Saturday, April 28, 2012

More Super Sprint Pimpage (Promotional Trailer Video Movie)

Made this using Fraps and Adobe Premiere.  This trailer is AWESOME, YOU MUST WATCH IT.

We're shifting gears back into Super Sprint again.  I can't wait.

As always, YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO DOWNLOAD THIS GAME.  Link's on the right side of the page if you're curious anyway.

Ridge Racer Is OVER THE LINE

Okay, so Ridge Racer: Unbounded has been out for some time and it's yet another entry in the conga line of "wreck-em-ups" that receive positive scores from the press--Burnout, Flatout, Split/Second, Need for Speed, now RR: Unbounded.

A novel twist on the racing genre!

I could pick this game apart but it's no use.  I don't have the energy for it, God's honest truth.  But really, at this stage in the game, can anyone tell me what makes these dingy, urban racers that great???  What exactly do these games do differently that makes them worthwhile?  Oh, a generic track editor.  Oh, the ability to drop obstacles in front of other peoples' cars.  Oh, the ability to drive through concrete walls.  That's outstanding.  It really makes a world of difference.

The racing genre only consists of three players: the sims (Forza, GT), the wreck-em-ups (Burnout, this), and Mario Kart.  Insert rage quotes here.

BTW, I checked out GameSpot's review score for Ridge Racer: Unbounded and it's nonetheless flattering.  A solid 8.0.  Okay, I'm sorry, GameSpot, but you went over the line there.  I can't stand your site anymore.  You mark Ridge Racer an 8, you're in a world of pain.  Has the whole world gone crazy???  Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about racing games??? (yes, I swore)


The Big Lebowski.  And to make it worse, the "normal" Ridge Racer for PS Vita is even worse.  Abysmal scores and a small amount of rehashed content.  3.0 on GameSpot.  It's like no one's tries to make decent racing games anymore unless it falls in one of the three categories above.  I guarantee Namco will put more effort into putting Reiko Nagase in the new PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale than they will making a quality Ridge Racer.  Who cares, Namco is hardly a friend to Sega--stealing all their ideas and stuff.  Good riddance, Namco.

Oh, and one more thing.  What's with Kotaku's post on Sega's Rise of Nightmares PR document?  Basically, the game is terrible (I can't agree or disagree there), therefore Sega planned to deceive everyone with this sub-par product as described in this concealed document discovered via WikiLeaks or some laid off Sega employee's USB drive.  There's nothing conspiratorial about this at all, Kotaku, these are written all the time in the business.  Does the document say "make the game suck and rip everyone off"???  You're a general gaming blog, Kotaku, so stop with the cheap shots at Sega, it's getting old (I can though cause I'm awesome and you know I'm right).

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bad Things Suck But Probably Not That Much

Sup guys.  I haven't posted as much as I've wanted to recently.  But it's good because I'm nearly done with the Spring Semester here at game school.  On Saturday, I'm flying home to Louisiana to be with my family for two weeks.  And I can finally put this arduous semester to rest.  Spring semester was touted as the hardest and it sure was!  Summer should be much easier and we have more time to work on what we want.  That is good news.

I might as well say makes me look rather buffoonish, but the "misfortunes" I've ran into in the past weren't so bad.  At the very least, there is some good out of it.  You usually notice it in the future when it becomes apparent by hindsight--you get a bigger view of the whole picture.  Some event which led you down an unexpected road but you gained a couple of things out of it.  Well, what do I mean?  Here's my two things:

First glaring example is the Daytona USA 2 GameFAQs board nukeage about two years ago.  Essentially I had been posting blog-like posts on that board for years.  Like Knuckles watching over the Master Emerald, I watched over that board for years, making sure it didn't grow all old and dusty.  Maybe got a few other posts too.

Then wham--some jackass GameFAQs mod takes down my main topic and any subsequent threads thereafter because they were off-topic.  It made no sense at the time seeing there are so many off-topic boards all over GameFAQs thus proving how hypocritical they are--taking down arbitrary threads while leaving up more egregious ones.  My very first blog post talks about this sad ordeal.

So I went into panic mode, you know, damn the torpedoes, hit the red button, etc. until I said "f*** it, let's give this blog thing a try."  And here we are living it up all nice and cozy on Blogspot.  So I was able to make my own website, rack up a lot of Google hits, and reach a larger audience.  So thanks stupid GameFAQs mods, your vain attempts to crush Sega racers has led to me becoming that much more powerful.  Now go play your Square RPGs and blow it out your ass.

Then the second thing would be the FIEA capstone gaming pitch--the "Avant-Garde Racing" game (look up the damn meaning yourselves).  It would span about 6 months long and would have some 15-20 people working on it.  EDIT: There were about 30 pitches, 10 would make it to the second round, 5 would actually get made, and (usually) 3 survive to the end of the semester.  This great, GREAT pitch according to everyone else was poorly voted on by the cohort.  The reason this was so traumatic was because:

A. I wanted to make a racing game.
B. I wanted to have some say in what game to make so I don't appear to be another insipid programmer who is perfectly okay to be bossed around by the insightful, awe-inspiring producers (okayface.jpg).
C. I was duped into believing the professor's vote (which rated me as one of the best) was one of the main reasons for choosing which games got through.  However, his rating was dropped at the last second while the artists' votes (most of whom don't want to model/animate cars) ravaged the whole thing

Yadayadayada, if you don't fully know what I'm talking about, read this.

