Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day: A Sad Day But We Will Persevere

And a Happy Memorial Day to you all.  But let me say this first--I know that it must suck in a lot of Americans' lives right now.  Well, you have the ailing economy, that's a given.  Then you had these devastating tornadoes in Alabama & Missouri, flooding in Louisiana and wildfires in Texas.  I lucked out cause I didn't lose anything.  I wasn't in the flood zone.  I didn't lose anything valuable in Hurricane Katrina.

EDIT: If you don't know, here's footage of tornadoes in Alabama and in Missouri.

If there's one good story out of this tornado business, it's that a puppy from Alabama survived two broken legs and crawled home after he survived direct contact with a tornado--see here.  I think animals are more resilient than we give credit for.

Like I said before, it's just hard to watch the news or surf the internet without being bombarded with thousands of negative and/or confusing news pieces that just serve to make my normal everyday life more tumultuous.

I know that video games are practically useless in the broad spectrum of things, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to talk about happy games that lift your spirits.  That's the very least I could do.

Please pray for the friends and families of victims in these natural disasters.  Donate and reach out if you can.  I personally don't know anyone affected by these disasters but maybe you do.

And not to diminish the work that our brave soldiers have done, this is Memorial Day so to have men & women risk death so that you can get up, play video games, and go about your daily business deserves tremendous praise.  Some men die and that is the business of war.  I only wish that I could shake their hands beyond the grave.

Here's to the United States of America who, through all the garbage we have to put up with, is still hanging in there.

November 19, 1863: Abraham Lincoln was to give a "few appropriate remarks" at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where 172,000 American soldiers perished.  This was in memorial of men from the North and the South.  His speech followed a two-hour dialogue by one of the greatest orators of the time, Edward Everett.  Lincoln's speech, in contrast, only lasted a few minutes:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 

Lincoln thought the speech was a failure, but Everett wrote Lincoln the following day, "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

Abraham Lincoln.

Sunday, May 29, 2011



I'm gonna play SPOILER here so if you haven't seen what happened in these two races, just watch the video and don't read what happened below.  I saw both of these things happen live.

Today's Indy 500:
EDIT: Old video got taken down, here's another one: EDIT: HAD TO UPLOAD THIS FOR THE THIRD TIME!!!  STOP TAKING DOWN VIDEOS, YOUTUBE!!!


SPOILER.  Rookie JR Hildebrand is leading in the last lap by a few seconds.  He comes down Turn 4 trying to pass a slow car hugging the inside.  This screws up his racing line as he smashes into the outside wall.  Dan Wheldon zips by as the feeble National Guard car scrambles to the finish line with only two tires.  He finishes second.

I also love at the end after JD crosses the finish line when he runs into the wall again (see 1:01)...he was probably thinking, "F*** it; I just blew the race and totaled the car so take out my frustration on that wall over there."

Today's Coca-Cola 600:

EDIT: YouTube took down the original video, DAMMIT


SPOILER.  Dale Jr. (yes, that's right DALE EARNHARDT, JUNIOR) takes advantage of some skittish traffic after a green flag restart with two laps to go.  He gains an insurmountable just one lap to go.  On the final turn his car starts to run out of gas!!!  Kevin Harvick zips by for the win as Dale putters across the finish line in seventh.

"Well, back to iRacing and Wrangler Jeans ads."
Postrace radio chatter: "Be proud man. Another good run." Dale Jr. "Im real happy to be with you guys. We're gonna get us one."


You're almost out of time!

*buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz* Timer runs out.

You placed 7th.  GAME OVER!!!

I really wanted Junior to win one, it must suck man.  Same thing for rookie JR Hildebrand.


The Price Is Right Fail

Or May I Suggest Pressing This In Dire Situations?

Well, that's why you run the entire race, not just 99% of it.  That's why you play the game, that's why there's no gimmes on the PGA Tour, etc...  You can crown the "winner's" ass all you want, but wait until the checkered flag first.

Indianapolis 500 Day: Talking About Cars With Big Spoilers

Today is the One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 race (despite the fact this is the 95th race).  Anyway, it's a pretty big deal because it's part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, also including the Monaco GP and the 24 Hour LeMans.  No Daytona 500 because no one likes NASCAR (except for rednecks).

