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2001  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza3-No Rally,No Night racing and No weather on: July 10, 2009, 04:17:51 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on July 10, 2009, 04:07:54 PM

i actually really fucking hate the new look for Kotaku

I agree, it's awkward and the story lays out badly.

I will be getting Forza 3, in spite of some of those questionable design decisions. Just including the in-car dash view alone makes it a must have.

Any chance of driving my Nader-Hater Corvair in the game?
2002  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza3-No Rally,No Night racing and No weather on: July 10, 2009, 10:46:56 AM
Most Rally games on the market aren't really rally racers anyway, the Colin McRae series tending towards bite sized four minutes chunks strung together. The only true rally game I remember was Mobil One on the PC. The stages could be very long, one I remember was twenty-two minutes and you were worn to a frazzle by the end. And it also had completely dark stages as well. Oh, also there's Baja, Edge of Control that came out last year. It does have several (nine?) really long races that do seem to capture the feel of a long distance rally. That's about it. I wish someone would make a decent rally game with up to date graphics and the whole gamut of car types from the past as well as today.

No night racing doesn't both me at all. What's the point of all the eye candy if you can't see it?

I used to complain about there not being weather in racing games till I tried the Project Gotham series. Yes it's nice to see and gives a different feel, but after a while it wasn't a lot of fun.

I'm bothered more about the developer's inclusion of drift, drag and oval racing. Oval racing is rather boring against the AI. Drag racing is a gimmick unless you can actually tune your engine. And drift racing isn't racing, it's figure skating in a car with style points. I'm concern that their enthusiastic "over 100 tracks!" claim includes dozens of drift, drag and oval venues.

Also I'm hoping (admittedly without much chance of it really happening) that they do some to fix the game progression. I dislike the Forza 2 structure that makes me earn money by running different series that seem to be just the same few tracks until I progress more into the game. It's not as bad as Race Pro which completely locks me out of getting some cars till I complete the predecessor series, but it seemed in Forza 2 that it took forever to get to the better cars and I had to do that by running a gazillion races on the same dozen or so tracks.

Finally, instead of including every car model known to man, I wish they would include a lot more road and street courses. After eleven years I still play Grand Prix Legends on the PC because there are hundreds of good (or at least decent) representations of all sorts of interesting real and hypothetical race courses of the past and present available for download. In Forza 2 I had to suppress an urge to throw the controller when I would unlock a new series and find it includes the same four or five tracks I've been racing on since the first time I played the game.
2003  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: July 10, 2009, 10:19:30 AM

Quote from: Eco-Logic on July 10, 2009, 04:50:58 AM

Quote from: jztemple2 on July 09, 2009, 05:22:29 PM

There's a demo for Fuel out on XBL now, if you wish to give it a look. Might still be a good bargain bin purchase.

Is it a bargain bin game now?  I just played the demo and loved it.  I'm going to get it regardless.  Is the multiplayer any good?

I was a pretty big fan of the game when it came out, but after putting in a number of enjoyable hours I got frustrated with the campaign progression mechanism. To unlock further zones, which in turn unlock more races, challenges and vehicles, you have to win at the hardest difficulty over dozens of races. The AI is programmed so that in the hard difficulty races one AI driver always seems to run off from the pack and the smallest mistake on your part makes it impossible to catch up. And there is no other way to progress through the game and no way to adjust the AI. I'm sure if you are a decent racer with youthful skills and reaction times this wouldn't be a problem, but for me it's infuriating.

I tried the multiplayer a bit and found it a mixed bag. Lag could be a problem at times, but often things ran smooth. Annoyingly after each race it would dump you into the main lobby and you'd have to go back through the race selection sequence which doesn't take all that long but it is a pain. Sadly, unless you are racing with friends there always seems to be a jerk or two that wants to ram everyone off the road.

Fuel does have it's good points. Unlike say Midnight Club Los Angeles, the variety of courses is very appealing. Some are fairly wide open checkpoint to checkpoint races, some are tightly confined to narrow roads running on cliffsides, others on asphalt blowing along at high speed. The scenery is great and changes a lot from zone to zone. I do have a criticism that there are no place names on the maps so it's hard to remember where you saw that cool building or landscape. The challenges are varied, unusual and with the occasional tornado, fog and snowstorm, can be very entertaining. The vehicles cover a huge range from perky little dirt bikes to "Mad Max" massively overpowered highway warriors. And there is a full day/night cycle, although there aren't any lights at night except for other vehicles headlights and the occasional forest fire  slywink so there's not a lot to see. 