In the end, though, and I don't say this to badmouth the game I'm working on (Battle Fortress Tortoise), but I think everyone involved in the pitches had these grandiose schemes of making big-ass cutting-edge video games.  How everyone overscoped their ideas like this was going to be the next Spike VGA award winner with hundreds of hours of gameplay but no--they were cut way, way short.  Instead, what we're going for is a very small, compact experience--only about 5 minutes worth of gameplay.  Yeah, some game, huh?  A small, well-polished game looks better on resumes than does a large, not-so-polished game (you can't sit through a long game in presentations).  And the fact this capstone consumes so much of your time and goes through so much scrutiny, I don't think I could've handled BOTH a precious racing game AND tons of homework at the same time.

If anything, though, despite my abysmal failure to make it out the first round, it got people talking about racing games again.  Which is damn good in the face of all these hack-and-slash/beat-em-ups, you know what I'm saying?  Oh, and by the way, because my time was freed, I also got to work on this game:

No really, if I had made it past the first round of cuts, I'd have to spend all my free time planning a bigger presentation in front of a larger audience and undergo even more stress!  Or we can just work on Super Sprint--a game that I didn't have to worry about a handful of gamers getting their greasy fingers all over it!  So Super Sprint it is.

And speaking of bad things, Sega may be sucking right now but I expect that in some way, completely unbeknownst to most/all of us, new opportunities arise for us, for Sega, for blue skies.  So THANK GOD for all the great Sega fans out there who have shown massive support when the chips are down--that is encouraging to every one of us.  You just have to look around for things like this.

BTW, I saw this a long time ago after the 2011 AFC Championship Game.  It's Ray Lewis.  Now I don't really like the Ravens and Ray may have a history of violence but he tells it like it is here.  This is after losing to the Patriots with that male bimbo Gronkowski ("mimbo") dancing shirtless all the time.  God doesn't make mistakes.  Skip to :25 past the lousy Ruth's Chris Steak House commercial.

Saints and Ravens Superbowl, BOOK IT.  Two teams with the biggest chips on their shoulders.  And exiled Saints coach Sean Peyton is coaching his son's football team so he has time to bond with his family!  Really though, I could unload on this whole media bias against the Saints yet again but I can't do it so let's focus on the positives.

BTW, if I go out tomorrow and something unfortunate happens to me, then expect me to lose my cool again cause I'm on edge like that all the time.  I'll probably have to take a prescription medication for that sometime.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beautiful Yu Suzuki Conference At TGS 2011

TGS as in "Toulouse Game Show," not "Tokyo Game Show."  This was in November 2011 so this is quite recent!  It's always great to hear from Yu Suzuki and this time it's nothing short of emotional.  Thanks to the Shenmue Master guys who were so loyal to ask Yu the tough questions and make videos like this.  There's two parts to the conference: one on Shenmue, the other on everything else.  Here's the super-quick recaps since the videos are quite long.


Part 1 (Shenmue) recap:

Intro: Standing ovation for Suzuki-San!  EDIT: It's really worth saying I'm moved by his reaction to the applause.  Yu still seems genuinely surprised that he's admired as much as he is.  He seems so humble and quiet up there unlike others who go up there to gloat and suck up as much attention as possible.  I really gotta give him props.

Making an RPG: Sega was working on the Dreamcast and they needed a killer title.  No one wanted to make the RPG so Yu did it himself.

Shenmue on Saturn: It was a prototype for the Dreamcast version.  The rendering, development of characters, cities, and quests were just tests for the real thing.

XBL/PSN Ports: Are they possible some day?  Yu nods his head and doesn't say anything.

Martial Arts: Does Yu practice martial arts?  He want to China and learned a lot.  Went to the Shaolin Temple and got beat up.  He's not very strong but he just wanted to see it for himself.

QTE's: He likes that other games are using QTE's.  Not much to say.

Shenmue Gai (Town): It was developed for Japanese mobile phones.  It's possible to Westernize it.

Title: Why the title "Shenmue"?  It's the name of a tree.  "Mue" means "tree."  "Shenfa" means "flowers that grow on the tree."  Very old story about the Shenfa.

Shenmue III again: Yu says he wants to work on Shenmue III again, ha.  People want to donate money for him to finish Shenmue III.  Yu says thank you and everyone cheers.

Jokes: Yesterday, have you seen a black car?  Takes a while for him to get it.

Popularity: Shenmue was a catastrophic commercial failure (jeers from audience).  What do you think of the difference between the excellent quality of your games versus their low popularity?  Because of his enthusiastic audience, he denies there is no lack of popularity (cheers from audience).

