Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fast Go-Karts In Orlando! About Damn Time...

Okay, it's Saturday and my dad is hanging out with me in Orlando over the weekend.  What is there to do in the big O on Saturday?  PLENTY OF THINGS LIKE GET STUCK IN TRAFFIC AND LOUSY TOURIST TRAPS!!!

So after eating some pizza, me and my dad decided to go check out some go-karts.  There's one place to go and that is the Fun Spot.  It's basically a mini amusement park with a hundred, thousand billboards going up and down International Drive.  It has a bunch of go-kart tracks, bumper boats, that scary-ass flinger ride, and an arcade.


Whatever, so me and dad get stuck in traffic for an hour but we make it to the Fun Spot.  Obviously my main goal is to check out that big-ass arcade of theirs!

There's the Fun Spot. 

Omg, arcade.

I get there and frantically search both floors for a Sega racing game.  Aaaaand...there is none.  After spending an hour lamenting the inevitable death of yet ANOTHER arcade (no really, it's like being a WWII medic who has watched the tenth soldier die in front of him...like it just sucks ass to be completely helpless to the fact you can't save 'em), we decide to go out the go-karts.

The "Fun" Spot, rofl.

Okay, they're fine, they've got FOUR different tracks on the premises (with all but one being multi-level), but there's a catch.  They're just super-ass slow--like I could run faster than these things.  I'm guessing they went 10-15 mph.  The tracks were neat but me and dad just had a sudden realization...the 45+ mph go-kart tracks that we've been meaning to visit for AGES...


Indeed, so we go rummaging the Fun Spot's pamphlet bin and find NOTHING based on go-karts.  No kidding right, like why would the Fun Spot tell us to go ride any other go-karts besides these?  Quick, let's leave the cheap-ass Fun Spot and run up the road to the Super McDonald's, get a pamphlet there, and head out to the go-karts at last.

Track Panorama

This is the go-kart track in question--the Orlando Kart Center.  Now to get to this place, you had to drive super far away from Disney, Universal, or any tourist trap...  Basically up the highway, down a few backroads, and there you go--a go-kart track.  I was tempted to wear by Daytona hat but no, I left it in the car.  It was probably for the best because this place turned out to be an F1 car haven...flying Brazilian flags (Ayrton Senna) and painting everything with Italian flag stripes (Ferrari).  Surely I would've been booted out of the building because I didn't know how to turn right, or something.

Someone else's video of le track

Me and dad sign up for three 10-minute sessions, a grand total of 30 minutes driving.  You start by filling out a health-and-safety form (in other words, we could die and we can't sue them) as well as a "nickname" on a computer (mine was "Junior" cause of #88 and I'm Eric Junior after all).  Then you're given a balaclava (those socks that go over your head) and a helmet.  Oh snap, this is getting serious.  BUT THERE'S MORE--while waiting in the lobby, for our turn, there's a crowd of latino-looking men speaking to each other in Italian.  They had Ferrari t-shirts on.  They had nicknames on the screens like "Alberto," "Omar," "Rodrigo," and "Goias."  Shit just got real.

Eventually, we put on our helmets and went to our assigned go-karts.  Since there was no starting grid or rolling start, you basically compete against each other to get the fastest possible lap time.  Computers can save each of your lap times and display them on screens next to your nickname.  They also displayed your kart's RPMs so you can see who had the fastest karts (an outstanding feature).  But enough about stats cause we're racing.

The Mysterious Driver!!!

I'll fix this damn picture later.

I am KICKING ASS at this stuff.  Forget about the whole "lap time" business--I was gunning for everyone and made a ton of passes.  My expertise at nailing the racing lines really payed off.  Brake in, accel out.  Gotta be careful though because if you slam the brakes, you'll do a slide and those aren't pretty in real life.  After two or three laps, I finally got a feel for the thing.  I was stunned after the first 10-minute session to find out that "Junior" had finished with the fastest time.  Nobody said anything to me afterwards but I was feeling rather hot so I just stood in front of a fan sipping my McDonald's Root Beer.

Junior wins!!

