Saturday, July 30, 2011

Awesome Scud Race Magazine Article!!!

This I found on Blue Skies Daily.  I had never seen this before.  It's always good to discover new Sega racing material.  But this is extra-special--this is NEXT GENERATION Magazine, the "World's #1 computer and videogame authority," so Sega put on a good show to the entire gaming audience, not just some Sega nerds.  Oh BTW, Scud Race is also known as "Super GT" just in case you didn't know already.

"From the makers of Virtua Fighter 3 comes Super GT, the best auto-racing game of all time."

"Sega's Model 3 arcade technology boasts twin Lockheed Martin R3D/Pro-1000 custom graphics chips, each capable of rendering over 750,000 polygons per second.  Super GT pushes this hardware to the max--and refines the racing genre.  Page 60."

"Are you a psychopath?  Senator Lieberman thinks you might have a problem.  Page 8."

I won't post the rest of the pages (six in total) because I didn't scan them and I don't want to take credit for that.  Again, go to this site to see the other five pages.  If that site goes down in the future (I hope not), I got the pages saved to my computer.  I'm just going to quote important stuff that I read from it.

PAGE 1: "The race is on.  Nobody pushes the envelope as hard and as fast as Sega's AM2 coin-op division.  Led by the incomparable Yu Suzuki, the AM2 division is perhaps most famous for its Virtua Fighter series.  But experienced arcade gamers know that AM2's real strength is in its driving games.  Forget Namco, Sega AM2 is responsible for arcade racing's finest hours: Hang On, OutRun, Virtua Racing, Daytona USA--and now Super GT.  In the world of videogames, Sega AM2's racing pedigree earns it the mantle of gaming's Ferrari.

Based on the same Model 3 technology that powers the 1.5 million polygons-per-second Virtua Fighter 3, Super GT is as near to taking a real Porche (sp?) around a hairpin bend at 120 miles per hour as any civilian is likely to get.

This, truly, is state of the art."

I'm gonna tell you this.  I'M STOKED!!!  I think I've been waiting YEARS for someone (besides me) to eloquently express something as positive and uplifting as this.  I mean, holy cow.  Gaming's Ferrari?  Forget Namco?  Sega AM2 responsible for arcade racing's finest hours?  Lest you forget, this is a magazine for ALL games, not just Sega, so they really went out of their way to write this (and put it on the cover too)!

Oh, and while we're at it, we should  consider adding a Hang-On pic to the side bar over there...I didn't want to put a pic for EVERY game but we've been ignoring that AM2 classic for too long it seems...

PAGE 2: Love this quote:

"AM2 is the best arcade developer in the world, and it's current ambition is to create the definitive driving game."

Oops, don't tell that to Midway!  There's a picture of a much younger & more normal Toshihiro Nagoshi.  Even with the same team from Daytona USA, Nagoshi intended to and eventually made a completely different game. Super GT would be the first game to showcase the Model 3 board.  AM2 had an in-house rivalry with Tetsuya Misuguchi at AM Annex (Sega Rally/Touring Car).  You're right--forget about Namco, forget about Midway, forget about everyone else.  The only way to keep up with a Sega racer is with...another Sega racer.  ~*MIND BLOWN!!!*~

PAGE 3: Super GT car models consists of roughly 3,000 polygons each--three times that of Daytona USA.  Better graphics, Model 3 board is at least three times more powerful than the Model 2 board and was able to utilize Gouraud shading.  Tires are nearly round and the glass are transparent.  Sega programmers were experienced enough to cut out drawing needless geometry, hence speeding up the game.  Here's a quote:

"Toshihiro Nagoshi studied film in school, and his eye for detail has not been wasted at Sega which he describes as 'much more fun than movies.' "

Well, we already know Nagoshi was interested in film beforehand.  So maybe he has more know-how about these games than we think.  A damn shame he's working on this Binary Domain crap...

PAGE 4: Nagoshi said:

"Daytona was based on an American sport.  I wanted to make a game that would be accepted worldwide." 

Regardless, Daytona still has international appeal (played from Japan, US, UK, Brazil, Signapore, etc.) but still, the more diverse appeal of Super GT is greatly welcomed.  Later, Nagoshi went to the Ferrari factory in Modena, Italy.  Somehow, Sega's big budget granted them the license to use big-name cars.  He also said:

"I didn't want Super GT to be a circuit game because they are visually boring.  I wanted to make a game that was visually attractive.  We needed to make some course that would have character and be easily identified by the public--to avoid over-complicating things.  For example, we decided to make a course influenced by the Indiana Jones movies--something that can identified by the player, with relatively simple imagery."