French words: What do you think of French translation of Shenmue II?  Yu is confused and cannot answer.  Fans begin a sing-along for the Happy Birthday of Shenmue II's European release.  These people are nuts passionate!

Shenmue III yet again: Despite opposition to Shenmue III questions, people still asked 'em anyway.  Is it still possible to see Shenmue III someday?  "If I can have the opportunity, the chance, really, I would make it.  Like today, to be requested by so many people on 'Please bring us Shenmue III!', I think that I really must do it!"

Favorite game he made: Shenmue.  Naw, really?

Wow, I don't know how big of a crowd this was, but just these thousand or so fans really moved him.  Great show so far.


Part 2 (everything else) recap:

Hang-On: Rode a lot of off-road bikes in the past.  Had an urge to make a bike game but thought an "off-road" game wouldn't sell well (say that to Trials HD) so he created an "on-road" game.

OutRun: He wanted to create a "driving game," not a "racing game."  Driving with the radio on, girl in the seat, checking out the view, it's just cool.

Look, it's a radio.

Cars: We love all cars, even small ones!  Drifting is a lot of fun.

Technology: Used Assembly.  That's it.  (I've used it too)

Ports: Watched over the arcade ports.  Had to work hard since console technology was inferior to his superb arcade technology.

Virtua Racing: First 3D Sega game.  Could only get 300 polygons at first.  But because Yu is such a racing game pro, that's no problem.  Wanted to model 3D living beings but that was too complicated hence a car game instead.  Player models in Virtua Racing were the basic models for Virtua Fighter.  Looking back, it looks more like robots or walking boxes!!!

Arcades: Some of his best memories.  Going to 3D was most exciting.  Release new technology early but not too early.

Social Games: Interested in them, particularly smart phones which is the "future."

Development Tools: He had to create his own.  Yeah...

Virtua Fighter 6: Since Virtua Fighter 5, he's entrusted the series to AM2.

Japanese Creativity Crisis: Doesn't think there is one.  Many original games have come out of America & Europe so it's all good.

Psy-Phi: Designed in 2005 but canceled.  Was too ahead of its time.   Used a touch screen like Tom Cruise from Minority Report (his words).  Would be more suitable now.  When asked about it, he teased releasing the game for iPhone (for obvious reasons).  Learn more about the game here.

If this game came out for the Kinect, I'd kick my own ass.

Sega: Can't speak of what he's doing there--it's confidential.  He does give advice in arcade games' production.  Still maintains a good relationship with Sega and mentions if he had the Shenmue license, he could do something with it...!!!

Nintendo: Has worked with Nintendo before!  Doesn't mention anything else.

Future Plans: In Yu's words, "It is certain that I would make Shenmue III if I had the chance."  Also thinking of other projects include one in which "monsters and other animals fight together."  Raise your monsters and send them to fight.
Wait--what???  Is he talking about Monster Rancher???  That's it--we take over Tecmo and pool our efforts into a Monster Rancher fighting/RPG game.  We have Virtua Fighter/Dead or Alive expertise under our belt.  If Capcom and Namco want to play footsies then so can Sega and Tecmo.

Then hhows a picture of a cat kicking a dog and everyone laughs.  No one knows if he's joking or serious.  These things draw inspiration for new games.

What's your favorite game???: Easy games.  Effortless games that you can play with kids.  Like Animal Crossing from Nintendo.  Yes, he actually says "Animal Crossing."



Anyway, it's super-encouraging right now to see Yu Suzuki speaking to the fans.  He looks humbled by his standing ovation.  He's a good man looking out for his games.  He also has a contagious smile.  Wish we had more game devs like him nowadays.

Friday, April 20, 2012


You know that feeling when you're playing the game and then DOOSH...everything goes into slo-mo cause you know you're going to get jacked up and there's nothing to do about it other than RAGE QUIT?

Just click on the link (pg-13 language)

Ok, I've been looking up Daytona vids and it turns out the Supermodel emulator is coming along nicely...fewer glitches and shinier lightning.  But not for this guy apparently whose emulator has gone all 4/20 bakers on him:

 Yes, the car has gone through the ground.

 Wait, who's pink rear end is that--oh it's the driver!

Aw man, now I'm real embarrassed.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yo Dawg We Heard You Like Flying Cars

How the future of racing/driving games works--just press a button and all the cars wreck themselves.  Or better yet, fly around and demolish everything.  Yeah, in the future when they invent those stupid auto-pilot cars that negate any risk, skill, or fun involved, video games will adapt and set the auto-destructors to the push of a button as well.

But hey, as long as it has Yakety Sax in the background, it's fine by me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daytona USA, COME ON DOWN!!!

You're the next contestant on today's GameFAQs Top 10 List!  But considering how little anyone actually cares about you or Sega, it looks like you won't be leaving Contestants' Row.

