Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Always Name Your Race Cars After Insects

I "watch" Speed Channel (as in leave it on in the background) and the show Hot Rod TV was on.  Hey, they are talking about old race cars.  This is the Marmon Wasp, the winner of the first ever Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

If it was the number 41 and had a red & blue paint job, I would've pinched myself.  Cause one of the most famous race cars in history is almost named after the same insect as the Hornet from Daytona USA.  Hornets are a subset of wasps so they're relatively the same.  Is that a coincidence or was Nagoshi-San onto something???

About the first Indianapolis 500, it is a funny story...  It was basically a soap box derby but more people got hurt.  Race cars back then drove an average of 75 mph (120 kph).  Bear in mind the race was always 500 miles so it took 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 8 seconds for Ray Harroun, driver of the #32 Marmon Wasp, to finish.  The track was laden with white sand to absorb the oil.  A car's tire came off.  One guy died and six others were injured.  There were pace cars, pit stops, and 80,000 fans in attendance so this was a "legit" event.

Nowadays, Indy Motor Speedway can seat 400,000 fans (largest sporting venue in the world) and the 500 is aired on ABC every year as everyone makes a big deal out of it despite the fact no one cares about Indy Car anymore, or something.  I care about Indy Car...if only someone on Speed Channel told me when the races come on cause they always happen when I'm NOT watching the TV...

Black & white footage doesn't help me see the sponsors...
What is that, Go Daddy and Red Bull sponsoring cars in 1911???  NOPE!!
Lovin' the shoutout to the "King of Speed" from Daytona...

And if this old timey news footage wasn't hectic enough, guess what--this is 1911 we're talking about. Do you think a bunch of judges could keep track of the positions of 40 cars over that time span? After 10 minutes, everyone lost track of the positions. Then about 200 miles in, a spin out near the judges' stand caused them to flee, throwing any record-keeping out the window.  So Ray Harroun "won" because he was such a swell guy who drove a car made in Indianapolis and was good friends with the president of the track. Hey, read this.

I like this picture from Ron Hoskins at Getty Images (from the previous link) cause we love cars and we need more old-school cars in our vidya games.  Oh wait...

We already do, thanks Amusement Vision, no thanks to you AM2!!!

EDIT: Oh yeah, you can't forget about the 1951 Hudson Hornet, made famous by Doc Hudson from the Cars movie.

Just so you know, Cars is THE BEST PIXAR MOVIE!  *readers rage*

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Forza Horizon: YOLO!!!

Forza Horizon is out.  And as you'd expect, the gaming media has already proclaimed it the greatest racing game ever made.  Well, there's a few defectors who gave it less than the fabled 9/10, but a lot of people did including our beloved Giant Bomb.  Seriously, with this and the Lazily Named NFS: Most Wanted, that's it--we racing aficionados are set for life.  Sega might as well pack it in now cause they will never topple Forza Horizon and Need for Speed: Most Wanted.  Cause those are the greatest racing games ever made.  It's like the American Idol Effect...how Randy and the stupid judges always proclaim "yo dawg, you're the best singer we've ever had" to every singer and "talent-wise, this is the best season ever" every season despite the fact that ratings have been going down and the AI contestants have sold fewer albums each passing year.  That makes sense.

So what do I care what these people think.  When I think of gaming media, I think of honest intellectuals like Geoff Keighley who were not paid off or bribed in any way:

EDIT: Before I go on, check out my buddy RStyle's Forza Horizon demo opinions too.  They are much kinder than mine, lol.

So anyway, I downloaded the bigass 1.5 GB Forza Horizon demo. Let's give this a spin. After watching the wonderful cutscene full of women, energy drinks, and bad hiphop/dubstep, I enter the free-roam world of a faceless white guy driving a yellow Dodge Viper. Drive down the road to the first race and pick the Mitsubishi Lancer and go dirt racing. Wow, I've never played a racing game on dirt, groundbreaking stuff there, Forza. Then I came in first, won some credits, and drove the Viper in free-roam some more. Plowed into a PT Cruiser, both cars came to a dead stop, and eventually the Viper started nudging the PT Cruiser in reverse. It was then that I realized this game is a f***ing waste of my brain cells.

Ok, that was harsh, I admit, this is actually a good game that has some limited value.  But I'll be damned if this isn't another Need for Speed clone, minus the obligatory cop chases. You know the phrase "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it must be a duck?" Well, this is a Need for Speed game for that same reason. The car handling is old-fashioned unresponsive NFS-style as my car sort of just "floats" forward as I try to follow that stupid green line. I don't care if this is "realistic" or not--it drives me nuts that this is how every mainstream racing game handles these days.

