Saturday, February 23, 2013

Gearbox Gets A Tire Flung At Its Head

This is as brief a post as possible since I'm tired and not in a very witty mood.

So there's Aliens: Colonial Marines.  Everyone knows that was one of Sega's babies.  Everyone knows Sega blew seven years of time & resources on it.  Everyone knows that it sucks.  And now everyone knows that Gearbox basically shifted resources from Aliens to other projects, particularly Borderlands and (get ready for it) Duke Nukem Forever.  This is a great link to read--here's the "anonymous" Sega employee at it again but unlike Zach Morris, this guy actually seems credible.  And even more Sega & Gearbox employees are confirming the same thing.  Apparently all those layoffs and the TimeGate outsourcing confirm that there was foul play here.  Oh, and before you say Sega should sue, apparently they can't because Gearbox basically met the contract and Sega just made a stupid mistake and LET 'EM OFF THE HOOK!!!

It just eats me up on the inside cause you look at it, here's Borderlands (a game I'm indifferent towards) which everyone gushes over "OMG GEARBOX AND 2K, SO AWESOME!!!"  And Sega money basically contributed to it.  But does Sega get anything from Borderlands's success?  No.  What a piece of crap.

And Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford reminds me of Tim Tebow.  Tebow's a pretty cool guy but Randy's a dick.  I even saw a few job opportunities pop up at Gearbox during my tenure at grad school and there was a slight chance I would've gone but no--they suck, I wouldn't deal with Gearbox ever again.  Again, I hope Sega gets their head out of their ass and does a better job at publishing games where the developers don't wander off like idiots.

And then tomorrow is the Daytona 500.  You know I'm not at the race (I'm still at home in Slidell, Louisiana) and and I sure as heck am not going to drive straight there and buy scalped tickets outside the front door or hang on the outside fence Reese Bobby style, like this:

Well if it isn't your mangy, transient grand-daddy...

But just so you know, there was a wreck on Saturday's Nationwide Race on the last lap (can people finish races at Daytona anymore without a wreck???).  And people got hurt.  If you were hanging on the fence like Reese, out.

No, this isn't Final Destination, this is real.  At least the friggin grandstands don't topple to the ground!

Chris Graythen from Getty Images with the IMPRESSIVE photograph.

"HOLY SHIT!" indeed...pieces of debris as well as a tire from the wrecked #32 car flew through & over the fence on the final lap and injured 28 people (one in critical condition).  Literally, a 50-pounded shredded tire was on the seat right next to the guy (they're super hot, don't touch 'em).  Where I sat and took pics at the last two Daytona races (see here and here) was awfully close to where that tire ended up.  I was closer to the pit row entrance.  Either way, geez, it makes you think...

Now, this isn't even close to the biggest auto racing accident in history (that would be the 1955 Le Mans where 83 people died and 120 were injured, DAMN!!).  But this just cements one thing for me again and that is....I can't take seeing these wrecks lightly anymore.  I like cars and I know that wrecks are part of the sport but when you got people living in fear of fluke wrecks and debris destroying property and huring innocent people, I can't stand it.  Why I don't like these Burnout games and stuff.  And I know some people are saying "well you go to the race so you're taking a chance."  You wanna see a chance, look at those guys at the rally races which are within a few feet from a car slipping around on dirt.  Here, you're sitting back a couple of rows from a giant tire to fly right at their head.  Bits of debris and smoke, yeah, but heavy objects, no.

Had I been at the Daytona 500 tomorrow, I would've brought another Sega sign and waved it, but there's the chance they could lockdown on keeping people away from the fence which sucks.  So maybe I wouldn't have taken the pic anyway.  Just tragic all around this kind of stuff, NASCAR is getting more disappointing to watch. :(

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Consoles: More Complaints & Bad Language

Today is a unique day in that I'm in an incredibly foul mood. So expect this post to be laden with all sorts of fucking shit. I don't care anymore. Buckle up kids cause this is going to be a rough ride.

The nightmare that is "next-gen consoles" continues.  I know the PS4 was announced today, I'll get to that POS in a sec.  But let me mention the new Xbox which drops the bombshell...

Look, I know motion controls is the "future" of gaming.  But I will always loathe that piece of shit, the Kinect.  First, I don't know how much this thing's gonna cost (I guess $150 but it may go down over time) but that's just more money that we must shell out.  Then there's the games.  I mean, Microsoft basically WANTS every game to have Kinect support somehow and it'll either A. provide useless features to the game or B. completely butcher the gameplay altogether.

An example of A.  You say "start car" to start a car on NFS: Most Wanted.  WHY IS THIS EVEN NECESSARY???  Sure, I don't mind the "start a car" feature (like in Hard Drivin') but I'd rather turn a key or *LE GASP* press a button to do so.