Some funny observations from this race.  You see there's a golf course around and inside the track with go-karts around so...there's people golfing during the race?  They are also playing that Go-Daddy "naked commercial shoot" again, recycled from the Superbowl three months ago...  Then some guy popped a tire so he just cruised into the pits and they just swapped it out.  Very nice.

EDIT: Oh, forgot this one part--a guy enters the pit.  Guys change four tires.  He drives off and a second later his rear left tire just pops off into the air.  Pit crew forgot to screw in the nuts.  Car's still driving with just three wheels, AMAZING!

But there's two stupid things going on.  One, this is the fifth race of the IndyCar season when you'd think it was the first...because they advertised the heck out of this race like they did with the Daytona 500 which is the first race of that season.  Second, it's the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix?  What the hell--I missed that???  Why???

But anyway, there's an Indy 500 Sega Model2 arcade racer released in 1995.  Now this game is nowhere near as popular as the rest of the Sega racer lineup, but it's a rugged little racer--one that certainly deserves more credit.  It has a 0% chance of receiving a sequel which is actually kind of sad.

Alright, so let's talk about more than just IndyCar...there's also Formula 1 which is basically the European version of IndyCar.  Now I'll tell you about this old game I used to play for the PC--Microprose Formula 1 Grand Prix--also known as World Circuit.  This game was released in 1992 and it was actually pretty sweet at the time.  EDIT: No, it wasn't just sweet, it was THE SHIZNIT at the time and still is today.

And then there's Virtua Racing.  The original arcade version also came out in 1992, but this is the PS2 version, part of the Sega Classics Collection.  This game's pretty good--it has six tracks and cars and is arguably the only decent game on the whole disc.  There's no telling if this is supposed to be Formula 1, IndyCar, CART, who cares...Sega racers know no bounds.


And finally, my opinions on Formula 1 and IndyCar...(I know nothing about CART other than that it merged with IndyCar in 2008).  Well, racing is racing so I like them all.  IndyCar can get boring because the loops.  Formula 1 has all technical courses, some legends like Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka while IndyCar has a couple of street courses.  Anyway, I presume Indy cars have slightly higher top speeds but who knows...they're all the same to me.  If you want to learn more about IndyCar & Formula 1, you can check out this site.

But there's something about Formula 1 that's strange.  For the last couple of F1 seasons I've checked out, there's no American drivers or tracks.  I'm not sure if it's because they have a hate-on for America...I certainly hope not.  Maybe it's because we're a bunch of rednecks who watch NASCAR...gimme a break.  At least IndyCar is kind enough to have races in Brazil, Japan, and Canada as well as a diverse crowd of drivers.  But there have been drivers who have won in F1 and IndyCar so there can't be that big of a difference between the two after all.  No, please don't take this as "I hate F1," cause I don't.

Either way, NASCAR is more popular than the two and that's a fact.  There's many more races in the NASCAR season than in the other two.  Maybe that's where all the good American drivers are--driving stock cars.  Love it or hate it, that's the way it is.  And don't give me that "NASCAR takes no skill" nonsense because Tony Stewart won three IndyCar races before his NASCAR career so you can win at both of them.  They hardly play IndyCar or F1 on TV (in America) so that's the breaks.  Check out Versus and Speed channel.

One of my favorite things about Formula 1 is The Chain's awesome.  One of my most favorite songs of all time.

I could talk more about F1 but I'm done, that's it for now.  I also watched some World Rally Championship in Italy (on HD Theater) and there's the Coca-Cola 600 later, so good day for racing!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Massive Scud Race Image Dump: Part 2

Alright, this is part 2 of the Supermodel screen cap overload.  Here is Part 1 (both Beginner courses).  We're going to look at the Advanced and Expert courses.  EDIT: Also posted many pics of Daytona 2 like this.

...There's one thing that dawned on me when I was taking these pics.  I'm thankful that these aren't some phony baloney race cars we have here.  Yes, I know these are licensed cars we're talking about.  These cars could be some generic mashups like you see in Burnout and stuff (holy cow, a GT-40/Ferrari/Aston Martin hybrid, BRILLIANT!!) so you have a more intimate connection with your rides.  Bravo, Sega.

