Posts Tagged ‘Racing’

Fairhaven…mobile sized. Not only do I have the latest Need For Speed game on my Xbox 360 I also made the purchase of Most Wanted on my iPad and iPhone. It may be a bit downscaled, but this version of the hit game still packs an amazing punch. On the go and running from the law…what could be better? Doing it in real life maybe. I do have the car for it, but for now I’ll be a good samaritan and just stick with the games. So is this smaller version of the game just as good as the console? Absolutely!

PROS:

Traditional Racing Formula
Like many racing games on the past, this version of Most Wanted sticks to what works best. Racing and unlocking cars with my speed points. Everything is kept right to the point as I can move around the map of the open city of Fairhaven and pick races.The cop chases are fast and frantic and are just as relentless as the console versions.

Looks Amazing
Need For Speed: Most Wanted is clearly the best looking racing game on the iPad and iPhone. I shit you not. The first thing that hit me was how awesome Fairhaven looks. At times it can be a bit hard to notice especially when I’m in the middle of an intense race or cop chase. I also have to comment on the sense of speed when I hit the nitrous and blast past the competition while praying that I don’t hit the wall in the process.

Excellent Controls
Most racing games never seem to get the controls down right. Well I didn’t need to worry about that with Most Wanted. Picking up my iPad and using it as a steering wheel while in a third person view was really cool. Swiping upward activated my nitrous and swiping down braked. The controls are kept simplistic mailing it easy for pick up and play for me. Casual gamers will also enjoy this, and hardcore gamers will use the options to the fullest to fulfill the toughest challenges.

CONS:

Multiplayer?
While Most Wanted features a great single player campaign with tons of cars and options to unlock the multiplayer however is a bit lacking. The only competition I had was beating times on races. Sadly , there is no head-to-head multiplayer action which hurts the game just a bit. To me racing is all about competition. Who has the faster car. Who can take turns better. Winning by an inch or a mile. I want multiplayer! Oh well. At least I have the Xbox 360 version for that.

I Want To Play As The Cops!
I know it’s not Hot Pursuit, but once again I’m jumping on the bandwagon to EA about some sort of update that would allow me to play as the cops. This game would be even greater to put me in the role of the enemy and take out the Most Wanted. I can only dream.

IN CONCLUSION

Need For Speed: Most Wanted is clearly the best racing game that I have played on the iPad. I also like it on the iPhone as well especially when I’m out and about. It’s easy for anybody to pick up and play, yet difficult to master which is great for gamers like myself. Whether I’m playing on my Xbox 360 or my mobile devices, Need For Speed: Most Wanted is a winner and a must buy for anyone who likes racing games.

Developer: Electronic Arts, Firemonkeys
Platform: iPad, iPhone
Players: 1
Price: $6.99

Welcome to Paradise City…whoops I mean Fairhaven. Sorry, for a second there I thought I was playing Burnout Paradise 2. Well in a way it does feel like Burnout Paradise except this time it’s with real world cars. That pretty much sums up Need For Speed: Most Wanted from Criterion Games (the team behind the awesome Burnout series). Make no mistake. This game is not a remake of the 2005 racer filled with all those cheesy dialog cutscenes. This Most Wanted is all about racing while also avoiding the law, and it’s a lot of fun.

PROS:

Open World Racing Action
Fairhaven is the setting for this new installment of the Need For Speed series. Here yoI found plenty of action tearing through the streets with tons of ramps to jump, billboards and gates to smash, cameras to speed past, and so much more acquiring speed points all with the goal to become the “most wanted” driver. A variety of races are also available to choose from at various intersections so that I could upgrade my ride to take on tougher opponents, or avoiding the fuzz. Fairhaven is a city which begs to be explored meaning hours of time just driving around doing nothing or finding a secret location or two or even three. Just a reminder: The GPS is very helpful here so take advantage of it.

Lots Of Cars Available From The Get Go
Littered amongst the big city is a wide selection of cars to drive. These cars were highly noticeable with their manufacturer logo above them allowing me to jack them. Muscle cars, sports cars, exotics, and even daily drivers. Nearly all the cars are available right away except for the cars owned by the drivers on the Most Wanted list. I get those by beating them. Having these jack spots is great for when I want to change rides for more races , and avoiding the cops so they lose my trail or when I took too much damage.

The Relentless Cop Pursuit
Getting chased by the cops in Most Wanted reminded me of the pursuits I had in the Grand Theft Auto games. Both had open world maps, large circular area on the map of coverage to chase you, and cool down periods when I avoided them where I would find a service station for repairs and a change of paint or just jack a new vehicle. The boys in blue in Most Wanted are relentless, and they have a variety of ways to take me down from road blocks and spike strips. The higher up I was on the most wanted list, or the more chaos I cause only draws more attention to myself means even more cops in pursuit and bigger ways to take me down. When I was able to avoid them I had a big sigh of relief in the accomplishment, however I know the next time will get much tougher.

