Ride: The TwiiSteD Review (Xbox One)

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Ride is something that I would never usually pick up. I’m more of a car fan myself, but for some reason I wanted to try something fresh. I was bored with Forza, and with Project Cars being so far away (there could be more delays, who knows) I wanted to try a different style of racing. I chose bikes. What could go wrong? It’s kind of the same as racing in a car, right? Well no, it’s not really, but you know what I’m getting at. Ride -at first glance- looks fun, fresh and quite good considering we heard basically nothing about it prior to release. Anyway, I’ve not reviewed anything in many months, but this made me want to get back into it. The reasons: I want to tell people about what can go wrong with this game and I also want to tell people what’s right about this game. People need to know how to avoid the corrupt save file unlike me, unfortunately. People also need to know why this game made me really want to start reviewing games again. I’ll get to that now.

Ride is what you would expect from a racing game, plus a lot more. It has a lot of different elements thrown in to make it a great racing game. Now, I haven’t played a bike racing game since Moto GP back in 2004 (I think), so I was a little rusty at first. You start by creating your rider, picking your first bike and that’s it. Off you go into the world of racing. You can do a few things, but the main game mode is ‘World Tour’. This is where you will most likely be spending most of your time, and I wouldn’t blame you. It’s where you earn the most money and it’s where you will have the most fun. Once you start, you will see a lot of different categories to choose from. You will be starting in the Naked Bikes Middleweight Group. Once you win this, or even if you don’t, you can move into the next category. It’s completely up to you. You can choose from road bikes, classic bikes and all the way up to modern superbikes. The choices are brilliant. When you race it might be difficult depending what bike you chose, what difficulty you play it on or if you’re a beginner, like me. You will easily pick this game up considering how smooth the controls are. I picked it up after a handful of races and I was having a lot of fun! I was customising my bike with the many bike parts you can choose from, I was winning races (finally) and I was earning enough money to buy a new bike in the next category. This is where something bad happens. This is a gamers worst nightmare and it’s also a pain.

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My save file somehow became corrupt. This was a pain considering I had put a solid 12 hours into this game over the last week. I tried everything imaginable to fix this before I admitted defeat and had to start all over again. I know why it happened, but I really don’t understand it. I was in a 3 race championship, I had just finished first and I wanted a break. I let the game go back to the race menu, I let it save and then without thinking about it, I went for a break (that break being I wanted to play Borderlands 2 instead). Right, let me tell you what not to do. How do you avoid corruption in Ride? Well, it’s simple really. Don’t quit mid championship. Even though this shouldn’t be a problem, it is. When you load the game back up, it will notify you, telling you that you’re halfway through a championship. You select continue, the game tries to load, and then it crashes. It does this even if you retire from the championship and want to start a new race. The only things that you can play are quick race, time attack and multiplayer. Even though they are fun game modes, you want to complete your world tour! Right, so now you know how to avoid the corrupted data.

Other than the little mishap above, Ride is a really good game. The graphics are great, the sound of the bikes are excellent and the music is okay at best. You have a lot of tracks to choose from, you have a wide variety of bikes and it’s brilliant to play. If you get bored of demolishing the competition in World Tour, you can always go into multiplayer where you will be pitted against other people from all around the world. The multiplayer is a bit like F1 in the way of it adds AI players into those unfilled slots. That’s not a bad thing. It fills the track up that little bit more. This should fill the gap for those racing fans, like me, who are waiting for Project Cars. If you haven’t played it, I would suggest downloading it, buying it or even trying out a demo. It’s good fun for the most part, unless you get a corrupt file!

– TwiiSteD BeAsT

The Optimist: Project Cars

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I’ve not been active for a few months. I took a break from writing for a while because I had a mental block, which I couldn’t overcome for some reason. Anyway, I’m back now, and hopefully these ideas are what you want to read. In The Optimist I will be writing about a future title and giving my optimistic opinion on what will hopefully come out of them. I hope you enjoy.

 

Project Cars

Project Cars caught my attention about a year and a half ago when I some how came across a website which was showing some images from the game. I thought it looked very interesting to say the least. Fast forward to now and I am genuinely looking forward to the release of Project Cars. With it’s amazing graphics, wide variety and stunning features, it really looks like the total package. I’ve been a fan of near enough every genre of video game since I was very young, and one of those main genres was racing, so you can see why I’m so excited for this. There hasn’t been (in my opinion) a really amazing racing title for a long time, on Xbox at least. I know Sony has Gran Turismo, but I haven’t played that since the 4th title way back when I used to still regularly play on my Playstation. So, to me, this game will be amazing. It just looks too good to be true. We can expect many things from this game, and hopefully those things are amazing. Sometimes a game can look good, but sometimes it won’t play very well, but being the optimist that I am, I’m sure we won’t have any problems with Project Cars.