I need a citation for this, but I believe it was Shigeru Miyamoto who said about the original Super Mario Bros., "When you press A, we wanted Mario to jump. Not 'sort-of jump'. Not 'starting to jump'. But JUMP instantly." Which probably explains why SMB is lauded as revolutionizing the platform genre. And when I press left or right on the joystick, I want the car to turn left or right, not drift in that direction with the incentive of a Lazy College Senior.

I don't think this game has manual transmission either. Maybe if I sifted through the Dirt Showdown style menus with the stupid cyan-magenta-orange burnt-in hues, then maybe I can find it but I didn't have the incentive to look. Really, right after the demo, I fired up Forza 4 and I thought the handling was more responsive in F4 (with normal cars, not fancy R1 cars). Hey, at least Forza 4 runs at friggin 60 fps while Forza Horizon settled for 30.  Yes, I know Sega All-Stars Racing runs at 30 fps too--I dealt with that enough in the past.  So I just cannot call Forza Horizon a Forza game, I'm sorry (then again, I'm not really crying over one less Forza game either...don't we have enough racing "sims" as it is).

I was thinking about the game in a nutshell. Here you are, a bunch of underground free riders breaking all sorts of laws at some "speed festival" with fridge buzz over the radio as you go free-roaming through the forest/desert dodging traffic in the same typical lineup of sports cars doing drifts for "epic points."  Why there are no cops ANYWHERE in the vicinity is beyond me.  And then it hit me--this game is a fad.  Might as well market it in Hot Topic since that's all it is.  Today's "flavor" of racing game is the Need for Speed model with meaningless stunts and bad music.  The whole game is derivative.  Seriously, what does Forza Horizon do that is revolutionary?  You race at night?  Wow, brilliant, I've never played a night racing game before.  Oh, but you can also race against the plane!  Surprise, this is a driving game, I couldn't give a crap about the plane.  By the way, both those things you could do in OutRun 2, a game that came out eight years ago.

Look at it this way.  Take Daytona USA (again).  I assume most everyone reading this blog likes this game.  Well, take note of when it came out.  1994 ('93 if you want to get picky but that was a limited Japanese release).  Daytona USA is 18 years old and we are still talking about it.  We like the handling, the music, the multiplayer.  We clamored about it enough to get emulators and official ports of it many years later!  Same thing with Crazy Taxi, OutRun 2, Sega Rally, Scud Race, Daytona 2--ports are coming and more people are getting the chance to find out about these "gems" (DAE PLAY DIS GAEM???) and they like them.  And it was because the content of these games are original.  Sure, arcade racers with drift mechanics were popular in the 90's, but I can tell you when Nagoshi-San and the AM2 sat down at the roundtable to discuss Daytona USA and others, it's apparent their first thought was "let's make a good racing game" as opposed to "let's make a marketable racing game."

Now how about Forza Horizon.  This game was released in 2012.  Let's assume that society is still intact in 2030, 18 years from now.  Do you think we're gonna give a damn about Forza Horizon then?  Or will it be another one of those derivative racing games that we got hyped up about but stopped caring a year later?  I'm willing to bet the latter.  And the same thing will happen to Need for Speed: Most Wanted too.  Hence the term "YOLO!!!"  Cause you're dead in a few years, Forza & Need for Speed.

That's why I'm hoping and praying for Sonic & Sega All-Stars: Transformed.  Cause at least it's not a total clone of its main influence (Mario Kart).  And it's why I'm sick and tired of racing games these days.  I'm done.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You're...Fill In The Blank

Edited Once

Well I got some pretty lame news.  Remember the internship that I got three months ago?  Well today, I was politely informed that my brief tenure with the company has come to a sudden conclusion.  Basically it means I was fired.


Let me explain.  The exchange today went well.  I left on a good note.  But, from the questions I asked, it wasn't because I did a poor job or I was a slacker.  It was because they basically ran out of stuff for me to do.  At least I think so--if I sucked then I wouldn't know since they didn't tell me.  I don't think I said or did anything offensive as well (at least to my knowledge).  I'm awfully disappointed, yes, but I really can't hold it against those guys since they're struggling now.  At least I learned a lot of new things, like how to use a Mac computer.  Yes sir.  It was really a good experience.

