Saturday, July 31, 2010

Racing Game Trifecta (Light 'Em Up)

I would've posted yesterday, but I was feeling sick and not up to it.

I wanted to talk about three popular racing games: Blur, Split/Second, and the new Hydro Thunder out for Xbox Live.  I played the demo for all three and I'm going to talk about them.  You might say "Stop hating Eric" but to be fair, none of these games are that bad, just let me say something.


If you don't know, the premise is you drive through a city or something.  You gain "boost" by drafting other cars, drifting, catching air, etc.  When your boost gets high enough, you can hit the "Powerplay" button to destroy something next to an opponent ahead of you to inhibit his progress.  Examples include buildings rigged to blow and bombs dropped from helicopters.

You can choose to save up double the boost though and use a "Super Powerplay" powerup that literally destroys an airport terminal, drops a nuke, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks the track or something, etc.  You can alternatively use this to open up new parts of the track--destroying the road to reveal an underground parking garage, etc.

The best thing about the game is the track design which has some good details.  However, the track layout is kind of confusing.  Just like Burnout, you have trouble telling that you're coming up to a barrier or something so you just bounce around off the wall.  The wreckage that sells the game isn't even that exciting, like I came in first three times in the demo, got a big lead, and nothing really happened, I just cruised, that's all.

Car handling is bland, like Need for Speed except the car weighs like over 5000 lbs/2250 kg or something so it just chugs around.  Also, the generic cars (Ford GT40's, Vipers, Aston Martins, whatever) that display little car damage really aren't that cool either and I feel emotionally unattached from it.

I can imagine this game being forgettable within a week or two.  Yeah, this game seems built for the hyperactive MTV watching little kid who loves watching stuff blowing up.

^ Somehow, looking of that pic of Ryan Davis getting all giddy over Split/Second is the equivalent of how I would feel if I were to fall through a trap door into a tub of dog piss.  Really.


Made by Bizzare Creations, the people who made Project Gotham Racing and Metropolis Street Races, comes Call of Duty: the Racing Game.  Really.  This game has 20 players max, you gain XP, level up, and unlock new cars and "perks."  That's right, you can get "perks" in the game.  You get powerups by driving through Mario Kart-like items for flying nukes, mines, little machine gun things, boosts, and health pickups.  Every time you get hit, you lose a bit of health and if you lose all your health, you blow up and lose a lot of time.

The game has cool menu music and it has real cars in it so that's a plus.  Playing with 15+ people is just hectic though.  The "first turners" just smash into you, don't bother to brake, good little Cruis'n-trained kids.  I came in first twice out of eight races so you can't say that I suck and I don't know how to play.  The track design is kind of confusing, especially that outdoor one with the dirt roads.  Oh well, not that confusing once you play it several times.  I just wish there were some daytime courses since night tracks are cool at first, but it just makes me sick after a while.

To get XP, you drift, win races, blow up other cars, etc.  Really, this XP thing has been run into the ground already.  The last thing I need is to feel like a hamster running on the wheel getting fed pellets cause I drove around bouncing off the walls.

The car handling is kind of like Split/Second too, only modestly better since the sense of speed is better and you can hit the braking lines and stuff, although there are theories that bouncing off the damn walls is better than actually trying to race normally.  I enjoyed Project Gotham Racing a lot more than this IMO.  Better than Split/Second, just let it go.

Hydro Thunder:

In sort of a "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord" kind of moment, the Hydro Thunder fans get their game remade for Xbox Live with all new content.  As a Daytona fan, I'm kind of envious, but even though I'm someone who gets a modest amount of enjoyment out of Hydro Thunder on the DC, I can say this port is kind of disappointing in terms of content.

Hydro Thunder is really the only good racing game on water besides maybe that jet ski game on the Nintendo 64.  You pick from a few boats and tracks and have at it.  You pick up boosts, hit shortcuts, and try not to get blown up or run into the wall.  Tracks are two-minute long sprints to the finish as you go from point A to B.