Second session, the unfortunate news is that my kart was slower this time.  The brakes were also weaker but at least I was less fearful of spinning out.  Because guys were making steady progress on me (what else could I do?), I summoned up some sisu* and basically threw the kart into the corners, taking turns at full speed when before, I would've let off the gas a little.  I slipped and slided but I ended up finishing somewhere in the middle in terms of time.  Real bummer but I overachieved considering my kart's performance compared to the others.

Really, Google???  Is your Picasa photo uploading so stupid it won't submit the images with the right rotation???

Third session turned out to be the same thing but with a slightly better kart.  This is when fatigue really kicked in.  The problem this whole time was the damn balaclava and helmet were really obstructing me.  Being constricted like that, I breathed in hot air which made me suffocate a bit so I had to adjust the mask often.  Also, I lifted up the helmet visor because the scratched lens really pissed me off.  Too bad all the dirt particles flew into my eye and made me uncomfortable.  I also got bruises on my arm and sides from bouncing up and down on a plastic kart seat all this time.  But regardless of physical pain, I still pushed the kart to 110 percent.  I finished the last session in 2nd which was a good way to end the day.

I know where to hold my next cake day.

After that, me and dad went home.  Dad had motion sickness, I had bruises and dirty eyes.  But we drove over 45+ mph and it was a rewarding experience.  Compared to video games, you actually get a "feel" of how the car's moving so you can react differently and do a better job of sensing where the racing lines are.  That made me think of the potential I could use in real race-car driving as well as in video games where the "feel" of the car (sense of speed, momentum, center of gravity, etc) comes into play.  Anyway, Orlando Kart Center.  Better than the Fun Spot.  Laters...

* - Had these guys been Finnish instead of Italian, I would've been in a world of trouble. >_>

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bass Pro Shops, Scary Malls, Dave & Busted's

PLEASE NOTE: I will post pictures I took on my iPhone really soon but since I'm typing this at work, I can't do that just yet.  Later today...

Last Saturday was very strange to me.  And it's not cause it was 4/20 (I don't smoke, SORRY KIDS).  It's because my brother (2 years younger than me) and his girlfriend were driving to Orlando to come visit me for the day.  It was a treat since it gave me the incentive to do something besides sleep in all day to make up for my lack of sleep during the work week.

Whatever, so we're off to go do stuff.  First, we stop at Chipotle to eat tacos.  I throw around a lot of jokes, get a bunch of laughs.  Then after we eat, we want to do something fun.  Since we're near International Drive where all the tourist traps are, we think "Hey, let's go putt-putt."  So Brother searches for "putt putt" on his iPhone and we're off to some place called "Putting Edge."  Strange thing is it takes us to the Festival Bay, a gigantic mall near the end of International Drive (by the Fun Spot and the terrible outlet malls that sell clothes I'm not interested in).  We don't see a sign ANYWHERE for a Putting Edge but we do spot a Bass Pro Shops which served as an anchor to a large mall!  Because Brother and Girlfriend are into outdoors stuff, they inexplicably want to go in.  And I obliged.

In case you're like "dafuq is bass pro shops", it's basically a giant log-cabin department store with a shiatload of ourdoor merchandise--hunting, camping, fishing, boats, ATV's, an aquarium-esque fishing tank, "homemade" candy prepared an log cabin (yo dawg we herd you like...), NASCAR toys, Cabela's silly light-gun games (which reminds me, where the hell is Sega Bass Pro Fishing???), and old-timey red-state stuff.  A far cry from Academy Sports (from my hometown Slidell, LA) which is basically a white box with some sporting goods in it.  Since this place is so big, it was like an amusement park of its own.  Brother pushed Girlfriend around in the shopping cart, checked out the lousy light-gun game, tried on hats, looked at poor taxidermed animals, took pictures next to the Tony Stewart sign, also checked out the stuffed toy animals (I bought a coyote and a brown thrasher, I like little toy animals, I think they're cool so STFU), and sat in comfy recliners.

But after we've had our fun for about an hour, I glance at the other exit to Bass Pro Shops--the one leading to the actual mall.  Now the last time I was at this store, I hadn't gone into the mall.  But here, there was a sign leading to the "Fantasy Arcade" or something.  It was too alluring not to go so I told Brother and Girlfriend, "I'm going to check out that arcade, see ya later."