About this place that I worked at.  Well, I kept my place of employment a secret at first.  I won't tell you them now but I'll go ahead and say that it had nothing to do with racing games.  It was a startup Facebook/IOS studio with a few EA veterans in it.  That's all I can say since I don't want to inadvertently slander these guys in any way.

This studio had one semi-popular Facebook game up for at least a year before I got there.  What game it is--I'm not telling.  As soon as I showed up, my main job was to bug fix the hell out of that thing.  This meant digging into an existing ActionScript and PHP code base.  That's not bad cause at least I'm working on games and it's still interesting to me (at first).  Me and one other senior guy worked on stuff--he was the pilot and I was the co-pilot.  We were doing lots of bug tracking and QA stuff.

Well, a month later, my "pilot" was fired for seemingly no reason.  That's great--my pilot goes AWOL and now I have to fly the plane on my own.  So I had to take initiative and find bugs on my own.  I was more proficient at the Mac Terminal, Source Tree, Flash Builder (yes, we used Macs, deal with it), then it became readily apparent that the company wanted to "sunset" this game (a fancy term which means disconnect the game in 3-12 months) because the game wasn't making any more money.  Basically Zynga would stop advertising the game and hope that any existing players would lose interest so when the servers are shut down, no one would care.  And I got distraught because this game was my "baby" and I spent so much time fixing it up and now all is for naught.  I actually sort of "liked" the game too--it wasn't something I detest like Farmville, World of Warcraft, or Burnout.

Eventually for the last three weeks, I was absorbed into the "analytics" team which is basically 5-6 guys working on business software.  They took me aside and say "hey, you're a smart kid, sit in our long-ass meetings and help us out."  This included lots of PHP and Objective-C.  I didn't really have much choice since it was the only place a programmer like me could find something to do.  Eventually my task was to be a pioneer and make some unit tests or port Actionscript code to Objective-C and I basically did that...right up until now when I was fired.

Also on that same day, and apparently I must've missed the memo, one of the analytics team guys quit as well so the company was kind of f***ed at that moment.  But really, up until that moment, the whole thing was a drag on myself and the company.  I wasn't making games.  I didn't have a whole lot to do.  30 hours a week was a stretch for me and I didn't want to hang out in the office playing Facebook games as a lame excuse to say "look at these hours, I worked so hard."  And even I thought my hourly wage wasn't worth the work I was doing so whatever...away I went.

I felt so bad over the last two or three weeks.  Like my morale threw out the window.  My dream is to make racing games.  And I'm just sitting here making business software.  As for the other guys in the company, they're prototyping board games, hoping to get that blockbuster hit like Words with Friends.  I can't blame 'em but that wasn't for me and I'm sort of glad I was laid off.  Just really sucked since I was friends with a few people from my school from previous cohorts (they went there a year before me) and today, we walked downtown to Five Guys.  Ate a burger.  Talked about Reddit.  I didn't expect to be fired that day but whatever.  Bad things just happen.  Watch the news.  Enjoy every moment of every opportunity you have.

Money-wise I am fine so don't worry about it.  I'll return back to gaming school, look for more opportunities, and so forth.  Instructors there are very helpful and will do anything to help with the job search.  Right now, my main goal is Sumo Digital in the UK (of course).  Second would be Firebrand Games in Florida (no brainer).  After that, I really don't know where I want to go.  I could've stayed there in 2013 if I had nowhere else to go but I think leaving was inevitable.  Just really sucks cause some people right out of game school went straight to "great" studios like Bungie and DICE and where am I?  Back to working on Super Sprint and updating my resume...

I think I got lucky I got the job there.  After reading 30+ resumes and interviewing 10+ people, I was the only one hired and that was about a month after my interview.  I think they were reluctant to hire anybody so they just got one person--me.  And since I was on borrowed time from the get-go, I'm not surprised about what went down today.

Hey, there's one good thing about being fired like that.  As long as I didn't "suck," it's a good alibi on my resume.  Employers tend to frown on short jobs (6 months or less) because you aren't "loyal" to the company but at least I can say "I worked hard but they were downsizing and it was inevitable so you can't hold my loyalty into question."  A win for our side!

Now to eat an entire gallon of Blue Bell Cookies and Ice Cream, play Civ 5 for 12 hours, and cry myself to sleep!

Okay, a day later and I still cannot get over being fired.  Like Ricky Bobby, I saw the fear...I know I can get s***canned from my job at any moment.  Yet I can't stop joking about it.  It's like getting hit by a car--it sucks but everyone thinks you're a total BA cause you survived.  Or something...