An example of B.  Sonic Free Riders.  I will NEVER forgive Microsoft (or whoever thought that it would be a good idea to not include REGULAR, OLD-FASHIONED JOYSTICK INPUTS) for butchering this game.  I know Sonic Riders is a "meh" game but I always felt it had some potential if Sega would stop making serious blunders but relying on the Kinect's broken "controls" is the worst sin of all.  So Sonic Free Riders is just a guinea pig in Microsoft's experiment to force people to buy a Kinect.  I  can't stand it, what a piece of shit.
Warning, lots of profanity but who cares.  Fuck this shit.  Fuck you, Kinect.

Oh, and one more thing.  I'm not a tinfoil hat Alex Jones/Ron Paul type, but isn't the Kinect basically a camera that's plugged into the Internet watching your every move as you play the game?  Ooooo, screw you Microsoft for the invasion of privacy.

And then there's the best video game company in the whole world, Electronic Arts.  I'm going to go ahead and post a disclaimer here--I have a couple of really good friends who are actually employed by EA.  They're great people and I'm fairly certain all those guys on the ground level working on the game are avid gamers who want their products to be best as possible.  But I have no respect for the higher-ups at EA who peddle the same bullshit and no matter how much idiots like Reddit Gaming QQ about it, they still suck at the teat of the beast.  I hate you EA.

But what did EA say?  Well, some EA guy's going on about how next-gen consoles won't have backwards-compatibility.  Isn't that great.  We've had the Xbox 360, the PS3, the Wii for about eight years now.  We're sitting on a shit-ton of games.  If those aren't playable with the new console, I simply am not buying it.  I don't care if my Xbox deserves to be in a retirement home, I'm not about to let a massive chunk of my gaming library go null and void purely because Microsoft/Sony doesn't think it's worth supporting.  Yeah sure, there's always the "stream" that they've been talking about.  I know the PS4 has it and you can play PS1/2/3 games on your console.  But only select ones that you probably have to pay for again.  And even still, it's more crap that's only playable through an Internet connection/server (which I'll get to in a sec).

As for used games, well EA does something "right" in saying that they won't completely lock out used games.  But this is the same company EA that'll embrace ANYTHING to ward away used game sales.  DRM's, online passes, shitty Origin sales, free crap if you buy the game new, so big deal.  Like let's talk about the new SimCity.  I have no doubt in my mind that it'll be a solid game (gameplay-wise).  But hell, look at what EA's doing.  First, you have to download Origin (which I will not do, I'm sorry).  Then you have to be online to play it.  Okay, didn't we try stuff like that with Diablo 3 and look what happened with the server downage nightmare?  EDIT: A see-I-told-you-so-moment, BOOM, SimCity servers went down for a day or two now.  There's also the possibility that your Internet connection might be broken.  Whatever, it's just an inconvenience and nothing else, right?

What if, for some reason down the line, EA wants to kill the game.  Unplug the server for whatever reason--EA wants to force us to buy SimCity 6 or maybe the SimCity franchise is just failing altogether so they're going to cut their losses now.  Congrats, we have a AAA-title that can't be played anymore cause the servers have been shut down.  What a piece of shit.  I remember it was't that long ago that OutRun Online Arcade would no longer be supported on Xbox Live and PSN because the Ferrari licensed expired and the game could no longer be purchased starting in 2012 or whatever.  Do we want a bunch of games to live or die by servers that the game publishers themselves can flick a switch and be done with forever?  What the hell happened to just buying a cartridge/CD, popping it into the slot, and just PLAYING IT???

Oh yeah, and then there's this.  Reddit sucks ass but at least some of their members post some smart stuff.  And here's a Redditor posting legitimate complaints about EA's SimCity policies and is subsequently banned.  Yeah, part of it was due to an "error" EA made but still, I have no respect for that company at all.  I will not be buying the new SimCity nor anything else EA gets their hands on.  Sorry.

Anyway, about the PS4, I think I covered pretty much all the aspects (EDIT: If you want a PS4 rundown, check out this infographic) I wanted to about it except for this.  Here's the first racing game to be available on the PS4.  No, it's not another shitty Ridge Racer remake (boy I can't wait for that one).  It's "Drive Club," another little sim racing game kinda like Test Drive Unlimited or Forza: Horizon but with less dubstep and DAT NEW GRAPHICAL PROWESS that'll sell copies.  Give me a break.  Game designers are so out of ideas now that they'd rather just make the same damn racing sim that we've played for the last 15-20 years.  Although had they opted for something more wacky like Burnout, Need for Speed, or even Little Big Planet Karting, I'd probably hate that too.  In other words, racing games nowadays suck.

I know this'll sound controversial but I'm serious when I say this.  I think a good 90-95% of video games nowadays piss me off.  I mean it.  I'm sick and tired of the following (EDIT: added two things):

Sick and tired of games that are more interested in becoming a movie than an actual game and/or try to "grow up" and completely lose all fun in the process (the only exception to this rule is Shenmue cause it's awesome, that's why).

