Friday, September 30, 2011

School Video Game Projects: Segways & Moon Rovers

Well, right now, the difficulty curve for my gaming college is slightly escalating though I'm doing fine ATM.  I'm working on my second team game for this semester.  We're using the Unity engine.  It's due next Tuesday.  Hopefully, we don't have to sprint to the finish line :(

I like this team I'm working with.  A week ago, I had to attend a class while the rest of my team discussed what the game would be about.  I show up and sure enough, they say "You like moving vehicles, right?" and I'm like, "Pschyeah," and he's like "Cool, check this game out..."

The first idea we had for a game was called "Segway Samurai."  The idea is you play as some nerdy white-collar Taiwanese dude (dressed like a Geek Squad guy, I presume) who's really bored with his life.  He rides to work on a Segway while wearing a helmet and kneepads.  Then he finds an antique samurai sword that he keeps because nerds love swords & stuff.

However, this sword belonged to one of his ancient ancestors and so it talks to him in strange gibberish.  He needs to free-roam around the city collecting scrolls that reveal parts of the story and give him clues.  Whilst this is happening, our hero must fight ninjas on Ninja motorcycles and ghosts all while riding his Segway.  Then at the end, he fights "The Baron," a wealthy 19th century Englishman who likes collecting valuable antiques like the samurai sword our hero wields.  He also rides a unicycle and challenges you to a jousting contest (EDIT: he uses his cane).

The whole idea for the game made me rofl so hard.  However, the next day, I went to the group meeting and everyone ditched the idea due to technical limitations or something like that.  Oh well...

Now we are working on a new game.  You control a six-wheel space APC-like vehicle (an AI robot that needs to get home to his owner...something like that) as you drive around on the Moon looking for clues as to what happened in this former mining colony.  There's hills, valleys, a city, meteor showers, etc. The handling on this thing feels like something out of San Francisco's all floppy and crazy and stuff. 

Right now, I'm in charge of the car handling.  Well duh, that's my expertise.  I have little knowledge of the story being told at the moment.  I'm not a "story guy," remember?  Remember, Unity implements moving vehicles rather easily so it's just a matter of setting all the car parameters.  Seriously, this is Gran Turismo stuff we're getting into like mass, center of mass, damping, spring length, torque/RPMs, etc.  Read this hough-jazz PDF on the gritty details on creating/handling a vehicle.

WOW, at the same time I was typing this paragraph, I saw a mid-sized spider crawl on my bed near my arm.  So I threw the laptop down and smashed it to pieces with my mousepad.

Oh, and one more thing at school.  We have to make a game in Assembly.  These are assignments that we must do individually.  Use the 68000K Assembly IDE and make a game with a cannon shooting balls at moving targets.  Should be lots of fun.  While I could spit out a game like this in C++ or Java in no time, Assembly is much more tedious.  It's like building a house out of Jenga blocks.  Or recreating the Mona Lisa using a box of Crayola crayons and a sheet of printer paper.  But it's okay, because fixed point hexadecimal is fun!

And now you know why EVERYBODY wants to be a game producer, NOT a game programmer.

But really, the purpose behind Assembly is that it's the most "pure" form of code in that it runs closest to the microprocessor and hence is the "quickest" (it uses those elusive registers which are as valuable as gold).  Of course, it's much harder to discern and it's nearly impossible to make games post-1985 with just Assembly code alone (check out the Pac-man code).  Assembly is most necessary if you want to deal with hardware programming.  I'm pretty sure Yu Suzuki could take on any Assembly challenge.  If he can do it, then I should too..........

Will talk about Daytona 2 next time.  Also if you like Team Fortress 2 and sh-mups, check out this free downloadable game, it's rather interesting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Played Daytona 2 & Scud Race Emulation--Thoughts...

Let me say this before I begin... Many of us have found "Shangri-la" with this Supermodel emulator. I feel good having played these games for the first time. I feel pressured to talk about Daytona 2, Scud Race, and maybe Sega Rally 2 (when I get around to it) and NOTHING ELSE for the next six months. Well, hey, there's still much more things to talk about. I'm still the greatests creative thinker/philosopher on the Internet, am I? So whatever, onto the main point:

Yesterday, I downloaded the new Supermodel emulator and fire up Daytona 2 and Scud Race.  At first, the game is running at about 70% of the speed, the sound's working just fine, and I was playing with the keyboard.  Note though that the sound effects are rather "tinny" because the game doesn't run seamlessly but that's okay--engines & music come through great.  I was put off a bit at first because I was tired and wasn't really in the mood for gaming.  So I tried to put the Supermodel emulator in the back of my mind so I could pay attention to school.