Controls are actually kind of cool since steering a boat is dramatically different than a car cause you're at the whim on the waves. Sometimes I end up missing boosts because I'm floating about so I guess I should practice if I want to take this seriously.  However, another element is track memorization since hidden paths and boosts can give you a huge advantage.  In a disappointing turn, it seems that the boats are slower this time around as if to make you more aware of your surroundings.  I thought it made the game more boring.

There's only eight tracks in this game.  Because you can play any track on online multiplayer and bypass the stupid demo locks, I got to see the last two tracks in the game, Area 51 and Seoul Waterways (on the way to the BIG Starcraft 2 tournament).  I'm kind of disappointed in both.  The Area 51 track has a UFO and a portal to an alien planet, but it's a short "oooh, aaahhh" moment.  Seoul seemed kind of bland, like you race by a few buildings in a concrete waterway.  I thought the tracks in the original Hydro Thunder were more interesting.  Nile Adventure from the original was awesome, but even Area 51 which was supposed to be the quintessential track in this game was kind of lame.  There's this Mayan ruins track in this game though which sounds more promising but I haven't seen it yet.

Also I forgot to mention one thing--the boat balance.  The beginner boats are so slow--I mean you can pick up a fast boat and still kick some ass even if it's hard to handle.  I played Area 51 online twice and I just got dominated in a slow boat but nearly won in a fast boat despite my quality of driving both times were both lousy.  DAMN the Torpedoes, Miss Behave, consider yourselves worthless.  Also, where's all the fun boats like the Chumdinger, the little wooden boat with the fisherman and the dog and the trolling motor?  There's a rubber ducky boat, but come on.  How can you top this:

Yeah, I know this is a 1200 MSP game, but still I think there's many who would be willing to pay much more for a lot more content.  I'm not gonna lie, this game has some potential but I think they squandered it somewhat here.

Conclusion: Call me picky, call me a fanboy, I don't care.  I'm just calling it how I see it.  All games are okay but none of them make me brimming with excitement.  Like they feel like your standard racing game that comes and goes.  Okay, maybe not Hydro Thunder which is kind of cool.  You may like a few and that's ok.  For me, just wait it out for the big fish, like the AWESOME DAYTONA USA COMPILATION coming when Duke Nukem Forever is released.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Racing Is Scary

We talk about racing games and how fun they are to drive fast and stuff.  Lest we forget that real-life racing that games are based off of can be fun but also very terrifying.  As someone who wants to drive cars as a hobby or a career, sometimes it can make you think twice.

Toshihiro Nagoshi, the producer of Daytona USA, said that he gave stock cars a shot because they are more suitable for "rubbing and racing," unlike the Formula 1 cars from Virtua Racing which seem to be the most fragile of all cars.  Wrecks are there to light a fire under your ass to not screw up.  Isn't the most important part of any race not to crash?  The notion of avoiding damage and cutting off other drivers is one of the facets that makes driving games fun and exciting.  If you do accrue damage, you ward it off and keep going.  It's there to make you play better.

It kind of reminds me of the movie Days of Thunder, except nobody gets hurt. By the end of that movie, the cars were so gray from being bashed and rubbed repeatedly.  I'm guessing Nagoshi watched this and was intrigued by it.

A running gag is that NASCAR fans only watch for the wrecks.  While wrecks can be fascinating, that;'s not the reason we watch.  In my opinion, car damage can be fun, but wrecking not so much.  Some games specifically sell on the basis of wrecking the car, mostly Burnout and Split/Second which is, to a certain extent, why I detest those games.  It's insulting to my intelligence to think that I enjoy watching carnage and the death of imaginary drivers over and over again.

Here's the feature presentation.  Wrecks in real-life.  Red concrete, whatever.  Fascinating, but in a bad way.  The only good that comes from this is that it forces cars to be equipped with more safety features.  These wrecks are old so you may not see stuff as devastating as this today.  Still we've come a long way so at least be appreciative...