Sick and tired of the antics of EA, Activision, Microsoft, Sony, etc. and how gamers circlejerk but never actually do anything about it besides make stupid Internet memes.

Sick and tired of gamer culture like what we see on Reddit, GameFAQs, etc. and their over-infatution and group-think over the same exact damn game companies like Valve, Nintendo, Bethesda, Bioware, Blizzard, etc.

Sick and tired of the increasing amount of violence & edginess in games and how if you dislike it then gamers will attack you with, "you're an idiot, overprotective, hurting free speech, an insane Fox News right-winger, etc."

Sick and tired of motion controls, Facebook, Twitter, DRM's, online servers, monetization/DLC and and other hoops to jump through getting in the way of playing these fucking games.

Sick and tired of the screen bloom, shaders, motion blur, hue changes, and other unnatural that developers drown their game out with in an attempt to look "edgy" when a simple "blue skies" theme will usually do.

Sick and tired of all the stupid games the developers play with the on-disc DLC, stupid glitches that would take minutes to fix, rushed products, questionable game designs, interference from publishers, multi-million dollar budgets that go to make the game shiny but nothing to do with gameplay, and so forth that inhibit the ability to make decent games.

Sick and tired of the gaming media like Kotaku, G4, Spike, GameSpot, IGN and how they piss themselves over new consoles, companies, and gaming intellectuals like Cliff Blesinski, Notch, etc. while they dump on or completely ignore Sega and their impact on gaming all day long.  Also the self-congratulatory speeches of many of the gaming talking heads/producers.

Sick and tired of Need for Speed and the countless awful remakes that do nothing but retard any advances made in the racing genre.

Oh, and I'm sick and tired of watching Sega retreat back to their abysmal selves every time I think they've redeemed themselves.

Fuck video games.  If it weren't for Sega and the small, no, slim, no, INFINITESIMAL chance of being able to help salvage the racing game genre and blue skies I would never be in this position that I am in now as a video game programmer AKA "software engineer."  I would've bailed and let it go down in the clusterfuck that it's in today.  So help us God, that is all.  Pray I don't get fired in the first week of my new job.

EDIT: Okay, I feel better now so don't be too offended from what I said. :(

If there's anything factually inaccurate about what I said in this post then let me know since I may be emotional and am calling it the way I see it but I'd also wish to be right as well.

...I will end on a positive note.  I was reading a Kotaku article on the Dreamcast and one user by the name of "Daemon_Gildas" who left a very inspiring comment about the Dreamcast's culture:

Honestly, if there is one thing I think the Dreamcast did right, it's that it inspired a "fun" tone of video-games.

I know it's strange to say that, because it literally has nothing to do with the hardware itself, but you have to admit; when you look at the Dreamcast's library, it consists almost entirely of "feel-good games".

Much of that was thanks to Sonic Team, who were really at the top of their game. I mean, hell, even Phantasy Star Online managed to be upbeat, and the actual story consisted of two planet-wide apocalypses!

I really wish games would get away from trying to be "mature" all the time. There was a wonderful article right here on Kotaku a few months back, on how Jet Set Radio managed to be relevant, without being violent (I'm too lazy to find and link it). I think that's something Gaming needs more of; games that exist simply to put a smile on your face, with no other baggage.

Lord bless 'em cause he's right on the money.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Daytona 500 And Super Sprint BUMMER...

Kinda crummy news going on with my life.  I want to get this now before I start rambling about video games like a madman again...

First of all, I talked weeks, even months ago about going to the Daytona 500.  It's on the 24th--five days away.  I planned on going with my dad.  But it looks like I won't be going at all.  Here's why.

My grandfather (my father's father) is currently in a heart hospital.  A few days ago, he got hit hard by "septic shock" (bacteria poisons your blood) which came about from previous pancreatic cancer surgery which punctured his colon.  For a moment, we thought he was going to die.  Thankfully, he is making a recovery but not a really great one.  We still don't know if he's going to leave the hospital any time soon.  Because of this, my dad doesn't want to take off to Florida for a few days when his dad is in this condition.

My grandfather (aka. "Grump") is 76 and a real hardass.  But a good hardass who hunts, sips his crystal beverages, works out, runs a chain of tobacco stores (which are sadly fading away due to government regulation and dropping perception of smoking by the general public), and has great genes (which thankfully I've inherited).  He doesn't talk much but admires that I've made it so far through school so even if I never talked to him much, it would really hurt to see him go.

Besides, even if you take Grump out of the situation, I still am uncertain about going to Daytona.  The race is Feb. 24th, my birthday is on Feb. 29th (well, 28th), and work begins on March 4th.  If I go to the Daytona race, I have to leave home early and am "stranded" alone in Orlando for about a week.  But if I don't go, I can spend more time (especially my birthday) with my family.  So what's it going to be really?  Looks like stay is my only choice.