Today, I decide to try Daytona 2 again.  I changed some of the command parameters.  This is what I have the best luck with on Daytona 2 & Scud Race:  Go full-screen but don't go max-resolution. Yeah, it sucks that you lose pixels but I never noticed:

Supermodel -fullscreen -no-throttle -ppc-frequency=50 -res=1024,768

Then I assigned input to the joysticks.  If you want to try it, type in "Supermodel -config-inputs" in the command line.  It saves your input to the Config/Supermodel.ini file.  This is from my ini file.  It's an ASCII file which means you can open it in Notepad with no problem:

InputStart1 = "JOY1_BUTTON10"
InputCoin1 = "JOY1_BUTTON9"
InputServiceA = "KEY_1"
InputServiceB = "KEY_2"
InputTestA = "KEY_3"
InputTestB = "KEY_4"
InputSteering = "JOY1_ZAXIS"
InputAccelerator = "JOY1_BUTTON6"
InputBrake = "JOY1_BUTTON5"
InputGearShift1 = "JOY1_POV1_UP+JOY1_POV1_LEFT"
InputGearShift2 = "JOY1_POV1_DOWN+JOY1_POV1_LEFT"
InputGearShift3 = "JOY1_POV1_UP+JOY1_POV1_RIGHT"
InputGearShift4 = "JOY1_POV1_DOWN+JOY1_POV1_RIGHT"
Rest of inputs say "NONE".  I'm not playing anything other than racers ATM.  You get this on my current Logitech USB Joystick:

Yeah, that's right.  You flick the left joystick diagonally to change gears.  It's brilliant!  No need to worry about being stuck in neutral.  In all honesty, any future racing games with a 4-gear shifter need to assign the gears to one of the joysticks and not the buttons.  If you're still having trouble with getting the control input working, I guess I could help with that if you ask.

So anyway, after making these two major changes, they had a HUGE impact on the game.  It's running at nearly 100%!  The frame rate is always at 60 except in a few places that always lag for a half-a-second, like under the pirate ship and in the park next to the baseball fields.

The difference from 70% to 100% speed is TREMENDOUS.  I swear, that frown just left my face.  Words cannot explain what this game feels like at its original speed.  You have to play it and feel it for yourself.  This isn't me playing but I believe this is close to 100%, maybe 95% since recording in Fraps slows things down.

The biggest annoyance though is that the car handling is really twitchy if you steer left or right very quickly.  The camera just jerks all around.  The reason why is because the game was deliberately programmed for steering wheels and hence the programmers didn't expect people to be able to turn the wheel THAT fast.  The game can also get obnoxiously choppy at some point (running at 60 fps but you can't keep up) but with the parameters I mentioned above, the game becomes tolerable.

Anyway, this is great...I'm okay at the game but not as good as I once was.  Obviously, if you try to jump back into a game you've never played in five years, it's going to be a little tough.


So let me get to what I meant with my initial paragraph.  For me, let me just say that being able to play Daytona 2 again is great.  From February 1, 2005 to September 28, 2011, it's been a real sonuva bitch not being able to play Daytona 2.  But it's not the end of my "journey."

As a matter of fact, this is almost a bitter moment.  You play the game today and it's great but there's nothing changed from its original 1998 release.  This is a game we should've played at home ten years ago but we never got it.  Sega bailed on it just like that.  And since it's an arcade game, the game isn't really "structured"--there's only four cars, three tracks, and all you can do is run loops over and over again trying to get high scores.  No multiplayer (as of now), no new content on the horizon (duh), and still a couple of things about the game I would still change.

Don't get me wrong because Daytona 2 is one of those games, along with other Sega racers, that, to me, I don't feel the need to play them non-stop (well, it is a very intense game that can tire you out fast). It's moreso the concepts & ideas that got me by.  Fast-paced racing, blue skies, everything's cool...I still feel good about it.  They affected me more than other games do so that's why they're my "favorites." So maybe this is why I'm not so "shocked" about being able to play Daytona 2 again because I held on dearly to the memories about it. I still know the music, the cars, the scenery, the physics, it's still there. And I'd be hard-pressed to actually get back to the feel of the old arcade cabinet...when I was young and I was getting a hang of the game, oh man that was a blast.