Here we go, the The Top 10 Arcade Style Racing Games In Need Of A Modern Sequel.  And without even reading the list, I can tell you the correct top ten, and they are:

10. Indy 500!
9. Super Hang-On (with handlebars controller)!
8. Initial D (for home consoles)!
7. San Francisco Rush 2049!
6. F-Zero GX (can't let Nintendo win so they aren't going higher)!
5. Crazy Taxi 3!
4. Sega Rally Revo (with original SR handling)!
3. Super Sprint (o wait, that's my job)!!!
2. OutRun 2!
1. Daytona USA 2!

But this clever guy deviates from my list and puts Daytona USA at #4 (and Crazy Taxi at #7).  But about Daytona... FOURTH???  YOU MEAN NOT FIRST???  FOURTH ISN'T EVEN IN VICTORY LANE, WHAT A RIPOFF!!!   The blurb says:

DAYTONAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Okay, ya caught me, I'm a fanboy, and not putting this game higher was hard. Daytona USA was THE 3d racing game that changed everything. When it comes to racing games, F-Zero is the originator, Mario Kart brought in mulitplayer, and Daytona USA brought it screaming into 3D. Even now, with the PSN re-release, I still rock this game, and made sure to get 100% of the trophies on it. The only problem with a sequel is the fact that the franchise is a niche, and that Sega isn't focusing on such franchises anymore. But hey, I'd be ok even with a cameo in the next "Sonic and Sega All-stars racing" game.

Well, this list entry really doesn't make sense since Daytona 1 technically has a remake (XBLA/PSN) AND a sequel (Daytona 2/Scud Race) so what does this mean?  Well it means that we want a new Daytona game which is stellar.  But put the game at first ahead of Star Wars: Pod Racer, Crash Team Racing, and F-Zero GX and we'll talk. Terrible, NASTY Top 10 list, you should be ashamed of yourselves!!  Lol, I held my breath when scrolling through the was CLOSE but no cigar.  Also, Burnout.

Seriously, if it needed be, I could write an essay on why Daytona USA needs another "sequel."  Or hell, a big ass essay pimping out Sega racers in general (which I already did, dummies).  I don't need no lousy GameFAQs Top 10 Lists to get the job done.  As a matter of fact, ANYTHING that has to do with GameFAQs is automatically tarnished, like George with the book in the bathroom.  GameFAQs is like a public restroom, it all makes sense now (first person to photoshop this wins a prize)!

I also like when GameFAQs tries to tell me what the best games ever are via some mass-distributed "opinion" (or so-called fact) pieces.  Or when we get told how "special" certain genres of games are, particularly certain genres fond to Nintendo or Square-Enix.  Like this perplexing, TL;DR article--puzzle, simulation, and 2D shooters are in the Top 10 of Game Genres but racing is not?  Maybe he is right because the video game industry has been taking a proverbial dump on our faces with this sad, sorry excuse of a video game genre.

Whatever, everyone bashes GFAQs Top 10's.  But that's how I roll--I get irate over much ado about nothing.  Not even going to bother with a Crazy Taxi rant either.  At least Kotaku gave shout-outs to Fighters Megamix and the Hornet car in a recent article.  For once, that site does something right.

And now time to usher Sega & Daytona USA off stage as usual.  Make way for the  FPS/RPG/Adventure/Nintendo game pimpage!  No cars in this Showcase Showdown, for sure.

Remember to control the used game population; don't do business with GameStop!

Silly Rabbit, Sega Is A Japanese Company!

You know what, I'm suffering from severe writer's block right now but this I must say.

I think that many of us (myself included) occasionally forget that Sega is a Japanese company and thus Sega will cater to Japan first and foremost.

Let's face it--Sega has no respect in the West anymore outside of a few nostalgia diehards like you and I.  With the exception of Sonic, none of their games really get any leverage outside of Japan.  You heard that Binary Domain You Guys, a game that has aspects specifically meant to appeal to the West, only sold 20K copies in North America in the first month?  Compared to Mass Effect 3's 1.3 mil copies in the same region/time frame?  Blame Sega of America marketing or the poor gamer response, that's absolute crap.

That's just one reason why Sega never develops games for the West anymore.  Sega of America plays Publisher which seems to be perfectly okay as they make a buck publishing titles like Aliens or Total War--games that are "okay" by default gaming standards but don't really fit the zany Sega mold that you and I grew up with.  Well, with the decline of the Dreamcast and US arcades, no kidding that Sega of America/Europe took a massive tumble.

Then there's Sega of Japan.  Take the time to read SegaShiro every once in a while.  Oh man, do you know what things Sega Corporation are up to in Japan?  Oh man, Sega's games are so much more successful over there.  Sonic, Binary Domain, Yakuza, Virtua Fighter, ARCADES ARE STILL KICKING!  Sega also makes toys, amusement parks, pachinko machines (by Satomi-San's orders), urinal games, SUPERMODELS AND HOSTESSES!!!

Oh, Lord help us.