I don't even really work here (I'm an intern being payed close to minimum wage).  That's what makes this so difficult.

I like Valve, I can work for Valve.  I can make Half-Life 3.  GABEN GABEN GABEN, APERTURE SCIENCE, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS MAKE LIFE TAKE THE LEMONS BACK, HAY GAIS DAE REMEMBER DIS GEM???  Also ponies, Rainbow Dash is my favorite.  Well that's really not fair.

Friday, October 19, 2012

On Hiatus & More Model2 Games At Last

I'll try to make this quick as possible.  Anyway, I'm not posting much because right now I'm busy, tired, and lazy at the same time (awesome, huh?).  The racing timeline and Super Sprint are both on hiatus (of course, like I needed to tell you that) but I am working on some other things I have yet to share that might surprise you.  Might change a few things on the blog as well.

Anyway, in case you're just an idiot who hasn't read any of the Sega sites recently, Sega has surprised us with a five-pack of Model2 arcade classics--Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Striker, Sonic: the Fighters, Fighting Vipers, Virtual On.  Boy, the amount of "Virtua" and "Fighters" in that list is outstanding.  Love me some Sega-AM2 Magical Palm Tree Games.

But I am glad, I really am.  None of the games are on my "OMG MY LIFE IS COMPLETE" list and it seems strange we'd get three fighting games, but what the hell--they are all unique in their own ways.  Plus they will have online multiplayer which is GREAT.  The games are only limited to Japan but Sega would be stupid not to release them in the West.

I think it's great that Sega is really starting to ramp up on the classic ports.  Sega's glory days are relived in a new era for all the little kids to bear witness to.  But a part of me can't help but feel a bit irritated Sega isn't doing anything "new" with these games.  Oh, there' the widescreen support and the online multiplayer (some of them anyway) but when you look at it, we already had these games playable on the emulators.  The fans beat Sega to the home releases.  I would love to see Sega take these games to the next level and "one-up" us fans.  (EDIT: Sonic the Fighters port got Honey the Cat and Eggman as characters--I'm not knowledgeable on the game but that's what I'm looking for).  They have...sort of, but they made some mistakes.  Like this Jet Set Radio port--the game's great but the graphics aren't as stellar as the original Dreamcast version.  And then there's Crazy Taxi without the Offspring and the KFC.  And there's Sega Bass Fishing without the Dreamcast Fishing Controller--a regular joystick doesn't do the game justice at all.  Most of these things are peanuts but they add up.

But it's funny...El Semi, the Nebula Model2 emulator creator, went AWOL for some time and I think he had a role in assisting Sega with some of these recent ports, Daytona USA included.  I think anyway, it's just "cool" to assume that.  Now Bart, Supermodel3 emulator creator, put Supermodel on hiatus for a while and I'M NOT SUGGESTING ANYTHING BUT...what the hell I really am--but we could get some Model3 ports in the future.  Thanks, Bart!  I think seeing these Model2 games really improves the odds of seeing re-releases of Daytona 2, Sega Rally 2, and Scud Race.  What a glorious day that would be though knowing Sega, I wouldn't bet on it just yet.

Just so you know, it was in 2008 that Kotaku hosted an interview with Sega of America's Simon Jeffery.  And he was on record saying Sega "lost the source code" to some of our favorite games.  Which really sucks because if you know anything about game design, it's nigh impossible to expand on games without the source code.  And at the time, we panicked about the prospect of Sega losing the source code to Daytona USA.  I think the superb XBL/PSN ports put that to rest.

But I really wonder if they still have the source code to Daytona 2/Scud Race on source control or some USB drive somewhere.  I mean, those games weren't as successful as Daytona 1 so it's possible that bad things could happen to it..  Either someone deletes it on purpose (assumes the game will never be touched again) or on accident (with the source code to hundreds of Sega games on your computer, a few of them might get wiped out).  Or the computer could break or just die on you like that.  Not trying to downplay the massive devastation that Japan underwent a year & a half ago but God forbid some natural disaster were to occur at Sega HQ or somewhere and take out the source code like that.  It's a possibility.

Really though, I still assume the source code to these games exist SOMEWHERE.  And if I could open that s*** up and check it out, I would.  With the fervor of an AP History teacher getting early copies a day before the exam.  And if the code DOESN'T exist...well, I've said it before and I'll say it again--WE'LL REBUILD DAYTONA 2 AND SCUD RACE OURSELVES!!!  IT CAN BE DONE!!!