CONS:

No Consequences For Getting Busted
This bothered me a lot. For a game that prides itself on avoiding the law you would think that there would be some sort of penalty for getting caught. Well there isn’t which kinda sucks. What would a game of Monopoly be like if you “Go to Jail” and still collect $200 because you passed “Go?” Criterion should’ve added some sort of consequence for getting busted like a loss of speed points for example. Some sort of “risk vs reward” option surely makes things more interesting when in the adrenaline rush of getting chased by the law.

No Way To Play As The Cops
Ok, I know this isn’t Hot Pursuit, but a game mode in multiplayer where you have racers vs cops would have been really cool in this game. In Hot Pursuit it was a blast. With the open world here in Most Wanted it would really change things up as players can find some creative ways to take opponents down in a race. C’mon man. I know I’m not the only person out there suggesting this. DLC add-on perhaps?

SO HOW DOES MY 2012 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 HANDLE?

Considering that this is more of an arcade style racer my 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is nothing different than practically any other car in the game except for overall speed and drifting through turns. I do have the options of available upgrades that I win through the races making my ride more than just a “stock” model. I will say that seeing the flames coming out of my quad tailpipes looks awesome.

IN CONCLUSION

Need For Speed: Most Wanted looks and plays like a sequel to Burnout Paradise, except for the cops of course, but Burnout this is not. Maybe this is an idea Criterion is toying with when it comes to a new Burnout game in the future. With this game, along with Forza Motorsport 4 and Forza Horizon, my racing game needs for speed are pretty much taken car of for a very long time. This game is a must buy fur racing fans who crave going fast and like to break the law in the process.

Developer: EA, Criterion Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-8 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

Welcome to Horizon! A festival celebrating the love of automobiles. Oh, and there’s plenty of music and a lot of hot girls showing off their assets (preferably on my car please). For years, the Forza Motorsport series gave me the opportunity to race in some of the hottest cars on the most popular tracks in the world. Horizon takes a completely different approach and delivers one of the best driving experiences alongside Test Drive Unlimited. Yes, the game is that good. For a time I had my doubts about Horizon, but those doubts were quickly dashed once I got behind the virtual wheel of my Dodge Viper and started driving for the first time. I love this game.

PROS:

Open World Driving
Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games take the Forza we all know and love and moved if out to the open world. Colorado becomes my new racing playground with tons of events to compete in and plenty of hidden treasures to find. Of course there’s also those times where I just want to drive on the open road and explore allowing me to enjoy the experience of driving rather than forcing me into race after race. Forza Horizon lets me do what I want whenever I want and I like that.

I Want Cars…Lots Of Cars
Now I’m not going to find the hundreds of cars that I would have in Forza Motorsport 4, but what Forza Horizon offers in terms of badass rides definitely suits me just fine. Horizon features some of the best muscle, sports, and exotic cars on the road, or dirt, for me to race or just cruise around the countryside with. There’s also the opportunity to restore older cars (found in hidden barns) to use as well. Cars also show real damage from crashing and hitting walls making for a sense of realism in racing which is a huge plus for me.

Wide Variety Of Events
There is always something to do in Forza Horizon. Your GPS will point you to upcoming races to advance your status in the championship, but there’s also other events to take part  in. PR Stunts, rally races, illegal street races against random drivers on the road, and even speed challenges from random radar cameras. Better yet, how about racing against an airplane. I kid you not. Just the mere thought of that type of event channels my inner Doug Masters from Iron Eagle. I got a real kick, as well as an adrenaline rush, doing these showcase races taking in planes, helicopters, and even hot air balloons. Sure it’s a novelty, but being told that your faster than an airplane is pretty damn cool.

CONS:

Lack Of Customization Options
The one thing that the Forza Motorsport series is known for is endless customization. Paint jobs, vinyls, aftermarket parts upgrades, and tuning so you get the most performance and handling out of your cars. Forza Horizon is more like Forza Motorsport Lite. Sure you get all the exterior goodies as well as some upgrades, but the tuning is missing. That kinda sucks. The upgrades can also be one a double-edged sword, because most races will not allow you to use your upgraded vehicles meaning that I’ll have to downgrade or pick another ride.

Opponent AI Can Be A Little Too Easy
If you want the biggest challenge that this game can give you then I would suggest setting the difficulty to “Hard” because anything lower is just too easy. Yes, I like to finish in first, but I felt like the opponent AI wasn’t putting up too much of a fight especially towards the end of the race. It was like they were begging me to pass them just to make me feel better. Another suggestion is to not stay with the default options. Customize your racing options so that you can score as many bonus credits as possible.

