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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Half-Life Rally

John B. Marine | 6:59 AM | | Be the first to comment!
Half-Life is one of the greatest games ever. The Half-Life series itself is one of the best gaming franchises ever. Half-Life couldn't possibly make for a racing game, right? Well, modders thought otherwise. Meet Half-Life Rally. Half-Life Rally utilizes the GoldSource (or GoldSrc) engine and built a racing game mod around it. This blog post takes a look at this mod for Half-Life.






Half-Life Rally


Although Half-Life is an excellent first-person shooter and first-person shooter series, there isn't much to making a racing mod for it. However, the GoldSrc Engine for Half-Life is told to be entirely versatile. Versatile enough... to be the base of a racing/driving game mod. Now before you go thinking this game mod will replace any of your favorite racing games of its time, think again.

Half-Life Rally lets you take on a series of tracks consisting of open circuits and closed circuits. All of the cars you can choose from are real-world rally cars. Many of them, though, may be fictional to avoid copyright issues. You can race any number of the included venues offline or online. Funny enough, this game even has some maps where a bomb is attached to your car, and you have only a certain amount of time to drive around with that bomb. Other than that, get ready for a cracking good time racing!

If you intend to download the Half-Life Rally mod, you must use the original "Half-Life," NOT the "Half-Life: Source" version.


Half-Life Rally: Experience.

To begin "Half-Life Rally," you must set up a server, either online or offline. You then select what map you want to use. One thing you may want to note is the prefix of each map name. Seeing "ab" means a point-to-point. "RC" is a closed-circuit rally course. "HC" notes a location with your car having a bomb attached to it. You then go ahead and set lap distance, time between races, and other options. Once you have everything set, it's time to race!

When you begin a race, you then select what car you want to use. Each car is rated for Acceleration, Handling, and Top Speed. Acceleration concerns how quickly the car gets up to speed. Handling affects how well the car can take on turns. Top Speed relates to the maximum speed the car is capable of. You start off with $600 to customize cars. That is not much, but once you complete a race, you will earn credits to use to buy performance parts. You can buy tires, exhausts, intercoolers, and turbo systems to improve the performance of your car.

When actually racing, you are trying to clear checkpoints. Your co-driver will tell you when you clear a Checkpoint. Keep track of the checkpoints you clear. If you miss a checkpoint, you will need to go back and clear it. The best way to ensure you clear a checkpoint is to drive through the center of the checkpoint gates or markers. If you are doing races with time extensions, you need to clear checkpoints in time. You can change car views at any time during the event. You may even add bots to race against when offline.


Half-Life Rally: Final Thoughts.

Half-Life Rally is a great mod utilizing the GoldSrc Engine. The graphics look great, and the driving model is actually quite good. It is sometimes a bit of a bug to think you cleared a checkpoint but really didn't. It happens in Half-Life Rally. At times, the game crashes as I raced; however, those crashes were not frequent and consistent. Some people talk about the game crashing upon loading. I didn't have such loading problems. It is a solid mod no matter how you look at it. This game will not replace "Colin McRae Rally," but it is a very good rally experience using the engine from the award-winning "Half-Life."


For More Information...

Learn more about "Half-Life Rally" by visiting www.hlrally.net. If you bought Half-Life on Steam, you need to use the original Half-Life to play this mod, NOT the "Half Life: Source" version.


Video Preview.

Here is a sampling of what "Half-Life Rally" has to offer:


^ Half-Life Rally (2004) - Every PC Rally Game


I tried to find some real trailer for "Half-Life Rally," but this was as best as I could find and share.






Proton Rally (Bonus Section!)


Developed with the GoldSrc engine and developed in the same vein as "Half-Life Rally" was an unreleased game called "Proton Rally." This game utilized models from Proton, a Malaysian automobile company [that even once made a motorcycle competing in MotoGP]. This game is nowhere to be found online for what I know. However, I will provide you this video as kind of inspiration for modding ability with Half-Life Rally:


* Proton Rally - Half-Life 1 Rally Mod

Again- no further information on this game/mod is known. To read an article about "Proton Rally," visit the following: Proton Rally game based on Half Life engine.





That is all for this blog post! I hope to see you again when I make another post, whenever that will be. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Monday, February 7, 2022

Quake 3 Rally

John B. Marine | 6:48 PM | | Be the first to comment!
(UPDATED: February 8, 2022)

Quake 3 Arena is a fairly decent first-person arena shooter. However, it couldn't possibly make a decent racing game, right? Well, since 2002, the team of Quake Rally has worked to make racing happen for the Quake series. There have been Quake Rally titles for the first Quake and for Quake 3 Arena. For this blog post, however, I only will focus in on Quake 3 Rally. Welcome to "John's Race Space!"

NOTE: This blog post only concerns "Quake 3 Rally," not the very first "Quake Rally."

CREDENTIALS: I am using the Mod version of Quake 3 Rally, not the standalone versions.


About the Label: Modding

Topics listed under "Modding" relate to mods for games. Relevant to this blog's subject matter, these mods include racing games and driving games to any number of game engines. Even game engines and games that are not racing/driving games may be featured in blog posts under this Label.