On the other hand, a Daytona USA Megamix with more cars & I'd HAVE to play that all the time.

My main regret is I wish I could've done more to help save Sega racers. I mean, Sega's releasing some mysterious Daytona port & we got tons of emulators. I'm still here though, doing my "part." But no matter--I'm pleased that the community gets to play these games too so if you've never tried it, then go do it now, no matter what computer you're using. Apparently, this latest update supposedly improves the game's performace. See ya later...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Supermodel Emulator With Sound Is Now Available!!!

Like how the Fonz is the only one who can get the jukebox to play music (by hitting it), so is Bart the only one who can get the computer to play model3 games.

This 0.2 update was actually released on 9/25 (two days ago), but I didn't know until today.  I found out on the Outrun Online Arcade GameFAQs board.  See, I had several topics from that board in my GFAQs Track Topic list, but I never actually went to the board itself--I just looked at the tracked topics not knowing if someone made a new topic or not.  Well, my mistake.

More to come...............................................................

Post on the official Supermodel Forums!!!...which are pink for some reason.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sega & Steam Got A Relationship Going On

First, I'd like to thank all the commenters for the comments I've received lately.  I hope I'm doing a good job here on this blog which I do entirely for free every day!!!

A weekend that lasts six days.  Now that's the kind of weekend we can all get behind!!!

Anyway, go buy Sega games off Steam now!!  Most are 75% off or more.

Well, I own some of these games for Xbox 360, sorry, PC gaming is "lame," rofl.  What's this--buy 79 Sega games for 79 dollars???  Why are all these games on sale anyway???  Is Sega that desperate to sell games that they give them away for that cheap?  Anyway, it doesn't even include all games like Renegade Ops.  That costs $15 and you have to buy it separately.  I've heard it's a good game thoughEDIT: And I also realized RO for the PC will also feature the Gordon Freeman there you go again, SegaxSteam fanfiction on the way...

40 of those 79 Sega games are Genesis games.  As cruel as this sounds...just get a Genesis emulator.  You get save states and speed throttling.  If anything, the emulator should cost money, not the games (roms).

You have to realize though that Steam has been practically giving away games recently.  Most people are playing console games, not PC games, hence the whole "PC Gaming is Dead" phrase.  Not to mention rampant piracy on the PC.  I bought Left 4 Dead 1 AND 2 for $5.  Let me repeat--2 games for $5.  Well, L4D1 is now null and void cause you can play L4D campaigns on L4D2 now, but L4D2 for $5...not bad.  Now I have this l33t laptop that can run Source games flawlessly.  But I've got bigger games to play, like Sega Racers, Rock Band, and Advance Wars!!

And another thing...what's up with Team Fortress 2 and all the hats?  I know TF2 is free but the hats require some time & effort to unlock.  So it's sort of their Call of Duty/Farmville hook to get you playing.  Something's not right, people.  EDIT: Finally found that picture I was looking for...two weeks later.

Look at this, it's a mess.  These hats are a mess, yes I said it.  I'm going back to Team Fortress Classic.  I love Goldsource.

Oh, by the way...since I go to a video game school, I occasionally get free stuff, like video game beta keys?  One of my professors made his rounds offering people free Diablo 3 beta codes!  But I turned it down.  Why?  I don't like Diablo, rofl.

Come to think of it, I should've taken it and sold/used it as bribe material.  Yeah, so I guess I screwed up! But that's okay cause I only advocate happy games, remember? I will not sell out on my values!

Poor guy
...I wish I had more to talk about but it's been a long day (sat at school for 8 hours, drank cold black coffee again and got the jitters) so I just want to be left alone for a sec, okay....  If you want something educational pertaining to games, read this: Ten Facts about the Video Game Crash of '83!  Good read...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Daytona USA Books!!! Check It Out!!!

Can't believe it!!  Two weeks ago, just out of nowhere, I ordered two Daytona USA guide books (as you can see above along with my Daytona 2 book).  They finally arrived today.  I got them from this site (they also sell games and CD's).  Each book cost about $7 including S&H which was $15.  So $30 bucks for some Daytona memorabilia was a good deal for me.  They each have about 80 pages, just as large as the D2 book.