Dale Earnhardt, Sr.:  Died during the 2001 Daytona 500.  Trailing in the final lap and trying to fend off faster cars, Sterling Martin rear-ended Dale which caused him to fly into the outer wall.  In what seemed like a standard wreck at first, he was pronounced dead at the scene because of trauma to the head, apparently by refusing to wear a proper headrest.  In the video, announcer Darrell Waltrip's son Michael goes on to the win the race.  What was a happy moment turned sour very quickly.

Gordon Smiley:  This is certainly one of the freakiest crashes you'll see.  While practicing for the Indianapolis 500 on May 15, 1982, he loses control of his car on the third turn.  Trying to correct his oversteer, he accidentally flings the car head-first into the outer wall at top speed.  His car explodes in a giant ball of fire as several compressed pieces of debris are flung from the wreckage.  There is an infinitesimal chance for him to survive.

Roger Williamson: During the GP Holland in 1973, rolls over and catches fire.  Despite the fact the race continued on, fellow driver David Purley stopped to help put out the fire and flip his car over.  Purley claims Williamson was alive uninjured and crying out for help but was pinned down in the unsatiable fire.  Two minutes later with little to no help, Purley was taken away from the wreck as his friend died of asphyxiation (lack of oxygen).  Purley was awared the British Imperial George Medal, the second highest medal that can ever be awarded to a civilian for bravery, but all the medals in the world couldn't save his friend's life.

I could go on--there's plenty of fatal wrecks on YouTube but I don't want to watch them.  It's tragic.

Case in point, wrecks are a part of the racing and life is as fragile as it seems.  I'm not saying take out the wrecks from games because if you crash head first into a wall at 200 mph, you should be punished somehow, but do it tastefully.  Focus more on good driving controls than the lure of watching a five-second replay of yourself exploding into a hundred pieces.  That's my take--I hope you learned something.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Going The Distance Part 2

Last time I was talking about how if you do little things like make websites or Forza cars, they make trickle down somewhere and you can make a difference in someone's life, particularly of those in high positions...  Anyway, this is something else.

As I've said a few times, I've been into Counter-Strike 1.6 map making (screw Source) and one of the things I've done is make some maps for a Goldeneye/Perfect Dark-themed DM server.  Maps that I made were:

Complex, Frigate, Archives, Control, Caverns, Cradle, Aztec Complex, Grid, Egyptian, Carrington Institute, Area 51.

See here on this video montage that I made:

What happened was I discovered Valve Hammer Editor around '04 and I decided to fool around with it and the first map I made was the Complex.  Eventually, I spent a lot of time fine-tuning it.  Then I met this guy named dballs who was running the CS GE server.  Then I eventually hooked him up with the rest of the maps.  In return I got a few thank yous, made a few peoples' days, etc.  Didn't really earn any profit, but someone gave me a free Half-Life 2 Steam key.  I made some extra friends while I was there.  Sadly the CS GE server is six feet under so no luck trying to play it again unless you create your own server.

That was a long time ago but now I was wandering the Perfect Dark GameFAQs board and I brought up the CS maps that I made and they asked me to e-mail it to them.  They were ecstatic and their clanmates were impressed.  I really don't know to what extent I made these people happy but it's nice to know I made a difference, albeit a slight one.  Thanks for the comments SuperSlash and DarkWrath!!


Nice. I played on A51 as well. I'll have you know that it and CI are some of my favorites to play on, but no one ever wants to play on them due to a lack of sufficent players (completely understandable, given how large both maps are). I was never a fan of Pipes, but Base is cool. It would've made an amazing CS map; you should do it eventually (it'd work as a de_ map for sure).


Hey man,

Thanks for all those maps! I showed them to a few former CS clanmates who were top GE and PD players back in the day and we all were very impressed. Seriously, how the hell did you get some of those textures? Your maps are pro. Some insane talent you got there. Area 51 blew my mind, musta taken forever. Let me know if you do any other levels!!

Also I worked on this movie a few days ago and I really like it.  I like sweet DY357 kills and abstract humor:

Going The Distance

If you believe in something and you constantly do little things to push what you believe, it will catch on.  The Internet is a very conducive to this with blogs, YouTube, message board, etc.