And then there's NASCAR--everyone's golden boy Dale Jr. suffered a concussion at Talladega, the second of the season, and by doctor's orders is forced to sit out two races, erasing any chances that he had at being the Chase victor.  The first concussion seemed to have an impact on his performance.  You never truly recover from these things anyway and too many and you have to retire.  Surely all the talk about wrecks and we tend to forget that these drivers can actually get hurt (hell, we have Dan Wheldon die on us a year ago) and it takes away these guys' abilities to do what they love to do and that is friggin race cars.

All I have to say is even if you are out of the picture and have no chance at getting a trophy, an accolade, or even a pat on the back, then go out there and perform for pride.  I don't mean the deadly sin but say, "You know what, I'm alive, I have opposable thumbs, I'm gonna do this to make myself and the Lord above happy," so go get 'em guys.  Win anyway, even if there's no reward if you do.

Hah, turns out this post wasn't quick at all.  Until then, check out some slippin and slidin from the Hornet.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Holy s*** guys...Sonic. Adventure. Two.  IS BACK!!!

Rolling around at the speed of sound, 
Got places to go, gotta follow my rainbow. 
Can't stick around, have to keep moving on, 
Guess what lies ahead, only one way to find out! 
Must keep on moving ahead, 
No time for guessing, follow my plan instead. 
Trusting in what you can't see, 
Take my lead I'll set you free. 

Follow me, set me free, 
Trust me and we will escape from the city. 
I'll make it through, follow me. 
Follow me, set me free, 
Trust me and we will escape from the city. 
I'll make it through prove it to you. 

Follow me! 
Oh yeah! 

Danger is lurking around every turn, 
Trust your feelings, got to live and learn. 
I know with some luck that I'll make it through, 
Got no other options, only one thing to do! 
I don't care what lies ahead, 
No time for guessing, follow my plan instead. 
Find the next stage, no matter what that may be. 
Take my lead, I'll set you free. 

Follow me, set me free, 
Trust me and we will escape from the city. 
I'll make it through, follow me. 
Follow me, set me free, 
Trust me and we will escape from the city. 
I'll make it through through, prove it to you. 

Follow me! 
Follow me! 

EDIT: I'm being a bit sarcastic with the title, don't take it too seriously guys.

Ok, so this game's out on Xbox Live.  Just $10.  Beat most of the game (still have to do the Last Story).  Must've been the fifth or sixth time I beat the whole story mode.  I can't say I've done that with many other games so consider yourself lucky, Sonic Team.

Now about the game's quality.  You know what, it plays EXACTLY like the Gamecube version and that's okay.  The graphics are fine and I didn't feel "cheated" by this port like many felt about Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio.  They could've added more stuff to the game but this is Sega we're talking about...Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V and call it a day.  No online modes besides a leaderboard for high scores...and there's already hacked scores up there (10,000,000+), good work guys.

Differences between the two games which are very relevant.

Now about the game's reviews.  I will say this right now--don't read those reviews.  You know you're going to get the same litany of crap we've come to expect from Sonic whiners:  "WHY ARE SO MANY OF SONIC'S FRIENDS IN THE GAME???  WHY DO THE CONTROLS SUCK???  DIS GAEM HASN'T AGED WELL AT ALL!!!  SONIC IS DEAD TO ME!!!  SEGA SHOULD'VE DIED YEARS AGO!!!"  I know there's the same mutinies as before--doing the homing attack and missing the target, fighting the camera, getting stuck on the treasure hunting missions*--I mean, geez, if you're used to it already,  then it's all the same.  Do you need to hear from the 10,379,204th Internet smart aleck to proclaim that Sonic Adventure 2 sucks for the same reasons you've heard from the last 10,379,203 people???  No, you don't.

Speaking of Sonic Adventure 2's popularity...


It's strange because over the years, Sonic Adventure 2 has gone from being a "good" Sonic game to a "bad" one.  Like when you think of "bad" Sonic games, you think of Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 2006, maybe even Sonic Heroes.  But now they are lumping Sonic Adventure 2 in there, calling it "the beginning of the end of Sonic."  I mean, I dunno...I thought Sonic Adventure 2 was better than the first, does that make me crazy?  That I thought the controls and camera, as "tedious" as they are, are still leagues better than the other 3D Sonics of that time?

