BKGlover / Member

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BKGlover Blog

Racing Series'- A brief summarization.

Now, as anyone who has read or listened to me before, I have said Gran Turismo is a brilliant racer, but GT5 is bland to bad everywhere else. Now that I've essentially finished the Racing Gamers checklist with Forza (yes I bought a 360), I feel that, after some consideration, I can bring some perspective to the genre. I'll do this by looking at the series as a whole, not one game.

Gran Turismo series: The racing itself has always been the core focus at Polyphony Digital, and it has always been the biggest draw, even if getting there can be tedious as anything. So it's not easy to navigate, not is it the best looking, but it hasn't been called the 'Real Driving Simulator' for nothing. To my mind, GT is, maybe predictably, a purpose built racer like a Formula car or a Le Mans Prototype, maybe not the best looking machine, but it will mop the floor with any other competition.

Forza Motorsport series: Now, while I haven't played long, I have a good grasp on the feel of the games. I played 1 years ago, and picked up 2, 3, and Horizon recently to go with the new 360. Remarkably, some things don't change, like the interest levels. While they are fun, the fun is front-loaded in the games, being around the slower street cars. As you go faster, any unique attributes kinda fade away, especially if you turn off assist. The Performance Index is a nice idea, but it doesn't mean much as I can summarize level B and up as follows: Front-drive= spearing the wall, Rear-drive= spinning into the wall, All-drive= slapping the wall. No, Forza is more about the spectacle, and Horizon, the best of the series so far, is a shining example of this. The generalizations above are enhanced, and the festival setting and gorgeous-well-everything is the focus. If GT is the LMP car, Forza is the top-of-the-line Supercar, stunning to look at, but can never reach it's full potential on the track.

Midnight Club series: Oh boy, this one is hard and easy at the same time. Hard because it is, like the scene it was based on, dead. easy because it was hard to master, made no sense half the time or more, destroyed great cars for looks, and wasn't the best at the subject matter anyway. MC is like the tuners it represented, more flash than bang.

Need for Speed series: Hurk! So many games. So many failures! This one has been giving me fits, but I have it now. The series has gone from one side of the gameplay board to the other a few times, each trip producing at least one decent game. Everyone has a favorite, but everyone has different tastes, thats why NFS is the two-door roadster of racing games, some great ones and some horrid ones.

Burnout series: Rental car. Moving on.

Codemasters racing games: As one goes, the others follow. I got my hands on TOCA 1 I believe, and is it awful. Control was apparently an afterthought, but a 3DO was involved, I'll brush it away. Instead, there's Jarrett and Labonte (TOCA 3 I think), and the Race Driver games, culminating in the upcoming GRID 2(which I won't be buying thanks to thier greed.) which have to date been either bloody wonderful or bloody awful depending on who you talk to, but all have been flawed to a point, either by repetition, length, or overambition. Codies tarmac games rank as muscle cars, great fun but limited by itself.

Codemasters rally games: The other. Oddly, I can say the same thing as above from J&L on, but the rally focus can take away from some faults. As Dirt 4 comes closer, I think long and hard on the entire entity, and deduce the equal. Codies rally games are the RWD rally cars, great fun(again) but limited, waiting to be overtaken.

Mario Kart series: NO.

Next-Gen systems.

No sense in beating around the bush on this so here we go.

If what has been reported about the next Playstation and Xbox are true, I am willing to bet that we will witness 1983 all over again. Why?

1. 24/7 Online required- think Warhawk and MAG, then apply to a normal game. Not everyone has reliable internet, is on all the time, or just doesn't give a damn about online gameplay, so why should the single player REQUIRE online to work?

2. Game locking- So you mean to tell me that if I, a racing game fan, take my copy of a racing game to a friends, whom is not a racing regular but is interested in the game I have, to play WITH him, either I would have to take MY console, or he would have to pay to get access to a game that he may or may not buy. Way to bring in new people guys.

3. Digital only (Xbox)-I know you lost the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray battle, and that Sony owns the rights to Blu-Ray, but that is no excuse to go exclusively digital download. You should know that while some are OK with it, I can tell you that the people you will need to be focusing on would rather have a physical retail copy.

Finally, 4. The extra BS- A few things are nice, the avatars for example are a nice touch, but you are not selling an all in one entertainment system. Unless there has been a change in marketing, These are GAME SYSTEMS, not movie systems or audio systems. Netflix is not needed, last.fm is not needed, and I damn sure don't need Playstation Home.

Of course, my thoughts. Y'alls may be different.

I have an idea. A solution if you will.

