Racing

08.08.12

I started gaming so many years ago with a classic, Mario Kart. One of the staple games of any N64 owner’s collection, this game presented a plethora of tracks, power-ups, characters and weapons, and was a Mario franchise that never saw an unpopular or negatively received release. Do you know why Mario Kart was so instantly addicting? Well, it’s not because you had to use only Bowser and green shells on only six or seven tracks for the first fifty fucking races in order to unlock one character, kart, or power-up at a time.

06.28.12

We’ve already got an abundance of downloadable arcade racing games available for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  Not only do you have pretty much every major Sega arcade racing franchise (Sega Rally, Daytona USA, Outrun), but you’ve also got secondary favorites like Hydro Thunder Hurricane and the recently released Mad Riders.   But that isn’t stopping D3 Publisher from releasing Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad, a no-frills dirt racing extravaganza with plenty of drifting, high-flying arcade action.  It’s hardly the most original thing out there, but at least the motor keeps running.

06.21.12

Remember the good ol’ days of arcade-style overhead racers?  I’m talking about stuff like Sega’s classic Hot Rod and even the original Codemasters NES release Micro Machines, where you would race along breakfast tables and garage floors trying to prove you were number one.  Well, these days, that formula of racer lives on, with EA’s Reckless Racing games doing some damage over on the iPad, as well as Bang Bang Racing, an offering from Digital Reality, doing donuts on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.  But did these guys manage to get the formula right, or does it stall out of the gate?

06.18.12

Early this year, Bioware’s Mass Effect saga came to five year run. Rest aside the ending; the series is one of the most complete trilogies in video game history. There are two aspects that Mass Effect nails perfectly. The series was first to interweave choices all the way through the third and final installment captivating fans from start to finish. However, you can’t tell a great story if you forget to create the atmosphere for your game to breath in. The music in the game really doses shape Commander Shepard with it having one of the best scores in gaming, but do people notice? Do people look at soundtracks as a whole or as background noise?

06.12.12

Last year’s DiRT 3, I think, was the pinnacle for Codemasters’ long-running rally racing series, as it simply got everything just right.  The feel of the cars, the variety of the tracks, the sheer thrill of flying off a jump and landing for a first place finish…everything just clicked.  So with that, the team was probably wondering…”So what next?”  We get that answer today with the release of DiRT Showdown, a not-so-routine sequel where you’re taking part in a racing festival, competing in fun – and quite destructive – racing events.

06.11.12

The idea behind E3 was to showcase the latest and brightest games of 2012, but there are always a few games that disappoint us. Some games on our list made serious changes to their formula, and not for the better. Other games took center stage at E3 when they shouldn’t have. There were many games at E3, but here is our top five list of disappointments.

06.01.12

Remember last year when Techland and Deep Silver introduced the racing game Nail’d?  It actually provided a fresh new take on the ATV racing scene, thanks to its heavily vertical (yet still surprisingly cramped) level design and its non-stop speed.  Well, Ubisoft apparently liked it as well, as it’s commissioned the game’s developer, Techland, to do it all over again for Mad Riders, which hit Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this week.  And while some of the game’s flaws still remain intact, it remains a fun racer – especially if you’ve got online friends looking to join you.

05.29.12

If there’s one company that knows how to show appreciation for its classics, it’s Sega.  Over the years, they’ve re-released a number of their Genesis and arcade hits as digital downloads, and includes them in such compilations as Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection as well.  So it should be no surprise that it continues to beef up its Sega Vintage Collection, this time with a trio of games that, while not exactly fitting together in a theme, provide entertainment for old-school gamers and newcomers everywhere.

05.29.12

When Microsoft released Kinect Joy Ride a year and a half ago for its Xbox 360, it left audiences torn.  While casual players and kids got a kick out of holding onto an imaginary steering wheel and performing tricks, others just didn’t get the “feel” of the game, and left it behind in favor of the more hardcore racing terrain of Forza MotorSport 3.  With that, the company, in association with the development team at BigPark, opted to remake the game the way it was originally intended, as a downloadable release for Xbox Live Arcade.  So, now that Joy Ride Turbo has returned to its roots, is it a better run around the block?  Actually, yes.

05.02.12

It’s inevitable with all “cute” franchises.  Eventually, someone’s going to get the idea of making a “kart” game, where familiar characters can get behind the wheel of a race car and (playfully) compete against others through a similar universe, one that’s been in previous games.  Mario’s done it countless of times, Crash Bandicoot did it a couple, and several other clones have emerged over the years as well.  Joining the fray is LittleBigPlanet Karting, collaboration between Media Molecule and the game’s main developer, United Front Games – the same team behind ModNation Racers.  But don’t go dismissing this as just another knock-off.  This one has a lot of kick behind it.

04.30.12

Kart racers are usually a dime a dozen, especially back in the old days, when it seemed like every gaming company wanted to make its own version to capitalize on the popularity of the Mario Kart games.  But Sega did it quite effectively several months back with Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, a smorgasbord of racing goodness stemming multiple characters and tracks inspired by various Sega classics, including the House of the Dead, Samba de Amigo and more.  The formula worked extremely well for both the company and players, so it should be no surprise that the long-rumored sequel was finally announced today.

04.28.12

Bryce Harper, the 19-year old top ranked baseball phenom, will make has long awaited major league debut today for the Washington Nationals against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium.  Harper, the top prospect in the majors as ranked by Baseball America the last two seasons, will play left field and bat seventh. Harper was called up from Class AAA Syracuse Friday after the injury bug hit Mike Morse and Ryan Zimmerman. We caught up with Bryce before the season to talk about his experience thus far as a professional and his love of video games in this exclusive video interview.