Quake 3 Rally


Quake 3 Rally brings a racing environment to the Quake 3 ecosystem. You will be able to race a variety of vehicles on a handful of tracks. You can race tracks in the Quake 3 Arena realm exclusively for racing. Races happen either offline or online. You may elect to run races, deathmatches, or capture the flag.


Quake 3 Rally: Experience.

I only used the offline action. These allow you to race locally by yourself or against bots. Each track allows you to race for a certain number of laps, choose time limits, choose the track length; and if offered, you can choose to race certain tracks normally or in reverse.

If you go to the Options menu, you can configure a number of elements to get into the action. You can set up whatever vehicle you will use. You have options for the vehicle that you can select. You can go further by picking a skin for your vehicle along with the wheel choices and whom you use as your driver. From what I can tell, there is no difference in performance regardless of what vehicle you choose. So your choice comes down to personal preference. It is recommended you save your favorite combination of vehicle, its skin, and the wheels by marking it as a Favorite. You can save up to four Favorites.

You can download more vehicles and maps and just drop them into the Quake 3 Rally folder if you are using the Q3 Rally mod (like I am for this review). Quake 3 Rally's website features some more material you can download.

Once the track loads, you must press "Fire" or "Use" to start the race. A wait follows along with the race starting proper. You must try to find as many different resources as possible to help your cause and finish the race. If you are defeated, you can press "Fire" to respawn at the last checkpoint you cleared. You will take damage upon each elevation change and hitting walls. Considering the frantic nature of certain race tracks, do NOT expect a perfect, damage-free race. You WILL take damage in some form as you race. Some tracks don't even have health pickups of any kind, so do not be surprised if you are defeated on a track that doesn't have any health pickups.

The race is over when the lap distance has been met. Most tracks have a defined or suggested number of laps you can run. However, you can always set the lap distance to whatever you want. Your personal best lap times will be noted during your runs.


Quake 3 Rally: Final Thoughts.

I hate that I could not get the Quake 3 Rally standalone version to work without excessive lag. Therefore, I was glad to find the mod version of this mod. This mod plays wonderfully within the Quake 3 environment. Honestly, part of the reason why I bought "Quake 3 Arena" [on GOG] was to play "Quake 3 Rally." If I can learn to make maps for Q3 Rally, I would make my own sort of maps for it. Same goes for if I can model vehicles for the game also. The fact this mod has been around for over 20 years shows its longevity and importance to modders. So I would go get this mod if you love racing and want a more-than-decent mod for a first-person shooter.


For More Information...

To learn more about "Quake 3 Rally," please visit: Q3Rally.com.

NOTE: Apparently if you have OpenArena, you can install this into your OpenArena folder. I don't know how to do this, so you're on your own there.


Video Preview.

Consider this your "hype video" of "Quake 3 Rally." Get psyched:


^ Quake 3 Rally







I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Rush Rally 2

John B. Marine | 7:28 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Rush Rally 2 is one rally racing game sure to challenge you. If you want to take on the intense realm of rally racing, Brownmonster Limited has your rally racing game for either Android or iOS. So get ready to get dirty taking on some of the toughest roads in the world across a handful of countries! I'm here to review "Rush Rally 2" for your pleasure.


Before I Begin...

For full disclosure, I am basing my review based on my Android TV experience with "Rush Rally 2." My device used is a Xiaomi MI Box S.






Rush Rally 2 at a Glance


Here is a look at "Rush Rally 2."

Rush Rally 2
^ from: (Amazon) - "Rush Rally 2" gives you that rush of excitement rally racing provides.

"Rush Rally 2" is a rally racing game developed by Brownmonster Limited, a solo developer from England. This game presents the challenge of off-road racing through both rallycross and traditional rallying. This game was first released in 2016. The player is met with the challenge of off road racing on rally stages and rallycross races. It is run on an in-house game engine. There also is no licensing in this game. There are fake sponsors on the cars and on the various billboards. The individual drivers are also fake. For example, there are drivers named after real-life drivers. Names include Bichard Rurns, Carlos Saint, Ben Klock, and others. Oh, well... a game like this doesn't need proper sponsorship to be attractive.

If you are wondering why I am reviewing "Rush Rally 2" and not the first one, that is because I could not find the very first Rush Rally game. The first game was taken off of the Android and iOS markets leaving only "Rush Rally 2" and "Rush Rally 3" available. So there is a "Rush Rally 1"... it just isn't available anymore.

Rush Rally 2 is available through Google Play, the Apple Store, and TouchArcade. It costs $0.99 USD on Google Play.


Tracks: Rally.

Rally racing takes you on a world tour featuring a handful of different rallies. You start in Finland and then work your way around the world unlocking more rallies. A total of eight rallies are in this game. Each rally features six stages except one.

• Finland - high speeds and romps through forests on gravel await you in this classic rally.
• Argentina - deal with these dirt roads while also contending with tall rocks and canyons.
• Sweden - race on ice and snow.
• Spain - asphalt and gravel stages await you here.
• Germany - a rally dominated by mixed surfaces with very deceptive mountainous and hilly roads.
• Australia - a host of {country roads and mixed terrain define this rally.
• USA - a paved roads rally that is essentially the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Only one stage, and it is the longest in the game at over 12 miles.
• Canada - this rally features grueling uphill stages with decisive turns. Roads are a mix of tarmac and snowy roads.

To advance to the next rally, you must finish 3rd or better in the final rally classifications.