SO HOW DOES MY 2012 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 HANDLE:

Once I acquired enough credits I went right to purchasing my car. The 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1. I kept the car in my actual Victory Red color and changed out the rims, and painted them black to look exactly like mine. Keeping the car in it’s original stock I took it out in the open road and it was fantastic. Driving high speeds was exhilarating and the handling was brilliant and responsive. I could really see the sense of speed coming from the supercharged engine delivering 580 horsepower and 557 pounds of torque. I also switched into cockpit view and the look was absolutely authentic. It really felt like I was driving in my car.

IN CONCLUSION

Forza Horizon sticks to the roots that made the previous Forza Motorsport games fun to play. Add on a spectacular multiplayer experience to the fun and engaging single-player game and what I have is racing gold despite a couple of flaws. Horizon makes me feel like I’m at an over the top car show, and that’s pretty cool. This game has a lot to offer making it great for if I just want to have a casual drive to balls to the wall hardcore racing just to show off how badass I am behind the wheel shouting out “Move bitch! Get out of my way!” The big question I ask myself is if Forza Horizon is better than Test Drive Unlimited? I would have to say “Absolutely!”

Developer: Turn 10 Studios, Playground Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-8 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

So here I am a little over one month removed after making the trade of my 2011 Camaro SS and acquiring the 2012 Camaro ZL1. I must say that I’m really enjoying the ride. The amazing LSA supercharged engine delivering 580 horsepower and 557 lbs of torque makes this car a force to be reckoned with both on the streets and on the track. Now that I’m one month in driving this awesome piece of automotive engineering let me share with you some of my experiences in the ZL1.

First off, I’ve noticed an increased police presence. From the first time I drove my new car home to today I’ve seen more state troopers and local cops on the road both on speed traps or trailing my car hoping to write me a speeding ticket. So far their attempts have failed (knock on wood), but they continue to try. I guess this is what I get for buying a red car. Color makes all the difference and red equals a target to the cops. It’s a lesson learned for me, but to be honest I love the color of the car even if it wasn’t even in my top three colors that I was interested in.

Second, I’ve seen an increased amount of wannabe racers wanting to take me on. It really makes me laugh when someone pulls up in the shitty Honda, rev the engine a few times, and make their challenge to me. Recently at a street light at Port St. Lucie a Honda Civic pulled up to me, rolled down his window, revved the engine, and challenged my ride. All I had to do was rev my engine and I watched the window of the jackass in the Civic quickly roll back up. C’mon people, are you serious! You have no chance. Do me a favor and stop embarrassing yourself.

On a positive note I love all the attention I’ve been getting. Heads are turning everywhere as my car drives on by on Hutchinson Island. Everyone at work asks questions about my car wanting to know about the power and handling. I even take questions from random people at traffic lights who’ve never seen the car before, although I’m sure they’ve seen plenty of Camaros out on the road. I think it’s great that people are so interested making my purchase of the ZL1 even more exciting then the day I rolled out of the dealership.

So what are my plans in the following months. Well I plan to continue to show off my ride in car shows once my time at the St. Lucie outage is over. I joined Space Coast Camaros and plan to attend a few events towards the end of the year so people can get a glimpse of my ride up close. I still can’t get over the fact that I was able to acquire the car I’ve been chasing for months. The Camaro ZL1 is awesome and I just can’t get enough of driving this amazing car and it’s only been one month. I’m sure there will be plenty of adventures down the long road ahead. Now if I can only get the damn weather to cooperate with me when it comes to washing and waxing my car.

With all the E3 hype behind us now, and my winners and losers picks done, I wanted to concentrate on the other games that caught my attention. Now I can’t call any of these games definite buys just yet, but they’re clearly on my radar which could be both a good or maybe even a bad sign. Good news is that I have plenty of time to keep an eye on these titles before making a commitment. Looks like another busy end of the year. My wallet is ready. Hopefully these games will be as well.


Dishonored: At first when I saw the trailer for this game before E3 it didn’t impress me that much. Then as the show went on, and I witnessed some gameplay videos, my mind had a quick change. Dishonored looks really good featuring stealth, plenty of abilities, and tons of action as you make kills to clear your name. By the way, the possession skill is awesome.

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Forza Horizon: Cars and partying in the desert. It’s Race Wars! Ok, this isn’t The Fast and the Furious, but Forza Horizon does remind me of a cross between Need For Speed and Test Drive Unlimited. Unlike the Forza Motorsport series, Horizon is more of an arcade style of control with more speed on the open road instead of on the track. I’m interested in this game, but I still need some further convincing.