Strangely, I ordered these books before the Sega Daytona port was leaked so this is purely coincidental.

OOOOO, CHECK IT OUT....  I should mention that both books are for the Saturn version, not the Arcade version, which I kind of a bummer.  This is part-strategy guide, part-colorful pictures so it's cool to check out.

Table of Contents, sorry these pics are crap.

Oooo, the Hornet!!

It's an interview with Yu Suzuki!!  Like I said before, Toshihiro Nagoshi was the producer but Suzuki was a supervisor, so to speak.

And here's an interview with Toshihiro Nagoshi.  Strange cause he looks completely normal here.

And here's Takenobu Mitsuyoshi busting out those famous beats!!

A paper Hornet car?  Hell no, I ain't shredding this book up.  I suck at making these things anyway.  Maybe once I scan this page.

Of the two books, the one with the flying cars on the cover looks has the Suzuki/Nagoshi/Mitsuyoshi pages as well as screenshots of Daytona USA and other Model2 arcade cabinets.  Verrryyy naice!!!

There's also books for Sega Rally, Sega Rally 2, Scud Race (DAMN, sold out...), Daytona 2 (for 104 bucks!!??), and OutRun (78 bucks??). 

I wish I could scan these pages like I did with the Daytona 2 book but I currently don't have access to a scanner...there may be one at school but it would be difficult to use.  So sorry I cannot show it right now.
EDIT: On 11/19/11, I've begun scanning pages of the book.  Click here to see what pages I have up thus far.

It would also be nice if someone could translate these books from Japanese to English.  Clearly that's one of my goals for the near future.

But even if you don't plan on buying books, check out the site's games list anyway for cool wallpaper like this:

EDIT: Pictures didn't load the first time (I hate when that happens cause you have no idea if others can see 'em).  So here they are now:

And this:

Also, two more awesome things that have happened lately!

I smoked this song (The Doors - Touch Me) on Rock Band Pro Keys.  After being teased by this song for so long, I whooped its ass.  DAMN, I'M GOOD...

Also, I got a Gameboy DS emulator working on my computer!  It's the No$Zoomer emulator.  You can play games just by clicking with your mouse (touch screen, remember?).  BTW, I already own the games I'm playing...Advance Wars Baby!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Unity Game Engine--It Does Racing Games!!!

Here at FIEA, we have various platforms with which we can make games.  We already did Flash.  There's also iPhone, Panda, XNA, etc.  I already have my second team and we're making something with the Unity engine.  I'm not going to tell you what we're working on right away, but it does involve driving something.  A car?  No, something else.  I actually got our vehicle to move using controller joysticks :)

You can download Unity for free!  It gives you a decent physics engine & map editor for you to start playing with right away. And each "character" (anything that can move) you insert already has a script & a ton of customizable parameters that handles control & movement so that's super handy right there. We also have Maya so we can create our own player models...too bad I don't know how to use it, lol.

There's already plenty of racing games on Unity for you to play.  Like check out some of these:

You can actually play this game on your web browser.  Arrow buttons drive/brake/steer, R resets your car in place.  Warning: handling is actually very difficult.

In the future...everything is made of chrome. Can you imagine Alberto taking Jessica for a ride in this piece of trash? "Go through the car wash! Let's start!!"

So you can make your own uber-sweet racing games in Unity.  I think it's awesome but it's kind of a bummer since practically every style of racing game has already been made.

I would love to try for a Daytona/Outrun-style game but I haven't used Unity for more than a few days and like I said, our team's not driving for a traditional racing game.  I'm okay with it.  But if any programmers/artists who like Daytona like I do want to try to make something of this, let me know.

And if you're curious what game code/scripts looks like in Unity, click here.  Learn all about it since this is what programmers have to look at every single day.

Apartments Are Strange

This post, I'm not even going to bring up crap like Ridge Racer or Burnout.  Let's just put that out of our minds for now.

This is a funny post.  Right now, I've been in Florida for a month.  I live in a cozy little apartment.  I'm not going to tell you my address--I don't want any hitmen tracking me.  This experience isn't new since I also spent time in college dorms a few years back.

