Mini review: Racing games (agravations in racing games)

As a Semi fan of racing games I tend to pick up a racing game or a kart game now and than.  I used to pick up every need for speed game in the past but as the quality of the programming slipped into oblivion I stopped picking up those games. Need for speed was fun in the terms of you could Race your cars around Smash things and generally just play the way you wanted .. After hot pursuit 1 they tended to close alot of doors with the game.  Gone was Car editing and adding your own cars. Things really went downhill with Porsche unleashed.  Signs of bad programing and shoddy programing were starting to appear than in hot pursuit 2 it seems EA just gave up the ship and decided that shit was good enough to send out, Sure it looked like a Need for speed game but it stunk badly in ways that just piss people off to no end.

My thing with racing games is if the AI is good the game is good, with poor AI the game severely takes a hit. the AI in Hot Pursuit 2 was an abortion.  The developers seemed to never thought through the whole process and shortcutted the AI massively in some areas.  Since the game had stats at the end of each race it showed how poorly the AI was done. If you raced as an Enzo Ferrari you’d thing you’d leave a ford Fiesta in the next area code, not so much, there was a chance that fiesta would win against you – since the game once the opponent got off the mini-map would engage nothing short of the enterprises transporter and rubber band to just outside of the mini-map.  At the end of the race it would create some pretty funny statistics such as.

Enzo: top speed 202MPH – Average speed 168 MPH
Fiesta: top speed 72MPH – Average speed 142MPH

WTF? Not only has that car just broken laws of physics but it manages to do something impossible unless the car managed to actually teleport to another dimension and have Time/space/speed laws revoked, If you did not run the perfect race it would also give the computer opponent A chance to win since the AI was magically rubberbanded to behind you.  Using that kind of trick in programming a racing sim should be a HUGE NO NO. Even though that the need for speed series borders on not being a racing sim these days, More over it plays like a quarter eater you find at an arcade.

You don’t need a game that has shortcomings that affect the outcome of the game due to poor programming versus the outcome based on your driving. with the advent of consoles I know programmers are under pressure to port games to each system as fast as they can but the quality takes a tremendous hit.  The console specific games tend not to suffer as much as games that are whored around.   Most Mario karts always have a sound racing game, Gran Turismo has a sound racing game. Even Test Drive unlimited had a sound racing game since it was based around the PC than ported down to the console level, there is one exception that should be noted- burnout paradise was a “racing” game that was on every system just about without much problems but they thought round some of the issues and made the game based on fun.

As more companies take to the “Open World” concept of racing it comes to mind that the open world needs to be open. With burn-out paradise the openness just was not there, Test drive unlimited had a extremely open world but a poorly implemented system where aggravation would set in trying to find your friends in the game even though you were actually on top of there car but due to the server running multiple sessions you’d spend 20minutes trying to get into the same play area.

Originally I was going to say something about one racing game but i changed my mind to a critique rather than a one game review.


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