Skills Games.

Test your driving skills with a handful of challenges. Your goal is to try to complete each challenge within the Target time. If you fail to complete the course in the Target time or have multiple penalties outstanding, you will fail the challenge and must try again.

There are three Cups for Skill Games: Crabman Cup, GPS Championship, and Parsons Trophy. You unlock the other two after clearing the first set of challenges. Here are the challenges in general:

• Air Missile - Indicators will tell you where missiles will strike. Avoid being in the indicator to avoid the missile strike. Penalty time will be added for each time you are hit.
• Roadworks - avoid the various hazards on the road. Avoid EVERYTHING- cones, signs, barriers, and more. Penalty time will be added if you fail to completely avoid each hazard section.
• Coin Rush - collect coins scattered about in a line. Each missed coin results in penalty time added to your run.
• Trailer - a trailer full of soccer balls will be attached to your car. Try to keep all the balls in the trailer to clear the challenge. This means not accelerating or braking too hard along with taking note of various elevation changes. Penalty time will be added for each ball that leaves the trailer.
• Skill Gates - You will be racing a stage while also trying to clear each gate. You must properly clear each gate to receive credit for each clear. You will not be rewarded a cleared gate if you either miss it entirely or knock over the barrels. Each missed gate will result in penalty time added to your run. Clear the stage within the Target time to pass.
• Turbo Rush - Pick up turbo bottles across the track. Use those turbos to try to clear the stage in time. Each collected turbo makes your car run at faster speeds. It is recommended you try not to rev the engine on the start. Otherwise, you will suffer engine damage and go VERY slow.


Rally: Rallycross

Rallycross brings wheel-to-wheel racing in frenzied circuit battles. You will deal with a mix of tarmac and non-tarmac surfaces trying to finish stop the standings. You must finish within the Target position to advance to the next stage. Clear all of the stages to win the Cup in each class. You will not be penalized for leaving the track or dangerous driving. You do, however, need to be mindful that damage will affect your car no matter what you do on the race track.

You must place third or better in the first set of races, 2nd or better in the second set of races, and you must win all stages of the third set of races.


That covers the racing, but what about those vehicles?


Vehicles.

There are ten cars to choose from in "Rush Rally 2." While there is no official licensing, you can make out what most of the cars are as well as the associated liveries to each. You can actually set up each car to meet the given rally or race you are taking part in. Not all vehicles are available right away. The game tells you what you have to unlock certain vehicles. The game insists the races will be harder if you go with faster vehicles. So if you feel you keep losing, try stepping down to lower-class cars to get the advantage.


Racing.

This section features advice for rallycross and rally.

A rallycross race pits you against five other cars. Your job is to finish in a target position to unlock the next race. Once all races of a certain cup are complete, you can unlock a new Cup. There are no penalties for leaving the course or rough driving. So if you feel you have to cheat, do so. However, be mindful that damage will impact your car.

Take part in any of the game's rally events. You will begin in Finland before you can unlock the seven other rallies. Finish in a target position to advance to the next rally. All of the rallies has six stages, except one. You can make repairs to your car after the 2nd and 4th stages of each rally. Once you are in the service areas, you have only a certain amount of time to make needed repairs. Adjust the slider to each element to lower the amount of damage to certain components. If you do not have enough time to repair damage, you will not be able to fully repair certain things. The elements that usually endure the most damage are your engine and your wheels. So take note of these most.


Good luck becoming a champion! :)




Rush Rally 2: Final Thoughts


For work done mostly by a solo developer, and considering this is a paid app, what you get is a very good rally game. Maybe "Rush Rally 2" is not a Triple-A type game; it is still a game that has a very nice rally racing mechanic. The driving model is a great one. This is a more-than-decent rally racing game that you will enjoy playing. Some of the different skill races are unique diversions from the usual rally racing. There is only a small price to pay for this app, but many of the racing memories this game has to provide are priceless. Surely recommended by me, but not strongly recommended.


For More Information...

Here are ways for you to learn more about "Rush Rally 2":

Brownmonster Games - the developer's site
Rush Rally 2 on Google Play
Rush Rally 2 on Apple Store


I am hopeful you enjoyed this blog post and review.





That's all, folks! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Daytona USA

John B. Marine | 7:54 AM | | Be the first to comment!
SEGA's Daytona USA is one of the most iconic racing games for a number of reasons. It was the first non-licensed game to make stock car racing cool. Hornet High-Class Racing has been the team to beat. With so much going on and so much to gauge, "Daytona USA" will gladly take you for a ride through the wild world of stock car racing. This blog post focuses on the main Daytona USA. You'll see why this is one of the best racing games of all time and remains so even today.






Daytona USA


Daytona USA classic
^ from: (YouTube) - The original "Daytona USA" was groundbreaking and exciting for its time. It remains one of the greatest racing games of all time even today.

Daytona USA has been one of the most iconic racing games of the past. It picks up where "Virtua Racing" left off by offering textured polygons. The action even ran consistently well at a decent frame rate. Of course, Daytona USA also delivered in providing an unreal racing experience. The Daytona USA series has found its way into homes through console and PC. The earlier home versions of Daytona USA were trimmed-down versions. Later versions around the mid-2000s and 2010s feature arcade-perfect renditions of "Daytona USA" for home. Everyone is part of the ultimate underdog team- Hornet High-Class Racing. Even though the game is named after Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; this game does not feature the actual Daytona International Speedway.