I have a love/hate relationship with the game. If they ever provided a way to unlock everything, even by a paid DLC, I'd be much more over on the love part.
2004  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: July 09, 2009, 05:22:29 PM
There's a demo for Fuel out on XBL now, if you wish to give it a look. Might still be a good bargain bin purchase.
2005  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battlefield 1943 on: July 08, 2009, 04:38:26 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on July 08, 2009, 04:06:18 PM

been playing all morning

Could you compare the gameplay to COD4 or CODWaW? Duration of rounds, re-spawn time, things like that? Also, is it one shot one kill, whack 'em forever till they croak or somewhere in-between?
2006  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read in 2009 on: July 08, 2009, 04:33:54 PM
I'm a bit more of a serious book swapper. In one month I've received 71, given away 66; thank goodness I can buy credits  icon_smile. I have forty years worth of books I've collected as ammunition, so to speak, but it didn't hurt that the first day I posted to my Bookshelf one person requested 32 books from me  icon_eek.

My wife wonders why I'm "giving away" so many books, but I point out to her that I'm just getting rid of the ones I've read and don't care about keeping, while I'm getting ones I want while spending a lot less than if I bought them in a bookstore.
2007  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read in 2009 on: July 08, 2009, 03:02:48 PM
Updated as read on my OO list (linkie at bottom):

"Dr. Johnson's London" by Liza Picard 7/6/09
"Umbrella Mike" by Brock Yates 6/30/09

I have joined Paperbackswap.com (which isn't just paperbacks) and so have had a sudden increase in books arriving at the house. My wife has been questioning whether I'll ever be able to have time to read all these books. I pointed out that based on number of books read per month, life expectancy and planned retirement, right now I should finish my outstanding surplus about 2021. So, as I noted, I am merely laying in a stockpile for after that time, since due to global warming it will probably be too hot to go outside anyway   slywink
2008  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battlefield 1943 on: July 08, 2009, 02:45:11 PM
Announcement on Major Nelson. From a few of the comments it looks like they have some early lag and other problems, probably not much of a surprise. I might hold off for a while till the GT community gives it a clean bill of health.
2009  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Any Call of Juarez BiB impressions? on: July 02, 2009, 11:30:32 PM

Quote from: Fuzzballx on July 02, 2009, 11:11:01 PM

I disagree with the SP campaign being weak...

That was kinda the gist of my review is that the Single player is very strong..but opinions will differ i guess

The Gamestop review said seven hours, even doing all the side missions, and it sounded too much like COD4 or CODWaW where the missions are on very tightly scripted. I'd be happy to hear that they are not. I guess Red Faction Guerrilla has spoiled me for SP campaigns by giving me lots of choices at any time.
2010  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Any Call of Juarez BiB impressions? on: July 02, 2009, 08:06:36 PM
Good to hear that the MP may hold promise, since the SP campaign sounds weak. No demo I assume? I haven't seen one.
2011  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: game of the (1/2) year on: July 02, 2009, 03:10:42 PM
Red Faction Guerrilla, easily. Even more so because I didn't like it at first, went back and gave it another try and then played straight through. I'm going to go back and replay the campaign on Casual and take as much time as it needs to explore all the little bits, without worrying so much about unlocking the next zone. There are still a couple of mission types, like hostage rescue, where I completely suck and I'll like to go back and give those more attention.

Honorary menu to Fuel. I really liked it at first, but dammit the races have gotten too hard for me and the way the zone unlocks are structured it's simply impossible for me unlock the last four (of seventeen) zones. That's poor damn design. I just hope they offer "old geezer" DLC that for a fee unlocks everything. Bastards  slywink
2012  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: July 01, 2009, 06:31:42 PM
I might be available Friday evening. If I am I'll look for the Guerrilla Geezers in action!
2013  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/29) on: June 29, 2009, 02:24:31 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on June 29, 2009, 01:09:50 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on June 29, 2009, 12:59:43 PM

I'm going to use this opportunity to rant again about how irritating it is that the game publishers keep scheduling so many of the decent releases for the early September to early December time frame.

I know this is going to sound kind of odd, but you know 99.9% of those games will still be available come spring. You don't have to buy them the week they come out.