So I'm just chillin' in my little apartment and I occasionally see people coming and going out the exit.  I say "hi" but that's it.  But you look down that blank hallway and see all the doors and you think...what's GOING ON in there?  You see, living in a house in a suburb/neighborhood is different since you have a "buffer zone."  On the other hand, with apartments, there's just a three-inch wall separating you from the next guy.  And to make things more mysterious, my apartment walls are made of brick so I really can't hear what goes on over there...your imagination runs wild with the unknown.

I feel like I'm playing Return to Zork.  Or any other early 90's CD adventure game.
FYI, this is not my apartment building.
Don't turn off the lights, a grue will molest your face.

I know some of you think I'm driving at wild animals, meth labs, bondage/S&M stuff/massagers/blow-up dolls or anything that would make normal people blush but that's not what I'm looking for.  I'm talking...creepy Twilight Zone stuff.  And it was all next door but you never looked.

Ok this is stupid but it's a tangent that came up in my mind for just a few seconds and I thought it was interesting to share.  And I'm not one of those conspiracy/supernatural kooks either so let's not go there.

A good example of this was in Super Mario RPG.  I'm fairly certain everyone has played this game before.  There's a place called Monstro Town (it's about 2/3rds into the game).  Holy s*** it's weird.

Ok, I know this is a town, not an apartment, but the doors are all lined up like an apartment.  It also has the traditional balcony/outdoor hallway like many apartments have.

You can just walk into anyone's apartment.  The people are nice and there must be an absence of crime in these parts.  Who goes by the name "Monstermama" anyway???

Holy cow, it's a friggin creepy chest.

Ok, this is the karate dojo.  Yay, martial arts!  I got my yellow belt on the second day!!  Orange belt here I come!

Now here's a store.  The adult sells you regular goods, the kids sell you mushrooms that turn your character into...a mushroom.  This is obviously a metaphor for drug dealers.

There's a hotel with a bed you can just sleep in (where's the housekeeper?).  Then three ghosts talk to you in your sleep.  Ghosts--no thanks.  I'll just whoop their ass with some holy water.

Then there's this spring that sends you to this far away temple where monsters try to eat you.  So it's kind of like the ghetto down the road...don't go there, it ain't safe.

Then you go into another apartment and there's some folks having tea time.  Yes I know that in the Mario world, these various creatures are like people of different ethnicity and walks of life...I get it.  But this guy hears weird stuff next door.

MINOR SPOILER...hell, no one cares.  If you don't know this by now, shame on you.  Later on in the game, you can find out the source of that mumbling next door.

Then you enter this purpley-void and at this point, I just shat bricks.  Seriously, when I was a kid, I could never summon the courage to even walk in the room.  Then you fight this Final Fantasy-style boss Culex (he gives you the option to leave without a fight).  Okay, he's the toughest guy in the game.  We get it.

Also, this Counter-Strike map called "blahhh" does a good job of sucking you into strange worlds.  I love it.

EDIT: Another CS map called "duhhh"

Anyway, thanks Video Games, TV, and Movies, now I'm scared to open doors to unknown rooms.  Cause I might get sucked into another dimension.  Then again, I would never go into some stranger's apartment uninvited.  This post sucks.  Unless you're under the influence of drugs, then this is inspirational...

Oh yeah, I also saw this sweet complex apartment they are going to build in South Korea (like they would build it in North Korea?).  This is worth showing.

Now this is nifty but we are on the verge of making arcologies from SimCity.  Don't bother...high-density zones are not for me.  If you can pack 65,000 residents a single building (complete with rocket boosters to send into outer space), odds are it's not a very cozy place to be.

Come to think of it, I don't like the big city.  People weird me out anyway.

I miss my family back home in Slidell, Louisiana.  550 miles (885 km) away.  Now that's not bad for some but I feel like I'm floating in a void these days.  I need to socialize with people I know.  Watching ESPN reruns ain't cutting it for me.  Yes, I know Michael Vick and Tony Romo are hurt, I got it the first 500 times you said it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Got Burnout & Fast And Furious Pegged, Ladies And Gentlemen!

But first, a new trailer for Burnout Crash.  I don't recommend that you watch this, but it's too late for you:

Losing vital signs...I NEED MEDICATION!!

But really, if waving your hands around destroys a city, might as well make a Godzilla/King Kong game so what's the difference?  You're not even using driving motions in this game.  What a sad little game.  Once again, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???