Here is a look at some of the finer points of Daytona USA...


The Cars.

Unless you are playing the PC/Saturn version of this game, you really have two cars to choose from- an Automatic car or a 4-speed Manual car. The Manual/Standard car offers a higher top speed. In the home versions of the first Daytona USA, you could unlock different-colored cars with different levels of performance. You could even unlock something that... is not a car. Each vehicle you can control is rated by Grip and Acceleration. Grip determines the level of traction you get on each course. Acceleration determines how quickly you get up to speed. Some vehicles may actually be better at certain courses than certain others. So be sure to experiment around with the home version of Daytona USA. In the arcade version of Daytona USA, up to eight racers can compete if four dual cabinets of Daytona USA are linked. Each car is color coded in the arcade version and have no real performance advantage over another.

In all versions, you are racing the number 41 Hornet High-Class Racing car. If you are adept enough, it is possible to get a rocket boost off of the starting line to get a wild head start.


The Tracks.

No racing game is ever a quality racing game without tracks, so get to know the three available tracks. Each track features lap lengths for Normal, Grand Prix, and Endurance:

• Three-Seven Speedway (Beginner) - 8 Laps Normal, 20 Laps Grand Prix, and 80 laps Endurance
Three-Seven Speedway is the bread and butter of stock car racing- an oval. This oval, however, is more properly defined ss a tri-oval. So it is more akin to the likes of Pocono Raceway. One of its unique traits is that it has a slot machine you can actually stop and play as you drive. The real problem area each lap will be the sharp final corner. Victory should not be hard to achieve at this track.

This is the only track in the game that begins on a rolling start. A total of 40 cars can race on this track, including your car.

• Dinosaur Canyon (Advanced) - 4 Laps Normal, 16 Laps Grand Prix, and 40 laps Endurance
This natural terrain road course features a good variety of challenging corners and elevation changes. You will be weaving through a location with tall rock walls and hills as well as go through a tunnel. You may also have to do some drifting to aggressively clear some of the corners. So in other words, you're going to be pretty busy here. But don't worry- it isn't an impossible course to win at.

This track begins on a standing start, and as many as 20 cars (including yours) can race this track at a time.

• Seaside Street Galaxy (Expert) - 2 Laps Normal, 8 Laps Grand Prix, and 20 laps Endurance
If you want the ultimate challenge of Daytona USA, take on this city street course. This race begins on a long bridge followed by weaving into an airport. The roads twist and snake into some park land followed by a small village and some extra highways. It later goes into a space shuttle section and a pier. All the while is a challenging and punishing race course. The track is challenging, but perhaps more challenging is trying not to get caught up in the lovely song that accompanies this track. This is the toughest track in the game for a reason.

There are 30 care that race on this track with the event beginning on a standing start.


Suffice to say, you will be quite busy no matter which of the three tracks you race on. Now for some Final Thoughts...




Daytona USA: Final Thoughts


The original "Daytona USA" is forever intertwined in the history of racing/driving games. Released in 1994, it has left a mark that no other racing/driving game can replicate- even including most other SEGA racing games before "Daytona USA." If you want to experience the classic Daytona USA today, you can do so with the arcade-perfect versions of Daytona USA for systems like the PlayStation 3 and the XBOX 360. Or you might be able to find Daytona USA cabinets at arcade rooms and at some other places that have arcade units. That is... in places where arcades are still a thing to most places.

"Daytona USA" was not meant to be any proper simulation of stock car racing. It is not meant to fully and properly replicate the insanity that stock car racing provides. Even with its licensing of Daytona International Speedway, it does not actually feature the actual Daytona course. What it DOES excel in, however, is great fun. That is what Daytona USA delivers more than almost any other racing/driving game of its time. Also consider "Daytona USA" was a pioneering title in the sense of what it provided for most games in general with textured polygons and all running at a wonderful frame rate. So there are many reasons to play Daytona USA if you haven't already.


Hopefully this blog post has spurred your interest in regards to Daytona USA.





This concludes my latest post on "John's Race Space." I hope you found it enjoyable. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Hornet High-Class is an Inspiration!

John B. Marine | 9:16 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
When thinking of the greatest racing teams of all time, not many give Hornet High-Class any love. For whatever reason, Hornet High-Class Racing seems to qualify the worst, yet they manage to win. The frenzied world of stock car racing lends itself to all kinds of insanity. Hornet High-Class Racing, though, somehow manages to find ways to win amid the chaos any given day of stock car racing. The team is easy to root against since the team doesn't qualify well. However, when it is race day and race weekend, they prove the world wrong each time with their capable driver. This team proves the old adage, "it isn't how you start, it is how you finish." Hornet High-Class still manages to find ways to win despite poor qualifying. Hornet High-Class even estalished itself as a fighter in a fighting game ("Fighters Megamix")! How many race cars and race teams can say that?

So remember that when you are handed tough circumstances, you can always prevail as long as you believe in yourself and your abilities. Give yourself a chance every and in each situation. Make the most of what you are given and rely on your skill to make the most of even the toughest circumstances.

