Tuesday, 25 May 2010


BROKEN TRAILS is about to go off on a tangent with some stuff about gaming and I know that it is a subject that doesn't appeal to everybody - but there is a point and all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Racing games were not my thing. I couldn't handle them at all despite all the hand and eye co ordination therapy. They were too fast for me.
That was until a couple of years ago when I attempted a game called 'Burnout Takedown'. Just one race on this game showed just how much my own concentration as well as hand and eye responses had grown over time. But more about that in another post.

This is probably the best motor racing game around at the moment. Even XBox 360 magazines rave about it with scores of 9 and 9.4 out of ten. But 'the best racing game ever'? Certainly, addictive for the first couple of seasons but then becomes repetitive.
The downside is the Leaderboards. If you want to find out how well you've done - don't bother. For example if the race is for the Lambourghini Murcielago LP 640 only why is the top ten either an Audi, Rossion Q1 or Porsche 997RS none of which are eligable for that race? A quibble, I know, but even the magazines can't answer that question.
Despite that the game is reasonably good.

NFS:Shift is Forza 3 with aggression. Win the race by any means possible - just smack the opposition out of the way.
After the disaster zone that was 'Pro-Street' I was wary about Need For Speed's shift to the racetrack.
Need For Speed had built up a rep with games like 'Carbon', 'Most Wanted' and 'Undercover' that were full of street racing as in the movie series 'The Fast And The Furious'.
Surprisingly, 'Shift' works and the gamer gets to do all those things that they would like to do on 'Forza 3'.

This is a game that goes extreme and coming from Disney Productions I could easily see a movie emerge.
Now this is billed for 7+ - I don't think so. Some of the tracks would be quite hard. Trying to race a track while a helicopter is firing missiles at your car - just one example.
Reviewer, Mike Channell of XBox 360 (the official XBox magazine) descibes the game as a combination of 'The Running Man' and BBC's 'Total Wipeout' - except that I don't recall four red balls; just the one big yellow wrecking ball.
I can see where Mike is coming from though I would have combined 'The Running Man' with Jason Statham's 'Death Race'.
Again quite addictive but the point of the game like winning cars and opening new tracks is lost when you realise that for 520 credits you can download the cars and tracks and unlock the lot. And this within hours of the launch of the game (21st May 2010).

All these games are available to play on-line.
Forza 3 seems to have a time zone problem - thankfully, I'm not the only one to notice this.
However, Split Second Velocity has a level playing field. So, spending 520 credits on the top cars is not going to help you win races. Being in front doesn't mean that that gamer is going to win. Nor does having the fastest car mean a win because you can still win if you have a lesser car. It all comes down to the game and how the gamer plays it.
Perhaps, this is where 'Split Second Velocity' comes into it's own - the unpredictability of other gamers. Real people rather than computer drawn cars where you know how the animated object is going to react.

Coming up: My introduction to gaming and the online community - and some interesting comments.

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