What happened next was rather surreal like a Twilight Zone or Creepypasta (at least to me anyway).  See, I had walked into....a dead mall.  It was a big, vacant hallway.  All the stores were boarded up except for a few stragglers like a sporting goods, Smoothie King, and the indoor glow-in-the-dark Putting Edge that took us to this very building in the first place.  As I was wandering around looking for the arcade, I felt like I had been here before...  Visually, this building is nearly the same as some of the macabre dreams I had before--ones where everything was dim, the building was on its last legs, and a shoddy arcade.  I did find the arcade and not to my surprise, it was a bunch of poorly aligned arcade cabinets with a bias towards American games (as usual).  No Sega racers but they had Cruis'n World (dumb) and San Francisco Rush (better).

I didn't play any games though.  Didn't feel like it.  Was too weirded out by the place.  I sort of wandered around aimlessly as I nearly crawled up into a ball to cry.  Pains of going to the Northshore Square Mall in Slidell, LA to play Daytona USA 2 wrought me with misery.  I feel like those dreams were just self-fulfilling prophecy of the death of malls (see this informative site), arcades, and Sega in general and that the happy times were never coming back.  And how my journey thus far was really a dramatic one--that malls like this is where my "life force" came from and I'm trying to bring it home for racing game fans everywhere but I been shut out from being able to help for so long.  Drama, I have it...

And like any good Creepypasta story, I didn't simply "run away" when things got weird.  I stuck around and wandered some more and took pictures (Frank West style, speaking of Dead Rising, yeah this mall looks like it).  Eventually, Brother & Girlfriend walked to the mall too but I ran back to Bass Pro Shops.  What would happen is 30 minutes of us trying to message each other in order to meet up again but to little success.  When I finally found them, in a cold I bought a bag of malted milk balls, munched on 'em in the car as I took off uneasy.  I told Brother & Girlfriend that I felt ill but they didn't get it.  I was very talkative up until the moment I went into the mall but afterwards, my energy was drained.

Well, what else is there to do on a Saturday night in Orlando?  Eventually, we agreed to go to Dave & Buster's, the one that I went to twice already (once, twice).  My mood lightened up once we got there.  We paid $25 to play some games and, obviously, I had opted to play Daytona USA (no really?).  Brother & Girlfriend stood on and watched but were mostly interested in getting in petty debates over dating stuff (which is why I'm currently single--no debating with girls and more time to play games).

While I shed a tear and was slightly healed from experiencing the cathartic effects of a Sega racer, the problem was the pedals were defunct.  If you floored it, the car only accelerated 70-90% of the way, varying on the different machines.  Like on Expert, I couldn't even pass a single car on the starting straightaway which is not supposed to happen.  After playing a couple of rounds to much disappointment, I spotted an arcade attendee repairing a House of the Dead 3 machine.  Told him "the pedals on those machines are off," he said okay but was mostly uninterested.  I highly doubt he fixed them.  Judging by how content people are from playing Beginner with the AT car bouncing off the walls with no skill, I highly doubt it was in Dave & Buster's interest to even repair the machines.  That is depressing.

The day did end on an okay thing.  We played this little football game where you score points by throwing tiny footballs through some holes.  I got the worst score of us three and, in three plays, got consecutively worse scores.  I Tebowed in the middle of the place.  Girlfriend got the highest score of all (WTF indeed), plus she also beat me at Daytona USA on beginner (a first for me) but only because my cabinet had busted pedals and hers didn't and she used rubber banding to win.  Was shitty but she didn't rub it in.

We go home to my apartment, I convince Brother & Girlfriend to watch a few Top Gear UK clips on YouTube, they go to sleep on the crappy Target futon, wake up early and drive back home.  It was an interesting Saturday but in many ways depressing.  It makes me think that over the last year or few, I sorta missed out on the pain that Sega & arcade games were going through and that I opted to spend my time on personal projects that had nothing to do with Sega, really.  I couldn't help but cry a little.

