In case someone comes stumbling across here looking for the latest on racing sims and news, unfortunately this blog is going to stay dormant for awhile. But, if there are any readers out there who are still subscribed, I wanted to at least let you know what I’ve been up to.
I’ve been keeping busy blogging elsewhere on more general-purpose topics. I’m happy to say you can find me over at Engadget posting about gadgety things, and doing much the same at Switched as well.
On top of that (and my job) I’ve been writing a book on Facebook application development, which is dragging on (much to my publisher’s chagrin), but the end is in sight. You can learn more about it on its Facebook page.
Thanks all, and hope to see you online or at the track!
ProStreet is the latest installment of the Need for Speed series, and by all accounts it looks to be the most comprehensive one since the franchise started going Underground. This one still has a pseudo-sub-culture bent to it, but at least offers some serious motorsports action, and now you’ll get a chance to try it out for yourself. A demo of the game is now available for Xbox 360 gamers in the Live Marketplace. The demo apparently includes a taste of “grip” racing (called “racing” by you and me) as well as an event they call the Speed Challenge. So, fire up your download queues. Those 650-odd megs aren’t going to install themselves.
Yes, we are finally getting to the point in video games when you have to do a double-take to tell whether something is real or from a game. Now, I’m sure these images come from the game’s photo mode, but even knowing that they are quite impressive to say the least. Maybe a little over-saturated and, of course, a bit too shiny, but that’s being awfully picky.
You can check out a few more pics below, or head on over to impress.co.jp for a few more.
More details of the upcoming Gran Turismo 5 Prologue demo have been revealed courtesy of drifto site GT Channel, which is reporting that the Japanese release of the demo is just two days away. It will contain just seven cars, but it is a (generally) good list:
- 2008 Lexus IS-F
- 2009 Nissan GT-R
- 2008 Mazda Atenza
- 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
- 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR
- 2008 Daihatsu OFC-1
- 2009 BMW 135i coupe
Also there will be only one track, but it’s a good one: Suzuka. The site is reporting that the demo will only be downloadable until November 11, which the full Prologue is set to be released for sale. And as of yet there’s still no word of an official American release.
The site also has further information on Gran Turismo TV, the in-game videos that will accompany the racing action. We already know it will include racing action and footage from shows like Best Motoring, but apparently developer Polyphony Digital have also been interviewing various personalities in the automotive world to include in the service. This includes racers as well as designers and engineers, who will all talk their craft and probably bore the tears out of you if you’re just looking to get some racing done. Still, if you’re the type to watch every director’s commentary on every movie you own, this feature should appeal to you.
The latest Turn 10 report from the Forza Motorsport 2 developer talks of an “upcoming DLC track” that is currently undergoing testing. They’re not saying which track it is (otherwise it wouldn’t be a mystery) but they did confirm that it will have four separate configurations. My guess would be Motegi, but we shall see.
The other thing they’re not revealing is how much this will cost, but unless some charitable company comes forward and foots the bill (plastering their logo all over the grandstands) expect to cough up at least a couple of bucks for this when it shows up on Live sometime next week.
Many of you (I’m sorry to have to say it) older gamers may remember a certain arcade hit called Chase H.Q.. It was a simple game, asking you to jump into a black Porsche 928 and ram crooks off of the road. It was totally unrealistic (everybody knows 80’s cops drove Ferraris, not Porsches) but tons of fun and ate lots of this journo’s quarters as a kid. Now, nearly 20 years on, the precursor to games like Burnout and FlatOut is being reborn as a mobile phone title called Chase H.Q. 3D.
This time the cop drives an equally unlikely Lotus Elise and uses it to, again, ram the baddies off the road. As much as we like the look of the Elise, somehow a lightweight racer doesn’t seem like the right ride for the job at hand. That criticism aside, the game should be a blast for playing on the go, and is available now from the Sprint Nextel Digital Lounge for $2.99 if you only want to play for a month, or $6.99 for unlimited plays.
Mario Kart on the Wii has been a long time coming, and despite being as eagerly anticipated as it is, hasn’t been seen in action just yet. That’s finally changed, with Nintendo taking just about a minute out of their Fall Press Conference to give a glimpse of the game in action. The short video, included below, shows a new stunt dynamic, with Mario doing backflips in his kart to earn points (kudos?). Motorcycles are also showed off, with Mario pulling a wheelie and kicking the tail out flat-track style. Not much else is known at this point, including just when it will be released, though it is expected sometime early next year. However, with the recent delay of Super Smash Bros. on the Wii, don’t be surprised if Mario Kart follows suit and drifts into later 2008.
Gran Turismo producer and Ford GR owner Kaz Yamauchi has been subjected to a very lengthy interview at Kikizo in which they ask about, well, everything to do with the PS3, Gran Turismo 5, and even touch on the subject of the game’s most immediate competition, Forza Motorsport 2:
Kikizo: Could you give us your opinion on Forza MotorSport 2 for the Xbox 360, and in particular, the ability to reskin your car in very great detail – are you going to have this degree of superficial car customisation in GT5?
Yamauchi: Straight off the bat, I think that in terms of feature sets, Forza is ahead of us. They have more options, you can do basically anything. We take a different approach obviously – we try to concentrate on what are the core values for a racing game, and we try to elevate those standards up as high as we possibly can. I am having difficulty trying to explain the differences, but one way you can look at it is, you can buy a watch that is super multifunctional, but economical, or a watch that is reduced in functions, but premium – higher end.
He’s plainly referring to the graphics here and overall production values, something the GT series has obviously always had in spades. So, what’s more important, graphics or gameplay? The eternal debate continues.
Microsoft has dropped news of a Project Gotham Racing 4 demo that is now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo includes two tracks, one in Macu, and another that will make you forget about that last one: the Nurburgring. In the snow.
The demo also includes two bikes and two cars which you can use to explore those tracks, and a handful of challenges and the like to encourage you.
I’ve been playing the game since the weekend and hope to have some impressions for you shortly. In the interim enjoy the two screens of my drifting prowess, including the above taken at said snowy Green Monster in a 1950’s Maserati! Needless to say this ain’t no racing sim.
If you’re an Xbox 360-owning racing fan, chances are you’ve already gone out and picked up a copy of Forza 2, and chances are you’ve enjoyed it. However, if you’re a non-Xbox 360-owning racing fan, chances are you’ve been looking at the screenshots and ravings about the game with a good bit of curiosity and maybe even a little envy as console racers play a game in which you can go from power off to racing online against friends, lag free, inside of two minutes. That can’t be said of your average PC racing sim. If you’re part of that latter group, this deal is for you, then.
Microsoft has announced two new bundles, a $449.99 Xbox 360 Elite bundle and a $349.99 Xbox 360 Premium bundle. Both include free copies of Forza Motorsport 2 and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. While we could take or leave the latter, the former of course makes this a very appealing offer for those wanting to get their console race on.