Alright, now that we got that wacky little monstrosity out of the way, let's talk about Burnout, Fast and Furious, all those games I like to bash and why they're so popular.  The answer seems obvious, but let me tell you how I see it.

When people play games, there's multiple reasons as to why they do some.  Some do it to solve puzzles.  Some do it to explore an environment.  Some do it to unravel a story.  Some do it to socialize with friends.  Some do it to create a work of art.

But you know what the main reason for games is nowadays?  To feel powerful.  That's why some of the most critically acclaimed & top sellers are basically action-adventures, FPSes, and fighting games.  Games like Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, God of War, Doom, Dead Rising, Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, Batman Arkham Asylum, Prince of Persia, Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter, Tekken, hell, even Super Mario Bros. (steppin on Goombas & Koopa Troopas).  The whole point is to make you feel like a champ...a bad ass mutha-effin champ.  I just killed everyone on the screen!  DUDE THAT WAS EPIC BEAST MODE GUYS!!!  I'm awesome.

That's not to say that I dislike all of the games above (hey, I like FPSes) or that Sega is an exception to this style of game (there's Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, House of the Dead, etc.).  Or that all popular games must be violent cause there's a lot of "decent" ones out there.  Like Portal 2.  I literally saw a Portal 2 commercial on Disney Channel.  So it mustn't be that bad, huh?

So what does this have to do with Burnout?  Well, Burnout makes you feel powerful.  It's an "instant gratification" game.  You don't need massive amounts of skill--just pick it up and play.  You drive down the road trying to complete your primary objective--win the race.  You can take down your opponents by plowing them into obstacles!  YEAH, TAKE THAT BITCH!!!  And should you suck, well--you can always take out gobs of traffic while you're at it.  Hey look, I just destroyed a bunch of minivans and an explosive oil tanker.  Most people like the wrecks.

As a matter of fact, there's literally a game mode in Burnout where the goal is to launch a precious sports/muscle car into oncoming traffic & self-destruct (multiple times if necessary) to do as much damage as possible.  If that's not catering to the powerful crowd (causing massive destruction), I don't know what is.

And this is also applicable, to a certain extent, to games like Fast and the Furious.  Now this game isn't nearly as violent, but Midway/Raw Thrills really loves to use rubber-band AI to their advantage.  Regardless of how poorly you drive, the other drivers keep you in it all the way to the finish line.  It makes you feel good that you barely won as if you're such a great driver (a "powerful" driver).  Unfortunately, the cheap AI seldom lets you win so it leaves you hanging there.  Sneaky Midway.

Now let's talk about Daytona USA, OutRun, etc.  IMO, being able to drive a powerful vehicle, rocking back and forth in drifts, while dominating the competition makes me feel powerful.  Yet sales & popularity for these games have really dropped off.  Why?  Because it doesn't make you feel powerful from the get-go.  There's no massive wreckage to cause (excluding your own vehicle) and it takes a while to get good at the game.  Most people simply don't have the patience for this ESPECIALLY in an arcade setting where they don't want to plunk down a lot of money just to get decent at it.

I'm not going to say "well that sucks, everyone is stupid," but if you're going to make a racing game nowadays, why not go for the biggest demographic?  Burnout sells, Daytona/Outrun notsomuch.  Hey, that's the way it is.  And now you know the whole story.  BTW, this is coolAnd this is funny.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ridge Racer: U, GRID, & Driver: San Francisco

Right now, there are rumors circulating about this Daytona "port."  Is this a straight up port of Daytona USA?  That's what I think.  But it's certainly strange that the namesake defies tradition because it doesn't have "Online Arcade" in the title...why do we have OutRun Online Arcade, Sega Rally Online Arcade, then just Daytona USA?  There's other theories floating around that this is really a Daytona USA compilation or even a Sega All-Stars Racing 2 but...I don't know.  I don't know enough to talk about it.

Every day I accumulate all these thoughts in my head and I need to post them on this blog.  So I can't just "drop" everything because we're on the verge of Sega history.  We're doing okay so please take it easy.


Anyway, I'm looking at this Ridge Racer Unbounded game and there's not much good to say about it.  I'm still cryin' over this game's release.  Putting aside all the crap Burnout elements, I first notice that the game runs at 30 FPS, a glaring demerit that all racing games should avoid (Sega All-Stars Racing unfortunately does this, but it redeems itself in other ways).  Also, it still doesn't look anything like Ridge Racer.

