his own funky little awards.

    During 2010 I bought 21 "racing" games that were released this year. They were on the PC, PlayStation 3 and a single PSP Mini. The Nintendo Wii had a very quiet year in terms of racing games and I don't own an xBox sadly.

    Game releases this year also had a habit of clumping together! My poor wallet cried when Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, Blur, Split/Second and ModNaton Racers were all released over a two or three week period. It then cried enough when Gran Tourismo 5, Blood Drive and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit all came out together too. Infact my poor wallet has been in such a state now there's a Steam sale on its had to be sedated and is currently residing in an institution for unstable bank accounts. It's a compulsive liar and suffers from tourettes. I know it is because when I buy things it says things like "out of credit". If that's not a swear word I don't know what is!

    So I've actually already typed this up once as a top 10 countdown but then I had a web browser error and the article said bye bye so now in order to keep myself amused I've re-written it again from scratch and made just seven awards. It's not intended really to cause outrage or confusion, but my love of games will never die and if I can spread some love instead of all the hating that seems to be popular these days then I'll be a happy bunny at Christmas (and not on the serving platter.) Enjoy!

    Favourite Kart Racer of 2010

    Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing

    Runner Up: ModNation Racers

    For me Sonic's Racing game was the best karter in 2010. It had strong characters, excellent graphics, real definition with its stylised tracks and weapon attacks, great music and a real presence to it. The games handling just felt as natural as any racer i've ever played. Online the action is frantic because the weapons adapt to where you're placed. If your last you'll get all the boosters and missles and if your first you'll get all the mines and bombs. It's intuitive as it means you're not stuck with useless attacks. If I had to be picky, its downside is that I wanted more tracks from themes of more characters and I expected a bit more from the DLC that was offered.

    In contrast the runner up ModNation Racers was initially my biggest upset for 2010. I did not like it at all and it was down to all the bugs, game crashes, loading times and general devoidness of character (bar the excellent cut scenes and commentators). Patches have gone some way to fixing the game and its dirty cheating AI! However the biggest achievement is its absolutely fantastic create mode for its tracks. I've sat and recreated many a real racing track in kart styled graphics and you can go into such detail with bumps and camber - its a real landmark. Should a sequel give us stable online connections and a bit more flair with the driving then ModNations 2 could be king!

    Favourite Vehicle Puzzler


    Runner Up: Terrover

    I know, random category but two of my "racing" games aren't really racers. Nimbus is a fantastic puzzle game. You're a rocket with no power but the propulsion you get from the cannon your blasted from and using physics and finding the tightest lines possible, you must reach the end of each level. Such a simple premise, such an addictive time muncher! Leaderboards for these types of games make you so competitive they're almost so much fun they'll be banned!

    As a runner up, Terrover sometimes jumps the wrong side of infuriating. This is because driving an 8 wheeled buggy all over the shot and trying to be almost milimeter precise with your movements is nigh on impossible at times. However its quirky charm and the strange laws of physics keep you coming back - almost like an "you've done me over 100 times already, I'll get you eventually you dirty little minx!" Maybe that's just me then...

    Favourite Real World Sport Racer

    F1 2010

    Runners Up: WRC the Game / Superstars V8 the Next Challenge

    The game I hate to love and love to hate - it still gets me frustrated but I have to admit it - I love it too. F1 2010 in its original release was such a mess once I'd got over the initial "Oh my god its a new F1 game" excitement. Thankfully the patch sorted many of those issues and its been much more fun since. My main drama llama has been that the online racing is absolutely disgusting. It makes rfactor Megane servers look like precessional races of expertise! The game has a great drivability to it and although the AI is critisised for being too easy, I have to say they behave really quite realistically in a lot of cases (take note GT5!) and act humanesque. Aside from that and the stunning wet weather effects, its just damn good fun. The downers are that the AI is rubber banded and that causes some really obscure results. The scariest thing about the game is your agent to be honest. I bet she charges £100 an hour in a dominatrix club somewhere she's that hard as nails!

    The runner up for this is a tie. I've really enjoyed the WRC game but I've not had a good enough chance to play it. However I did take the opportunity to play the game online as a ghost timetrail mode and found it an absolute blast. Going online is something Superstars V8 Challenge seems to lack - no one has ever been on there when i've tried. It's a chunky sim - everything feels like its already eaten its Christmas dinner - but its about as sim as you can get on a console these days and for BlackBean to go that route and chop half their market off by doing so is a brave and respected move. Both games are great and both are now cheap - pick em up!

