1st January 2015: A Flat Out Shame
So maybe this isn't technically a game you can finish, but I recently got done winning the grand finals of an oldish game called FlatOut 2, and that qualifies as a completion in my book.
I originally bought it as it looked like it would be a crazy fun game for LAN multiplayer, and after playing it the last few weeks I think it would certainly have been. However, as we found out, there was one massive flaw in the multiplayer mode: you can not add AI cars. What the hell were they thinking not putting that functionality in there? Even the best car racing game ever made would be a heap of shit if you could only have 2 or 3 cars driving round the track at a time. Such a shame.
Still, I was determined to get my money's worth, especially as I hadn't really played any car racing game since managing to break free of Grand Prix 3's hold on me a few years ago. And got my money's worth I did. Well, it was only £3.
So I decided to drive and smash my way through the single player career, and for the most part enjoyed it. However, there were a lot of things that also really bugged me about the game, the AI in particular:
- AI drivers seemed to correct themselves much faster than I could. After ramming one and spinning them round or off the track, on the next straight they often immediately overtook me again. They seemed to have much faster cars and acceleration, even when I was in the fastest car in the class with all the upgrades. This annoyed the hell out of me.
- This may not be true, but it seemed like the AI drivers often reacted dynamically to my skill. I could put in a crap lap and the AI drivers would remain not too far ahead, but I could then go and drive an awesome lap and they sped up rediculously so they would stay with me or even pull away.
- One thing that is definitely true is that the game didn't work out the results correctly after I'd crossed the finish line. Many times I saw a specific driver cross the line behind me, but when the results were displayed on screen it would have given that place to a different driver. It would also often give faster lap times to the cars down the back, which certainly seemed to make it look like it was just randomizing the results after the player had finished, rather than playing the race out properly.
- The physics on all the debris you could hit was also a bit weird. Very often I would ram through walls of tyres and my car would barely feel it, but holy crap if I hit a cardboard box I would spin or bounce up into the air or some other crazy shit. Sometimes it appeared I had hit something and I would spin or get knocked into the air when I'm sure there had been nothing there. All this debris also seemed to affect me more than the AI drivers, but maybe that was just my perception.
Still, it was quite fun, and the mini-games were bananas. I definitely didn't feel like it was a chore to reach the end of this like I have done with some of the other games I've forced myself through while making this blog.
On a brain-challenging note, I've recently started looking into making mods for Dawn Of War. I knew this was possible years ago, but all I did back then was make maps, badges and banners. Rather than use Relic's own tools, I've started learning Corsix Mod Studio. It doesn't help that there are hardly any tutorials for modding out there, and no full manual for either Relic's tools or Mod Studio, but I have managed to get a few things worked out.
I originally wanted to make a mod where all races were combined into one "Apocalypse" race, so everyone would have access to everything in the game, but this baffled me. I have instead chosen to apply my own fixes to the races that currently exist, and make the armies slightly bigger. It's proving fun so far.