Also, the main reason I really wanted to go to Daytona was to get a picture with another cheesy Sega/Daytona USA 3 sign.  Something like "Thanks Sega for putting the Hornet in Sega All-Stars Racing.  Now where's Daytona USA 3?"  But the first pics I took were cool but didn't make as big of a splash as I had hoped.  I could try to photobomb the Daytona 500 but I have a feeling the staff wouldn't take kindly to signs and/or people standing near the fence.  I feel I got lucky that the sign wasn't confiscated in the first place.


And then there's Super Sprint.

I'm telling you, I always get this post-Christmas lethargy which usually lasts two/three months.  It happened to me last year (during FIEA, sheesus) and now it's this year.  Sleep cycle gets all messed up and I don't take on any really hard tasks.  My best guess is that once the Christmas season ends, my body goes into shock that the vacation is really over, the Christmas lights are taken away, and the weather heats up again.  So I still party in order to crash face-first into depression once life actually begins again.  Either way, post-Christmas always sucks for me, work or leisure.

The lethargy got in the way of Super Sprint.  I was working on the game a few days before Christmas but then I kind of stalled.  I was working on keyboard configs which I managed to get in with a options screen and the ability to save your configs when you close and reopen the game again.  I also began to implement leaderboards into the game which save your fast times & high scores.  I also bought a Logitech controller to program in joystick functionality (I know emulators can use them).  But none of those things are really finished and I have to finish the keyboard config and a few gameplay kinks and get the game out now before everyone thinks I gave up on it.  Just gimme a week or two then I can get a 1.0 version (under a new name besides Super avoid copyright woes).  Then I refocus on more advanced features and stuff.

Programming is like trying to glue a bunch of tangled wires together anyway so if I'm not in the zone, it's tough, you know?  Oh snap, that's right, I have a job in two weeks so if I don't get my s*** together, my ass is going to be out on the street.

EDIT: Sorry guys, should've thrown this in here sooner. I know nobody gives a shit about Super Sprint anymore especially with The 90's Arcade Racer on the horizon. But I have to "finish" it for myself since it's my cross to bear. Also, like I said many, MANY times before, this may be the last time I ever get to work on a racing game again. Sumo may not want to hire me, Firebrand clearly didn't want me, and with the sad sorry state of how racing games are these days AND how what games a programmer likes seems to be worth zero when it comes to the company's decision to hire you, I must proceed with Super Sprint even if it's a catastrophic failure and waste of time. Enough said.


That's about it.  And the Racing Game Timeline needs to be updated too.  Really, guys, I apologize if the blog has been slow.  I've been doing work but at things that are completely different from racing games.  Yeah, that's REALLY about it for now.  Really, goodbye people and fuzzy animals.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Now, about old-ass Sega news that I didn't bring up until now, rofl.

First of all, The 90's Arcade Racer has met its goal of £10,000 ($15,521)!!!  WE DID IT!!!  The Kickstarter raised a grand total of £16,309 ($25313).  By its release in Dec. 2013, it should have:

* A total of eight cars--2 stock cars, 2 F1 cars, 2 McLarens, and 2 "bonus cars".
* Three tracks each with two different layout variations, forward/reverse, and day/night features.
* A drift scoring system.
* Arcade and championship modes for each car type.
* Leaderboards.
* Available on PC, Linux, iOS, Android, and Wii U.
* Possibly more features to be announced in the future...

This list was "confirmed" by an e-mail update I got for donating the £90 ($140) to the project.

Now, when I made whatever limited communication with the guy, I brought up a few things.  I inquired about manual transmission.  I really hope he's able to get that in but with the 6-gear shifter, it might be particularly hard (Daytona USA and Scud Race both used 4-gears).  And then there's the car audio which I think he needs to kick up the bass volume if he can.  Also have the car lean more in the turns and emit more tire smoke.  Basically stuff from Need for the Sense of Speed to get great sense of speed in your game.  And no, I didn't link him to this blog, that would just be stupid of me.

Also I might add that today I'm a lot poorer.  And a lot more depressed because woe is me, all I can do is sit here and watch everyone make Sega racing games besides me.

But I got interesting news...if you happen to be a real-life race car driver AND a playable character in Sega All-Stars Racing (I'm talking about Danica Patrick), then you're happy dancin today.  Cause you qualified on the pole (1st place) for the first time in the history of ANY NASCAR Cup Race (the Daytona 500).

Well, shit.  If Danica actually wins this race and/or many others, I'm going to be kicking my own ass all the way back to Florida knowing that if Danica had only gotten better JUST A BIT SOONER, she could've won the Texas Nationwide race in the Sega Sonic car.  I have nothing against Danica and I actually kind of like her (as a driver, idiots) but her suddenly becoming good post-Sega is just one big WHY???