Man, the reason I'm going through this "journey" to Sega is to bring back the good times for everyone who was in my boat.  And we're making progress but still, I always feel I could've done better.

Good news though and that is my dad is coming up to visit me today.  I get to see my dad again, it will be fun.  Hopefully we don't get in any stupid situations like I did with Brother & Girlfriend, heh.  I just want to be at peace, that is all...

I love you, Dad.  I love you too, Sega, for your games fathered me like a real father would.  You convinced me to be this way so I'm trying to spend time with you again.  Just don't shut me out, please.  And yes, I do have a habit of spinning media about missing family/friends/loved ones into missing Sega games and now you know that.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More Stuff On 90's Arcade Racer (With Crying)

A new video from yesterday.

"Games have become too extreme (Burnout), wacky (Mario Kart), photo-realistic (Gran Turismo)." - paraphrase the guy

"We lost these 90's arcade racers that have soul and are really fun to play." - paraphrase the guy again

At 1:00, does the guy wipe away a tear?  I did at at the same time.

Spotted the Aquarium tank (Scud Race), dinosaur skull (Daytona 1), etc.  Stuff from previous games we've already seen before.

4:10, the CHECK sign is back!!!  

4:14, looks like a rocket ship or a scud missile.  Daytona 1 and Scud Race, lol.

4:35 looks like Sonic Mountain turn on Beginner on Daytona 1.

4:40, the glass sheet up above reminds me of the Forest Dome from Daytona 2.

4:56, looks like that little brown tunnel from Advanced course on Daytona 2, after the space port section.

5:08, TWO NEW CARS, the Pelikan and the Stingray cars are the Porsche and Scorpio cars from Scud Race and Daytona 2 respectively!!!  Hell, the Stringray even has that colored front of the car, it's clearly influenced by the Scorpio, no question!!!  Hit the juice!!!

6:36, NIGHT TIME!!!

7:00, get that stupid mouse cursor off the screen!!

Wheel support has been confirmed!  Somewhere in the video, I forgot when the guy said it...

There is no new "racing" footage in the game, just new scenery and cars.  Nothing OutRun related though it's not likely since OutRun was mainly focused in the 80's and 00's.  I am still a bit concerned about drifting, manual transmission, and other sense of speed facets like car shake, force feedback, and tire effects but let's be patient...

I'm at work so I'm trying to rush through this.  I honestly want to punch a hole through the wall that I'm not working on this.  I would rather be working on that game than any other game right now.  Honestly, the only thing I can do to help these guys is to simply give all my disposable income to them.  Seriously, if I can't work on the game, I will do whatever I can to help and unfortunately, all that I can do is provide them with resources and blather on about it on the Internet.  I'm ecstatic while simultaneously crying and feeling depressed right now.  I will get back to you later once I finish working on these other obligations.  Until then, God Speed, Sega Racing Fans...

How I feel about right now.  Jim Mora, eh...................

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Divekick: 2nd Best Fighting Game (Behind VF)

Here is a nifty little game that's also a shameless plug for a project that a couple of my FIEA friends are working on. This is a game called "Divekick." My friends at Iron Galaxy Orlando didn't invent the game but they are polishing it and releasing it in PSN, Vita, and (hopefully) PC.

The game only uses two buttons--jump (hover upwards as long as the button is held) and dive kick (kick down-forward). No combos, throws, or blocking! One-hit KO's (best of 9 rounds). When two opponents kick each other, the higher person wins. There's a few other features like "headshots"--kick a guy in the head and he's stunned at the start of the next round, but the gameplay is still simple-stupid in a paper-rock-scissors way but I know diehards like Dave Sirlin will love it. Actually, the game has gained some traction at PAX and even EVO with its two-button arcade-style controls which is pretty nice... I'm proud of my guys at Iron Galaxy. I love it because it's basically a parody of fighters...like why is there a health bar when you're KO'ed in one hit anyway? So look out for this game.

Some Yomi Layer 3 stuff right there...