Pokemon has been going on since the late 90's here in the states, or at very least the games have. My first pokemon game was Pokemon Blue on christmas 97-98. I have Red, Blue, Yellow, and last got Crystal gust to see the changes.

That is as far as I ever got interest wise. Once the number of pokemon surpassed the original 151 (yes I do count Mew), it just became a gigantic jumbled mess. But while I waved off the new games, Nintendo has just kept pumping out the bloody things. If I'm not mistaken, there are almost 700 different pokemon. Most who jump into a new game have hell trying to figure out wtf is going on. On top of that, how long can it last, the creativity has gone to crap and its closing in on 15 years. There has to be an end, right?

Well when that day comes, I have an answer for Nintendo. The FINAL pokemon game should be a full game on the Wii, or WiiU, or whatever the hell they have planned. It should have every pokemon available without condition, it should consist of all the regions, allitems, and all characters. I'm not sure how exactly it would work due to the disparity of the stories and the timelines, or maybe you think up a completely new story, but I guarantee that it would sell. By appealing to the old guard and the new players, you then can show each group what they've missed.

I dunno, it just kinda came to mind. Figured I'd share with y'all.

Digital download the future of gaming, eh?

According to those "in the know", digital downloads are supposedly the way of the future. Personally, I have a problem with this and a few of my complaints have manifested themselves in the recent PSN and the SOE hackings. Note to all, normally I try to avoid getting to smug about something, so forgive me ahead of time if I do.

Personal Information: Face it, your personal information is everywhere. Your schools, your health records, your bank records, MySpace, FaceBook, Blockbuster, here, there, everywhere. With that as open as it is, anyone with some skills could hack any system and steal information. With the PSN hackings, and now SOE's hacking issue, your information could be in the hands of anyone. This leads me to my next point.

Credit Cards: Notice to the world, I don't have ANY credit cards at all. Moreover, I have a credit rating of nil due to only having one loan to my name ever. I do use the PSN, but only through PSN cards, which is the same way I use iTunes, and therefore the only information in those accounts are name, address, and e@mail. And I'm willing to tell those most of the time anyway.

Corruption: Ever had corrupted game data? It sucks doesn't it. Now imagine your console wiped of everything. I would imagine repairs on Next-Gen Consoles would go ballistic, along with the consoles themselves becoming ballistic as they're chucked out the windows. Now imagine that you had to re-purchase EVERYTHING on top of that. There is a reason I prefer the hard-copy of games, because what DLC does is either add to the experience or break the game, but it's not required to have a complete game that, most of the time, is fun.

Physical Exchange: I find that it's more satisfying to actually go to the store, hand the clerk what little money I have to spend, and in return getting a solid disk with the game I just bought on it. Buying stuff online is OK, but it can be tempermental, especially if you delete the wrong things. Luckily, the PSN has an archive on your purchases so you can re-download all you've downloaded. I'm not educated on if Live or Virtual Console do the same thing.

In the end, digital download may eventually be the normal exchange, but I won't be chasing the trend. If anything, I'll be resisting the movement. It just seems to me like moving towards the crosshairs of both selective obsoletion and major malfunctions.

The next step for the racing genre...comes from the year 2000?

Yes, yes it does.

As one who gives a majority of thier gaming time to the racing genre, I have recently been going between Gran Turismo 5, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and the selection of Codemasters' racing games. Now don't get me wrong, I love and enjoy these games, minus the idiot A.I.s, every time I pick them up.

The problem I see usually comes up long after I've stopped playing and start thinking "what's the next step?" Therein lies the problem, as there aren't many innovations left, at least not to my mind. Split/Second was fueled by C4 and Nitro, Blur is essentially Mario Kart with real world vehicles, Gran Turismo 5 is almost as close to real life as you can get right now, Forza 3 allowed you to change, swap, and replace nearly everything on and in a car to the point a 89 Civic can beat a Porsche GT3 handily, Race Driver: Grid was a refreshing change from the standard organized racing games at the time, the Dirt series gave us a different look at off-road racing,and Midnight Club..uh...nevermind.

The more I think about it, the more I go back to something that was attempted back in 2000 on the Dreamcast. The game itself had bad controls, a confusing menu interface, absolutely no depth, and really nothing remarkable aside from one feature. Sega GT was released in 2000, and what sets it apart is the fact that while you could buy and upgrade selected real world cars, but you could build a car from the ground up, selecting an engine, drivetrain, pre-fab body, etc., to your liking.

As I see it now, this will probably be the next big innovation. What I don't know is who is gonna go first. I hope that Codemasters, Polyphony, or even Criterion gets to it first, but then again I have do idea how much more resources would be needed to accomplish something like this.