EDIT: Well to go over more Danica stuff.  Yes, she still has a "Sonic" sticker on her GoDaddy car.  Yes, she just appeared in another Sega All-Stars Racing commercial.  Yes, I would be "happy" for her if she won (though I don't think she will...starting position means next to nothing in NASCAR besides to intimidate the competition).  But talking before about the difference between racing aficionados and gamers who simply like racing games, I don't think Danica (or any real life driver, really) would do a good job promoting Sega All-Stars Racing.  So if she won in the GoDaddy car, well...I don't think Sega has much to gain anyway.

Now for news actually pertaining to Sega.

The big story for all Sega fans...Microsoft admits not buying out Sega post-Dreamcast era due to "lack of muscle."  Okay, I'm not really surprised or offended by this.  Am I supposed to be mad that Microsoft didn't deem Sega worthy of being bought and basically left them to die in the post-Dreamcast era?  Basically, Microsoft got what they wanted out of their Sega partnership and that is the launching of their own console (the Xbox).  Plus they got ex-Sega of America CEO Scumbag Peter Moore (who now works for EA Sports).  Sega has some of the greatest IPs under their belt (Sonic, arcade racers, Genesis/Saturn/Dreamcast stars, etc.) but why Microsoft passed up on them, I don't know.  Because they're not gritty FPSes like Halo, yeah that makes sense.  Besides, judging from where MS is now, was that really a good thing?  Look at Rare, a smaller company bought out by MS but aside from Viva Pinata, they've just sucked recently.  Good riddance, Microsoft.

Speaking of company cannibalism, I remember a while back how Kotaku said that Sega planned to buy out Disney.  DISNEY.  Quick lookup on Wikipedia and right now, Disney's assets equal $75 billion.  I really don't know what Sega's are but after this whole 2012 restructuring, I bet it's less than 10% of that.  What was Kotaku smoking...

And then there's Aliens: Colonial Marines!  Gearbox, what...a...disgrace.  Frankly, I don't give a crap about the game at all--it looks like another linear sci-fi shooter, I'm not too keen on the Aliens franchise, and it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with traditional "Sega-go-lucky-blue-skies" theme (other than the Sega logo on the box).  The only reason I really care is because this is supposed to be one of Sega's big moneymakers for the year and now I hear the game is so bad that people are canceling preorders by the thousands!  Anytime Sega fails, I die a little on the inside.

Right now, there's rumors being spread about how Gearbox dropped the ball on Aliens and this is the best TLDR version I got.  If I'm wrong on some things, feel free to correct me since the situation is rather nonsensical:

* Sega and Gearbox agree to a new Aliens game starting in 2006.
* Gearbox works on Aliens (under the project name "Pecan") for four years.  Game looks "good" but Gearbox is working on other projects at the time such as Borderlands so there's a lot of feet-dragging going on (list of Gearbox games by year here).  Sega is obviously annoyed.
* Gearbox, now preoccupied by the GOTY Borderlands 2, outsources parts of the game to smaller studios, most notably TimeGate which'll handle the game's campaign mode.
* However, TimeGate falls way behind and even removes a bunch of features that Gearbox added previously.  The s*** hits the fan for Gearbox.
* Sega, pissed off that the game has taken over 5+ years, demands it be finished soon.  Gearbox then hastily spits out a final product held together by duct tape and Elmer's glue.
* Reviewers bash Aliens: Colonial Marines to no end.
* Gearbox developer goes on defensive explaining what we know here.  Sega employee teases a lawsuit against Gearbox because they "spent" all the money on Borderlands 1/2 development.

I don't hold Sega culpable for this mess.  Gearbox butchers Duke Nukem Forever, let it slide, now they butcher Aliens: Colonial Marines and that's strikes two & three, you're out.  But Sega IMO really has to cut out these movie IP games.  First it was Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, now Aliens.  None of these games were that good in the first place.  STOP IT SEGA, GO BACK TO DOING WHAT YOU DO BEST AND CHANNEL YOUR OLD CONSOLE-ERA SELVES.  SUPPORT UNIQUE VIDEO GAMES BESIDES THESE GRITTY FPSES THAT DON'T STAND A CHANCE TO THE TEN-TON PURPLE GORILLAS IN THE ROOM.  End of this nonsense.

Was going to talk a bit more about the new video game consoles but this post has gone on long enough.  More pettiness coming your way in about five days, sixteen hours, forty-five minutes, and two seconds (get a stopwatch, I might be off by a few days tho).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sega All-Stars Racing Has Its Bugs...

Look, let's get this topic over with.  Sega All-Stars Racing is fun.  Quite possibly the best racing game not to originate in arcades for years.  But it has its flaws.  The cheap AI is one (I guess so, everyone complains to this day).  The on-disc pre-order DLC for Metal Sonic & OutRun Bay is another (no way the DLC is 700 KB in size, it's already on the disc).  The online collisions are a BIG one (once got knocked the wrong way at the VERY START of a Sunshine Tour race...still came back and won).  But track glitches that affect lap times?  Yeah, the worst.  90% probably won't care because you'll play the game normally and be happy.  But if you have OCD and don't want this to turn into another Mario Kart glitch-fest, well, you're gonna have a bad time.