Like for instance, a while back, I was posting on the official Rock Band boards.  Now in the Rock Band game, they do this thing called "Battle of the Bands" where users submit a setlist with some sort of theme, whether or not it be love songs or songs that have the word "Don't" in it or something.  People play the setlist and try to set records which are recorded on a leaderboard.  Some are more creative than others.

I suggested that we make a "Hard Driving Guitar" battle that had Flirting With Disaster, Highway Star, and Kickstart My Heart.  Two months later, I go to play Rock Band and I am absolutely stunned to find that they used my idea and actually put in in the game.  It was around February '09 when this happened.  Here are pictures because you MUST see them.

I didn't come up with the description or the longest streak rules, they made it up themselves.

So what happened today.  Well, I was looking at my YouTube videos, particularly my "Forza Daytona 2 cars" video and I saw a list of sites that embedded it.  I saw Kotaku and was like "What's going on?"  Turns out this guy liked my video so much he posted it on these "Talk Amongst Yourself" or "Speakout" pages.  Needless to say, I'm stunned, thanks twinturbo2.  It didn't solicit that much attention, but for a lowly mod based on a 12-year-old game, I think it's good enough.

This is the video I was talking about (yes, I made these cars around April '10 and you can buy them off the Forza 3 storefront):

This one of the topics, you have to extend the earlier discussion 2 or 3 times (click on the label at the bottom of the page) on to get to it which is time consuming...

Or you could look at this too

Not only did someone put my video up on some page on a major gaming blog, but I also ran into the guys that worked on that "Daytona Universe" project.  You can see their stuff on deviantART or on YouTube (I have a video in my D2 playlist).  They are impressed with the picture resources that I had.

The reason I say this is because you start saying things like "Look, I made these Forza cars, I made this blog, I posted on this board" and whatnot is because it may trickle down and who knows--someone who actually works at Sega may catch on.  I'm just saying.  It seems like wishful thinking, but WHO KNOWS who's watching...

OH YEAH, I just discovered a Daytona USA spritesheet!  I didn't think something like this existed, but you proved me wrong:

Monday, July 26, 2010

When Things Couldn't Get Any Stupider

Yeah, as you may know a week ago, my endeavors on the old Daytona USA 2: Power Edition board were cut short due to "off-topic" posting.  Now I post on the OutRun Online Arcade board with all my friends.  But yesterday, my new Daytona USA 2 thread on that board got deleted too, a week after I created it.  Basically, another mutiny which led to two theories:

1. A mod is stalking my topics and systematically picking them off one by one.
2. A mole/saboteur in the community is marking my topics specifically.

But WAIT!!

Besides my Daytona 2 topic, two other topics were deleted as well!  I didn't start those topics--hell I didn't even post in one of them.  Let me illustrate this for you to hopefully clear things up.  These are the active topics that have been on the board as of a few days ago:

Probable New Sega Console
Hydro Thunder DELETED
Xbox Live Dying

So that means that either some little troll picked and choose what specific topics to delete OR there's a mod out there who has discovered the board but feels that topics like Daytona 2 and Hydro Thunder are off-topic but Dreamcast and F-Zero aren't.  Either make up your damn mind on what's off-topic or not at all!

I bring this up because where else on the internet am I going to post?  If we do leave and become scattered, then we become weak, feeble, and unable to talk about good Sega racing games!

Unbelieveable.  I'm leaning towards the mod theory because I doubt someone would just mark a few topics and leave the rest standing.  When you post at GameFAQs you throw logic out the window.  Hell, everyone else has which explains the flame wars and the constant modding.  The less we talk about GameFAQs in the future, the better.  Yes, it irritates me too, I can't take it anymore.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm Still Alive (New Daytona USA Video)

Yeah, this tropical storm was so pathetic--all I think I heard was some lightning and that's it.

I just discovered this 2-year old video of some guy ranting about Daytona USA for the Saturn.  It's actually quite creative at some parts (albeit a bit offensive), especially the beginning and at 7 min which were pretty funny.

