RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on May 24th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under PC, review, strategy, simulator

RimWorld is an early access game developed by Ludeon Studios that has been available for purchase since 2013. Updates are steady, if a bit slow at times. It is the winner of multiple Indie Game of the Year awards for 2016, despite being in early access alpha, so there has to be something to this unfinished game, right? While I'm sure most by now have long been turned away from the idea of early access, there are still exceptions where games have plenty of content.  Whether or not the content is polished or finished is another question. For Rimworld, each implementation of new features with every major update are actually functional, if a bit buggy for a few days post-release. RimWorld is in many ways easier to digest than Dwarf Fortress, and while Dwarf Fortress' simplistic graphics, archaic UI, high learning curve, and incredible depth are bound to turn off most would be players, RimWorld's simplistic art style at least adds flavor and something to look at.

Continue reading RimWorld

Posted on Aug 18th 2008 at 12:40:41 AM by (Sirgin)
Posted under Review, Modern Gaming, PS2, Sony, Racing, Simulator, Polyphony Digital, Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo. One of the names most associated with the Playstation-brand whose popularity is met by only a couple other franchises out there. In 1998, with the release of the original Gran Turismo came the DualShock, probably the most recognizable modern-day game pad there is and something that shows how big an impact this series has had.
Gran Turismo 3: A-spec (2001) was the first racer Polyphony Digital released to the world to show what the Playstation 2 was capable of. With Gran Turismo 4 (2005), Polyphony Digital tried to realise what they couldn't with part 3.

Let's start out with what is new. Immediate eyecatcher is the highly needed, slick new menu layout. Every screen in the game feels like it's part of a bigger whole and the same fonts, colors and icons are used throughout. This gives GT4 a much more streamlined feel, aswell as provide easier mobility while navigating through the game's massive options.

As usual, there's an Arcade Mode where you can do single races, time trials or go up against others in a 2-player splitscreen or LAN. The not-so-interesting Replay Theatre is back aswell, but most important still is the Gran Turismo mode, the place where you'll spend 98% of your time.

Here, you'll immediately notice the difference in layout, with much more icons than in the past. In the classic home screen, the garage has become much more flexible for searching through your collection of cars with listing categories like country, power-to-weight ratio and so on. You'll also notice your "diary" which is nothing more than a log of your purchases and race results.

In GT4, races are devided into much more categories than before. The beginner, professional and expert races make a return, but new are the country- and manufacturer-specific races. There are, for example, Japanese, American and European events, while you have to go to the manufacturers to see if there are model-specific races available.

One thing in which GT4 excels is content: There's over 700 cars and 50 tracks in the game, making it a much bigger game than GT3. The same however was true for GT2 compared to GT1, probably because the developer has more time for their second release on each console. New this time are all the classic cars from the 50ies and beyond, aswell as some crazy concept cars and some of the first cars ever made. To make things easier in the beginning of the game, you can buy used cars of all ages. However, there's so many races to do and cars to collect in this game, it'll take you weeks (or even months) to finish it.

Also new are the B-spec and Photo mode. In B-spec mode you don't drive yourself but assist an AI driver by giving him/her directions (accelerate, break, etc...) for what to do next. Photo mode is (as the name indicates) a mode in which you can take pictures of your favorite cars, put them on a USB stick and print them out if you want.

Now for the actual driving. (This is where opinions will clash the most concerning GT4) Depending from what you, the gamer, expect from a racing-game, you'll either love GT4 or you won't. If you're looking for adrenaline-pumping, faster-than-lightning races with brutal competition, chances are big you won't like GT4. If, however, you're looking for a realistic (and therefor sometimes a bit boring) driving simulator, you'll find GT4 (almost) everything you're longing for.

When it comes to simply simulating driving, GT4 is fan-tas-tic. Especially when turning off electronic aids you'll be able to really show what you're made of. Couple this with the rich content and you can already justify buying GT4. However, there's some bad sides to the game aswell, quite a few actually...

For starters, there's no online play. This'll surely dissapoint alot of people wanting to test their skills against others online, who don't have a racing friend nearby.
Secondly, the AI is as dumb as ever. The other cars (still only 5) always drive in the perfect racing line, almost never miss a turn and stay together as a group unless there are major differences in the cars' performances. A third complaint is the fact that you can still use cars ahead of you as airbags for taking sharp corners aswell as ride off-track on several courses. (Apricot Hill, anyone?)
A penalty system has been introduced in the Dirt & Snow events, making you drive 50km/h for 5 seconds if you hit the other car, however, sometimes you get a penalty for the other car hitting you! These Dirt & Snow events are another thing that bothers me in GT4. Instead of them being realistic (like, say: Colin Mcrae) you feel like you're trying to manoeuvre a bar of soap on a wet plastic surface, constantly sliding towards the sides unless you break like mad. Although the B-spec mode sounds like a nice new feature at first, it's boring as hell and I really don't see the fun of not driving yourself.
Lastly, there's still no damage model, but it depends on what you expect from a driving simulator if that's a bad thing or not.

On the bright side, both graphics and sound are perfect in GT4, with beautiful cars and circuits aswell as realistic engine sounds. The soundtrack is elaborate although I'm not sure it'll appeal to all with mostly rock songs. Luckily, you can customize it in the "jukebox" so you only have to listen to the songs you like. Especially graphically, you can see the improvements made since GT3 with nicer cars, reflections and lighting. Especially the clouds seem to have been improved, showing much more detail than before. The addition of a new over-the-hood view of your car is very welcome, bring the best of the other 2 views together.

Scoring GT4 is difficult because it really depends on what you expect from it. I'd personally give it a 8.8 or maybe even a 9.0 out of 10 but considering the many faults this game has I'll give it a more diplomatic 8.2/10.

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