Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Updates To Sonic All-Stars Racing, 90's Arcade Racer, And My Optimism

Okay guys, we're back online and I'm sorry about the huge ass delay.  I'm alive and kicking, just barely though...

This news is OLD'd but I don't care, I thought you'd want to hear my take on it.  So, the new DLC character for Sega All-Stars Racing is the Russian commander from Company of Heroes 2.  This is DLC that came out on July 4th which makes no sense since it's an AMERICAN holiday, not a Red Commie one (BOOOOO) but that's besides the point because the character choice is certainly a strange one.  It's a WWII tank/submarine/fighter combo and that alone deserves praise because the idea of driving a TANK sounds like real neat idea.  Otherwise, my response might as well be summarized by this...

This character, along with the other PC exclusives like the Tactician and the Shogun really show how much Sega has fallen off the map.  Perhaps I'm a bit bitter that I wish more relatable Sega characters like Ryo Hazuki, Segata Sanshiro, Jacky Bryant, Ristar, Vectorman, Bonanza Bros. Toejam & Earl, ChuChu's, or even freakin Bayonetta made it into a game that was meant to promote Sega's Golden Age.  Or also bitter that DarthS0L, Sumo, or Sega basically played us for fools, proposing "Internet petishuns" to help get our favorite characters in the game that were all for naught really.

But the main cause for bitterness is seeing characters from games that I could barely consider Sega in nature (Football Manager, Total War, Company of Heroes) are getting precedence over the other characters for political posturing--people who liked Sega All-Stars Racing are more likely to get into Football Manager, Total War, etc. and vice versa.  It's free promotional material for games that are just painfully non-Sega in nature.  I mean Western-developed games about gritty war heroes and football simulators isn't what Sega should be known for.  It shows that they've completely failed to develop good games in recent time and are willing to stamp their name on any decent games they can get their hands on to seem relevant once again.  I'm not saying games like Football Manager or Total War suck, but whenever I read stories about them on the Sega blogs, my thoughts basically devolve to "meh" since I didn't get involved in Sega years ago just to read about them.  Really, to this day I'm still utterly baffled that Sega would get involved in the Aliens franchise, only to watch garbage Gearbox and Randy Pitchfork piss all over it.

Anyway, cause the Reddit-spooge-inducing Steam Summer Sale is on, I picked up Sonic All-Stars Racing: Transformed up for PC for $8.  Not bad and I hope you did too.  I haven't played it yet but I'll have it for 60 FPS goodness on a rainy day.  One problem I finally realized after all these months is that the game isn't going to work with this fancy GT steering wheel I got a while back.  Why??  Because you can't fly planes with a steering wheel.  Now that's just lame...  Think I said this before but if given the choice for cars only at 60 FPS or cars/boats/planes for 30 FPS, I'd take the cars at 60 FPS.  And the steering wheel compatibility is another reason...

Sonic All-Stars Racing: Transformed is basically in its waning phase and if Sumo were to add anything else to the game at this point, I'd probably shit bricks.  Doubt it'd happen though.

We do have another update from another game and it's from The 90's Arcade Racer crew via Kickstarter email.  This was some time in June.  Basically, they're going all-out with this game now, as they have introduced what appears to be an airport terminal level (Scud Race, duh) as well as the "Omnomnomnom" car which is clearly meant to be the Phantom Full Force car.  In other words, I think feature creep is kicking in as the crew has said f*** it to normal arcade conventions, let's crank the number of cars and tracks in this game up to 11.  Here's two hi-res screenshots.

Now, I might as well tell you what happened recently too and this was after I got fired.  Basically, I sent Pelikan another email about my recent woes and said I can help with the game if necessary (also gave him the link to my personal portfolio site).  He sympathized with me but has since then never replied back with an "offer" (even a free one would do, that's how much I want to help with the game).  And I can understand the lack of offer since I am a programming noob who lives on a completely different continent than he does.

So the game is coming along nicely and let's face it--I've kinda run out of things to do for racing games.  The 90's Arcade Racer is basically out there honing in on the Sega Racing Utopia Project we've all desired while Sega and Sumo Digital are jerking off and every other racing dev is obsessed with making their racing games as photorealistic as possible, gameplay or fun be damned.  I did throw out the idea about a year ago that I should create my own 3D arcade racing game like Daytona or OutRun on my own but let's face it--it'd never work.  I'm not an artist and I no longer have access to the same tools/software that I did during my days at grad school.  It would be like constructing a car out of popsicle sticks but no glue.  The 90's Arcade Racer is doing better than I ever could in a freelance project so I'm basically left in the dust to play the role of an inept cheerleader.  You have no idea how much this depresses me.

As an aside, and I hate getting all emo once again, but my motives have most certainly changed over the last couple of years.  At first it was all "hoorah, we're gonna work for Sega and make Daytona USA 3," then it's "well, Sega seems out of reach but it might happen and I might get to work on some racing games," to "I don't give a shit anymore, I'll work for anyone who pays for me."  My optimism certainly got shot down, curb stomped, and roasted as firewood really quickly.  I'd consider it fortunate if I ever get to "contribute" to a racing game ever again outside of Super Sprint.  Argh, everything just got all fucked up since I was fired and I'll be lucky if I ever get a job working at a video game studio again.  Sorry to be Debbie Downer.  I'll be back with more updates someday so later guys.