Watch this video.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Real Life Sega Racin'--Plus Poor, Poor Peter Moore :(

Well guys, last Friday was one of the greatest days of my life.  What happened, you say?  It was morning time and I made the 15-minute drive up the highway to try to get to work on time.  The pavement was wet from rain.  As I was traversing the offramp to take one of those nifty 180-degree banked turns, I always instinctively punch it and hit the racing line.  Seriously, it's little things like "go 50 mph around a sweeping turn" that really help me get through the day cause seldom does anything else.

And as I throttled on around the turn, I started to drift.  Not hydroplane but DRIFT like in Daytona, OutRun, Initial D.  The little blue FWD coupe started to slide at (I guess) 15 degrees for about 3 seconds.  But what makes this even more exhilarating was that I handled it like a mother f***in champ.  Didn't panic like "OMFG I'M GOING TO DIE", just sort of eased off the gas, counter-steered and whoomp--car straightened out and I was on my merry way.  Just like Captain Chelsey Sullenburger (with ice water in his veins) as US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing in the Hudson River with no casualties.  Sorta like my brain snapped and said "I got this bro," as I realigned the car without a sign of panic.

The drift goes on my repertoire of things a race car driver must do to to become a bonafide driver.  Things like trade paint with the wall (thanks wooden fence), spin out on the highway, survive a wreck on the highway (no damage to either cars, I'm that good), floor it 10 times trying to beat the red light, do a 3-point turn, parallel park once, have a 95% success rate (min. 25 attemps) doing a right turn into a parking space, beat every Sega racing game, start a blog and talk about race cars, and so forth.  Most legit driver ever, watch out Travis Pastrana.

By the way, listen to some cool ass music:

Anyway, this is kind of a hilarious story.  We know about our beloved Peter Moore, right Sega fans?  Well, Peter Moore is now the new Chief Operating Officer of EA.  Basically, he's the Master of the Domain.  And he posted an editorial in EA's defense titled "We Can Do Better."  Obviously it doesn't mean jack shit to the legions of angry Redditors out there but still kinda funny to watch EA become self-conscious of their behavior.  Will they change?  Meh, not counting on it...

Head of EA: Our cheeky m8 took AGES to get dis good, wot u say bout him nao???

But after reading it, to be honest, Peter is kinda right, partially cause he's not scumbag John Riccitiello with the microtransaction quotes.  The thing that is most telling is "The tallest trees catch the most wind."  Yeah, EA, as much as they suck ass, still has a few good games to their name--Battlefield, Mass Effect, Madden, The Sims...QQ all you want about them but that doesn't change the fact they're at least decent.  The fact that they're so famous means they'll catch the most crap.  Fairly certain there are smaller companies just as scummy but you'll never hear people mocking them.  Plus I was reading a Cracked article yesterday called "6 Harsh Truths That'll Make You A Better Person."  Here's a good segment at the article's conclusion that you should probably read:

Remember, misery is comfortable. It's why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.

Also, courage. It's incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don't create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created.

It's so much easier to just sit back and criticize other people's creations. This movie is stupid. That couple's kids are brats. That other couple's relationship is a mess. That rich guy is shallow. This restaurant sucks. This Internet writer is an asshole. I'd better leave a mean comment demanding that the website fire him. See, I created something.

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, whatever you try to build or create -- be it a poem, or a new skill, or a new relationship -- you will find yourself immediately surrounded by non-creators who trash it. Maybe not to your face, but they'll do it. Your drunk friends do not want you to get sober. Your fat friends do not want you to start a fitness regimen. Your jobless friends do not want to see you embark on a career.

Just remember, they're only expressing their own fear, since trashing other people's work is another excuse to do nothing. "Why should I create anything when the things other people create suck? I would totally have written a novel by now, but I'm going to wait for something good, I don't want to write the next Twilight!" As long as they never produce anything, it will forever be perfect and beyond reproach. Or if they do produce something, they'll make sure they do it with detached irony. They'll make it intentionally bad to make it clear to everyone else that this isn't their real effort. Their real effort would have been amazing. Not like the shit you made.

