Games I’d like you to comment on. Need for Speed (HOLY COP CHASES!).

Aww man, Need for Speed. Now that’s a series that you either truly love or hate. 

I’ve not played the one you’re talking about, but as far as my experience goes, cop chases exist in almost all entries. My first NoS was Nitro on Wii. Goddamn that game was fantastic! Music, actual driving physics, it’s like for once EA actually put in some effort for a Wii title. That kind of shit was rare for any third party Wii game. Hell, on the very cover, it flat out says it was built for the Wii itself.

That got me thinking, though. No one ever talks about racing games. Ever. Unless it’s shit ass Mario Kart. Everyone mentions it’s popularity is based on it’s battle mode or something…. which would make sense as the actual racing mechanics are pure shit. Nintendo tries to mask that behind a dependency on items while Sega rips them off and makes a competent racing game at the same time(Sega All-Stars Racing & it’s inferior sequel).

I suspect, however, that it’s because a lot of Racing games tend to be mediocre anyways. Many of them try to cash in on Fast and Furious (a franchise that has, ironically, abandoned the very premise!) via soundtrack, urban settings and feel, and Car Porn customization. The actual racing mechanics have taken a nose dive and you’re stuck with bad physics and wildly varying controls. Unlike most other genres that usually share the mechanics and controls, each and every racing game cannot be tackled in the same manner as the last, and a lot of that has to do with the physics as well as the present options you have.

 For example, if you enjoy drifting through corners, certain games like Split Second or Blur will be on your shit list as they have no real drifting mechanics whatsoever. Instead they have gimmicks for you to master like worthless powerups or manual explosions on random parts of the track to simulate a movie set. Hell, even games within their own series are inconsistent with their mechanics. Ridge Racer 7 and Ridge Racer Unbound might as well have been 2 separate games as far as im concerned. 7 has semi-decent racing physics while unbound has no physics but better music. This lack of attention to actual game mechanics makes the majority of racing games more frustrating to play as you’re more focused on fighting the controls than racing! It’s rare to find any decent racing game this day and age.

Most racers feel like some 90s attempt at being extreme or early 2000s attempt at being gangsta. It’s laughibly juvenile. Plus the tendency towards making “real world cities” makes actual racing more difficult as it gets harder to see where you need to turn. Mario Kart and Sega Racing don’t have these issues as the tracks have plenty of distinguishing features to see where turns are coming. Other racing games, everything sort of blends in with each other,  and you pay more attention to the course map than the road to see where turns are coming in. It’s a bit of a mess, really.

Either that or I’ve been spoiled by the masterpiece that was F-zero GX. That shit is just too good. And because developers wish they knew how to quit tight corners, drifting has become essential to winning a race. And GX had, imo, the best drifting mechanics by virtue of the fact that you don’t have to brake/slow down just to do so. And it’s not like you have to keep holding a drift during long stretches of road, just small sections of the map… fuck I sound like a nerd. But maybe that’s the thing. GX was pretty simple compared to modern racers as drifting feels gipped in order to artificially increase the need to master actual driving. 

I think Need for Speed is a fine series so long as we never have to speak of Pro-Street. Fuck that game. As for being MIA, well these taxes won’t do themselves. 

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