Saturday, August 11, 2012

Good Racing Games Not Made By Sega (Curb Your Enthusiasm)

What if I told you...
there were good racing games not from Sega?

I can't be bothered to photoshop text in this pic.  So anyway, one of the unfortunate things that I (and I guess you to) have to do is find a new racing game to play.  This is tough.  Games like Scud Race, OutRun, and Daytona are great, but it's clearly obvious Sega's going nowhere (other than this Sonic All-Stars Racing 2 which I'm still cautious about).  I think you could get by on Dreamcast & arcade emulators which I guess is a good thing.  There's Metropolis Street Racer (good guy rjay's favorite) and Sega GT (my Sega Gran Turismo game come true?) which is good, but I sure as heck wish there were current-gen games worthy of being played.  Forza 4 is great but even with the DLC cars, driving the same tracks over and over again gets super-duper old.  Honestly, I don't have the patience to look at all of these racing games--I'm on break and I'm a tired programmer who's just too impatient to wade through this crap anymore.

One game I'd like to talk about though again is...Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2012.  The game by Criterion.  Now don't get me wrong, I still don't like this game, but looking at the gameplay footage AGAIN, I still notice a few things:

One thing I notice that is quite good is that there's a tactile sense of speed.  Well, what do I mean.  The camera tends to rock back and forth when you turn.  The suspension cradles the Porsche on the turns.  I haven't seen stuff like this since Daytona USA and OutRun.  In other words, NFS: Most Wanted's sense of speed is...not so bad.

The problem I still have with the game is that it's basically as Burnout-ish as you can get while still remaining a NFS game.  Cops everywhere, dingy orangish-teal hues, wreck cams, same damn Porsche/Ferrari/Lambo lineup of sports cars (I like licensed cars but it gets old when you abuse them like this), the Facebook "beat your friends' scores" concept don't matter to me (I have no friends), and the car handling still looks like crap.  I truthfully give Criterion props where it's due but the rest of the game doesn't sit well with me.  Plus I sure as hell ain't giving EA any more of my money so that's the breaks.

Seriously, I reiterate--just the way the camera & the car react to the turns makes all the difference in the world when it comes to racing games.  Most racing devs opt for fancy production value over simple stuff like sense of speed and it's no wonder some of my favorite racing games ever were just regulated to mere arcade racers.  OutRun, Daytona, etc. were meant to be these brief arcade experiences but instead, they still stick with us today, a lot more than all these crummy Need for Speed/Burnout clones that have come and gone.

Right now if I really had to pick a racer, I would go with some sims like Nascar: The Game, F1 2012, or even i-Racing.  Need to buy a steering wheel too.  I just want something rewarding to play that doesn't feel aimed at the "CoD bros/epic win/YOLO idiots" of the gaming world.  I have mad respect for Formula 1 although I know little about it.  Now's my chance.

A CodeMasters game better than that Derp racing game.

BOOGITY BOOGITY...again, yeah.

I don't know...NASCAR the Game comes off as a bit bland but it's NASCAR, what did you expect.  Meh, I don't even know how you can call me a racing game fan anymore when I've fallen behind the curve.  It's my fault, I apologize.


Oh by the way, another Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed Update!   Two Sumo Digital employee (DarthSOL and SumoRex) have been answering questions on the Sega official boards.  The thread has been in existence for two months and nothing interesting has popped up but we do know now that there will only be seven Sonic characters in the game (Sonic, Tails Doll, Sanic the Hegehog, Emo Shadow, Pingas, a bean from Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, and Sally Acorn.  EDIT: DLC includes Froggy, neutral Chao with paper bag over head, Chris Thorndyke, and Mighty the Armadilluh) so thanks Sol buddy.  Prepare for the "Blaze the Cat for DLC!!!" topics.  Sawnik fans are hard to please.  If you're curious, keep tabs on the topic and asks some questions if you want.

BTW, there's a special OutRun track that you can only get by pre-ordering the game which is lame, but do it for Sega, please.  I assume it'll be both land and water, seeing as it's a beach, after all.  Prolly will look like something from the Sonic Tennis OutRun stage : D

BTW, logging into the Sega official forums is a pain.  Can't tell you how many times it says I successfully logged in only to log me out on the main page.  I say don't log in using the quick forms on the top of the page--click the login button to be taken to the "main" Login page and try from there.  Check off the "Stay Logged In" box and try different web browsers if it helps.