Geez...no doubt about it, I'm sick and tired of people who complain but don't contribute anything to society.  BUT I DO.  I'm a game designer/blogger of 2.5 years and what EA does is garbage.  Like God's Honest Truth, Reddit Gaming, if you hate EA so much, go do something proactive about it besides sit in your corner of the Internet and circlejerk over it as you continue to suck at the teat of EA by buying all their crap.  Your site is almost 4chan bad now.  Oh, that's right, you stole all the good stuff from 4chan (like every meme there is) so, as the Brits say, go sod off...

EDIT: Wait, more to say about Reddit.  As I continue to skim over /r/gaming/ (Lord Jesus Help Me), I'm convinced I found the template for every top post, a shitty meme-pic as such:

*le picture*

* - Bear in mind that this was at the top of /r/gaming/'s front page.  What passes as "quality" content on that site.

But one choice quote from Peter Moore, just for fun:

Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period.

I don't care if SimCity's Always-Online function is a DRM or not, it sucks.  I don't want to be forced to play online with other people when I play SimCity.  The server downage, lack of user mods, and constricted gameplay make it simply untolerable as it is.

Oh, and speaking of Always-Online, check out the new Xbox which is rumored to function the same exact way.  The one that makes the Kinect a mandatory feature.  Yeah, that's two strikes by Microsoft--always-online and Kinect-required.  And then you have this Microsoft guy talking smack over Twitter against people who can't stand the Always-Online connection.  Apparently the guy was joking (smart move, especially with angry Redditors trying to pounce on any EA/Microsoft/Activision employee they can get) but it really gets me thinking about Always-Online and how this kind of stuff is "perfectly okay" according to these people.  I'm joining the PC Master Race if this is the case.  New Xbox is looking more like shit every day.


I just felt like throwing this in here for fun.  Super old but I don't care.  Here's Richard Garriott (of Ultimate fame) saying that "most game designers really suck."  I've never cared about Ultima and I think Richard is an arrogant asshole but I do agree with over-infatuation with the game designers and how they trot up on stage and give the same-old self-aggrandizing speeches and soak in all the attention like they're gods among us mere pawns & peasants.  You guys would be nowhere without the programmers and artists who helped you get there.  Yeah, power to the programmers (and artists too, although they don't like drawing cars so boohoo), you guys are the best.  Now go shave your neckbeards.


One more thing.  I keep hearing about these guys called the "Game Grumps" from all my ex-FIEA classmates.  And how they talk about the Game Grumps playing Sonic '06 and how astonished they are at how bad that game really was.  Um, welcome to the life of Sega fans seven years ago.  I beat Sonic '06 from  start to finish and everyone's like "NO WAAAAYYYY."  Yes way.  It was like eating prison food while fans of every other company got to eat 5-star steak and lobster.  As a bitter Sega fan, I want every non-Sega fan to suffer with us.  Ok, adios guys.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rest In Peace, Rock Band

I know a lot of you probably don't give a crap about Rock Band (the game), but I do.  For a good part of '08-'12 I poured more money into that game than pretty much everything else.  Like you guys would go to the store and buy multiple games--Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, BioShock, etc.  I would just get Rock Band, Rock Band, Rock Band.  Makes sense, no?  That's how much the series apparently meant to me.

Every week for the last FIVE YEARS, Harmonix would release at least one new song for DLC.  The average for each week was about 3 to 6 new songs but sometimes they would release massive albums/song packs of 10 or more songs and those were fun days.  Always checking the websites each Friday to see which songs could be purchased the following Tuesday.  To put things in perspective, I currently own 1,500 songs in my library, plus three RB2 guitars (with third-party strum bar and lots of WD-40 to make the buttons click), two RB2 drumsets (one with cymbals), three RB mics, a RB3 keyboard and a RB3 Pro Guitar..  All of that must cost at least $2,500.  So Rock Band was a pretty big deal to me, don't you think???

Well, apparently, over the last year, the amount of weekly DLC dwindled...it was obvious the game wasn't as popular as it once was and that Rock Band was on borrowed time.  AC-DC/Lego/Beatles/Green Day Rock Band (plus Blitz) were great to tack on additional songs/features but it wouldn't last.  Last Tuesday, they released one last song--Don McLean's American Pie.  It's not one of my all-time faves but it's a great golden oldie to end the 281 week run on.  Dammit, this can't be true...there's so many more songs and bands to get in the game.  Where's Van Halen, Led Zeppelin (I know they are picky), ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, etc?  Where's all the keyboard wishlist DLC I wanted?  It's not coming...it's all over...

