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Games From Ben’s Past #2

 

Here we are again, looking back through time into the history of my gaming life. Continuing on with my PSP, the titles we’re going to look through this time are the games that kick-started my love for racing games. The thrill of speed and the power of modification. These are the games of my past: Speedy Boi Edition.

I have already talked about both of these games before while talking about my top 10 favourite racing games. These games taught me a great many things, one of which being the difference between an aggressive racing style and precision racing style. One taught me how best to perform a PIT manoeuvre on another car and the other taught me at the precision of gear changes within drag races. Both of them taught me that winning can be done in any way possible.

The first of these games was FlatOut: HeadOn. This game was effectively game 2.5 of the series. It contained all the content of FlatOut 2, but also featured so extras that hadn’t been featured in games before; including a test track to either see how good your car was or how quickly it broke down, and a party game mode which involved throwing yourself out of various cars and rag-dolling your way through various objectives to earn points.

Can you guess which driving style this game taught me about? In fact, surprisingly, it taught me about both. The whole point of the game is too race cars and have fun while you do it; but, if you want to drive properly and aim for the win without causing damage, that is also just as possible. The first thing that the game taught me within the world of precision driving is the importance of feeling and taking the driving line. That is, the best line to take around a corner so that you can hold enough speed that you slingshot your way out faster than you thought possible.

This was the first real thing that I learnt that I would take through to every racing game I ever played. The second thing that this game taught me was how to drift, power slide and generally how to go sideways. While drifting is defiantly not the fastest way to get around a track since you end up not having the same amount of traction, but it’s defiantly the most fun way to go around a track. This while attempting to race in a similar format is known as an aggressive racing style since your always on the edge of control of the car.

But the best thing that this game did was introduce me to the world of car modifications. I quickly became familiar with many aftermarket performance part company’s, who offered the best parts in each area and thrill of swapping out part to push your car just that little bit faster. Tuning the car to be better at accelerating or faster through the straights. It also taught me that different setups are better for different scenarios, for example, it’s better to have a fast acceleration than overall top speed while crossing the quarter mile, but round a track, having a high top speed is always a good idea, even if it takes you a while to get there.

This game also taught me about the joys of the Demolition Derby. But that’s a story for a different day. The second game that I enjoyed a lot in my childhood was a game entitles Test Drive Unlimited. This was not only the first racing game that I had ever played on my PSP but also the first ever game I played on my PSP. Adamantly, back then I thought that the game was much smaller than it really was as I couldn’t save my games as I didn’t have a memory card meaning that I had to restart every time I started a different game (I got very good at the early stages of the game having repeated it over and over),

This game allowed me to explore the world of precision racing from the get-go. I quickly mastered the ability to gauge distances and speeds and fitting through gaps that were closed by the millisecond. It also taught me how important it is to respect your opponents. Never underestimate them because something can always happen. Either they have an ace up their sleeve, or someone has the plan of taking you out. Just always be mindful of what other people may do.

But the best thing that this game did was introduce me to the world of car modifications. I quickly became familiar with many aftermarket performance part company’s, who offered the best parts in each area and thrill of swapping out part to push your car just that little bit faster. Tuning the car to be better at accelerating or faster through the straights. It also taught me that different setups are better for different scenarios, for example, it’s better to have a fast acceleration than overall top speed while crossing the quarter mile, but round a track, having a high top speed is always a good idea, even if it takes you a while to get there.

This game taught me a very different lesson than FlatOut did though. This game was created by the makers of The Crew. You know, the game that spans the entirety of America with a degree or accuracy that’s pretty good. This game is a pretty accurate representation of the island of O’ahu. The largest island in the American state of Hawai’i including the capital city, Honolulu. Now, what can an island 1545km2 teach me? The joy of cruising. Just driving your car with no destination in mind, enjoying everything that you see, and let your mind wander and do whatever it likes. As I had no hope of driving a real car at the age of 11, this was a pretty good alternative.

Overall, these two games are what taught me everything I know about racing games. Other games I have played have only enhanced my knowledge and made me better at them. The whole point is that it doesn’t matter how old or new a game is, it’s what you learn from that makes all the difference.

One of the other things that I have learnt through my short adult life, is that there are two types of people. The first kind of person is someone who, if their car starts sliding the back end out, ends up slamming on the breaks and spinning to a stop. The second kind is the people who feel the slide and start to counter it by putting more power on. Which kind are you?

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