I think the reason why Sonic Adventure 2 has become as popular of a punching bag as Chris Thorndyke is because the Sonic fandom has been in total anarchy over the last 8 years as everyone has gone on a crazy witch hunt to find the "cause" for Sonic's decline.  Usually this leads people to blame basically every secondary character for Sonic's demise--"It's all Big/Shadow/Silver/Cream/Rouge/Team Chaotix/Babylon Rogue's fault, I HOPE THEY DIE AND NEVER COME BACK!!!"  No one blames Blaze the Cat though because she's the best looking of the female characters (HAHA).  But anyway, no matter WHAT characters you play as in a Sonic game, if the controls & gameplay suck hard, then no one's gonna like it.  It's why I like Sonic Adventure 2 (with its six characters) over, say...Sonic 4 (just one character, SONIC).  Hey guys, remember that research paper I wrote on the quality of Sonic games with respect to number of characters in it (EDIT: right link) ???  It pissed off all the Sonic Stadium kiddies but other than that, no one cared.

But to go on with this topic...it's no use!  If you didn't like the game in 2002, you're not going to like it in 2012.  Which leads me to.... *glorious Plinko theme* KART RACING!!!

If you feel like playing a really watered down Sega kart racer, this one's right up your alley.  Putting aside the two story missions with Tails & Rouge, there's an old-fashioned 1P/2P kart race mode with six characters and three tracks.  The environments & music don't change--you on that never-ending bridge suspended over the ocean.  Your character doesn't animate at all.  But what the hell--it's a Sega racer at heart.  Tap the brake then hit the gas to go into "drift mode" where you can turn in more but reduces your speed a little.  Get the rings to activate a turbo boost.  The sense of speed is actually quite good.  Overall, a lousy racing game but it would make a great base for a racing game.  If only you guys threw me the source code, then I'll bang out a good racer.  Too bad Sega seems perfectly content on not improving on their classics... (EDIT: although I'm probably the only one who wants Sega to do this).

Oh and then there's that Counter-Strike map I made...Frickin' A indeed!!!

* I got stuck on Mad Space for six minutes.  If you can't escape the orbit of the "Spherical Planet" (the one with the flamey kick powerup), then kick the tin box under the building at the very top of the planet (right underneath the powerup).  Hit the bobbling ball button where the box was.  Then climb on the top of the building and hit the rocket and GTFO of that terrible place.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Talladega, Oh The Humanity!

NASCAR is boring.  BAWWWWWW...watch the last few laps of the Good Sam "DAD I FOUND A TURTLE!!!" 500.

These cars are going 190 mph.

This is RaceBuddy--Dale Jr. on the left, Jeff Gordon on the right.  You thought changing lanes on the highway was bad, well try doing that here, slick!

Then with less than a half to go, they all died. Tony Stewart went for the block but was pit maneuvered sideways into the crowd.  I can't totally blame him...he's trying to win.  Had they made it just a few more seconds they would've made it to the finish like okay.  But no, like Ahnuld Schwarzenegger in the Jingle All The Way movie, they all made a mad dash for DA TURBO MAN action figure at the finish line and the result?  OH THE HUMANITY!!!

Good Guy Junior givin Jimmie Johnson a ride to the garage.

I know there's a good saying "People only watch NASCAR for the wrecks," and I don't really believe that's the case for most people.  I enjoy the pure adrenaline of going 190+ mph and defying those wrecks.  But when I saw that 20-car pileup, I wasn't impressed or entertained, I was saddened.  Saddened because Junior's championship hopes were shot (though Jeff Gordon is back in the hunt) but also because of the carnage that ensued.  Nobody was hurt, but there was a lot of twisted metal.


To quote Sheriff John Bunnell, a stock car is a "beautiful and exciting machine."  Man, that horsepower, that transmission, the suspension & tires, I mean I like stock cars the way they are.  I mean I don't mind rubbin' cause it is racing after all, but when a car is incapacitated, it's a damn shame.  The car sort of becomes its own entity like "There goes that Diet Mountain Dew car!" and you can't help but smile (if you're a Junior fan).  It's intent was to go fast, not to wreck.  Sure, it's meant to take damage if the situation goes bad, but I'm fairly certain every team wants to see their car finish in one piece.  And it sucks that a lot of the fans assume these things are expendable tin cans or something.  Boy, I would kill to own my own stock car.  If you owned one, would you want to wreck it.  HELL NO.

Daytona USA 2 has possibly the most violent damage models in any Sega racer I know of, but I shrug it off because A. wrecks have no real effect on car performance and B. pit stops miraculously rid your car of all cosmetic damage.  This is apparently different in real life since stock cars can take even the slightest of hits and they may be done for the day.