I really love the part at :50 and 1:13 where the sports car was able to plow through three concrete pillars AND a wall without so much as a dent.  About as absurd as driving through the water in California Speed.

As a matter of fact, Ridge Racer Unbounded looks like Flatout (a previous Bugbear game, see above) with a Burnout/NFS motif.  Believe it or else, Bugbear also handled the PSP port of Sega Rally Revo....

You could take out the "Ridge Racer" part of the title and you'd never even know.  The only thing that has to do with Ridge Racer is Reiko Nagase, the Ridge Racer girl.  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???

Unshameful Reiko Nagase Pic

EDIT: ARRRRGGGHHH, why don't these pics work the first time???
Also, another thing you see here is a very unique alternative to the traditional racing HUD.  The score & position are emitted holo-screen style from specific walls on the track.  Kind of like in Split/Second with the HUD items glued to the car bumpers.  My main problem with this is that I can't just check my position/score anytime I want--I have to wait for one of those screens to come around.  That's okay, I like's "cool" that way.

We went over something like this at FIEA, my gaming school.  One of the things that games are really pushing for is limited HUD's.  Basically, the less numbers on the screen, the better.  Numbers make you feel like you're playing a game!  Lack of numbers makes you feel like you're actually driving a car!  The whole goal is absorb as much data as possible without actually having to "think" (or glaze over) HUD items.

Really?  Are HUD items really that bad?  I like games like Daytona and they have all sorts of stuff on the screen--lap info, track layout, timer, tach/speedometer, etc.  You start taking away these things and it usually makes the game more shallow.  Get rid of the tachometer--bam, no need for manual transmission since you can't tell when to shift.  Get rid of the track map--bam, you stop driving tactically and start driving reactionary--no need to "plan" your racing line, just twitch at the sign of any turn.  Get rid of the speedometer and--bam, you might as well be riding a bicycle instead.  Get rid the timer--bam, you have all the time in the world to jerk off.  See what I'm getting at here?

As a matter of fact, you can use the HUD to make the game more immersive.  For instance, in Daytona USA 2, when you crash, the HUD rocks back and forth along with the car suspension.  So implicit details like this are just icing on the cake.

Also, Ridge Racer Unbounded will have some sort of Create-A-City Mode...odds are it won't be as detailed as we hope and it doesn't even matter anyway since I'm not looking to invest in this game anyway.


And here's GRID--some Codemasters arcade game published by Sega.  Yes, I know GRID was also on home consoles, but any decent arcade games that Sega can get out there, that's money in their pocket so w/e.  Basically, I feel like I'm watching the Project Gotham Racing trailer.  Although it kind of reminds me of Scud Race with the various real-life sports cars (the Saleen, the CCGT, etc.) and cool tracks like Spa Francorchamps.  Does this game have over six cars per race though?  Remember playing Gran Turismo with just six cars on track at once?  How pathetic was that?

That eBay car is now burned into my brain.  Most eye-popping advertisement ever?  You can't avoid that logo no matter what you do (barring those leaderboards that get in the way).  Anyway, nothing new to see here--move along everyone...


And then there's Driver: San Francisco.  Well, we all know about Driver--that free-roaming driving game that was soon usurped by Grand Theft Auto.  But this time, Driver: SF is actually....goodDrive 100+ licensed cars around San Francisco.  This included Lamborghinis and Vipers--just like Forza except you can break the law!  Sadly, this game also comes with a lousy-ass plot involving cops & criminals.  That's completely original to me, I must admit.

The "plot" in this game involves protagonist John Tanner being put into a coma.  That's great, we're playing as a guy in a coma.  But somehow, he has the power to to "shift" to (or possess) any car (or driver, I dunno) on the road.  I admit that this concept is completely new to me.  You can use it for pragmatic reasons (assist in completing an objective) or just for fun (steal your favorite car).  So if you're in a police chase, you can immediately jump into the body of a nearby truck driver or texting teenage girl and have them plow into the suspect to aid your cause.  Or if you're crusin' and you see that rich guy's convertible, you can take it and just splatter everyone on the road (well, you can't run over anyone in the game, which is good).