I'm glad he got the colorful environment portion down.  But that's not all for this page!  He knows the basic principle of any game is to make it accessible.  He said: 

"The feeling of actually driving is very strong.  I didn't want to make a difficult racing game.  It may sound strange, but I'm very bad at playing games.  I used to spend a lot of money in arcades, just to see the end-game sequences and I know how bad players can feel if the game is too hard, too early.  So when I came to design Super GT, I tried to make a game that could be enjoyed by beginners."

Gee, I guess this is why Scud Race *ahem* Super GT has been in all of these Chuck E. Cheese's...

PAGE 5: Interesting quote from the article!

"Experienced gamers shouldn't lose out, however, if AM2's previous efforts are anything to go by.  Virtua Fighter was instantly accessible, requiring only a few moves to progress through the initial stages, but weeks of constant playing to master.  Super GT, for all its initial simplicity, will no doubt turn out to be as rich a driving experience as the original Daytona USA, which many regarded as superior to Ridge Racer thanks to its extended learning curve."

Sorry Cruis'n, FnF nubs, you're not off the hook just yet.

Now here we read about Yu Suzuki's involvement with this game from Nagoshi himself:

"When I joined Sega, Yu Suzuki had made some outstanding racing games.  He made the Virtua Fighter series a success, but he still prefers making racing games.  We are different, our ideas and views are different, but I got some advice from Yu Suzuki on the drift handling.  For Daytona, the handling was a bit heavy.  With Super GT, when you turn, the handling becomes steadily heavier, but does so smoothly.  When entering a drift, the tail will slide slowly and you'll feel the power of the engine.  He also recommended that I do some sampling on the Fuji freeway, which I did.  He's very supportive."

Su Suzuki took Nagoshi out for a drift cruise out on Fuji Circuit?  That's boss.  Well, I never really knew Suzuki's involvement from this game, but with him as a mentor (not as a member of the team), Nagoshi could do no wrong.  Didn't know Suzuki liked making racing games THAT much, a damn shame he couldn't have made more during his tenure at Sega.  Now that Suzuki has left, Nagoshi...uh, you get the picture.

Also here, it mentions multiplayer.  This I'm curious about since I really don't know if Super GT is capable of more than 4 players...  Article says something interesting about this:

"At the moment, there are only plans for two-player and four-player link-ups--such is the cost of combining such an advanced cabinet, with the expensive Model 3 board.  The code is there, however, and it would be possible to link eight cabinets, but the cost of such a system would make it a rare sight indeed in all but the major theme parks."

And while the fanfare of this game is stellar, these people have yet to play Daytona 2 which'll come out in the next year.  Mentions that Nagoshi & his team may have begun work on such a game.  Also mentions a possible Saturn port of Super GT (one which we never got).  Let me just end my with the following excerpt:

"With Super GT, the team has rasied the bar once again, stealing a march not only on its in-house peers [talking about AM Annex], but arch rivals Namco, which may find itself in the unevitable position of runner-up in the race for the next generation of driving games."


Reading this, you could only feel enthusiastic for the future.  However, after Daytona 2, the series was dropped on its head.  Then there was Crazy Taxi, OutRun 2, and F-Zero GX (if you care about Nintendo IP's) and then that's it.  Everything else they've made has nothing to do with racing or are incredibly obscure.  Sure there's more like Toshihiro Nagoshi was a film major so now he would probably prefer to make movie-based games (Yakuza, Binary Domain) rather than racing games so that's just plain sad.

I'm also surprised that I didn't see Makoto Osaki around since he appeared in all sorts of Daytona USA 2 media such as in another magazine article and the official guide book.

Please come back, Toshihiro Nagoshi, Yu Suzuki, Makoto Osaki...SAVE US FROM THIS TRAVESTY IN GAMES TODAY.  IT'S NOT TOO LATE!!!  Also, while you're at it, a new Shenmue wouldn't be too bad either...

BTW, Next Generation Magazine ran from January '95 to January '02.  So it really sucks when anything that promotes Sega goes away, what a let-down.

If somehow you find any new Sega racer-related material that I may have missed, post it in a comment and I'll surely notice it (and give you some attribution).  If I already saw it, that's ok; I'm just looking for new stuff...

See tons of personal Scud Race emulator pics here and here.

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