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.

No comments:

Post a Comment