A common theme of these glitches is getting airborne and then crossing some plane (the "finish line") or just warping through the level boundaries.  This seems to happen in plenty of the courses as you'll see here.  I don't know how hard it is to execute each of these glitches (or if they can still be done at the time you're reading this) but this is just me posting after some mild research.

Sky Sanctuary: Halfway through the land portion of the track, just turn hard right into the abyss.  You'll clip the finish line and end the lap having only traversed about 30% of it.

Temple Trouble: Same concept as above but now you can skip about 95% of the track if you dive-bomb hard right on the water ramp at the very start of the course.   Also, DarkspinesSonic, you have the best YouTube intro ever.  Tired of these long-ass intros with the Zelda/Smash Bros/Resident Evil clips set to obnoxious music, I mean JUST POST YOUR USERNAME AND START WITH THE FEATURED PRESENTATION ALREADY.  Stay classy, my friends.

Shibuya Downtown: On the third & final jump, the finish line plane can be crossed if you turn hard left and fall off the course.  The result of the play is a TOUCHDOWN (someone explain the Dallas Cowboys stars in the JSR levels, really people).

Carrier Zone: Once you turn into a plane, start barrel-rolling into the carrier and you'll break out of the playable zone.  Then you can fly over the finish line three times and finish in record time.  Against regular AI opponents, DarkSpineSonic is able to come in 1st-2nd-3rd-4th with four human players but only one controller.  ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!!!

Galactic Parade: Same song & dance as previous vid.  Break out of the level in the plane section using barrel rolls.  Then do a little circle around the finish line to get a sub-10-second lap.  The game will actually tell you "New World Record," nice.

Various Tracks: For a change if pace, this glitch had nothing to do with shortcuts. In any standard arcade racer, if you stall/stop moving for a few seconds, the game will teleport you back on course and help you on your merry way (San Francisco Rush is a good example of this).  Yet when Sega All-Stars Racing teleports you forward, it may take you past a transformation game without transforming means driving a car on water, a a boat on an air section, just screwed up things so check it out.

Seasonal Shrines: Another useless yet fun glitch. In the boat cave jump part, if you barrel roll into the wall, you may actually clip the wall and propel the boat onto a land section. The only way to move the boat on land is to roll sideways...  I had something sort like this sort of happen on Chilly Castle...hit the left part of that ramp in the boat section and floated through the ceiling for a few seconds...thankfully I landed back in the water again like there was no roof in the first place.  LOL

Dream Valley: Skip to 3:15 in the video. In a 3-lap Dream Valley race, early in Lap 2, if you take a hard right instead of a hard left coming out of the first little tunnel, you may get credit for finishing Lap 2.  Somehow the game assumes you traveled through the whole course at LUDICROUS SPEED in a single frame.  This is just one big WTF especially since, unlike the other glitches, you're not even close to the finish line!

Dragon Canyon: I think this one only works online.  In the plane section on Lap 3, if you fly over the bridge where the finish line is, you can get credit for finishing the lap RIGHT THERE.  Like the Shibuya Downtown glitch, just crossing the plane, regardless of how many other "checkpoints" you drove through, gives you the lap.


So what do the glitches mean?  Well, Sumo Digital has to release a patch.  But guess what?  Each patch on Xbox Live costs $40,000 (at least it was a few years ago).  I mean, think about it.  First, you have to reproduce the glitch.  Then you have to fix it.  Then you have to playtest it to make sure it stops the leaky faucet.  Then you have to hand it to Microsoft who has to playtest it too to make sure it doesn't break the game completely.  Then MS puts it on the server and forces every person who signs in to download it, taking up more bandwidth & stuff.  And this is just for one console--who knows what it's like for Sony or Nintendo.  The process of merely patching a game is a tedious one that can take months so I'm not surprised if Sumo is waiting to fix as many bugs as possible for releasing a patch.  Hopefully, they can fix these stupid shortcuts because they seem like low-hanging fruit that a couple of rubbish programmers forgot to pick up on.  "To err is human," OH WELL.

But it's not just fixing the glitches that ends it.  It's also about blowing up the leaderboards.  Anyone who posted a time that exploits the glitch will be removed.  Sounds fair, but odds are a bunch of good times that didn't use shortcuts will be erased too.  This also doesn't include the Grand Prix records I posted about before (basically four 3-lap races where no ghosts are provided so you really can't tell if the user glitched or not) so those'll have to be blown up too.  It really sucks and I'm not knocking on people for using glitches cause people do them ALL THE TIME in speedrunning and they do take skill to use even if they are cheesy and break the spirit of the game.  Call me old-school but I like racing games to be about racing, not jumping outside the level and being teleported ahead of the finish line and other nonsense.