And obviously, on the heels of Sega's absolute failures in the West, they pull back.  No surprise, huh.  No Dreamcast, arcades are a foregone conclusion, we're obsessed with Halo and Mass Effect, so why should Sega go all-out trying to appeal to us Westeners?  Sometimes, people get mad and decry Sega when they spend all this effort on a Rhythm Thief or Hatsune Miku game.  "What is Sega thinking???" we say.  "私はとても幸せ!! このゲームは素晴らしいです!!", they say.  So unfortunately, English-speaking brethren, we're not Sega's main target anymore.  Time we get used to it.

So I don't think Sega is going to "die" any time soon but they have lost a ton of ground in the West--consoles and arcades (such as Gameworks) included.  They're this Japanese behemoth (like Godzilla) that encompasses way more than making a few lousy racing games which is a bit overwhelming from a itty bitty little game programmer like myself.  I just wish Sega was still around here in the US cause frankly, I'm getting tired of these downward trends in US games...this move towards gritty M-rated titles, drinking the Red Bulls while screaming at little kids on Xbox Live, watching big companies like EA, Microsoft, and Activision pick-pocket us with cheap DLC and other garbage, what a joke.  Even Japanese companies like Sony and Capcom are joining in on this as well.

Compared to here, it's the Super Terrific Happy Hour all the time over there at Sega!!!  Maybe not but come on man, you can't get any lower than publisher-happy Sega of America with Mike "18-24 Dreamcast ports" Hayes.

I should mention although I'm a patriotic American, I'm going to check out Japan someday--they have a different "attitude" towards game design, it seems.  In the West, when you make a game, the immediate thought process is "How much money can I make out of this?"  In the East...their games are much more unorthodox, more "fun," the grass looks greener so I gotta see what's going on over there (EDIT: Only exceptions are now Scumbag Sony and Crapcom).  Dammit, if only ONE Western racing dev could go over there, get a test sample of what's going on, and bring it back.  Why do we have to settle either for racing sims (Forza, iRacing) or total crap (Burnout, Split/Second)???

TLDR: When I talk of "saving Sega," I suppose it's more oriented towards the West (obviously).  But we have to go East to help the West.  私は日本語を学ぶ必要がある!!!

FYI, America brings baseball to Japan and Sega gives America the best NASCAR game ever.  Fair deal.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Need For Speed Movie??? Run That Moniker Into The Dirt

Top Gun, 1986 flick featuring Tom Cruise.  Thanks for coining this phrase and ruining the face of racing games forever.

I kid of course.  I just wonder what the hell is the thought processes of these EA suits other than run the phrase "Need for Speed" up your ass.  All of this on the heels of a proposed Need for Speed movie?  Really?  Michael Bay directed the trailer for The Run so I don't put it past EA.  I doubt this'll go through.  See what happened to the Bioshock movie, the Halo movie, the God of War movie, yada yada yada.  And even if a NFS movie were made, what would it be like?  It would look like this, don't kid yourself:

At :40, the words "Outrun Everyone" appear on the screen...BLASPHEMY AGAINST SEGA!!!

But anyway, I wanted to talk about Need for Speed in general.  It's not Split-Second/Burnout bad but it's getting there.  Don't get me wrong, it's a decent set of games but here's my opinion of the series all this time.  And if you're a NFS diehard, you may agree:

I see Need for Speed as a spoiled only child with rich parents.  He gets what he wants without question.  Because NFS is so pimped out, it's become the "go-to" arcade/sim racer of this generation even if most of the content is rehashed with each release.  EA with their $2 billion warchest buys out everything, including people!

EDIT: I'm dead serious when I say EA has that $2 billion warchest.  EDIT AGAIN: I wrote down the wrong number, wow I was way off, sorry.  Well, that's according to my FIEA professors that know the inner workings of EA.  Saving it for a rainy day I suppose.  For those of you hoping for EA's demise, well they ain't going away any time soon...

So basically EA makes their annual one or two NFS games and calls it a day.  Get their paycheck and cater to the oh-so-mediocre racing genre.  Here's a list of every unique NFS title since 2003:

Underground (2003)
Underground 2 (2004)
Underground Rivals (2005)
Most Wanted (2005)
Carbon (2006)
ProStreet (2007)
Undercover (2009)
Nitro (2009)
Shift (2009)
World (2010)
Nitro-X (2010)
Hot Pursuit (2010)
Shift 2 (2011)
The Run (2011)

To be fair, Shift 1 and 2 don't deserve to be there.  They're so much different in nature to the others in the series.  They were both developed by the racing-dedicated Slightly Mad Studios right out of London, England.  Obviously, someone had to publish their game so EA was willing to do long as they tacked on the "Need for Speed" phrase to their title, hence the series became known as "Need for Speed: Shift."  Kind of like what Activision did with Modern Warfare 2/3.  Since the words "Call of Duty" resonate far more with gamers than "Modern Warfare," they appended the phrase to their games.