Oh, no argument about them still being around next spring. I'm not lamenting the rush of games from a financial aspect, it's more that it's seems that summertime seems to be such a dead time for good game releases. It's hot where I live during the summer and since I'm stuck indoors with the air conditioning I might has well have new game releases to enjoy. Instead the publishers wait and pile them up one on another when the weather is finally cool enough to enjoy time outdoors, not to mention it's also the time the honey-dos come due, "gee honey, now that it's cooled off outside, why don't you..." followed by a multitude of tasks that have been put off due to the ninety-plus temperatures we're having right now.

Not to mention that it's the holidays when the relatives come visit and they simply don't seem to understand that rather than discussing the latest round of who's getting married, who's expecting and who's something else, I'd really rather be playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Sadly the only game age youngsters in my family circle are Mac users (God forbid) who seem to be all spun up about this Marathon game  slywink.

I'm just hoping that the mutiplayer aspect of Call of Juarez II turns out to be pretty decent. Maybe they might even have a Hardcore mode?
2014  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/29) on: June 29, 2009, 12:59:43 PM
I'm going to use this opportunity to rant again about how irritating it is that the game publishers keep scheduling so many of the decent releases for the early September to early December time frame. I just went through the Gamestop Xbox360 upcoming list. July and August are pretty poor pickings (I don't like sports games) then BAM it's Guitar Hero 5, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Dirt 2, The Beatles: Rock Band, Star Wars:Clone Wars Republic Heroes, Singularity, IL 2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, Halo 3: ODST, Need for Speed: Shift, Blur, Rogue Warrior, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes of Liberty City, Tony Hawk: Ride with SkateBoard, Fallout 3 Game Of The Year, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Forza 3, Bioshock 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption, Left 4 Dead 2, Assassin's Creed 2 and Heist. That's not all the games, just the ones I think are "big". And the list doesn't include the annual sports game releases.

Sheesh. I think someone ought to make me happy by sending me the beta disk for Forza 3. Really, I wouldn't tell a soul  icon_wink
2015  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/29) on: June 29, 2009, 10:38:11 AM
Might be considering Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, but I'll have to see some reviews first. Previews I read seemed to indicate that the single player campaign were heavily scripted missions and after enjoying Red Faction: Guerrilla I think I'd prefer a more open, sandbox world.
2016  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XBLA}Serious Sam HD on: June 25, 2009, 04:58:21 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 25, 2009, 04:29:44 PM

holy freakin' cow!  they had better leave the co-op in, I remember that was a blast on the PC.

I saw a quote on Kotaku that there is four player co-op. If you thought the zombies in CoDWaW were tough...
2017  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: June 24, 2009, 08:07:26 PM

Quote from: Chaz on June 24, 2009, 07:52:29 PM

It's a nice figure too.  Lots of articulation points, including articulated hydraulic rams on the limbs.  Neat.

Photos please, possibly posing it with a Barbie in compromising circumstances  slywink
2018  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fight Night Round 4 Impressions on: June 24, 2009, 02:50:46 PM
I have some interest in boxing games, but the past it was always something where you set strategies and then let your boxer go at it, making adjustments as the rounds progressed. I'm assuming that FNR4 is something different, apparently real time punch throwing. My question is, for those of us (ok, *me*) who have appalling slow reaction times, is this game even worth getting? Will I be hopelessly handicapped by being unable to keep up with the game speed?

Will there be bouncing betties?  slywink
2019  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: June 23, 2009, 09:41:17 PM
I just finished the campaign. So since I'm done I figure I can run around blowing things up in peace but no! There are still EDF baddies around. ARRRGGHHH!
2020  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/22) on: June 23, 2009, 11:21:54 AM
Point Lookout DLC for Fallout 3 has just been made available, according to a new post by Major Nelson. I'm a couple of DLCs behind on my gameplay, so I'll pass for now, especially since the odds are 50-50 that they will be issuing a new version of the DLC in a few days  icon_wink
2021  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: June 19, 2009, 09:12:46 PM
Anyone have some suggestions for the destruction mission that involves the three sets of pipes in the big hole, an ammo chest and a walker? I have to stay, I'm stumped.
2022  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 3 in game footage on: June 18, 2009, 06:38:19 PM
I'd also like to see some older tracks, like the ones I race on in Grand Prix Legends. The old F1 tracks were more fun than the current emasculated ones.
2023  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 3 in game footage on: June 18, 2009, 12:34:38 PM
I had the wheel for awhile but the feedback always seemed not only too strong, but out of phase with the actual on-screen situation. And I was never able to adjust it to a level I liked. Surprisingly I've adapted well to using the 360 hand controller for racing. I'm even using it for Grand Prix Legends on the PC.