Also, if you are constantly not given a chance, this fuels the fire for you to prove people wrong, just as Hornet High-Class Racing always does. Go ahead- change peoples' minds. Reverse others' thinking.

Long story short...
Hornet High Class Racing
^ from: (PNGKey (best I could find))

Hornet High-Class is an inspiration!





I hope you enjoyed this casual post on "John's Race Space!" Thank you for being a part of this blog for as long as I've established it. So you all have a great day/night. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Diddy Kong Racing

John B. Marine | 7:48 PM | | Be the first to comment!
While Mario Kart 64 was king in Nintendo 64 racing, there was another challenger in kart racing. Enter Diddy Kong Racing- the kart racer for the Donkey Kong realm. However, this was more than just karting. It had hovercrafts, planes, and even... wait for it- a storyline! This blog post is my own look at Diddy Kong Racing.


Before I Begin...

I was preparing this blog post first before I realized I didn't blog about "Mario Kart 64." Since I make a lot of references to "Mario Kart 64" in this blog post, I had to mention "Mario Kart 64" before making this one. So still enjoy this blog post!






Diddy Kong Racing


Let's talk about Diddy Kong Racing!

Diddy Kong Racing hit the market in 1997, a year after "Mario Kart 64." This game allowed you to play in the realm of Donkey Kong. You could race as any of eight different characters. There was even a hidden ninth character you could unlock. There were a total of 16 tracks. While this was mostly an arcade kart racing game, you could do much more than race karts. You could find yourself racing in hovercrafts and planes. So this game had a great array of replay value to try the game with different vehicles. In addition to the madness of racing in this game, you also had a storyline. Your ultimate goal is to defeat the evil Wizpig, who has been terrorizing the land.

Unlike the aforementioned "Mario Kart 64," the characters in this game are all 3D models, unlike the pre-rendered models of "Mario Kart 64." This means you got to see the characters in proper 3D trim. Though, the tires on the cars are sprites.

"Diddy Kong Racing" was ported to the Nintendo DS years later.


Diddy Kong Racing: Play.

When you first start the game, you select one of the different characters in the game. You then can choose Adventure or Tracks. Adventure takes you through the game's main story mode. Tracks let you race on any of the given tracks in this game "Diddy Kong Racing" features 16 race tracks. Many of them can be run with the karts, but some tracks can also have courses for hovercraft and planes. Running into balloons on track will grant you powerups. If you run into balloons of the same color, you will receive stronger powerups. Up to three upgrades can be acquired at one time. So if you ran into three straight red balloons, you will get the highest upgrade- going from a single missile to 10 homing missiles.

To progress through "Diddy Kong Racing," you must win various challenges and collect Gold Balloons. More Gold Balloons allow you to enter more challenges.

Each of the vehicles were good for a number of things. The Car is your basic ground-based vehicle to race with. Most of your racing will be done in the Cars. Avoid going into the water when driving the Car. The Hovercraft allows you to race on water or any other liquid courses. They are faster on water than on land. The Plane is where you can enjoy flight across various tracks. These light planes obviously can't be on land or water, and you also need to fly them properly to navigate around the different courses.

There are are four main worlds to explore. You begin with Dino Domain. Try to win all of the individual races there and clear the different challenges. You then must take on the other worlds- Snowflake Mountain, Sherbet Island, and Dragon Forest.

Once you have made enough progress in the Adventure mode, you may find yourself taking on boss battles. In these Boss battles, you are in a race against some sort of opponent who will use any number of tactics to prevent you from winning. Your [obvious] goal is to win the race against the Boss.


I will now come along with some thoughts on "Diddy Kong Racing" now. So take a look at the next section.




Diddy Kong Racing: Final Thoughts


Here is a fact about me- my least favorite Nintendo character is Donkey Kong. Because of this, I don't usually get into the Donkey Kong realm easily. Having said that, "Diddy Kong Racing" is a game that offers lots more replay value and offers more variety than "Mario Kart 64." However, I find "Mario Kart 64" more fun than "Diddy Kong Racing." Most people I've chatted with tend to regard DKR more than MK64. DKR lacks the real engagement that MK64 offers even though it offers more races and offers greater replay value. Not many of the courses are particularly challenging either.


Video Preview.

I tried to find a brief video of this game, but all I could find are long videos. So here's your video preview:


^ Nintendo 64 Longplay - Diddy Kong Racing Part 1


I'm glad you were able to get my thoughts on this game and maybe have some memories of it!





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Mario Kart 64

John B. Marine | 4:55 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Mario Kart 64 brought the budding Mario Kart franchise into the 3D realm. There was no doubt "Super Mario Kart" began what remains as one of the greatest gaming (let alone racing/driving) game franchises ever. Mario Kart 64 did a lot to try to build up and continue where "Super Mario Kart" left off. So let me discuss "Mario Kart 64" in this blog post on "John's Race Space."






Mario Kart 64


It was 1996 when "Mario Kart 64" first hit store shelves. This was the second game of the Mario Kart series apart from the iconic "Super Mario Kart" in 1992. It was the first 3D Mario Kart game offering fast speeds and intense action. I have logged many laps and hours playing this game, as well as having a rivalry with my cousin playing this game back in the day.