Besides, think of this--when a few cars wreck and a caution comes out, it's "cool" to see the wreck, but then the action stops for a few minutes.  Is that what you want to see?  Maybe time for a restroom break I guess.

EDIT: Dale Jr. lost his cool after the race and says that anyone who likes these race results are "bloodthirsty."  Said he would quit if every race ran that way.  I know he was frustrated at the moment (I was too for Junior) but I agree--if you want to see wrecks, go watch a damn destruction derby.  Or play Burnout.  I mean, G-dammit, not every car needs to get smashed like a pinata.  I'm f***in sick of it too.

But what can you say?  If there were no wrecks, then there would be no fear or excitement of going fast and apparently, too long of a green flag stretch would bore viewers out of their minds.  So as long as stock cars race, wrecks will happen and that's the breaks.  You live with it, even if it hurts your poor little feelings.  It's like finding out about the poor baby turtles on the beach trying to swim into the ocean and many get mauled by seagulls and crabs and it sucks ass but what can you do about it?  NOTHING.

Sheesus...I made a post about wrecks in racing like two years ago.  A damn good post too.  And basically all this crash talk illustrates why I have so much disdain for wreck 'em racers like Burnout and Split-Second. But I don't want to talk about those two anymore cause they make me vehemently ill when I do.

Tony Stewart the insane maniac, always looking out for the fans.
A figure 8 in NASCAR...holy s***, give this guy a cigar.

Oh, and one more thing.  Don't give me this nonsense about how NASCAR is all about the wrecks and Formula 1 is the real deal.  I think I've seen about three F1 races this season where there was a wreck ON THE FIRST TURN of the race.  Monaco, Suzuka, and some other one that got a month's worth of footage on Speed Channel (cause some driver's head was nearly taken out by a flying car).  Besides, those that talk down of NASCAR and say F1 is better probably don't watch F1 either--they're just sticking it to the rednecks.  Screw 'em, I love F1 cars but I love them stock cars too.  BOOGITY BOOGITY BOOGITY!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

SEGA Games Versus RACING Games

Here on this site, we like Sega games.  But we also like racing games.  Question is you had to pick between the two, which would you go with?  Would you take a SEGA game or a RACING game???  To reiterate, a Sega non-racing game or a non-Sega racing game.  It's like  Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, the 50-50 on Millionaire, or Facemash from The Social Network, just pick whichever frickin one you like more.  You MUST pick one, not two, not zero.  Here are the two quality games to choose from, choose wisely.  Seriously, just pick one.


A. The SEGA game.


B. The RACING game.


Wow, what an riveting psychological question...which is more important to you: SEGA games or RACING games.  WHICH SIDE OF THE FENCE ARE YOU ON???  WHERE DOES YOUR ALLEGIANCE LIE???  And I just blew it with such a shallow post and two lousy games.  Man, I am a lousy blogger.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Danica's New Wheels (GODADDY, GO GO GO GO)

Ooooooo, now we know what Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed spokeswoman Danica Patrick's in-game car looks like in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed and it is this:

To be honest, I think she looks fine.  They even got her breast size right!  Ok, I don't want to sound like a creep here.  But really, I think the realistic style is best and that's how I thought she would be.  Cartoony would've sucked.  Again, her appearance reminds me of Brooke Burke from Pocketbike Racer but so what...this is DANICA we're talking about here.  Danica doing Nationwide commercials with Junior...I mean, two of my MOST FAVORITE DRIVERS of all time in one commercial, doesn't get any better than that.

Now for the car.  Well, for some dumb reason, I thought she would be driving the blue Sonic All-Stars Racing car from the E3 presentation which ruined my life.  I didn't think she would be driving the Hornet either--I mean, it wouldn't logically make sense, like if Danica, Jacky Bryant, or Segata Sanshiro were driving the car, it would merge two characters in one.  Yes, I consider the Hornet to be its own standalone character so it doesn't need a special driver.  Remember Fighters Megamix?  Leave the Hornet on its own.

But we have an Indy Car here.  With SIX WHEELS.  And I think it looks cool even if the Go Daddy and Hot Wheels ads are just there for some goofy ass reason but so what cause I like Hot Wheels and Go Daddy commercials make me laugh (shame on me).  But it's strange because Danica basically quit Indy Car to drive full-time in NASCAR.  So why would Danica reassociate herself with Indy Car?