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Visually amazing

 

What I want from Project Cars is a Forza/GT hybrid, but 10x better than that. I want every kind of racing car you can think of, I want more than 15 tracks (60 confirmed tracks at the moment) to race around and I want the game to be fun. The best part about this, is that Project Cars can do all of this. You choose from 8 tiers of different race categories, starting off from the simple Go Kart racing, working your way up to the spectacular LM Prototype Racing, which sounds more amazing than anything I can think of. The amount of cars you have is still questionable, but with the amount of racing that you can do, I don’t see why this title won’t feature a lot of vehicles. You have Formula 1, you have off road racing, you have GT racing and pretty much anything to do with racing. I’m sure we will see a wide variety of vehicles in this game. Just think of the potential here. You start as a Kart racer, working your way through 8 tiers of racing, meaning that the gameplay should be very lengthy, which is one of the main things any gamer can ask for, especially the gamer who hates playing online multiplayer. It’s going to be great for you and me, the gamers.

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8 Tiers of pure racing

So Career has a few details, but not too many. It still sounds very promising. You start your career by creating a driver and picking where you want to begin. From here you will sign a contract to race for a team (not sure what team) and if you do well in your career, you will be offered contracts from other teams, which sounds quite good. Other features include invitations to special events, growing as a driver, evolving as a driver and hopefully being remembered in the Hall of Fame. Now this is something I want to play. I want to race for a team, and I want to play this career mode because it seems different than other titles. It seems fantastic and I can’t see why we won’t love it. With career mode, I want variety, I want a different approach than all the other titles. Imagine being involved in a crash that is your fault and then your team fire you because you can not be trusted, only to have a less successful team pick you up and offer you a contract. You could take this unsuccessful team to glory, or you could wreck their careers and throw the opportunity back in their faces. Now, I doubt this will happen, but I want things like this. Different things. Being different is not a bad thing in the gaming world, it’s being the same that kills developers.

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It has rain! Something Forza doesn’t have

 

Online Multiplayer is the place where people just love to be destructive morons. My recent experience with this, was in Forza 5. I recently had a 7 day ban for griefing, and I’m not sure it was fair. Every multiplayer lobby you go into on Forza, someone smashes into your rear end and puts you in the gravel, yet I got banned for being a destructive moron, but only when I finally had enough. After countless times of being taken out, I finally lost it and smashed one person off the track (he previously had taken me out numerous times in previous races), leading to a 7 day ban, which was absolutely stupid. Now, this is what could make or break this title. The fact that Forza has no in game penalty system allows people to be destructive morons, and this isn’t acceptable. If Project Cars has a penalty system, it will be a God send. Formula 1 has a penalty system, so I can’t see why this won’t. Anyway, enough of my rant, the online multiplayer sounds very promising. From what I have read, you can create your own team with your friends. Still, I don’t know how true this is, but I’m hoping it is a feature. It would be just a lot of fun having your own team with a bunch of friends. You could have different teams racing in each race, which would be excellent in my opinion. As long as we have something that works, it will be amazing, I’m sure. Another thing that Project has over Forza is the option to be able to practice and qualify for races. This is like Formula 1, and I like it. It allows people to be a little competitive whilst having fun. It does sound very interesting. Let us all hope that the multiplayer isn’t a destructive environment, this way, we can all have fun, which is what we would love.

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This is in game! How ridiculously nice

 

So Project Cars should be one of the greatest racing games to come to console/PC for a while. From what I’ve seen, it can only get better and it is already looking and sounding amazing. There are also community challenges where you can win actual prizes, which is fantastic. The amount of things this game is capable of is quite something. It hopefully will live up to my optimism. It will hopefully be one of the greatest racing titles we have played. Project Cars releases in November 2014 and it it being brought to us by WMD (World of Mass Development). Not a long time to wait now, and considering I’ve been following this game for roughly sixteen months, I can’t wait. Thanks for reading, as always.

 

P.S. Here’s a trailer: Project Cars Trailer

TwiiSteD-BeAsT

Dirt: Showdown.

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Dirt: Showdown is a Demolition Derby type of racing game where anything goes. The rules are simple. There are none. You can pretty much do anything in this game and you will be rewarded for it. In my opinion this is the best thing about this type of racing. You can completely screw up and still be rewarded. For instance: you can be going around the track minding your own business when all of a sudden a car goes across your screen and gets T-Boned by you. This will give you an on screen message telling you how awesome it was. Doing this will earn you more money at the end of each event. The goal is to win (obviously), but winning without causing a little destruction is never satisfying. You don’t want to go around the track at the pace of Driving Miss Daisy do you? Well do you? No. You want to be causing as much destruction as possible before you finally cross the finish line in your nearly wrecked vehicle.

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The Developer/Publisher of all things racing!