My biggest bitch about Forza 2 was the appalling lack of tracks. Twenty was just too few and it wasn't helped by having all those "snake" courses based on the one huge track, broken up by barriers and cones. And the new tracks in the DLC weren't incorporated into the campaign which for me made them of little use.

Now they tell me that Forza 3 has "over 100 tracks". However, Forza 3 also had drift racing. So how many of those tracks are dedicated drift tracks? Sorry, drifting isn't racing, no more than freestyle snowboarding or figure skating or high diving. I've tried it and find it both boring and frustrating.

Also they have oval tracks. Again, maybe some people like them, but Forza to me has always been about road racing or even street racing. I find ovals rather mindless. So how many of those hundred tracks are ovals?

And don't even get me started about drag racing....  slywink
 
2024  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: June 16, 2009, 08:55:56 PM
I've gone back to playing it after detours with Fuel and the CoDWaW new map pack. I started back at the beginning so I could get a better handle on what I'm doing and I'm having a blast. I'm only in Dust and it's amazing all the things I can choose to do, or not do, at any one time.
2025  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Saints Row 2 on: June 12, 2009, 03:24:45 PM

Quote from: dangerballs on June 12, 2009, 03:26:46 AM

Not a huge deal.  But the third DLC just came out today and its free.

It's simply a branded Unkut clothing/tattoo package just like the DLC for the first game.

I was hoping for some more missions, but I guess you can't argue with a $0 price tag.

Thanks for the info. Free is always good.
2026  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty World at War (360) impressions on: June 11, 2009, 11:41:43 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on June 11, 2009, 11:29:50 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on June 11, 2009, 07:22:55 PM

Ah, there  is Hardcore Deathmatch on the new maps. They are pretty cool.

is it just Deathmatch at the moment?,i actually didnt see Hardcore at all.....this is in the 'new maps only' section right?

Under "New Maps" (or actually next to it, once you select it), there is IIRC five options, the bottom two are HC Team Deathmatch and HC something else.
2027  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty World at War (360) impressions on: June 11, 2009, 07:22:55 PM
Ah, there  is Hardcore Deathmatch on the new maps. They are pretty cool.
2028  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty World at War (360) impressions on: June 11, 2009, 11:49:37 AM
Thanks for the info. I tried Red Fraction Guerrilla MP last night but found it too frantic. I've looked at the previews of the new CoDWaW maps and was impressed. Hopefully they do like last time and let us do Hardcore Team Deathmatch using the new map pack right away.
2029  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: June 11, 2009, 12:41:51 AM
Playing MP now... lots of fun!!!!!
2030  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: June 10, 2009, 08:33:31 PM
I've gone back to playing RFG after burning myself out on Fuel (ha!). Don't know how much time I'll put into it, since Map Pack 2 for CoDWaW comes out tomorrow. We'll see.
2031  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 09, 2009, 02:53:45 PM
Yes I installed to the hard drive as well, after playing it at first from the disk and being surprised at the constant reads. Now it's a lot quieter as well. Since we're supposed to be playing on the 360 for another six years  eek I hope they offer larger capacity units sometime, or maybe SSDs cheap enough that it won't require me mortgaging the house.
2032  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 09, 2009, 12:28:22 PM
I only had about twenty minutes to play yesterday, so I fired up Fuel and warped to my newly unlocked Redrock Bluffs, which is the Grand Canyon like zone in the southeast part of the map. The canyon is cool (I accidentally fell in eek) and the base camp features a structure like that new tourist attraction the Skywalk, although Fuel's version is a lot bigger and has ramps  icon_biggrin.

I wasn't in the mood to race, so I just headed north towards the desert. I've lived out west in southern Colorado and visited northern New Mexico as well, and the terrain in this area of Fuel does have that same feel of scrub and what seems to be pretty flat, until you start going over it on a dirt bike at speed and it really does dip and peak. And by staying off the roads I came across a number of those four barrel pyramids of fuel.

There are ruins and buildings and little bits of this and that scattered around, mostly near roads which would make sense. The occasional track is narrow and rough, really dirt bike country. 