Inept message board...just like Sega in general

I still am worried about this Sonic All-Stars Racing game.  Does it look good?  Yeah.  Does it do Sega's heritage a great service?  Of course!  I am just curious if the driving in the game is actually up to par with Daytona/OutRun.  The game already runs at 30 FPS which is a minus right there.  It looks more into production value than actually having that tactile feel of being a great racer.  A great deal of the game's fanbase aren't really into racing games per-se--they're just into requesting Sonic characters and other miscellaneous Saturn/Dreamcast characters (please put Segata Sanshiro in the game).  But frankly, love or hate this game, it's practically Sega's last-ditch effort to make a unique racer so I pray it does well.


Back to racing games: I'm still trying to polish Super...err, Hyper Sprint and get it out there as soon as possible.  No online modes yet, those got all fudged up on the last month or so.  The goal is hopefully to make something small yet fun for everyone, particularly those not into big expensive racers that require steering wheel peripherals they don't own.  But yeah, I'll see what I can do in the future.  Until then, keep updated since I may post my next entry in less than four days.  Laters....


  1. Heya,

    Great blog, loving the enthusiasm for Sega arcade games and general racing games.

    Figured if you were interested in Sega racing, then you would like to see what I've done to an old defunct Sega Touring Car Championship DX cabinet and the model 2 emulator...

    My youtube channel if your interested in this kind of thing.

    Enjoy, keep up the good work

  2. Hey, thanks for the compliments! I do what I can on this blog. I also like what you did with the arcade cabinet, here's a subscribe :D

  3. That's impressive. I want one to download =P.

    On topic though, looking at these videos, I'm still trying to determine what truly separates these from Sega racers, whether it's the "cool" factor, sense of speed or what. Aside from being spoiled with 60 fps racing games (thanks Sega!), it's the design of the stage. (might've mentioned this before but forgot) Looking at older Sega racers, I'd remember certain landmarks in the scenery. Whether it was the slot machine or statue of Jeffry in Daytona, the docks or spider demon thing in Daytona 2, the pretty nature throughout Sega Rally 1 and 2, the underwater tunnel or airport in Scud Race, and pretty much the entirety of OutRun 2 and 2SP, there was a strong emphasis on the actual scenery itself. When you were doing a rolling start in the beginner course in Battle of the Edge, seeing the rocks and waterfalls, all while in a dome blew my mind.

    But looking at the NFS video, great graphics, effects and realism, but there's simply no way to appreciate the scenery (if anything truly stands out to be appreciated), and the stages don't appear to be designed for that. You're too busy going all over the place, destroying things and watching out for other cars to pay attention to anything else, while Sega racers somehow allowed you to appreciate the scenery while keeping you on your guard for other vehicles. Then again, they created places that wouldn't normally exist, which somehow turned into a bad thing in modern gaming.

    F1 looks kinda cool even though I'm kind of sick and tired of sims. Though I suppose F1 is more focused on being about real racing as a sport as opposed to the glamour or racing expensive vehicles you wouldn't treat as your own with others. At least, that seems to be the draw for most people.

  4. You're absolutely right. Sega has always had great track design. Realistic (Daytona 1) or not (Daytona 2), at least there were plenty of landmarks & colors, hence the "beautiful journey" in OutRun. Most Wanted really doesn't have that going for it--it's just a generic city (with plenty of elevation changes & rolling hills, at least). City driving is okay but racing games have beaten that horse enough. Realism in games makes me sick now--there's a reason we play games and that is to GET AWAY FROM REAL LIFE...

    Same thing with the FPS. Nowadays, 30 FPS is the norm which sucks. Oh well, graphics over gameplay, it seems. This applies to Sonic All-Stars Racing too, but hey, at least that game looks good.

    These racing sims are okay. They're clearly not Daytona-awesome but they're not NFS/Burnout-mediocre. At least they're serious about racing rather than "be the bad boy by running from the cops." If I find these games cheap, I'll check them out. I wish I had the time to try out more racing games, but I don't have the money/time and my priorities are all screwed up these days.

    Oh well, nothing else to say that hasn't already been said.....