Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Drift Stage: Another SEGA Fan Game!!! My Opinions

There's a new indie game that popped onto the scene last week!  It's got a name and it's called "Drift Stage."  The name is pretty meh to me but check out the gameplay!  This is just a beta stage so never mind the blue/orange abyss.

Unlike The 90's Arcade Racer, which targets Daytona, Scud Race, and Indy 500, this Drift Stage game gives me and OutRun vibe.  The physics don't look that complicated--you can twitch in and out of drifts.  Very snappy, predictable handling which is good since responsive racing games tend to be the most fun of all.  It also reminds me of Ridge Racer (lol) and Screamer (old PC game).

This isn't on any sort of Kickstarter just yet.  It has a Tumblr site ( redirects to it) as well as the aforementioned gameplay clip but not much else.  Oh!  There's also Chase Pettit's Twitter (the game's lone programmer) and judging from this video, you can tell he's pretty diehard about his racing games!!

SPOILER ALERT: The car is a looping image.

ALSO, stumbling through this guy's Twitter, I found another little indie gem.  Thunder Desert GP for the Ouya (which is basically a dead console now but hey, points for effort), a 3D version of Super Hang-On.  Not sure how you can access such a game...I don't have an Ouya so I'm SOL from the start.

So...back to Drift Stage.  What do I really think?  It's a breath of fresh air.  I mean we're actually looking at gameplay footage, something that The 90's Arcade Racer hasn't delivered on for over a year.  Drifting looks like a lot of fun, however I'm a bit concerned that without manual transmission or unique track layouts (preferably with varying road widths) that the game will get too predicable or easy.  

The colors are nice and bright.  However, I think the game will be a little TOO saturated.  The demo video is entirely blue and orange which can be interpreted as "retro" but the original 1986 OutRun and even 1981 Turbo utilized the entire hue wheel.  Drift Stage's cars, a Ferrari 288 GTO/512 BB, a Lotus Esprit, and Toyota AE86, look quaint and pixelated (no "realistic car models" BS, thank God)  but again, the two-tone colors...make me consider the alternative--that fully-colored cars would fare better (or at least black tires).  It's an acquired taste, thus the more I observe this game, the more I'll loosen up to it.


The sense of speed and environments have great potential.  Barring the color palettes, the environments could use a wider variety of "stuff."  I only see two types of fences, buildings, trees, and other doodads.  One of the things that made OutRun so great is because you would whizz by so many things and give you that riveting sense of speed (I wrote a whole article about sense of speed).  if Drift Stage can capitalize on this, this game will be AWESOME.

Finally, the soundtrack.  I didn't like the music in that first gameplay video.  I can see they're trying to recreate OutRun's poppy jazz-fusion stuff so odds are I probably won't warm up to it for a while due to unfamiliarity.  But anyway, soundtrack (as well as audio) is KEY to these sort of games so hit it hard!  Get some real car engines and pay Richard Jacques to get his ass down here in the studio.

Yeah my review is a bit negative but consider it constructive criticism.  I want this game and The 90's Arcade Racer to succeed!!!

Also I'm honestly surprised that a lot of the Sega sites (SegaBITS, TSSZ News) didn't report shit on this game.  Why not?  Because it doesn't have the SEGA logo on it despite being heavily influenced by said arcade games?  Even lousy Kotaku beat those sites to the punch.  Labels aren't important anymore.  I love FAST-PACED, COLORFUL racing games.  Sega used to deliver on these but nowadays, not so much.  So while you guys give your write-ups on the next dreadful Sonic, Aliens, and Hatsune-Miku games, I'm going to focus on Sega's legacy.  So yeah, keep an eye out for Drift Stage!  GET READY!!  VROOM, VROOM!!....

When you post GIFs like this to promote your game, you're automatically a winner.