WARNING!!!: Quie a bit of adult language so don't say I didn't warn you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why Sega Racing Games Are So Good

Check out the link on the right side of the page.  These are articles and stuff that everyone needs to read.  Have fun...

Also, tropical storm Bonnie is going to make landfall here tonight.  Odds are everything will be OK but if I don't reply, then I either died or my internet went out.  Seriously, I lost internet during Katrina for three months, it CAN happen!!

More Gamefaqs

Besides adding a few things to the site, I asked a GameFAQs mod if I could put a link to this blog in my signature.  He OKed it as long as I don't try to profit from it or post offensive material.  I don't plan on doing either so it seems fine.

Well, see it as a blessing that I got to setup this site at last because I kind of got tired dealing with the D2 board.  This time around, I can decorate the site, make it look fancy, add links.  Did you know if you click on those pictures, you go to YT videos of each game?

But there's something I can't do here that I used to do on the board. I cannot respond to other people's posts as long as they don't have their own blog.  We used to share stories and stuff , ah yes those were the days...  It seems narcisstic to me since all people can do is reply to me, not the other way around.  Oh well, there's other boards for that very thing.

GameFAQs isn't bad, it sort of redeemed itself here not just for the signature but also because since it was willing to convert my Rich-Text FAQ into Plain Text.  I just wish the gaming community as a whole acted more mature then maybe the site could lighten up a bit.

Check This Out (Afterburner/Jet Fighter)

Real pictures of a guy as he ejects from the cockpit as the jet crashes!  This is wildly interesting, thank God he is still alive:

Ian Martens / Lethbridge Herald / CP via AP

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The First REAL Post!

Yes, boys and ladies, I finally got this blog to be semi-functional.  After the GameFAQs debacle, I can now be happy I got this coolio site out there.

I changed the background (omg html) and added some cool pics on the side.  I'll add more things later--I know that there's other Sega racers like OutRunners for instance...

This is something I've had going for a long time and it's a lot of Daytona USA 2 resources!  I have a lot of pictures--this includes picture of the Daytona 2 guide, the CD, an interview with Makato Osaki, Forza 3 cars, my personal pictures of the cabinet, etc.  The YouTube Playlist needs to be updated now, but it has 65 videos, not bad for now.


YT Playlist the whole list:


I also like to post things such as "fun links" which are just dumb stuff relating to the games.  Like I didn't know about this until now--back in 2006, someone made a bonafide Crazy Taxi convertible, check it out:
Also my Perfect Dark Combat Simulator Guide is up!  Look at it out if you ever play that game:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Post

First, I would like to say that I hope this blog doesn't get deleted or anything because years from now, I may end up getting really pissed.  I read the Terms of Use but I always find ways to step on landmines...

Anyway, this is my first rant, but I might as well get all the GameFAQs crap out of the way.  I posted on the Daytona USA 2: Power Edition board for about seven years.  I felt it was my solemn duty to keep the board semi-alive and share what was on my mind and accept other people's opinions.  I started going around with a link in my signature to try to get people to go there.  But mods unplugged it on July 18th.  Thankfully, I got a 500 topic before they decided my efforts were off-topic:

First topic gets deleted and then about 12 hours later, I post another topic and warn others to specifically post about Daytona USA 2 only.  That topic gets deleted too.  Apparently, I'm under the impression some mod saw the link in my sig and decided to camp out and score some points to look good on his resume.  Movin' on up to Super Mod/Admin I guess...

I decided to fight back and contest the moderation.  I remember a similar thing happened on my YouTube two years ago where my account was suspended for posting a video with a clip that had the "Comedy Central" logo in the corner.  Wow, Viacom strikes again.  I actually sent some letters in and got my account back which exists like normal.  But this time around, I wasn't so lucky.  This is the whole diatribe:

You said on

7/18/2010 3:49:28 AM

This topic follows the content of the board in that me and a few others talk about Daytona USA 2 and other similar racing games made by the same company. It is not as off-topic as it seems. There is no use of profanity, insults, and other agression used against other users. Also, if this helps any, this is an "abandoned" message board where we talk privately without interfering in the affairs of those on more popular message boards.

