Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Need For Speed: The EPIC FAIL...

Oh boy, Need for Speed: The Run...it's BACK!  EA has done it again!!!

Check of this official pair of Need for Speed sneakers, made by Adidas! See look, it says "The Run" right on there.  The hell?  The point of the game is to drive, baby, not run from the cops!  A steering wheel cover makes more sense than this.  Shiny ass shoes ain't getting by my white New Balances (black shoes are ghetto)...

Runnin' from the cops in my Adidas--oh wait, he's not wearing them here (black soles).  Gotta get those shoes if ya wanna stay fly...

And it gets even better!  EA pulls one of Nagoshi's tricks out of the bag, taking it to the extreme...EA hires some Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models to sell the game.  Last time I checked, Nagoshi's girls actually wore clothes.  Buy Need for Speed: The Run, a Making-Of-The-Game, and a SI Swimsuit subscription for just $50!  Sell out much, EA?

Is it just me, or is Need for Speed supposed to be the "definitive" racing game of our generation?  Like when you say "racing game," the first thing that comes to mind is NFS?  How many Need for Speeds are there in this generation and, with the exception of Hot Pursuit, who's saying that they're all so good?  Ever since when did we let this happen?  Because EA is rich and everyone else is not?  Because Sega is too inept to fill the semi-arcade racing void?  Ok, Need for Speed isn't the worst racer nowadays but it's not one of my faves...

There's something funny about The Run anyway...just from this gameplay demo that I roasted earlier (and completely ignore the QTE sections).  Look at the scenario that's being played out here.  You're driving in your car from Point A to B.  The Mafia plows into your car.  Both parties in this crash are able to exit their cars and make a run for it (the Mafia chase you).  Then the cops chase you down.  Wait a sec--what about the Mafia?  Do the cops even care about them?  Last time I checked, intentionally blind-siding a car at 100 mph is against the law.  You can't just "rub out" people and get away with it.  But no matter--the cops want YOU in jail, not the Mafia, not anybody else.  You vs. the world.  They want to take you to jail so they can confiscate your super-fly Adidas sneakers.

Then after the train scene, what happens next?  You just steal another exotic/ricer/muscle car?  Wait, so now this game has become Grand Theft Auto?  I guess...

Yeah, yeah, I get it, it's supposed to be a suspense thriller (???) flick, but when you rely this heavily on cutscenes in your game, you know someone can tell if you're BSing us or not.

Even more NFS: The Run gameplay footage.  Now let's throw out all the cutscenes.  Pretend they don't exist.  Let's just look at the gameplay.  Here's a run through the snow-covered Rocky Mountains here.  Apparently, your guy is in such a mad dash to make it to the finish line that he'll traverse icy roads with avalanches falling down all around him.  Now, if this were real life, I'd park my ass on the side of the road until this avalanche ends OR I would just take another route altogether.  But it's a video game so we must press on!

Yes, from a general standpoint, it's "cool" but it's no longer racing--it's racing/action.  See, this is what I mean about the "racing" genre becoming absorbed with the "action" genre.  No one wants to drive cars and race against the clock.  They want to dodge boulders, run from the cops, do drive-by's, and smash other cars to pieces.  Regular racing is just too damn boring, it seems.  And if developers are going to load up all their racing games with Michael Bay-action sequences/explosions, then oh well, I can't stop it!

Now, back to what gave me this idea to talk about.  We were briefly talking about racing games during our "violent game" lecture at FIEA.  The point was if violent FPS/hack-and-slash games turn you into a sadistic killer, then does playing dangerous cop-chasing/opponent-smashing racers turn you into a black-jacket wearing rebel who has no respect for authority?  Example: see Speed Racer after having played Burnout (can't embed this video).

Anyway, about NFS: The Run.  It's based off of the "Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash," or "Cannonball Run" for short.  It is a cross-country race held in the 70's across North America from New York to Los Angeles (The Run has it in reverse, sorry).  An ACTUAL race, not some Burt Reynolds flick.  Not like I've never seen the cross-country motif before--see Cruis'n USA and OutRun.  Remember "I Can't Drive 55 (mph)?" 

Tha police

The rules: Make it from the starting line to the finish in the same car.  Get to the end any way possible without hopping on a plane/ship/train.  Getting ticketed/arrested/haggled by the police is okay.  But there were no serious rules to the race.  No running from the Mafia or dodging trains (unless you're that much of a rabble rouser).  As a matter of fact, the race was so absurd that cops may have deliberately blocked traffic to allow the racers through.  Also there were no egregious disasters other than a few speeding tickets and pissed off law enforcemen.

Will Wright (of SimCity/Maxis fame) was the co-driver of a Mazda RX-7 that won in 1980.  It turned out to be the inspiration of Streets of SimCity.

But wait.  What's that--an EA logo?  Why, EA IS EVERYWHERE, IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!!

Although, I think you're right.  Driving down an empty highway with no traffic & boulders to dodge is no fun.  Need for Speed wins.

Hey look, Forza 4 is out today.  A racing game that actually allows you to just damn race for once.  Once you see it, you can't unsee it.

I know the "W" is supposed to be an exhaust manifold, I get it.

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