 Yes we are playing the Australian version.

The starting line of the Advanced course; looks like we're in some kind of South American temple.  For some reason, there's 30 cars as opposed to 40.  Oh and three laps, not four.

Beautiful view...the draw distance is grand; it lets you see all this detail...

Take a look to the right and you'll see a blocked-off tunnel.  What's the point?  Could it be possible that this tunnel led to another track like Daytona 2's Challenge Course?  The idea must've crossed their minds at some point.

This turn is awfully reminiscent of the Advanced course from Daytona 1 (Dinosaur Canyon)...

Waterfalls ahead!

Beautiful waterfall...

You'll see a totem pole here.  This and the Niagara-style waterfalls remind me of Canada...

More waterfalls.

"Sharp curve, be careful.  Easy does it!" the signs say.

"You must be careful!  Sharp curve," oookay.

The layout of this place is astounding--as if 2000 years ago, these people said, "make way for the race track that'll be paved in the future"...

Driving somewhere.

Check it out, it's a Holiday Inn!!

We're gonna check out the pit crew.

The usual suspects.  Oh yeah, didn't mention this until now--when you're in the pit, your timer freezes in place.  How kind of Sega to do this...

Damn, gotta love how ancient cultures built these long-ass corridors with nothing in them.

Second time around, if you go to the village, you can check out the sheep.  They even walk around!!  Now those are some mobile sheep.

You take a look over this ledge, you can see the track below.  Outstanding view!

I got busted for screwing around.  GAME OVER YEAH!!!!

Ok, this is the Expert course, get ready cause it's very difficult!  Only 20 cars this time which is weird.

I see the French flag so we're presumably in France.

Hey look to the left, another tunnel that leads to nowhere!  Ok, this is more proof for the challenge course theory.  However, I would like to see how it's possible to string a Japanese airport, a French castle, a South (or North) American village, and an oceanside tunnel within walking distance of each other.  Go for it, Sega.

Now we're driving over a moat which I always thought was kind of weird because what if the tires slip through the planks?  And the McLaren F1 here is in last place, what a noob.

This is the castle which looks very, very weird.

I'm going to revisit the castle later, let's zip through this part for now.


This is part of the castle.  It reminds me of Super Mario Bros. for some reason.  How to kill Bowser: just rum into him, yeah!

Ok, now this is the first glitch I've seen.  The whole castle here is pitch dark presumably because no light is reflecting off of it (possibly an issue with the lightmaps)...

But the castle lights back up when you get closer to it.

You take a look ahead and you'll see the bridge we were just driving on seconds ago.

A creepy tunnel!

Ok, now this looks an awful lot like the Roman Coliseum which obviously is not in France.

Drive into the Coliseum on dirt which doesn't slow you down for some reason.

To the left and right of the road are bulls which run around in circles.  Guess what happens when you touch them?

They push you around!  They cannot be stopped.  I'm not making this up.  It's like the Trolley of Death from GTA: San Andreas, it's an unstoppable object.

Ok, so let's go take a pit stop, go eat some French crepes, something like that.

My car hood is banged up again!  Slap some duct tape on it and let's go!!

The pit lane is not a very eventful place to be.

Ok, we're back in the castle!  Here you can see stained glass, tiled floors, staircases, arches, etc.

Take a look to the right and see that famous cupid painting...I don't know why that's there but w/e.

Past the barrier is, well...more track just like this one.

I actually did manage to catch the 20th place car (the McLaren F1) and proceded to beat the crap out of him Burnout-style!!

Yeah, TAKE IT!!!

And this is the last picture I got.  I don't know the relevance of this room, but it's some big...cathedral/stage thing.  Take a look at the ceiling, more cupid paintings.  Recycled images, eh?

GREAT SCOTT!!!  That Scud Race game's awesome...what was I wasting my time on?  Mario Kart?  Screw that, I'M NOT WORTHY!!!

The end: here's Part 1 again just as a reminder.  Maybe I can post pics of the Bonus course...if only I had the special ROM for it.  Thanks for the cool game, Sega.