This game basically brought the cartoon kart racing genre to the 3D realm. Even though most of the levels were 3D, the characters are pre-rendered, as is many of the pseudo-3D sprites like trees. The same insanity of Mario Kart games is present in this new installment. In addition to being the first 3D Mario Kart, this was also the first Mario Kart allowing up to four players locally. So you can enjoy racing against up to four players or being in Battle mode against up to four players.


Characters.

"Mario Kart 64" features eight drivers you can choose from. Gone is the Koopa Troopa, and welcome the Mario Kart debut of Wario. Each character is rated for their size. Lighter characters go faster and can corner better, but they can be knocked around by larger-type characters. Conversely, a heavier character is slower and don't handle as well, but they can knock around lighter characters. The most balanced characters you can choose from are Mario and Luigi.


Racing.

A lot of things in "Mario Kart 64" remain unchanged apart from "Super Mario Kart." Choosing Grand Prix will let you choose between 50cc engine displacement, 100cc engine displacement, or 150cc engine displacement. Choosing between the different displacement makes for tougher races. Select a character and choose a map. Each map features four races to choose from. If doing Grand Prix, you will run in all four of the races. Every race is three laps long. You must finish 4th or better to advance to the next round.

The races themselves are frenzied. It helps to get a good head start off the line if you can. Don't overrev the engine at the start. Run through the item boxes to access all sorts of items. If you can find shortcuts, take advantage of them to get the edge. Do whatever it takes to win each race and each championship.

Time Trial lets you race any of the 16 tracks in the game on your own. You get three Mushrooms to use at any time. You can save Ghost Laps of your best times around each course. A word of caution is that two tracks are very long, and unless you find shortcuts to reduce time of about the four-minute mark, you can not record Ghost Laps. You also can not record Ghost Laps if you crash hard or fall off the race track. So try to complete the Time Trial without crashing or getting into much trouble.

If you prefer Battle, just try to go around the map collecting items to use against your opponent(s). Once all three balloons have been popped on a character, the character is eliminated. Make sure that eliminated character isn't you!


I will now look towards providing a review for you all, so get ready.




Mario Kart 64: Final Thoughts


"Mario Kart 64" is an all-time classic for a number of reasons. It provided incredible graphics and fun game play. To me, "Mario Kart 64" is the last great Mario Kart before future titles seem to have hardcore rubber banding. Future Mario Kart titles after MK64 seem to punish you for actually being so good. This is a racing game to enjoy even if you are not good at racing games. Absolutely add this game to your Nintendo 64 collection.


Video Preview.

Mario Kart 64 in action. Enjoy!


^ Mario Kart - Nintendo 64


That's all for this blog post!





I hope you enjoyed this look at Mario Kart 64. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

SEGA Touring Car Championship

John B. Marine | 10:11 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
SEGA's 1996 game, SEGA Touring Car Championship, features four cars and is powered by a set of high-energy songs. The high-powered realm of circuit racing is embodied in SEGA Touring Car Championship. Are you ready to take on the intense action that SEGA Touring Car Championship has to offer? I will share with you my thoughts on SEGA Touring Car Championship. And really, they will be just that- thoughts, because I never personally played "SEGA Touring Car Championship" to properly share my views. Welcome to "John's Race Space!"






SEGA Touring Car Championship


Time to talk about another 3D SEGA Racing game! Let's do this!

SEGA Touring Car Championship
^ from: (YouTube) - SEGA TOuring Car Championship is something a bit different from the usual SEGA racing goodness you may be accustomed to.

Among SEGA's many different racing games of the 1990s, "SEGA Touring Car Championship" is a racing game with fictional courses and four great racing machines from their time. The game follows a model like "SEGA Rally Championship" in which you run laps around a closed circuit while trying to pass all of the cars on the track. While you probably are not going to win all three races, you at least need to complete all of the races as best as you can. There is a bonus fourth race if you manage to win the final race. All of this racing madness is fueled by a high-energy soundtrack from one of Japan's hottest music labels- Avex. While this game did have a focus on realism, it was nowhere near the attempt of simulation-type racing as when SEGA released SEGA GT in 2000.

This game was available for arcades, the SEGA Saturn, and even PC. The PC/Saturn version of "SEGA Touring Car Championship" has a handful of differences from the arcade version. The home versions include a few extra tracks and cars to unlock as well as some extra race types. But again- I have not played ANY of these games to personally make any claims or opinions.


Now that you know a bit about SEGA Touring Car Championship, let's go through some of the details of this game.




SEGA Touring Car Championship at a Glance


You have four cars to choose from and three tracks for which to do battle on. SEGA Touring Car Championship is similar in architecture to SEGA Rally Championship, only that you are racing courses for more than one lap.


The Cars.

You can choose between four machines. Three of them are DTM-spec machines, and one is a high-powered GT car. As I'm told, that GT car isn't as capable as the other cars featured in this game. Anyhow... let's meet the four cars:

• Opel Calibra V6
This model resembles the Team Joest Opel Calibra V6 DTM touring car.

• Toyota Supra GT
This is the only Japanese car in the game. It is also the only GT-spec machine in the game.

• Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI
The only Italian car you can race in this game is the potent Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti. Besides this, there is another Alfa Romeo in SEGA Touring Car Championship that serves as the Pace/Safety Car. The 155 V6 TI is a more-than-capable DTM racing machine.