I have inserted a memory card and I now periodically back up to both the hard drive and the card. Maybe this is belt and suspenders stuff, but after hearing the horror stories of Race Pro where people lost hours and hours of progress due to a corrupt save game, I've decided to do both. It's important to emphasize that no one has reported a problem with Fuel's save games, I'm probably being overly cautious.

I've decided I'm going to stay with Fuel until I unlock everything and then some time in the future I'll go back and restart Red Faction Guerrilla. Right now I just want to ride...
2033  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 08, 2009, 08:13:54 PM
You can adjust brightness in the options, I had to do so as well.

You're right about the IGN review. Barren? Did that guy really play it?

I agree about the day/night cycle, I wish there was an option to keep it daylight all the time.

Have you raced in the tornado yet? It's cool  nod
2034  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 06, 2009, 06:08:53 PM
I have had the game lock up twice since I've gotten it, both times in the middle of very graphics intensive moments. No harm done, after a reboot it's fine and doesn't happen at the same place again. Hopefully it doesn't happen again.
2035  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: June 06, 2009, 04:30:15 PM
I played some RFG this morning and have to say that I'm agreeing a bit with you on these points. I assaulted a high priority target several times and no matter how I planned or prepared it alway turned into me versus a universe full of guards. I guess I should have held off trying this target until I have more sophisticated weapons. However, there are a number of features I do like, so I'll keep at it, just give myself some time to figure things out a bit more.
2036  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 05, 2009, 06:50:05 PM

Quote from: Clanwolfer on June 05, 2009, 06:07:58 PM

There are 70 career races.  It's right on the back of the PS3 packaging.

Hey, it's on the back of the 360 package too! And there's writing and some pictures and...   Roll Eyes
2037  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 05, 2009, 04:08:50 PM
Sadly it looks like I won't get in much playing of Fuel today; darn.

Regarding long distance events... the longer distance events are "Raids" and "Endurance", the latter is the longer of the two. I've only played in three of the first ten Zones (I believe there are ten) and the longest Endurance event was 12 miles. However, based on theory that the later Zones will contain greater challenges, I wouldn't be surprised at a forty minute race.

I do have to address the post I made earlier regarding stars and unlocking zones. It appears that the developers broke down the zones into three groups of three and one final one. The first three unlock quickly and the next three after not too much longer. The final set of three require 120 stars to be accumulated, and the last zone needs 170 stars. You can only accumulate stars in Career Races, and you get one, two or three stars depending on the difficulty you select. If, for instance, you win at medium difficulty, you get two stars. You can always go back and race the track again, but you do not gain any more stars for it unless you race at the highest difficulty, and even then you only get the one star you didn't get by winning at medium difficulty. This may sound complicated but it's really straightforward when you see it in the game.

So, based on the last group needing 120 stars and the final uber zone needing 170, I'm guessing that there has to be at least 57 Career Races, so you can unlock that last zone (3x57=171). There's probably more than that, maybe 60 or 70. If it was a total of at least sixty, then even if you never ran a career race at the highest difficulty you could still unlock all zones but one by winning all the career races at medium. So I think I was wrong to claim that you could unlock all the zones without ever having to race at any difficulty higher than Rookie. It would seem that you probably do need to win at a higher level to unlock all zones. Or get a bonus code!

Regarding people putting the game on their lists... I do want to emphasize that I like Fuel for reasons that some folks may not care about. I like the openness. I played for almost four hours yesterday and I think I spent at least half of that just driving around on the map, unlocking liveries and vista points and chasing down bonus trucks. Did I mention bonus trucks? Each zone has six trucks you can hunt down to get either a special vehicle or to make visible all the challenges, liveries or vista points in the zone. It's a nice feature to give you a reason to run all over the map.

I also like the off road racing. Some courses are partially on paved roads, but some are on trails or paths or sometimes you just blast across country. Some course have wild weather, or darkness, or obstacles littering your path. Some use big wooden fence sections to provide makeshift ramps or to funnel your racing line for more excitement. That's one thing some reviews haven't give the developers credit for, making the world full of things to see, hit, run over, whatever.

For things I like, there are also things I don't care about. I don't care that there's no visual damage modeling, or player controllable tricks on the cycles and quads, or cockpit views, or aftermarket performance mods for the vehicles, or tuning options. If the lack of these things bother you, you may want to rent the game first. For me, the lack of those items doesn't detract at all from the experience.