    Favourite Top-Down Racer

    Super Laser Racer

    Runner Up: Rocket Racing

    Seriously, the best £1.99 I've ever spent is on Super Laser Racer. A 12 photon grid, tons of weapons, a track builder, online racing, shortcuts that penalise you with damage - its all here. If you loved Wipeout or Micro Machines - this is an instant buy and my sleeper hit secret love of 2010. Track building is easy peasy and when racing you always have the option to cut some corners but in doing so electrify yourself and take damage which leaves you vulnerable to being eliminated by a weapon. Choices, choices I hear you shout!

    It's runnerup Rocket Racing is a PSP Mini game thats short, sweet but has a great little twist in that you can hug the outerwalls on corners for a speed boost, but you risk hitting a wall and thus losing more time if you do. It's a great time trial challenge and multiplayer is an absolute must!

    Best Zombie Racing Game

    Blood Drive

    Runner Up: Zombie Racer

    A tough one this! Zombie Racing is niche, I'll give you that - but when Twisted Metal budget wannabe Blood Drive popped out I enjoyed its no frills presentation which means all the fun is in the gameplay. Basically its an arena based vehicle fighting game with hundres of zombies to mow down while you go about your business. Races in checkpoint form are present as are vs matches etc. There's a cheesy presentation to everything which makes the game more fun to play too. Good budget title fun.

    Zombie Driver for the PC is a top down affair and narrowly misses out on zombie crown heaven. A top down game similar to how the original Grand Theft Auto plays out, you must negociate the city and find survivors from houses and bring them back to safety. Races, weapons and zombies a plenty litter the game and for its measely asking price, it'll keep you going for a good few hours! Money well spent!

    Favourite Road Car Racing Game

    Gran Turismo 5

    Runner Up: Need For Speed: Hot Persuit

    My opinions on Gran Turismo 5 sway like the wind but I've finally sorted out the reason why. It's tagline is "ultimate driving simulation". I was after "ultimate racing simulation". There is a vast difference bigger than my waist and therein lay my problem. I think once I got passed the initial problems, awful AI, patch galore (for a game that's spent more time in development than all my mothers fetuses put together and then doubled) and mathemtical b-spec strategies - I could then finally enjoy the game for what it is and not expect it to actually move the Earth. There's a lot of grinding and fun to be had, but don't expect brains and braun together at the same time!

    Need for Speed: Hot Persuit in contrast is a breathe of fresh air and may well have taken the top slot had I not only spent just two hours on it to date. It's like someone has dragged the classic Chase HQ out of the closet and revamped it into some sexy beast. It's been fun from the get go and taking a pitch from Blur's excellent competitive world, the intralog concept takes social networking inside a social network to a new level. Great stuff.

    Favourite Racing Game of 2010

    Split/Second Velocity

    I know! Random huh? BlackRock Studio's who gave us Pure in 2009 gave us this gem in 2010. I was in awe when I first pulled a power play and blew up something which then took out half the feild. Even now the power play events that many have said become predictable are still keeping me very much on my toes. The reason is that if you're in a race where everyone knows where all the destruction will take place, you're immediately playing a game of high speed chess to try and push your rivals into the path of something. Survival modes are fun too with toxic barrells being thrown at you to try and avoid (and fail). If anything the only shame is a lack of split screen but with so much going on and the games nature it's understandable why it couldn't be done. I may be quite alone in saying this, but for me - the most fun, rounded and enjoyable racing game released in 2010 for me was Split/Second Velocity!

    Honourable Mentions

    Blur is a fantastic game that ends up not being able to fit into a category because its effectively a kart racer in real cars and real world locations. I think this meant too many people thought it was a sim and steered clear and sim racers thought it was a silly kart racer. Actually its pretty damned good.

    Joe Danger was the other racer I couldn't figure out where to put. It's a sidescrolling stunt bike racer ala Trials but with lots and lots of collectables and mini challenges. Absolute riot of local multiplayer - its marred by a lack of real online content, although a course editor is a great addition.

    Toodlepip 2010!

    My god, that's it! Well thank you for all your wonderful comments both on this series and the broadcasts, have a great festive season and I look forward to more fun in 2011!

    Take care :)
  2. Tim Ling

    Tim Ling
    It's a million-to-1 chance, but it just might work Premium

    Thanks for the read Simon!

    P.S. I recommend typing your random warblings in notepad, then doing a copy/paste, saves all that frustration. Then again, you might enjoy that ;)