• AMG Mercedes C-Class
The sporty and luxurious AMG Mercedes-Benz C-Class DTM racer from the mid-1990s is the potent and capable track weapon from Mercedes-Benz.


That covers the cars. Now for those tracks you will be racing on.


The Tracks.

Three tracks are on offer for you to race on. Here is a look at all three (NOTE: all Imperial measurement conversions are rounded to the nearest thousandth):

• Country Circuit - 2.045 km (or 1.271 miles)
This simple circuit is raced on early to determine qualifying. You then race it again in a three-lap feature race.

• Grunwald Circuit - 2.605 km (or 1.619 miles)
Grunwald Circuit is a more technical racing facility where there is no margin for error. There are many tricky depths to this course to make it a real challenge for all who take on this course.

• Brickwall Town - 2.277 km (or 1.415 miles)
This urban circuit features some decisive and difficult corners. A lot of the course is fairly narrow with either grass or gravel on either side of the road. Trying to keep your car on the streets can be a real hassle here.


If you manage to place 1st after going through the three races, here is your final challenge:


• Urban Circuit - 2.105 km (or 1.308 miles)
This course is run at night on city highways and through various tunnels. The roads are very narrow- more so than around most parts of Brickwall Town. You really need to concentrate if you want to run clean laps around this course.


You know the cars, and now you know the tracks. Final Thoughts coming up...



--- SEGA Touring Car Championship: Final Thoughts ---

"SEGA Touring Car Championship" was not as well received as most other classic SEGA racing games of its time, but it is far from being anything purely bad. The rather twitchy handling of the cars and focus on realism mostly lead to its downfall. Forget about the usual thrills a 3D SEGA racing game can provide, because this does not have the kind of character Daytona USA or SEGA Rally Championship had. "SEGA Touring Car Championship," though, still remains a huge part of SEGA's incredible lineup of racing games from the 1990s.


If I ever got to play "SEGA Touring Car Championship" at an arcade or someplace, I'd like to give this game a try.





Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Zippy Race

John B. Marine | 9:47 PM | | Be the first to comment!
So you're a motorcyclist who thinks cars are overrated? Well, do I have a game for you! Zippy Race! Get ready to travel across the United States in an intense cross-country race in this game. I will use my time here to share some thoughts on this old racing game. Welcome to "John's Race Space!"






Zippy Race


Let's talk Zippy Race!

Zippy Race game Irem
^ from: (YouTube) - Zippy Race- one motorcyclist vs. 89 cars.

Zippy Race is a game from 1983 and 1985 from Irem, a developer most people know of for the legendary R-Type shoot 'em ups (SHMUPS). The premise of "Zippy Race" is to compete in a cross-country race around the United States on your motorcycle. Along the way are cars willing to impede your progress. You start off in Los Angeles and try to ride your way into New York City. You will arrive in a few different cities as checkpoints (including my hometown of Houston!). This is an actual race you are competing in. When you pass a car, you move up in position. Can you go from 90th Place to 1st Place?

For you to complete your task, you jump onto your motorcycle passing all the cars in your way. You have a limited amount of fuel for your motorcycle to complete each stage. You will lose fuel if you fail to pick up fuel items or if you crash out too many times. Therefore, it is of great importance to try to stay on your motorcycle and not make as many mistakes. You are not going to go from last to first in just one stage. Instead, this is the proverbial "marathon, not a sprint." Kind of think of Zippy Race as a racing event like "SEGA Rally Championship" or "SEGA Touring Car Championship" in the sense that you aren't going to be the race winner after just one event. This is all about climbing your way through the pack.

Not to spoil the game, but once the game is completed, you run in loops. So you're back to Los Angeles once you clear the run from Los Angeles to New York. Most games back in the day were about having the highest score rather than complete some kind of story. Though, there were games about beating the high score and not having to do loops.




What If There Was a Modern "Zippy Race?


A concept like "Zippy Race" sounds like something some independent (or indie) developer would come up with. Could you see a modern interpretation of this game somewhere? Here's a little extra section to discuss that possibility.

If there hasn't been a modern interpretation of Zippy Race attempted by some developer(s), it is very much possible to see a concept like this resurface or be revisited. This could easily be made by any sort of independent devloper to have a motorcycle compete against cars in a cross-country race. Someone would probably try to add actual manufacturers just to add some extra appeal. Since the game has on-road and off-road sections, it probably wouldn't be smart having a sport bike be used in this setting. The motorcycle would probably have to be some sort of sport tourer to be realistic and to follow logic.


Final Thoughts are next!




Zippy Race: Final Thoughts


While not entirely obscure, "Zippy Race" is a racing game with a pretty fun concept. It is very cool for the most part. Anyone playing this game will need to learn to pass without crashing. Navigating the scenery is also a critical consideration for this game. Put it all together, and you got yourself a fairly cool classic racing game in "Zippy Race."





I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I couldn't find a brief video to show this game in action, so I had to rely mostly on a picture to show you what this game is all about. Still, I'm glad you could be here. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Super Mario Kart

John B. Marine | 12:57 PM | | Be the first to comment!
The Mario Kart series is one of the most successful racing game franchises in gaming history, and it all began with Super Mario Kart in 1992. This game helped pave the way for not only this franchise, but also other Mode 7 racing titles. This blog post will be my look at the game that began the rise of one of the most successful racing game franchises of all time- Super Mario Kart.