2038  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 04, 2009, 07:50:59 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on June 04, 2009, 07:33:50 PM

I really wish games would just stop with the rubberbanding.  Many racing games that I would otherwise love have been ruined by it.  If I am doing well, the other cars shouldn't magically be on my ass at every turn.  Likewise, if I screw up I shouldn't be given a boost or the ai slow down to let me catch up.  I'd much prefer variable difficulty settings that allow you to race against ai of comparable skill instead.

The rubberband system gives a false sense of skill to people who otherwise might not experience it when better ai could give that in a much more realistic sense.

I'm  going to have to revise my assessment that Fuel has rubberbanding. I think that at least at "Expert" (which is the middle of the three difficulties) I see the AI running into stuff (or each other) which is allowing me to catch up. I don't really see them just going slow. Also, once I get ahead of the AI pack, as long as I don't do anything stupid I seem to be able to hold my lead distance.

Now since I'm not good enough I hadn't been able to outrun the AI to see if they magically speed up. If I do fall behind I tend to stay behind. Not enough data to say it definitively, but I don't feel the AI is screwing with me.

I also did a couple of XBL matches. Oddly, once a race is over you are dropped back into freeride mode. But getting to an online race is quick, and when I used one of my created tracks and made a custom match I had an opponent within seconds.

I haven't tried using the "friends only" setting. If someone is playing Fuel and shoots me a friends request, if you aren't one of mine already, I'll add you to my friends list and we can see how hard it is to create a race and get to it.
2039  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 04, 2009, 06:31:58 PM
OK, I just started playing and did a Challenge called an Endurance. This is I believe the longest *type* of Challenge. This one, which is in one of the early Zones you unlock, was eleven miles which I finished in nine minutes ten seconds. Interestingly it had no checkpoint counter (x/y, where x is the number of check points you've reached and y is the total number) so I didn't know anything more than I was headed to a "C" (a checkpoint) rather than an "F" (the final checkpoint). It was pouring rain and I was in this beast of car/truck called a "King Arthur" with a balanced design between on road and off road. It turns out the one intermediate checkpoint was a bit less than half way of the total length.

I also used the editor to build a quick race. I used only two points, start and finish, and found I could put them in different zones. The one leg of my quickie race was 24 miles long, so I'm figuring that it's pretty much unlimited what you can build. The points must be on a road or track, and not on or close to an intersection. I haven't been online yet but I'm sure guys are building races of hundreds if not thousands of miles  icon_eek

2040  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fuel on: June 04, 2009, 04:56:20 PM
Longest race? I recall one that lasted about twelve minutes. Of course since I'm playing single player I can always pause. Most challenges and races seem to be no more than five minutes, but that feels like a long time when you are having to make racing line decisions (turning, braking, gas) every few seconds. I suspect the deeper I get into the game, the more I'm going to find longer and more challenging races. The Challenges, which aren't always a race against competitors, tend to be shorter but are usually tougher, especially since there is no difficulty adjustment. And sometimes they are pretty tough, like one where you have about sixteen checkpoints but only a few seconds at start on your countdown clock. As you reach each checkpoint you get more second added to the clock, but just barely enough. It's extremely intense, but not really frustrating. And this is just one of about eight or so types of challenges and most aren't as tough as this.

Regarding the map. The ten Zones unlock by getting more stars. Only Career Races count towards adding "stars" to your total. Having enough "stars" unlocks the different Zones in sequence. So that means you never have to even play a challenge if you don't want, and if you do you don't have to win every one in a zone to unlock those in another zone.

To clarify, There are I think ten Zones. One is unlocked at first. As you win races, you gain either one, two or three stars, depending on the difficulty you chose. The next Zone unlocks after you get IIRC six stars, the next about ten stars, etc. The stars aren't "spend", it's just a running total to reflect your progress through the game. You could just do rookie difficulty the whole time if you wish and still eventually unlock all Zones.

The final Zone unlocks when when you reach 160 stars. I believe this would indicate that there are at least 160 (plus what's in the last Zone) unique Career Races in the game. That's a lot of content.

Speaking of longer races, there is an editor and you can build up to ten races. You can play them by yourself for practice and also going online to multiplayer race them. Your are limited to I think 32 checkpoints, but I'm not aware of any distance limitation. I'll try this out this afternoon and post the result.
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