Rock Band is dead.  I'm utterly depressed but you know what?  It gives me faith in this generation of gaming.  Because Rock Band really was a game that should've faded away much earlier than it has now.  The fact that the series has over 4,200 playable songs is because the people working on the game actually genuinely cared about the damn game they were working on (list of all the DLC)!!  I can tell that they held out for as long as possible even though it was obvious the weekly DLC became less and less profitable.  Honestly, I wish game devs actually stuck to their guns on great convictions like these.

Boy, I'd love to see a racing game get as much DLC as Rock Band did (Forza 4 with its car packs and one DLC track barely comes close).  Thank you Harmonix for the inspiration.  Rock Band 4 is super unlikely IMO cause there's not much else to add to the series (we got pro guitar/drums/keys, what now???  saxophone???) aside from the ability to create charts from any MP3 you own (which is absurd, I admit)?  Now I can't listen to any song anymore without drumming my fingers to the notes, like I'm imagining a bunch of green-red-yellow-blue-orange notes coming down the lane as I press them like piano keys.  So Rest in Peace, Rock Band, you will be missed...

The first DLC song I bought for $2.  It started a Rock Band avalanche for me.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

And Another (Good) Announcement About This Blog

Well guys, I should say that the last post I made about the blog closing down is simply not true.  It was a horrendous April Fool's joke I didn't take much pleasure out of and sorry if anyone was hurt by reading that.  I didn't do this to get pity out of you guys or to really bail cause I was on the fence or some nonsense like that--it was a joke from beginning to end.

Unfortunately, though it was a joke, there were some things that were true about it.  The reason it seemed so genuine is because those things I mentioned are true fears of mine--that you'll show up to work at Sumo Digital or wherever and suddenly go stupid and get fired, that your favorite game company or companies will stop making good games, that the things you used to love you won't anymore, and so on and so forth.  I've been in a funk for the last few months, that's obvious.  But this blog will always have a purpose and I won't ever shut it down unless it's for some really good reason, better than "I feel bad, I don't want to post anymore" or some crap like that.

The blog is the only place left I have to vent about games.  It's the only place where I can still remember the Sega racers.  Hey, on the flip side of the coin, Sega, as stupid as they are, has made great strides in the last decade!  Who would've thought that in the last 6 or 7 years, we'd get mounds of new Sega racing footage in the form of pictures, videos, and player testimonials, we'd get Daytona 1 and 2 emulators, that Daytona would get a home port, that OutRun 2, Crazy Taxi, and Sega Rally 3 would get on XBL/PSN, that we'd get not one but two Sega All-Stars Racing games, that the Hornet would appear in two new racing games (Ridge Racer and Sega All-Stars Racing), and that we'd get a serious fan-made racing game called "The 90's Arcade Racer"!!!

The way I see it, this is an American Football game and Sega is advancing the ball down the field.  He's running down the field as his teammates throw blocks to help him advance.  Well he's down to the 10 or 5 yard line and he's still got one more man to beat.  Who's going to block that guy???  I would certainly like to be that guy who throws the block and gets jacked up (but helps Sega reach the end zone).

The main two problems I'm facing right now is that I'm preoccupied with other things and that I need to get motivated once again.  I need to go back to a NASCAR race or an actual arcade again.  I need to get excited again about driving!!!  And I don't give a damn what's going on with the game industry or websites cause I sure as hell am not going to let "evil forces" like Electronic Arts, Activision, Microsoft, etc. try to persuade me otherwise.

Besides, let's face it.  If I were to suddenly quit on Sega and this blog, what else would I be doing with my life?  Where would I go?  Would I be content working at the same job being a "yes-man programmer" my entire life?  Hell no.  And if I get fired for some controversial things I said on this blog, well...good, who wants to work there anyway.

Unfortunately, I will probably not be posting as much as I did before but I will be saying good things about Sega and racing games some more.  I can't let that passion get away from me because without it, I'm a corpse who's assumed room temperature--I'm done for--so it's Sega or bust, dammit. Leave comments, I read every one of 'em, guaranteed, even if I have posted in a while.