How typical of big publishers to pimp out the buzzwords of their game titles.  Like take Guitar Hero.  It was inferior to Rock Band (don't argue with me) but sold more copies purely because of the words "Guitar Hero."  And there you go--now you know why Shift was absorbed into the NFS family against its will.

EA also included in the contract "Put a drifting BMW on the cover with fancy visual effects--don't question us."

And here's what I want to talk about.  The production value of NFS games has always been solid though the quality has been lukewarm at best.  With the lone exception of Criterion's Hot Pursuit, not one NFS has reached "elite" status like other heavy-hitters such as Forza and Mario Kart.  And why is that?

I believe Need for Speed is in an identity crisis.  The first few NFS games were simple--drive a sports car through exotic landscapes.  Then they added police chases--that's fine by me.  Then they introduced the street tuner/ricer aspects in Underground.  Then they decided to go balls out with urban/highway racing as they introduce lousy cutscenes ripped out of a Fast & Furious flick, recycle the same mediocre arcade/simulation car handling, add tons of explosions, slap the BMW/Audi/Mustang on the cover and call it a day.  It feels hackneyed due to its forceful adherence to trends or what's "cool" at the time of release.  It's good at getting highlights on the gaming websites/magazines but after that, what do you have?  More of the same old, same old.

Also I'd like to mention the car handling which is really what makes or breaks a racing game.  What's with the handling?  I've played from Underground to The Run and in every experience, it's this abnormal mix between arcade and sim handling (read about my The Run experience).  Car handling isn't as responsive as I'd expect.  I don't get it because I thought NFS was supposed to be a mainstream game so why is it so annoying to play?  I'd take Forza or Mario Kart any day of the week when it comes to pure racing.  EDIT: Of course, Shift 1/2 may be different but I've barely played those...I should get around to it soon.

I also noticed something about NFS.  I recently looked up clips of this arcade version.  Compare it side-by-side with other hallmark "street racer" titles.  Do they look the same?  Yes they do.  So derivative it's insulting.

Need for Speed by EA

Fast & the Furious by Raw Thrills

Dead Heat by Namco

R-Tuned by reaction to this game:

Am I being harsh?  I don't know, I'm just shooting from the hip here.  Trying to understand what the heck's going on with Need for Speed.  It's as if cutting-edge sports cars and massive production values can overcome all other shortcomings with the games.  Like I said, I know there's some NFS fans out there and I would like to know their take on all this.  The massive quantity of NFS this necessarily a good thing?  Hey, just ask Sega fans if they think all these Sonic games was a good thing (Sega is Sonic's pimp).  A NFS movie, does this bother you in the slightest?

I said before that, as a programmer coming out of grad school, I refuse to work at Electronic Arts.  But maybe, JUST MAYBE I'd work for them under one condition--let me help you with Need for Speed.  And I'm not talking "sit there and program useless crap"--I mean let's talk turkey.  I'll be the producer who rights the ship.  It's driving me nuts and I want to help racing games save face nowadays.  Though this'll never happen so give up on EA while you're at it people.

Oh're beyond therapy at this point.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Magical Daytona 2 Colorful Shower (All Multiplayer Colors)


I made these by chopping up the abelardator video.  Slightly higher-res pics available on the Daytona 2 Photobucket.

What's the deal with #12?  The Scorpio is orange/blue while everything else is yellow/black...

BTW, I screwed up my #3 Scorpio on Forza 4, FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU.........

Thursday, April 12, 2012





16 player Daytona 2.  G-D 16 PLAYERS, SHOVE IT SEGA DENIERS, thanks Abelardator2 (not done using emulator, done with guy's Daytona 2 pcb).  Wish I checked the Supermodel forums sooner.


Look at the picture.  You're the #6 car on the left, the #7 car on the right.  Look at the Top 5 positions.  Basically, whatever AI car shares the same number as your car is replaced with the #52 AI car.

But look at the AI cars and--wait.  THERE IS NO #52 CAR!!!  So Daytona 2 has secret AI cars concealed too???  What else does this game have to hide???  Are there any other cars besides #52 or are there more???

Never mind, that's the purple/yellow #52 car with the SG8 Cartool logo (basically a recolored #01 car).

Too bad all of this stuff in Daytona 2 was never realized until now.  Really, so much stuff and only now are we starting to crack the surface.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sega Dreams Ft. Gabe Newell

You know what, there's so much crap going on with Sega.  People getting fired, Sega guys joining Nintendo, Yakuza games turning girls into porn stars, you know the whole ordeal.  I really can't go through it all since I got a lot of work to do and I really can't think it through right now.

But I did have a dream recently.  I have a lot of dumb dreams and this one's no different.  However, it's semi-relevant to this topic (as is this dream months ago).  This is how it goes.  I promise you that I'm not embellishing this.


Me and my dad are in a slim office building about 40 floors high.  There's large glass windows spanning multiple floors and a modest-sized crowd around.  What we were all doing there, I really don't know.  We're near the top floors and we're trying to get to the ground floor.  Apparently the glass elevator was broken but rather than walk down the stairs, we waited for the elevator to be fixed.