The following blog post is NOT a review of Super Mario Kart.






Super Mario Kart


SNES Mario Kart
^ from: (Mobygames - best I could find) - Super Mario Kart is an iconic racing game for a lot of reasons.

"Super Mario Kart" was not the first Mode 7 racing game, but it surely is more popular than its godfather, "F-Zero." "Super Mario Kart" was released two years after F-Zero and delivers a much more different experience than what F-Zero had to offer. The game takes place in the colorful world of Super Mario World. The goal is simple- get out there and win races! The tracks along with the action that takes place on these tracks made Super Mario Kart a very fun racing game. The venues range from proper racing circuits to tracks in totally unreal and dangerous locations. There may be some shortcuts to some tracks should you have a keen eye to find them. You won't be penalized for taking shortcuts or cheating, so you may want to look for any means to win!

You may choose to either run the Grand Prix or compete in Time Trials. The former is the main area of the game, and the latter will take you for solo hot lapping sessions around a track. More powerful engine displacement mean the karts will be faster. Choose any of the game's eight characters for which to race around the game's courses with. Be mindful that each character is of a specific class. Mario and Luigi are the most balanced characters. Light characters, like Toad, can run faster than most other characters, but they can easily be knocked around by heavier characters. Heavy characters, like Bowser/Koopa, are slower than everyone else, but they can not be phased by lighter racers.

You can then select any of the game's three Cups in Grand Prix mode. You have a number of chances to clear each round of each Cup. Be sure not to overrev your engine at the start of the race. Drive over coins for slight boosts in speed, and drive over the question mark boxes to access various items to help you or harm others. You must finish 4th or better to advance. If you fail to finish 4th or better, you can use any of your chances. If you run out of chances and fail to advance, you must retire from the Cup. Try to go for the Gold! If you manage to clear all three Cups, you will get to race the Special Cup with the game's toughest races awaiting you- including the infamous Rainbow Road.


The Importance of Super Mario Kart.

Super Mario Kart is a very fun and engaging racing game. While it does deliver its fair share of amazing racing action, this game basically defined a sub-genre of racing games. It defined the cartoonish kart racing genre. A game like this is completely arcade and fast-paced. Such games do not pride themselves on precision driving or advanced driving dynamics. The tracks were also not as difficult or as detailed. For many people, these are racing games most people can enjoy without being true "racing game fans." Simply put, this is foolish fun.

The fact "Super Mario Kart" features such unrealistic racing means almost any developer can make a racing game offering the same kind of action "Super Mario Kart" provides. In fact, many future racing games in the vein of "Super Mario Kart" were born to try to offer arcade-style kart racing. Lots of other racing games in the future would take advantage of cartoon-style atmospheres in addition to wild and wacky characters and locales.

As for the Mario series itself, "Super Mario Kart" only enhances and expands the appeal of the Mario series by offering a unique category within the Mario series. The Mario series is already known for great platforming. All "Super Mario Kart" does is expand its appeal with a new genre. It does so while also offering a category of racing game that appeals even to those not into racing in general. Future Mario Kart games only enhance what "Super Mario Kart" was capable of and takes things to new levels. Many more tracks and characters would come about along with a handful of new items to increase the frenzied racing action. Some would argue that with future iterations of the Mario Kart series, the future titles would be marred for having rubber band AI that makes playing the game less fun and makes you seem punished for actually being good. The Mario Kart series, however, still remains fun and enjoyable. Even recently (as of October 7, 2020), there was the announcement of "Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit," which basically brings the insanity of Mario Kart to your home or building! This series is still going strong and very much alive and well.

IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED: You can learn more about "Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit" here: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - Official Size.

Much like how Gran Turismo became the standard for racing games of a simulation nature, the Mario Kart series would be the standard of the kart racing genre. Future series and games in the vein of Super Mario Kart are very varied. There would be future titles such as (but not limited to) Wacky Wheels (PC), Skunny Kart (PC), Motor Toon Grand Prix, Diddy Kong Racing, Crash Team Racing, ModNation Racers, Sonic Racing All-Stars, SuperTuxKart, and more.


With this perspective offered, allow me to offer you some final thoughts on Super Mario Kart.




Super Mario Kart - Final Thoughts


"Super Mario Kart" is a genre-defining racing game that took the Mario series into a new light and provided a new experience in its time. Even today, it remains one of the best-ever racing games along with being part of one of the best racing game franchises in gaming history. Its unique and fun racing action makes it a can't-miss racing game to play. Its appeal would spark its own sub-genre of racing games that still makes it as amazing to play while also giving casual racing game fans something to be a part of the racing game genre without being totally committed to it. "Super Mario Kart" also helped expand the Mario series of games to include a new way to get engaged to the Mario series. Later in its time, it would be one of the many Super Nintendo titles to carry the "Greatest Hits" gold badging as one of the greatest Super Nintendo titles of all time. So this is a once-in-a-generation, genre-defining game. All future Mario Kart titles would only expand and enhance the series to its current highly-successful level.


I tried to find a brief video to showcase "Super Mario Kart," but I couldn't find anything. So I'm afraid I will leave you only with thoughts on Super Mario Kart.





Keep racing on, racing game fans! :) Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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