Bye guys.  *hops in conveniently placed Ferrari and drives off*

Monday, April 1, 2013

Announcement About The Future Of This Blog

Hey guys, how are you doing.  It's an okay day for me, kinda tired but this has been on my mind for the last month or so and it must be said.

In the near future, about a month, I'm going to sunset this blog.  Two-and-a-half years and 700+ posts later, it's time to call it quits.  It's become too arduous and trivial to do so here for a multitude of reasons which I will state...:

* I'm a working man now.  I have a legitimate job that's not an internship or other joke of a career.  I'm working 9 hours a day, possibly more in the near future, and after my week, I'm practically burned out after doing that and whatever other things I need to do to take care of my young adult self.  And on top of that, rambling about video games and saying controversial things as someone in the game industry can come back to haunt me, big time.  A few things I've said on this blog could get me fired from my current job.  A while back I caused a mutiny by criticizing a game behind my grad school classmates' back (Plushy Knight) and it caused problems.  I don't want anything like that to happen again.

* There's simply little to nothing going on with Sega anymore.  Well, there is, if you're into cheesy Sonic sequels, more Yakuza, Football Manager, Total War, and the occasional Sega nostalgia piece they toss the fans for a quick buck.  We've worn thin on Daytona 1, 2, Scud Race, OutRun 2, Crazy Taxi, even Sega All-Stars Racing, etc.  Those games aren't going anywhere anymore.  We got the emulators, we got XBL/PSN ports, we got the Hornet in Sega All-Stars Racing, we got a cool new fangame coming up (The 90's Arcade Racer), but other than that, aside from talk about some oldies like Power Drift, Rad Mobile, and Emergency Call Ambulance...we're kinda toast here.

* And as for other things, I can't criticize Need for Speed and Burnout forever.  There's nothing left to say about those franchises that hasn't been said.  It's crap racing all about wrecking expensive cars and terrible cutscenes--it's a done deal and as long as people still piss themselves over it, nothing's going to change about it.  As for things like real-life racing like NASCAR and such, no one really cares, do they?  The sport is awash with phony controversy and regulations, plus when I post about these things, people usually don't read it at all.  So what's the point?

* All great adventures I've embarked on, whether it's Counter-Strike Maps, Super Sprint, posting on various message boards, etc. always have a lifespan.  At first, it's all I ever dream about--wake up, do activity X, think about it in your free time, go to sleep.  But eventually, I just lose interest in it altogether.  And no amount of motivational talk can really get me to work on these things again.  This blog is just a victim of it.  It's getting more painful to write these posts that I reluctantly put them off for too long.  And when I do, the blog just gets more and more disorganized.  Look at sites like UK Resistance and Shenmue Stare--they called it quits eventually so it's not so shocking I do so as well.  Well, better to just call it quits now than force myself to tend to this blog for the two or three serious readers this gets each each day.

* Most of all, I'm starting to realize that this whole infatuation with wanting to work for Sega, meet Yu Suzuki and the AM2 team, and make Daytona USA 3 is a total wash.  It's like a childhood dream you have--you want to assume an extraordinary career like a professional athlete, a musician, or an astronaut.  But when you get older, you realize those things are stupid for numerous reasons--it's incredibly difficult and unlikely you'll ever get that job and once you do, you realize it's not what it's not what you imaged.  After being exposed to the REAL game industry over the last year or so, I now realize how much it actually sucks and how vulnerable I really am.  You have to be some "god among men" like Miyamoto, Suzuki, Kojima, etc. to be heard and even still, who's to say that Daytona USA 3 isn't somehow horribly botched?  It's time to stop pretending I'm on a "mission from God," that's all.

That's...really all there is to say about it.  I still hope great things for Sega, Sumo Digital, racing games, etc. but really, it's time to give it a rest.  I'll get in touch with you guys later but all I have to say is this...  To be this good takes Ages and it's been ages and now I'm good.  Thanks for every subscriber, reader, and good comment that's make this all worthwhile over the years... ;)