So while waiting, I discovered that the top floors of the building are in fact the Valve offices, where they make Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, etc.  Surprisingly, my imagery of the offices were similar to their real-life offices.  And guess what--you could just walk in and chill out, shoot the breeze, whatever.  There weren't that many people around so we weren't disrupting anybody.

So I get to the top floor and there's this brown board room with business execs in suits doing business stuff while little kids are running around playing with various toys like at a daycare.  It didn't make any sense.  But guess who was there standing around--none other than gaming billionaire Gabe Newell.

So I go up to Gabe, not to have a panic attack and shout "IT'S GABE!!!!!"  I play it cool.  But the first thing that comes out of my mouth and--get ready for it--is something like this:

"Gabe, you're a game developer guy, right!?  I want to work for Sega!  Sega needs help!  What can I do to help Sega?!?!?!"

That's right...I asked the head of one successful company how to help another unsuccessful company.  So Gabe just scoffed at my question with a non-answer.  The glass elevator (those scare me) was fixed and he started to walk out the office.  Then it was like a movie cliche how Gabe tried to get away but I remained in pursuit to ask for his wisdom.  I threw in some shoutouts to racing games cause I'm a baus like that ("Sega needs racing games").

Eventually, we made it to the ground floor and he casually walked across the boulevard to a lemonade stand (wtf??).  And as expected, I followed him.  Eventually, at the lemonade stand, he stopped and said this to me:

"Just keep making great games and don't worry about the money."

And that's when I woke up.


What does it all mean??  And why Gabe Newell??  I don't know--it's just some random game producer.  A fat, hilarous game producer?  I'm not interested in Valve right now (besides Counter-Strike)....

I think the message here is that money is temporary.  Yet the glory of a great video game lasts forever.  And if you put money before games, then you will fade away, hence what has happened to poor old Sega.  So, starting now, forget about the money, make the games that make people happy, and as a result, people will show up in droves and hand over the cash...for it is money they have but peace they lack (hence the serious businessmen & the worry-free kids).

....just go make the games already, dammit!!  I'm sick and tired of all this marketing bulls***.  I didn't go to gaming school for the $50K+ paychecks or to make a bunch of business suits happy, I can here to MAKE THE RACING GAMES!!!

*Sega takes my advice and goes bankrupt* Waw waw waaaawwww......  More relevant posts to come...this weekend.

BTW, I had a carton of orange juice in the fridge that was three weeks past the expiration date.  You ever drink outdated orange juice?  It's not pretty.  How did that outdated juice get there anyway???  Did I pick it up from the supermarket past the date?  Who knows...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter, Happy Passover

Have a good one guys.  Take a break for once.  The significance of these days far surpasses that of "lousy ass video games."  But you know what I'm talking about so Praise God & Praise Jesus.

But...there's no NASCAR this weekend.  Yes I do watch the races (why not?).  Instead, Speed Channel aired the Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auctions for a week straight.  Which is good but I need some racing to hold me over!  Since Speed Channel airs a billion car parts ads each commercial break, here's my favorite:

Holy s***, Country Rock = Car-gasm.  N-N-N-NAPA KNOW HOW!!!  If you're about to post how much Country sucks then STFU.


I should also mention I've gone back and disabled a few irrelevant/useless posts from a year or two ago, mostly pertaining to the GameFAQs private board contest, the biggest tease in history...  But anyway, don't worry about it because the average quality of every post has now gone up!  Good day.

Daytona USA Championship Edition: That Other Daytona Game...

Alright, so there's quite a few Sega racers out there I've barely scratched the surface of.  Well here's another one for you: Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition (1996, also known as Daytona: CCE) for the Sega Saturn and its PC cousin, Daytona USA Deluxe (1997).  Both games are nearly identical in terms of source material, though the PC version has one additional track, better graphics (of course), and LAN play.

So here it is.  It's one of those wonderful "Windows 95" CD-ROM games.  You know you're in for a treat here.  Since I never owned a Saturn, I'm much more familiar with the PC version.  It was around 2002 and "Daytona USA Fever" was here.  Since Daytona USA 2 never got a home port and I didn't own a Dreamcast at the time, I bought three overpriced copies of this game off of eBay (charged me S&H three times, bastards).  Fired this bad boy up on the computer and here goes.

Here's the breakdown.  This game has eight cars and five tracks (six if you're on PC version).  The draw distances are farther than that of the original Daytona port.  There's split-screen and LAN play (PC-only, unless you have the rare Saturn net version).  You can also choose from a couple of options, such as the time of day to race and suspension stiffness (not as spectacular as it sounds), but that's about it.

This game was brought to you buy the folks who ported Sega Rally Championship (AM3 aka Hitmaker, I think).  Now this presents a conundrum--it's like Sega Rally and Daytona USA had a bastard child.  Don't get me wrong, this game's good but it feels a tad bit off compared to Daytona USA 1 and 2.  I'll explain why.  But here goes.

And now, I present to you, the CAR LINEUP...