By the way, our precious little Mario Kart is not immune as well.  Check it out:

Mario Kart 64: Record-setting gameplay can be broken down like this--pick Toad/Peach/Yoshi and jump over barriers and teleport outside level only to have Lakitu drop you off a lap ahead.  I know it's an old-ass game that can't be patched (cartridges, remember) but yeah, here's an example of a game where all the rules are broken.  Have fun, kids.  EDIT: I'm really pissed that the previous video was deleted by the owner.  As you can guess, I'm livid over this since that video was cool and this one is not.

Mario Kart Wii: Even new MK games are vulnerable.  The infamous Grumble Volcano shortcut--at the start line, boost onto a rock to the left of the finish line.  Drive around in a circle on that rock and the game'll assume you traversed the whole course and will credit you a lap each time.  Brilliant work, Nintendo.  But I don't think there's many glitches like this in MKWii altogether so suffice to say Sega All-Stars Racing is probably worse.

That's just a tip of the iceberg for glitches--do some research on your own if you like and discover a treasure trove of programming follies.  And now you know the rest of the story.  GOOD DAY.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sega All-Stars Racing: You Mad?

Hey kids, I'm back after watching the Forty-Whiners beatdown on Sunday night!  So Sumo Digital just announced a new playable character coming to Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed.  And guess what--being the Sega Racing Fan that I am, I have the inside scoop on who this character is.

It's none other than everyone's favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt Junior!!!  That's right, Sumo Digital is now 2 for 2 when picking the most overrated drivers to become playable characters in their game.  Too bad he drives the stupid Avatar car...and has the stupid Avatar voice.  Price for this DLC character?  Seven dollars.  What a piece of s***.

Well, we now know one thing about Danica.  Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. called Danica's cell and they're goin steady.  Danica chose to divorce her husband of seven years for RICKY STENHOUSE, JR, a villain of Sega who put a stop the Sega Sonic car's victory.  Frickin Ms. Benedict Arnold here, Danica is a SEGA TRAITOR and a filthy whore!  Speaking of Ricky...

Me: OMG guys, Junior won a race!!!
You Gais: NO WAY!!!!!!!!! *thinking it's Dale Jr.*
Me: Nope, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Also, Danica has set a world record for being in the most commercials for one company (Go-Daddy).  12 Go-Daddy commercials and I don't even know if that includes banned ones.  Yeah, that SB commercial where she stood there and watched the babe and the nerd make out (with the grotesque sound of moving a spoon through a bowl of macaroni & cheese), yeah WTG Danica, you're doing a damn fine job I might add.  At least you're not the one doing the kissing...

But that's beside the point cause I've been playing Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed some more and I'm going into EPIC BEAST SWAG mode.  Look, I leveled up all the characters.

Hmm, let's count, shall we?  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five.  Twenty-five characters, all mods unlocked.

I did a lot of leveling up in the Grand Prix modes.  The goal--to play the Expert Grand Prixes (???) and get the lowest combined times.  And what has went down is a thing of beauty.

I'm only the #2 Hornet in the world, lost by .07 seconds, smh.

#4 in the Pudding.


OH YEAH, look at these times.  NUMBER ONE in the WORLD on Dragon Cup Mirrored.  I'm the best Sega All-Stars Racing player there ever was.  "One v. one me, you piece of s***, uhhh..."  Tell em why you MAD son???  Sure, send the ten plagues of Egypt after me...swarms, drones, tornadoes, ice cubes.  I love the irony of the Hornet dodging a swarm of actual hornets.

Lucky for you guys, during the time I was writing this article, my online ranking went down 200 points because of BS glitches and general abuse. Oh, and my batteries went out THREE times on Galactic Parade so Merry Christmas, f***ers.  So I got s*** on today but I'll be back!

A common sight on Sega All-Stars Racing Day.

Hey, you know the drone (red shells) you send out are really mini-versions of the car you're driving?  Look at the mini Hornet.  "Go get him son."  "BUT DADDY I DON'T WANT TO DIE!!!"

I'll have you know this is against Expert CPUs (watch out we got a badass here).

Now, about the drone (AI) cars.  We had a long talk earlier about the drones being no-good cheating bastards.  Well, it turns out that I DO think the drones cheat.  It seems as I pushed the cup times lower and lower, the AI was still able to keep it close and maybe put me 2nd in a few races.  That didn't bother me since I was going for time, not for the win.  Truth is the AI doesn't cheat THAT bad.  Some things people come up with like "The AI shot a rocket backwards at me and I got hit, bawwww," are just ridiculous.  If there's a driver ahead or behind you carrying an item, then rub two brain cells together and KEEP OUT OF THE LINE OF FIRE.  Problem solved.