Feel free to call me out on terms of idiocy.

Can I get a hand on this?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in 99.999% of action, adventure, rpg, fps, and mmo games, there are the good guys, like jedi, andthe bad guys, like the sith.As one who doesn't really believe in either extreme personally, could everyone within earshot help me with what I'm about to ask?

For yes, thanks. For no, do it anyway.

Are there any games where you can be the neutral party? You know, you have good guys, bad guys, and guy care fukoll. 9 times out of 10, I'm the fukoll personality. Neutral party, mercenary, pedestrian, I don't care.

I ask because I watched the 'Now Playing: DC Universe Online' and you have the hero or villain option. In SW: the old republic (thus far) it's been either republic or empire.

I'm just tired of black and white, there are many shades of gray. And personally, I'd think you have more freedom.

Amendment 12/9: I haven't had a chance to play KOTOR, but I intend to play it in the near future.

My opinion of GT5, then of the series.

AS is to be expected anymore, GT5 is an incredible game. Even with that though, there are emissions and additions that need to be made for GT6. 1000 cars are nice, yes, but when a number of guys in GT4 are no shows, replaced by tuner cars, thatr just doesn't sit well with me. I like the new special series' replacing the challenges in GT4, and the new layout of the license test ALOT, but I miss some of the old tracks from GTs 1 to 4 that were cut. Some of the bonuses for the premium cars, like changing the wheels and the interior view, it should have been done for all the cars. I really do like the simplified layout of the home screen, the Top Gear Test Track, the physics, and the selection, by which I mean 1/3 of the list isn't variations of Zs, Skylines, Supras, and Evos, so Overall I have to say it is an amazing game, but it does have some confusing elements mixed in.

But this brings me to the broad view of the series. Maybe it's me, but I've noticed a trend over the years, other than the length of time between releases. The first new game on a new console has the big innovations and changes, then the second game brings some more innovations but usually expands upon the previous games innovations. Think about it this way; GT1 was the innovation, GT2 expanded everything; GT3 was an awesome game full of visual and physics upgrades and in game ability, then GT4 took all that and refined it to near impecable reaches; now GT5 has rethought everything up to now and then added "new" innovations, some more or less influenced by the Forza series, which means that for GT6, Polyphony will listen to all that is said about GT5, iron that info out, then take the streamlined info from GT5, add a bit more, then try to make an entire galaxy on a disc.

At least, theis is MY opinion.

My Reviews.

According to the notes underneath the Review Deck, apparently I'm not the most pleasing person when it comes to reviewing/criticizing games, and it doesn't matter if I say it's good or bad. Thing is, I'm not bothered at all(unless of course these are die-hards voting, then I just ignore it completely), in fact it's encouraging. See, I log on and look at the games, and off to the side I constantly see 1 to 2's and 9 to 10's. These are trolls and die-hard fans, respectively, with no motivation beyond praising their favorite series/game/director/etc. or beat it down with a bit of rusty steel pipe because it isn't.

Wait, hold the rotten fruit. I know that reviews/criticisms are subjective personal views, thats why the few games I have gone through to this point I have searched for these people and tracked them. But no matter how you slice it, most reviews here(or anywhere for that matter) will be by the aforementioned who refuse to shut up.

And just for the records, I DO have personal favorites, majority racing games, but as you can see from my reviews, I'm not afraid to call it as I see fit. Don't believe me? See them for yourself.


AMENDMENT: I feel I may need to clarify something, ONE 10 or 1 with a fanatical praising or bashing, respectively, is fine. A few are OK, but not advised. But if a fair percentage of someones ratings are 1s, 2s, 9s, or 10s, and nearly all reviews either troll bashings or die-hard praisings, THAT is when they get marked off the credibility list.

There, much better.

Online Multiplayer

So I have figured out the basic structure of online multiplayer support, and it's someting like this:

  • 1 part-players who are actually trying to play like they would the rest of the game. (may have a mic)
  • 1 part-players looking for any way to get ahead, via cheating or whaterver means nessissary. (may have a mic)
  • 2 parts-players who want to be the biggest bastard in the room/the game/their friends. (usually won't shut up)

I just finished playing GRID online, and have found this in HALO, Burnout, most internet games, and to an extent in Warhawk.

What I don't understand is why? Why do people try to be a bastard? Why do people look for the easy way out? Why do I try to be civilized around these idiots?

I guess it's just proof that we humans are comletely hopeless, or that I'm crazy for thinking it would be any other way, but it just doesn't make any sense to me. What about y'all?

I know that I don't know much on this subject, so any enlightenment is welcome.

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