So here's the eight cars in the game as seen in the game's menus.  They all have their hokey one-word names like the "Phoenix" or the "Oriole."  The cars have various stats which affect top speed & handling but that's about it.  The Max wins the honor of being the "Easy Level Car" (slow but good handling) while the Phoenix wins the honor of being the "Hard Level Car" (fast but poor handling).

Nevertheless, I like where AM3 was going with this but the car designs are a bit bland for my taste.  If Sega were to remix this game someday, I say go all-out with the crazy with it.  If there's a white car with the word "Balance" on it, I say it needs to look a lot more spiffy.  Also really strange how they changed the Hornet number & design, as such...

Oops, mirrored textures.  What's wrong AM3, too lazy to make right-side versions of the car textures???

If you zoom in enough, you'll see there's a "TacoBay" sticker on that car.  


Believe it or not, the game (the US version at least) doesn't have the Mitsuyoshi vocals.  Every original Daytona song is a remix or a Richard Jacques ditty.  So that's lame.  But you get an all-new Daytona song which is called "Sons of Angels."

That's Jun Senoue on Guitar...the Jun of Crush 40.  And that's Eric Martin on Vocals...same Eric Martin from Mr. Big.  Now I wouldn't know about Mr. Big because lousy-ass Harmonix never released any Mr. Big songs for Rock Band until last month (just one song) so thanks Harmonix, this is all your fault.  But anyway, it's a rockin' song like the Winger band on Daytona USA 2 but not as memorable (for me, anyway...this game didn't get as much playtime as Daytona 2).

EDIT: Also worth mentioning this is the only song in the series that mentions the phrase "Daytona USA."  Let's Go Away doesn't count since the lyrics go "Daytona Let's Go Away."  Doesn't count.

Playing the game on WINDOWS 98

Operating my pirated copy en Español.

It's ass.  I've played both Daytona original and Daytona CCE on the PC and it's just not as fun with a keyboard.  In Deluxe they smoothed out the controls so you can turn reasonably well with keys but the car handling feels so bland that way--there's no "oomph" whenever you turn which way.  Get yourself a joystick/steering wheel and wrestle with the damn menus/graphics settings.  Oh well, you wanna play on the Master Race PC, it's not gonna be easy...

Track Selection (with Gameplay Footage!!!)

Three of the tracks are Three-Seven Speedway, Dinosaur Canyon, and Seaside Street Galaxy.  Holy cow, the three tracks from the original Daytona, how convenient.  Two are Desert Canyon and National Park Speedway which also made an appearance in Daytona USA 2001.

I had a crazy conspiracy theory once--it's that the roller coaster in National Park Speedway were the same ones in the Gameworks Amusement Park--hence both courses were in close proximity of one another.  But from the pics, they aren't even the same coaster so forget it.

...but what about the sixth track???  It's otherwise known as Silver Ocean Causeway.  It doesn't appear in any other racing game.  Here it is (thanks buddy for the Daytona USA 2 music!):

Shoot through the neon-lit tunnel before weaving down-hill as you drive across bridges and green hills.  Then take a sharp U-turn as you drive up-hill through the city and to the finish line.  It's not a fantastic course but it's nice to see some new scenery for once.

Secret Cars

Believe it or not, you can unlock the ACTUAL ORIGINAL #41 HORNET is in this game.  However, it is called the "Daytona" car and it has max stats--208 mph top speed and able to corner on a dime without drifting.  Now that's seriously OP, nerf this car now.  BTW, another Eric Martin song (at 3:12), sweet.

There's also two versions of Uma the Horse in this game too.  It looks pretty much like the horse from the original yeah, here's the best clip I could find (notice the original Sky High version with Mitsuyoshi lyrics...much much better).


All the AI/drone cars look oh so beautiful.  They're color-coded too by speed.  That is, the cars from 1st to 8th are black, cars from 9th to 16th are dark blue, cars from 17th to 24th are orange, etc.  EDIT: Cars segregated by color...ha, that's race-ist!.  Sticks out like sore thumb and I don't like it.

More Useless Gameplay Footage

This is Daytona USA: Netlink Edition which is a super-rare version of Daytona: CCE that has online play.    It's the rarest North American Sega Saturn game.  It can be sold for over $1000.  But so what because the Model 2/3 emulators can do so much more than this game for the price of zero dollars, amazing.  But anyway, check out the evening/night-time lighting in this video--you can see s*** in dark because stock cars don't have actual headlights, remember?


There's some more to be said about the game but since I haven't played this in years, I'll stop here.  I think 15+ years ago this game would've been outstanding but it just lacks the polish of other hallmark Sega racers.  Seeing as the game wasn't touched by the magic hand of Yu Suzuki and the AM2 team, I can see why.  Car handling and graphics don't come close to any arcade versions.  You can purchase the game and see for yourself.  I still have the CD somewhere, maybe I'll check it out (or not).

Review Score: Uh, pick a float value between 6 and 8, it's up to you.