Besides, I recall not too long ago playing one of the World Tour missions on C class.  The reason why was to unlock some stickers by playing on the easiest difficult.  And I gotta say playing on C class is SUPER F'N SLOW.  Like those of you who can't even break out of B-class, you're only experiencing a fraction of the fun that you would at S-class.  Seriously, when you're playing on S-class and haulin' ass, it's so much fun.

Now I'm just playing as AGES.  All other characters are irrelevant.  I do look at the GameFAQs boards on occasion and all the topics are now about people bitching about glitches and game design choices.  Some people are even complaining about AGES's inclusion, saying he's "out of character."  You kiddin' me?  The Hornet is a LEGEND.  The F-14 Tomcat is a LEGEND.  The Dreamcast controller is a LEGEND.  AGES is the best thing to happen to the Sega All-Stars Racing franchise.  People don't know what they want with this game.  On one hand, people complain about Sonic being in a car.  On the other hand, they want to axe all non-Sonic characters and replace 'em with Sonic ones.  I don't get it.

So Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed is now out on PC.  Go get it if you like and play the game at 60 FPS (although I don't feel like reunlocking AGES's console mod).  Next post will probably go over this game some more.  Bye guys.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Have I Made A Difference?

One of the things I aim to do in this blog is to keep from turning it into a journal. It's great to talk about how I feel or what I've done lately. But the last thing I want to do is turn this into a LiveJournal where I talk about my reoccuring depression every other post. No one's into that, we're here to talk about the games. But I have to bring this up.

From the announcement post of The 90's Arcade Racer, John Marine leaves a comment:

You (and/or the developer(s) of this project) would reach hero status if this project ever materialized. I certainly applaud your desires for this one. SEGA Super GT/SCUD Race sucked my coin wallet dry. I've played that more than Daytona USA, and MANY more than Indy 500. I like Daytona USA though I've played Super GT more than Daytona USA and Indy 500 combined. Best of luck to you with this deal.

Truthfully, I don't feel I deserve credit for the creation and persistence of The 90's Arcade Racer.  I upped the donation to 90 quid ($143) which gets me a logo on one of the cars.  Yet there are at least two people who donated 750 quid ($1189) which is a hell of a lot more than I did so if we're assigning a person's value by how much they donated to the project, then I'm not terribly important.

So how about working on the game?  Well, I got in touch with the guy, exchanged a few words and I threw out some ideas.  I also offered to help work on the game, even for free.  Yet the guy politely said no.  Money-wise, he's going to get the 10K pounds he needs.  He's currently in touch with a publisher and the game has a great chance of being on PC and Wii U (Unity engine is now Wii U compatible, oh joy).  It's understandable because A. it's his baby and I don't think he wants someone else messing up what he's done so far and B. he lives in Greece, I live in the USA...kind of hard to coordinate game development with people on the other side of the globe.  So The 90's Arcade Racer is out of my hands, even though it never was in my just hope for the game's best now.

It's just discouraging to me to see all this Sega racer stuff fly by me...  Look, they ported Daytona USA to XBL/PSN.  Look, El Semi and Bart made Model 2/3 emulators.  Look, Sumo Digital makes two Sega All-Stars Racing games (puts the Hornet in the second one).  Look someone made The 90's Arcade Racer.  But all I could do was play cheerleader in a small Blogspot and say "yeah that's awesome, I'm stoked."  But I had no say in any of these things.  The fact I became a fan of this Sega "franchise" so late and how it suddenly flourished in the last few years really is pure coincidence.  At least I think so.

Geez, I wanted to help Sega but most every time I tried to make a move, I miss my chance or I get shut out.  The only things that come to mind were the Daytona USA 2 image compilation on Photobucket and first soundtrack uploads to YouTube.  The Daytona 2 Forza 4 cars were great but were practically busts in terms of actual downloads.  Back then, these things were exclusive, now it's common knowledge amongst Sega fans.  Maybe these things were part of a Butterfly Effect but I'm not sure.

Then I moved on to this blog which I thought would be a great venue to get ideas about Sega racers and game design on paper.  Over the past three years, I don't know how many regulars I really get because my stats are so botched from these Google spambots and image searches.  But there have been a couple of times in past few months that I looked at the blog and thought "Damn, this is really stupid."  Am I posting things that move Sega racers in a POSITIVE direction and not just preaching to the choir?  Doesn't help that the one racing game I worked on so much in the last year was not even a Sega was Super Sprint and even still, it wasn't THAT well-received and I still hover in and out of wanting to work on it again.

I feel like I was born at the wrong time.  I also feel I wasted so much energy on frivolous things that don't mean anything now or in the near future, like Counter-Strike maps, Rock Band, and Xbox Live achievement points.  There's no telling if I did a good job trying to promote Sega racers.  I hope I did.  I'm not asking for pity messages but that's what I've been thinking the last few days and I'll move on to more fun-tastic racing game posts.  I'm trying guys...until then, now you know how I feel and I'll be back real soon.