EDIT: It just dawned on me--there were five Sega Hot Wheels a while back (2003)--regular cars with paint jobs from Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5, Super Monkey Ball, House of the Dead, and Shinobi.  No Hornet unfortunately, WHAT A DISGRACEFUL MOVE BY HOT WHEELS.  MICRO MACHINES WERE BETTER ANYWAY.  See them here.

I just thought of a conspiracy.  Danica isn't driving a stock car because there's already one in the game...HORNET CONFIRMED FOR SEGA ALL-STARS RACING 2.  Or it could be because Indy Cars are more appealing to the general worldwide audience.  EDIT: I guess this also deconfirms the Virtua Racing car, but that was a long shot anyway.  Danica is gonna be one of my go-to characters (assuming the Hornet is not in cause I would pick it 100% of the time).  Show those pathetic Sega message boarders who piss and moan about Danica who's boss (DEBRIS ON THE TRACK!!!).  I guarantee that even though Danica can't win in real life, she'll win in the game!!!

Anyway, just some fun news for you about Go Daddy.  About a month ago, millions of GoDaddy websites and domains went down.  A hacker from Anonymous took claim for it.  Basically, some man-child in his mother's basement took down a good chunk of the Internet.  I should know because my game studio's website was down for a moment.

Spoiler alert--I registered the domain "phantomfullforce.com" a few months ago.  And now you know about this startling revelation even though it's been right up there in your URL bar for months.  Just $10 bucks a year.  What good it does for me, I don't know, I just don't like the "blogspot" part of the domain I suppose.  But what it has to do with Go Daddy?  When I clicked to register the domain, it said "You'll register this domain with Go Daddy.  Is this okay?"  And I chickened out at the last minute since I'm not 100% on board with Go Daddy (the whole SOPA debacle didn't help their cause any).  Pressed cancel, clicked again, it offered me some other host and there I go.  Turns out had I stuck with Go Daddy, my site would've been down.  And that would've been a horrible day in all of our lives.

But in a twist, GoDaddy said it wasn't hacked and that it had experienced internal network issues instead (the Anonymous guy lied).  We don't know if Go Daddy is BSing us, but if they were, we know the reason why the servers went down.  Clearly when Danica posted her new spread, the massive amount of traffic that ensued caused the servers to implode.  Yes, that's most certainly what happened.

Every time we talk about Danica, we need at least one Go Daddy commercial so here goes:

Danica's pet beaver.

Anyway, one more joke for the road.  Also a month ago at the Atlanta Nationwide race, there was controversy as Brad Keslowski threw a plastic water bottle out the window of his car which presumably led to a yellow flag due to "debris."  It's debatable that Brad threw the bottle after the yellow flag was out and his littering was irrelevant.  Kevin Harvick got mad at Brad because the yellow flag cost both of them the race (Kevin had a big lead but the caution forced Kevin to pit for gas or something and gave Ricky Stenhouse Jr. the win).  And I'm on RaceBuddy, NASCAR.com's free service that allows you to preview a couple of live car cams as the race happens, and people will post SFW things that are still idiotic "GO 88888888888888" OR "DENNY BLOW UP ALREADY."  Everyone still gives Danica a hard time and someone blurts out something along the lines of, "Danica should throw her bra out on the track."  I lost it then.  A juvenile story but I had to pad the length of this post with SOMETHING so there you go.  Adios.

EDIT: Just ordered Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing: Transformed BONUS EDITION off Amazon today.  $40 for just the game plus shipping (Amazon has free 5-10 day shipping if you like), it costs the same as the regular SaSASR:T version but with Metal Sonic and the OutRun course so buy the bonus version NOW or else.  I even went the distance and paid an extra $10 for one-day shipping so I can play it by Nov. 21.  Pshyeah, I'm a hardcore gamer.  *wegotabadass.jpg*

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Burnout 2, WTF Man...

As I said earlier, I'm working on this massive racing game timeline and that means looking up tons of pictures on racing games I seldom remember.  Like Burnout 2.  Oh hey, that was Burnout before the series sucked ass and...wait, what's that I see--



We should consider ourselves fortunate they are NOT exactly the same but for a good minute or so, I thought they were.  Clearly Criterion stole the scratchy number 2 idea from Sega seeing as Daytona 2 preceded Burnout 2 by a few years.  JERKFACES.

Oh, and another funtastic thing I found...who died and made Raw Thrills the "#1 Game Studio"?