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Injustice: Gods Among Us: DC superheroes back in another fighting game from the team behind Mortal Kombat. All of a sudden I had memories of Mortal Kombat vs. DC and I hated that game. Injustice looks great with plenty of over the top fighting action including flying thought buildings and even outer space. Everything was going great until thoughts of Mortal Kombat vs. DC kept creeping into my head. Plenty of time between now and 2013 to see how this plays out.

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Need For Speed: Most Wanted: It’s been awhile since I purchased a Need For Speed game, but Most Wanted could change that. Wait a minute, wasn’t there a Most Wanted game in 2005? Man, where’s the originality in the name Criterion? Here’s another random thought. For a Need For Speed game Criterion’s latest sure looks like something from the Burnout series. Maybe this should be called Burnout: Most Wanted. Either way I want to see more before returning to the series.

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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: The first game was a lot of fun for a mascot racer. Now there’s a sequel. At first I felt that this new entry from Sega was to “gimmicky” with the transforming vehicles for land, sea, and air. As of late my interest has changed to the positive and it has nothing to do with Danica Patrick being in the game. The unique Sega themes for each track look fantastic especially the Golden Axe stage. Can’t wait until the holidays for this one.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth: Trey Parker and Matt Stone showed off the game at the Microsoft Press Conference as well as shared a few laughs with the crowd. I had my suspicions well before E3, but after seeing the game in action my interest grew. This South Park RPG feels just like an episode of the popular show as I get to play as my own unique character and interact with the gang. I can even call Cartman a “Fatass” using my Kinect and he’ll respond to you. Sounds like fun.

Pros:
A celebration of everything Sega!
Like Mario Kart? Then you’ll love this game!

Cons:
Not enough unlockable content like the console versions
Controls can be tough early on

Review Based On Version 1.0

For a time, when it came to kart racing games with loveable video game mascots it was Mario Kart or nothing. Well the times have changed. Just last year, Sega released Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing on all consoles giving the plumber a run for his money. I currently own the Sega racing gem on my Xbox 360 with all the DLC making it a great hit with my family and friends. Now it’s come to IOS devices and while it’s a bit trimmed down from console versions I can honestly say that the game is still fun.

Now available in the App Store for the iPhone and iPad, Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing brings the console action to your on the go lifestyle. The game is a celebration of everything Sega from the 1980s to today. Being the Sega fan that I am since the old Sega Master System days I would consider this title to be more than just a blast from the past. It’s fast an furious kart racing action that never gets old.

Like I stated earlier, Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing is a trimmed down version of the console versions of the game. Here you’ll find 10 characters including Sonic, Tails, Beat, Ryo Hazuki, and more racing on more than a dozen Sega themed tracks from games like Sonic, Jet Set Radio, Billy Hatcher, and more. Each track is filled with crazy turns, jumps, boosts and obstacles. Just like Mario Kart, each track also features “?” boxes featuring plenty of offensive and defensive weaponry to amp up the action. Each time I would race, it became a battle with rockets and bombs flying everywhere. Of course that was not all. I also had to avoid the traffic cones or another character’s well placed rainbow that would fill up the screen.

If all the weaponry is not enough for you, let me also add that each character also has their own signature “All Star” move if they fell behind in the race. This  allows you to play catch up and take revenge on other racers. Sonic will turn into Super Sonic. Tails will use a tornado, Samba de Amigo on the maracas will start a congo just to name a few. These All Star moves are fun to watch as well as use to your own advantage and definitely seperates this game from the Mario Karts of the world.

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing has your standard game modes including Single Race, Grand Prix and Mission modes which allow you to gain Sega Miles which allows you to unlock racers, courses to play on and upgrade that Sega license of yours. The better you do, the more miles you get. The game also features online multiplayer which I might add runs really well especially since I live in an area without a great WiFi connection.

While Sonic & Sega All Stars is a lot of fun to play, there are a couple of issues I have with it. One is the lack of unlockable content. I would really like to see more characters and tracks as future DLC. Maybe they can have it locked up so that you have another reason to use those Sega Miles you earn. I also have to get into the controls. I started out with the gyroscope and had a hard time keeping my kart on  the track. I then switched to joystick control and the experience was much simpler as I would gain better results. Either way the controls will take some time getting used to, but once you have it down the game becomes fun again.

While I feel that this is more of a bare bones experience, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing is still a great game. Then again it’s really the only kart racing game on IOS devices. Even if it has a couple of minor issues the game still features all the fun from its console versions. If you like fast and furious kart racing action or just have a love of everything Sega, then I highly recommend getting this game.