Saturday, July 7, 2012

Going To The Coke Zero 400 & Playing Bad NASCAR Games

Good news!  My dad drove down to Orlando and tomorrow, we are going to the Coke Zero 400!  It's the second race at Daytona in the NASCAR season.  Anyway, not much else to say but I'm stoked.  I also won't bring that goofy Daytona sign like last time (clearly Sega doesn't give a damn).  But let's hope Aric Almirola in the navy blue #43 car wins!!!  Or Junior.  Or pretty boy Jeff Gordon.

But first, we spent Friday night checking out stuff.  So we go to everybody's favorite destination--International Drive.  And we go to the big McDonald's with the giant Play Place, arcade, and bistro.  Waited in line for 20 minutes for what--an expensive chocolate shake?

Anyway, about a year ago, I went there and played Sega Race TV.  Here's my review and it wasn't that great.  Now in Sega Race TV's place is an actual NASCAR game.  It's no Daytona but we'll make do with it.  Is it NASCAR Arcade, the "other" stock car game by Sega?  NO!  It's Global VR/Electronic Arts' new NASCAR game otherwise known as NASCAR Team Racing!!

It's clearly easy to dismiss this game since it's made by evil EA but whatever--let's plunk five bucks on this piece of crap.  You can pick from about 30 official drivers so I went with my favorite--f***in' Kurt Busch in the blue #2 Miller Lite car without the Miller Lite logos!  Then I picked JUNIYAH with his red #8 Budweiser car without the Budweiser logos!  I see what you did thar, EA.  There's six tracks--Daytona, Talladega, Charlotte, Indy, Phoenix, and Bristol.  There's other cars in "expansion packs" but those were the only six I saw for now.  You can also pick 4-gear manual transmission although you can't drift and I don't see a point other than that it's l33t somehow.


So what do I think of this game.  It's like a really stripped down version of NASCAR '08.  But as you start the race, there's an obnoxious load time with the scrolling bar...something I thought I'd never seen in an arcade game ever so that's a good start.  You start in 30th place and make your way to first.  Thing is it's pretty shallow and you can bounce off other cars with reckless abandon as your momentum keeps you going forward at all times.  Handling isn't as responsive as Daytona USA 1/2 so it's kind of "flingy"--you have to muscle the wheel just to keep from veering left and right when turning.  Drafting other cars gives you a "turbo boost"--let's you drop the hammer like in Days of Thunder.  You can reach 240 mph at times.


I think the game's okay but it's pretty stupid easy just like Sega Race TV.  You get extra time by completing laps and not by moving up the pack like in Sega's version.  The sense of speed is good (not great) and the soundtrack is appropriate & rockin' but other than that, there's not much home to ring about.  The graphics are a bit plain but it's also a bit outdated so I'll let that slide.  Yet at one point, there was a huge pileup with tons of smoke and as I drove through it, the framerate hit the floor.  Pathetic, that seldom happens in Sega Racers.

I played multiplayer twice.  In single-player, the AI at least gave you a fight.  Here, the AI parts like the Red Sea as you and the other guy.  Rubber-band AI kept my dad in the game and it was the last person to get a draft boost who wins.  I won at Daytona but lost at Bristol as I ran away crying.  I now disown my father and I hate my life.  Just kidding, this game sucked so who cares.

Anyway, I can't hate this game but with only six ovals and little reason to use manual transmission, it's a "meh" game.  If you get an upgraded version, you can up the score a bit.  Also if there were endurance modes (mandatory pit stops and more competent AI) it would be cool.  Still leagues better than Fast 'n Furious, that's for sure.

Final Score: 7.1 out of 10.

I'll talk more about that NASCAR race later.  Damn I can't wait for that.  But if Kevin Harvick wins again, I'm gonna go "Nooooooooooo......"

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