Thursday, October 14, 2010


NOTE: Maybe I am being a bit too harsh in this post.  Today was miserable.  So take this with a grain of salt...a microscopic grain of salt (just a single NaCl ion) cause you know I'm right.

DISCLAIMER: I know that Split/Second isn't THAT bad of a game.  It has good production values, cool environments, a lot of people like it for some reason, and at least it's not a Fast and the Furious game.  But strap yourself in for another beatdown, that's all I have to say.

Split/Second just $20 at Best Buy?  Go ahead, check it out if you want, although I don't recommend it.  Lol, bargain bin fodder in just a split-second?  Haha, that's gold.

Just looking at this screenshot makes me piss my pants...oh wait, no it doesn't.

And then I was looking at the Joystiq review for this game out of sheer curiousity and here's what I got out of it:

Split/Second isn't a game that glorifies the fundamentals of racing. These are represented, sure; folks familiar with the genre will likely be drifting and drafting onto the podium within the first few races. More than that, though, Split/Second rewards players who quickly master the art of catastrophe evasion -- an art which frequently requires you to navigate cinematic hazards mimicking Lando's narrow escape. It's a winning recipe that provides some of the most satisfying thrills I've ever experienced while behind the wheel of a virtual automobile.

Cause we're too lazy to make a game that requires technical skill.  NOOOO, THAT'S NOT WHAT THE KIDS WANT, THEY WANT EXPLOSIONS AND COOL EFFECTS and so forth...  I mean, really, this seems like a Burnout clone, but instead of running into traffic, you trigger explosions and stuff.  You don't need to go all-out simulation handling like GT or Forza, but don't copy and paste Need for Speed or Blur's handling code in here and say "Yo quiero conducir rápido!!" and think it's gonna fly by me.

If I wanted to play a game with explosions, I would stick with San Francisco Rush.  Wow, that game was pretty cool, but this...oh man.

The premise for the game's single-player campaign is that you're a (presumably highly paid, steely-nerved) stunt driver competing in a series of televised races. Each of the campaign's 12 episodes are broken down into four events, one bonus event which unlocks after wrecking a set number of opponents, and one "Elite" race, which you must come in third or higher in to move onto the next episode.

Sorry, but MegaRace beat you to the whole "TV demolition race" concept by 17 years.

As a matter of fact, Split/Second is practically a ripoff of MegaRace...guys driving fast cars, destroying opponents with weapons, sweet...freakin slackers.  Ok, it's not a total ripoff, but pretty close!

Also, more than half of the cars handle as though they aren't actually cars at all, but rather, slabs of margarine molded into the shapes of cars. You can choose to not drive these uncontrollable buttercars for most of the events, but the time trial "Detonation" mode usually locks you into the game's slipperier vehicles.

Split/Second defies so many of the tropes I've come to expect from the racing genre in recent years. It doesn't possess the customization features of a Forza or a Need For Speed, and it lacks some of the arcade-friendly gameplay variety offered by a Mario Kart and a Blur. However, more than any other racer that precedes it, Split/Second creates dramatic tension and cinematic thrills in every single race, and it almost always leaves you trembling after crossing the finish line.

I'm trembling too because I get seizures whenever I think about this ADD-laden piece of trash.  Seriously, if you need all those explosions to make an "intense" racing game, you're doing it all wrong.  See Daytona 1/2, OutRun, etc.

Think I'm making up the ADD part?  You ever watch MTV shows or whatever and notice how they change the frame every half-second?  The reason they do that is to catch your attention and turn you into a drooling simpleton who can't turn away.  So look at the Split/Second trailer and tell me if the frame changes don't convey my point.

Besides, I'll say this and it'll seem even more controversial...I played the demo for this and I thought it was BORING.  Just me cruising, dodging a slab of concrete or an exploding barrel, not even that good of sense of speed.  I suppose if I were racing against stiffer competition, it would be more exciting, but still, just gimmicky more than anything.  Get in the lead, you win.  Press a button and something explodes.  Dare I say, just like Mario Kart?  So maybe the demo is just crap but really, come on people.

Ultimately, it's a game about driving into explosions, and attempting to come out the other side unharmed. I don't know about you, but that seems to me like a genre worth supporting.

You're a toolbag.

Oh, and one more thing for all the Split/Second fanboys, tell me if this doesn't ring a bell:

Lest you forget, this is 2010, not 2000, not 1990, etc.

No really, if you think I'm blowing hot air, check out my mini-review here and shove it.  Seriously, take Blur over this (although Blur sucks too, but is less sucky than Split/Second).

Really, the reason why I'm using this game as a punching bag (among others) is because it kind of pisses me off to see these huge-ass game studios put this monstrous amount of effort into something so all the other racing devs will try to emulate this because it's "the coolest."  And another thing, how long can this game last once the visceral pleasure of dodging explosions wears off...  Hence why this game's price has dropped to $20.

Whatever people, just go back to Burnout, problem solved.

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