A Mod/Admin replied on

7/18/2010 7:21:18 AM

This board(while it may be dead) still has topicality rules in place. Which means discussions outside of the game in general can be considered off-topic.

You said on

7/18/2010 8:59:34 AM

Sir, if I am not allowed to have a topic loosely based on the game Daytona USA 2, then where else on GameFAQs am I allowed to do this?

A Mod/Admin replied on

7/18/2010 3:51:51 PM

On a social board?

You said on

7/18/2010 4:40:27 PM

The purpose of creating the topic was for the accumulation of knowledge and experiences around the target game, in this case, Daytona USA 2. Because people who have played this game have played games similar to that one (ex. Daytona 1, OutRun 2), it is only natural that they may share experiences on more games than just the one mentioned in the title. The experiences are compared simply because they're made by the same company, have similar control, are all found in arcades, etc. In other words, you cannot focus on just one of these games without bringing up the others at some point.

As for "other games," such as Cruis'n World or Hydro Thunder, these games have some similarities to the target game Daytona 2 (both racing games, both in arcades, made by rival companies) and thus, comparisons can be made between both games as well.

As said in the bullet points, topics should always be related to that game or system in some manner. Clearly the target game, Daytona 2, is referenced in nearly every post in the topic and thus, I consider the thread as on-topic.

The reason why this thread is on this specific board is because a social board is too broad of an environment to post about this specific topic on. For one, this topic doesn't generate that much of an interest among the mainstream to stay afloat on any normal social board for that long, thus going through the nuisance of having to bump or create multiple topics, causing the conversation to become disjointed and ultimately lost forever. Also, no one is going to a social board to specifically look for topics on Daytona USA 2/Sega racing games. Finally, those who go looking on the Daytona USA 2 board with the intent on talking about the game will obviously not be aware of the discussion going on elsewhere.

The only place for this discussion to properly exist is on this board and I hope my case is understood.

A Mod/Admin replied on

7/21/2010 10:22:36 AM

First off, I wonder if the mods or admins are even moved by this slightly and will stop to play Daytona USA 2 if they see in the arcades.  No, they'll probably just go play Street Fighter and DDR.  That's fantastic.  I hope the admin had to read that large lump of text I posted, but probably not so I don't get the pleasure of wasting his time I suppose.  Probably just a bunch of Cruis'n junkies who are enraged by my comments.

Basically, doesn't matter that the game is 12 years old, it's still off-topic.  While I admit that I just didn't talk about Daytona USA 2, it's like getting a speeding ticket for going 71 mph in a 70 mph zone.  Okay, what's the point?  I know that "others are doing it doesn't make it right" argument apparently doesn't fly with them, but this kind of off-topic crap flies all the time, even when it's brutally obvious.  See here:
Also, about the Nonstop Gaming Board (I have it in my favorites...I don't know why, I don't post), like I said, I don't see the point of pitching a tent right in the thick of some guys who just talk about all the new cool FPSes and RPGs.  Yeah, hello everyone on the Nonstop Gaming board, make way cause I want to talk about Sega racing games!  That'll work out.
Let's say this.  Let's say that the Daytona 2 board remains dead.  Let's say that there's a poor soul or two out there who has a question or opinion about the game.  He posts on the D2 board.  His topic is locked 5 days later because no one replied.  No one (except for maybe me) is going to check the board for questions and stuff.  So no one's happy, no one on the D2 board learns anything.  I believe that even if the board struggled in the last year or so that people did learn things and were happy.  Now it's gone, but at least I got this blog.
GameFAQs is a disaster when it comes to the boards--it always has been and this seals it for me.
Oh well, we needed to reformat how we went about business.  This blog is probably a better venue for posting thoughts anyway.  We're still gonna get the message about Sega racing magic out there and I won't rest...  More normal posts to come.