Dirt: Showdown was released between May 25th and June 12th Worldwide, meaning that this title is just over a year old. Just before release, Codemasters hyped up this title by showing it off via IGN and Gamespot (and probably more) saying it was something the fans wanted, something we cherished. That may be true, but they hyped this game up a little to much for my liking. Yes, the fans have missed video games like this, but we wanted more. To me, this game was just something they could throw out to keep us happy before the release of Dirt 4 (actually, where is Dirt 4?). The gameplay was great, don’t get me wrong. It was just the longevity which was the problem for me. You start off racing in the Pro tour working your way up to the Allstar tour, Champion tour and then the final group, which is the Legend tour. Each tier consists off 12 races each with a final race at the end. This sounds like a lot of races but you can easily get through these events within 3 – 4 hours. In the single player you have 10 different events which you have to complete in order to unlock the next tier. These events are: Race-Off – A straight forward race fought out between 8 cars on track. The distance of each of these races can differ from 3 laps to 8 laps I believe. These can be quite entertaining if you don’t just sit at the front of the pack trying to have a clean race. I suggest that you stay in the middle of the pack for a few laps and smash up some cars. That is the objective of this game after all. Domination –  A points based mode where the track has been divided into 4 sectors. Winning is based off who sets the fastest times in each sector. You are awarded points depending on your position. The winner is decided on who has the most points rather than who crosses the line first. Elimination – A race which features a timer. When the timer reaches zero, the driver in last place is eliminated. The last car standing wins.

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Start your engines!

Rampage – Eight cars compete inside an arena in a demolition type mode. Points are given to the driver for inflicting damage on the other opponents. The driver with the most points at the end of the times event wins. Knock Out – Just like Rampage, this even takes place in an arena. The only difference is that you are put on a higher table-like structure. You are awarded bonus points for knocking the other drivers off of the table. Cars are able to get back into the arena via ramps and jumps. Hard Target – The player (you) starts in the middle of an arena and you must fend off attacks from other drivers, with more drivers being added into the mix as the time ticks on. The winner is the driver who survives the longest onslaught. 8-Ball – Now this is my kind of destruction… race, I mean. Racing takes places on circuits with multiple cross overs which can result in chaos. Any time during the race, drivers can collide with one another, meaning the outcome of the race can change.

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It’s only a scratch.

Trick Rush – This game mode is very similar to the Gymkhana mode in Dirt 3. Players are given a set time to complete as many tricks as possible. Each trick gives the player a score. Head 2 Head – Two drivers must complete an obstacle course as quickly as possible, completing tricks on the obstacle course in front of them. At the end of the first round, the drivers switch lanes for a second attempt. The winner is the driver who has completed the course in the fastest time over the two rounds. Smash Hunter – The player must smash through coloured foam bricks in the order that they are called.

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Donut? Where?!

Now the multiplayer also had all those game modes and more. The only problem with the multiplayer was that the lobbies were quite dead. Every time I played online, I would be competing against the same guys over and over again because not a lot of people (compared to Dirt 3) had purchased this video game, sadly. The multiplayer had so much potential. It was brilliant. Even with only a handful of people, it was still a great experience. The races were rather exciting compared to the single player races. People colliding with each other just to get that first place was quite the adrenaline rush. My overall favourite race type has to be the 8-Ball races. You just didn’t know what was going to happen. You could be happily in first place when all of a sudden another driver plows into the side of your car, sending it off down another lane. The unpredictability of these races was brilliant. You didn’t care if you came in first place or eighth. It didn’t matter as long as somebody got side swiped or wrecked. The multiplayer also had party games, which I never played. They were the same party games as Dirt 3 though, so I understand what they played like. You had Smash & Grab – A race where one team grabs the loot whilst the other team try to steal it by ramming into them. The team that holds the loot for the longest period of time wins. Transporter – A capture the flag game mode (yes, CTF with cars) where each driver fights over the flags on the course. The driver to deliver the most flags to his own base will win at the end of the round. Speed Skirmish – A time-based mode in which the drivers need to race through 6 checkpoints before finishing the race.

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Get the flag! Get it!

So all-in-all, Dirt: Showdown is a good game. It just could have been so much more than it was. The nostalgic feeling I had whilst playing this should have been a great feeling, but it wasn’t. That feeling just made me miss the Destruction Derby series even more. I remember how fun those games used to be. Sixteen or more cars on track at once and it was just pure destruction. The Destruction Derby series was perfect in my opinion. You didn’t care about your position, you just cared about wreaking havoc on the track. Dirt: Showdown had the potential to be much more than all of those old games but it just wasn’t up to the job. This title was released on the current generation of consoles, meaning that this title was two generations ahead of it’s predecessors. With all the technology used in today’s video games, Dirt: Showdown could’ve been the new Destruction Derby, but better. I thought we would’ve had 20 cars battling it out on the track, causing so much chaos. This was not to be, sadly. This video game was an arcade game at best. It definitely should not have been £40 ($60) on release. You can pick Dirt: Showdown up for roughly £8 ($12.50) on Amazon. This is completely worth it. If you are looking for a quick, entertaining video game where you can just smash other cars up for fun, this is for you. I would give Dirt: Showdown a solid 6 out of 10 for effort. I’m just sad that this wasn’t what it could have been. Codemasters make brilliant racing games but I think they just rushed this title. Keep those engines running and let’s hope that Dirt 4 is released on the next generation of consoles.

TwiiSteDBeAsT