John are that wheelchair guy from X-Men.  NO, not Xavier, that creepy hospitalized guy.  While you're getting your sponge bath, you're breaking up massive drug/smuggling cartels and pitting soccer moms in a game of Chicken.  Now that's some scary s*** there, gentlemen.

Now all the girls will be MINE!

I know that this feature is a substitute for the on-foot portions of the game...where you're walking around finding cars to hijack.  Now I know that was my favorite part of the Driver games--don't drive, just go for a jog.  I'm disappointed that the got rid of that feature.


Anyway, if you take out all the Burnout elements, I'm pretty sure this is a damn good game...but another free-roam driver around a massive city?  See every GTA, every modern Need for Speed (except Pro Street), Saints Row 1/2, Midnight Club, previous Drivers, Streets of LA/NY, Burnout Paradise, The Getaway, L.A. Noire, etc.  I don't know man.  I know cop chases are fun, but dammit it's so cliche nowadays.  I'm undecided here.  I'd sure as hell take Driver: SF over RR: Unbounded, Split/Second, or all of that crap out there.

Or if you want a "boring" sim racer, check out F1 2011, nice to see a good traditional racer again (Formula 1 baby).

Woo........I'm tired......laters

Binary Domain Is Now NULL AND VOID

Binary Domain is officially useless.  What for?  Because we no longer need generic action heroes with big 'effin guns.  All we need are...dancing hamsters.


I don't know what's more annoying though.  That hamster commercial or coming up with witty responses to Nagoshi's brilliant PR moves.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tokyo Game Show, Oh-Ho It Sucked

This weekend I had no work whatsoever which is strange because I thought game school was going to knock me out.  Remember, "no one leaves before 8 pm?"  Well I left before 8 every single day so far.  Really, come ask me how my first game went.  I was quite comfortable!  No late-night grinding/knashing of the teeth!  :D

"Don't push your luck little man...we'll drop the hammer on you soon enough."

Anyway, they just had this Toyko Game Show (taking place at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan) and there's not a lot that I really cared about.  First, Sega & Electronic Arts had to share the same booth--I'm not s***ting you (read third paragraph).  And as I'm looking at the official Sega blog posts (one and two)--OH GOD it's everyone's favorite delinquent at it again!!  Pimping out Yakuza and Binary Domain.  Like he has Tourette's...."YAKUZAYAKUZABINARYDOMAINBINARYDOMAINYAKUZAYAKUZA" etc.

Way to go, Nagoshi-san!  You got all these girls in the same room, but you can't even make a new Daytona game.  What a shallow man.

Hey babe, where's the Daytona games???

SegaShiro also took a few more's the EA part of the Sega booth.  So Sega's basically promoting Battlefield 3.  That's great.

And then the pictures gets weird..

For some reason, the Sega official blog can't stop taking pictures of food.  Well, you know what I had for dinner?  Dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets.  I'm not making this up.

Look, it's the Sega Headquarters!!!  If Solid Snake and Sam Fisher could break in, we can too!!!  We're gamers, just put your minds to it.  Gamers always think they're macho like that--that's why we play intense action/adventure/RPG we can be "cool."

Oh, and as usual, Sega is upstaged again by Capcom.  Crapcom had the best boothAnd then here's Keiji Inafune crying that he had wished he saved Megaman Legends 3 from cancellation.  Capcom flat out refused to let Inafune help them.  Even though Inafune "quit" (the trendy thing for ailing game designers to do, see Yuji Naka & Yu Suzuki), he was still able to do so under contract (I think).  EDIT: FYI, Inafune was THAT GUY who created Mega Man, just like Miyamoto created Mario & Zelda and Yuji Naka created Sonic.  So they killed Inafune's dreams...of a great Megaman game!  The bastards!!!


So game developers, hang on closely to your old IP's, like Nagoshi with Daytona USA--aw hell, he doesn't even care anymore.

BTW, Nintendo doesn't even go to the Tokyo Game Show.  Instead, they sit back with their dopey 3DS joystick add-on and act all big and bad as usual.

Don't want to go to TGS?  What's the matter, Nintendo? CHICKEN???

NINTENDO!!!  I saw what you did there...  Because the 3DS sucks so bad and the Vita's gonna kick your ass, YOU ARE TERMINATED!!!

I know it doesn't make sense for Nintendo to be "fired" but this is just another lame attempt at a joke.

No one wins at TGS.  Just wait for the Daytona port to surface, ha.