Friday, January 11, 2008

My ID4 TA video :D

Course: Irohazaka Downhill Night Clear
Time: 2'45"051 <-- OMG!! T_T
Car: Honda S2000 (AP1)
Driver: me (D4@Cypher)
Cameraman: D4@Satoshi (yes I know the vid says Alpha but that's the mistake of the editor >_>)
Editor: D4@Larmo
Song: glacial - BeForU

Yes, I know I could have filmed a better run. But hey, when you're working with limited funds I don't have many rounds to toy with.

Anyways, enjoy.

Note: Yes, the video is not on my Youtube channel, but it's on the team's Youtube channel :)

Just blabbing.

It's exactly 4am on my clock (yes I'm still awake, shut up, don't ask why) and I'm not feeling good. I keep thinking about some things that I really do not need to think about.

Yet I should be thinking about it.


I don't know lah, life just sucks now.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thoughts of the Week #1: Initial D Arcade Stage 4 : A game that fails to live up to its predecessors.

It figures that I can't leave this blog dead for too long. So I'll be active again :)

So, lets see now. It's Initial D. It has wide screen. It has better graphics and sound. Surely the game would be as successful as its predecessors.

Apparently, not.

Take a look at ANY arcade with Initial D 4 and you will find it mostly dead. In contrast, Namco's arcade racer Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 (hereby referred to as WMMT3 from now on) has taken over the arcade as THE racer to play.

What has certainly gone wrong. Well, I managed to find reasons for it.

1) Lack of courses.
When Initial D 1 came out almost 4 - 5 years ago, arcade racers were given four course to choose from. When the sequel came out, it became even better, with two new courses, totalling six. And when the third installment came out, it became even better, with three courses added. Now certainly, you'd expect the fourth one to have more than that?

Not quite the case.

Sure, the fourth installment introduced 3 new courses (Lake Akina, Myogi (now a mountain based course and not the circuit one in the three previous versions) and Tsukuba), but as a trade off they removed Usui, Akina Snow, Shomaru, Tsuchisaka. Thats FOUR removed. Sure, the game engine changed (ID4 uses the Sega Lindbergh board unlike the other three), but surely Sega could have readded them? Unless they are L-A-Z-Y.

And it doesn't end there too.

2) Certain car models removed.
Yes, I know they have added the Evo IX and GDBF.

But did Sega have to remove more cars than they add?

The original lineup in the Japanese release was seriously lacking cars it wasn't funny. In V3 there were at least 30+ cars in the game. And when V4 came, at least 8-10 were missing. That included the "king" car of V3, the RX-8. Sure, they fixed things up for the English version when they re added three cars back (Miata, Altezza, RX-8), but come on, is this an upgraded version or a downgrade.

3) No transferral of cards from previous version.
This one takes the cake as the main reason why people just simply did not want to play V4. Previously you could have transferred your cars to the next version at the expense of the cost of the new card. Which is cool. You keep your points.

Then when V4 came out, you couldn't transfer the card - mostly probably because the tuning system has changed. Lots of people didn't like it coz they had to start over.

4) Tuning system was tedious.
One FT car will set you back RM450. Why?

The tuning shops that improve the car performance comes every six ejects. No, not games. Everytime you pull out the card counts as an eject. That's tedious.

Then there's thirty five performance parts to install 35 x 6 = 210.

Yup, you pull the card 210 times. Whoopeedoo.

And the card only holds 150 you have to renew the card at least once. Which brings me to my next point.

5) Error 403 says hi.
If you read my blog before, I've got this before.

You insert your card.

You pay the amount required for a new card.

Your invalid gets spit out.


Nice red sign comes out saying license couldn't be dispensed. Call the technician!

Sucks doesn't it? Now most arcades know how to fix this error, but seriously, if it happens often enough, it's a problem. Considering point number 4, this is serious.

6) Lack of battle auras.
Yes, I know the Japanese have them.

But we don't.

See, the reason people battle nowadays is because they want to get to see some cool ass flame that rises up before the start of the race perhaps as super intimidation or coolness factor. I wonder why Sega did not fix the battle auras to be included. This reason alone is the reason why all the battlers stuck to the last version.

7) Weird physics that makes it difficult to play.
From those videos you see on Youtube it looks like you could try full gassing all the way and it works, right? Well yes, you can. But then halfway thru the turn you get this funky understeer. And even if you do avoid hitting the wall, you still get a funky accel penalty. WTF?

That's where penalty cancel comes in play. Perhaps the most retarded physics exploit ever. With a simple tap of the brake coming out of the turn/understeer, the accel gets restored.

Except it's not easy to execute in theory. If you don't do it right, it won't work.

So what does that mean?

a) If you don't know what is this, you're screwed in PvP battles.

b) If you don't know how to execute this properly, you're...still screwed in PvP battles.

The gap between those that know how to play and those who don't are so wide new players are deterred from playing. This also effectively makes this game have an unusual high learning curve. Sadly, the physics might look easy to play, but in theory it's not.

So much failure reasons that deter this game from being the game to play. I play it because I can adapt to it, but not everyone can. It's not really crowd attracting. Just shows that graphics don't drag the crowd. Just look at Wangan if you don't believe me.

Thanks for reading Thoughts of The Week #1 XD