While I might enjoy a great range of racing games, there’s usually a type of racing I always try to avoid. Whether Forza, GTA, or any other, I tend not to take the powerhouses. The high speed vehicles that offer greater speeds but at greater chance of making mistakes.
Such a person would be a perfect fit to be dumped into the cockpit of an F1 car, then. Clearly, the answer would be no, especially as there’s a greater technical prowess to handling one of these beasts. The chance of errors that much higher in a sport of pinpoint precision.
But here I am anyway, with the latest in the official F1 game series, purely because I wanted to see if I could handle one of these vehicles and make it through a season with the new My Team mode. So far… I’ll be lucky if I manage to even finish a race of the season.
Before I jumped into the new mode where I would manage and drive for my own team, I wanted to try a few single races. Doing so is easy enough, with the ability to create a custom setlist direct from the Grand Prix option. Changing the conditions of the race and the various assists is handled through this setup screens, and then it’s into the race.
As a fan of racers (it is Racing Month currently, after all), the lure of two racing games brought me to watch the Nacon Connect of 7/July. The larger lure was to find out something about the next in the Test Drive Unlimited series.
There was no gameplay; it was never advertised as having such. But I found the information good, and have some confidence that not only Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown, but new motorbike racing game RiMS Racing, will prove to be fun games.
Let’s start with that new game first. RiMS Racing is a motorbike simulation racer that will feature licenced bikes and real road and circuit races. There’ll be a team management section within the career, and while developer RaceWard Studio are looking to make it a true simulation, they’re also hoping to make it easier for newcomers to get invested.
For most of my life, I’ve loved racing games. I might not have been the best at the more simulation-based ones for most of that, but I loved driving, no matter what it was. Mario Kart would be the obvious favourite, with the likes of Forza Horizon and the DiRT series being other well-known series.
Then there’s the lesser known stuff, such as Wheelspin and Mini Desktop Racing, that replicate a certain style of racing on a budget (and usually fail at it in some form or other). But all of these are console-based racers, and while they’re great to get stuck into, for a gamer on handhelds – as I mostly was in my younger years – there needs to be some great experiences there, as well.
Such was indeed the case. Mario Kart DS is an easy one to pick out, but I’m not looking at Nintendo’s handhelds with this. Along with the DS, I owned a PSP, and two of the games I’d played on it have already featured as part of last year’s Racing Month – by way of their console counterparts. But what of the other racers I’d played on Sony’s handheld?
You’ve seen me talk about my experiences with the two Jedi Knight games that Aspyr have ported to the Switch. I enjoyed what I played, but they felt like they were showing their age. Still fine games, but plenty of little quirks that can sour the experience. I’d never played those two before, except a brief outing on Academy, and I’d never played this next one either.
There were plenty of Star Wars games of the old times that I’d never got around to playing, to be fair. The same friend who’d introduced me to the series through Battlefront 2 had showed off the Revenge of the Sith game, but for a number of years, I was content to just collect the new releases and not look back.
Then, when my love for the franchise had solidified, I started to look back on gaining some experience of those older games. I enjoyed my time with some of them, and others not so much, but there was one I was particularly curious about – especially having played an arcade version of it while at Disney Quest in America. Podracing.
I’ve already talked before about how excited I was for the expansion pass. New areas to explore, building off what the Wild Area gave us, with new story chapters that bring some lore to those locations, and new features we had yet to see when it was first announced. I wanted this to further the idea of exploring concepts to bring the world of Pokémon into the modern age.
There’s success with that in some areas, I feel, but in other areas I’m not exactly impressed. Later trailers would show off a few new things, but would mostly show things we’d seen before. It was a telling sign that – at least for story content – things wouldn’t be as great as was first hoped.
I think many were led to believe there would be a true representation of level scaling on offer, with many sites reporting on such from a source that seemed to know what they were talking about. As such, I brought my team of mid-twenty Umbreon and Espeon to the island, and scraped through the first fight only because my opponent was a Psychic type trainer.
Back during my Omega Ruby days, I enjoyed training up Eevee. I’d have a team of them, with all six staying as Eevee for as long as I trained them. From that point on, I would always try to get an Eevee within the first run, even if I didn’t use it within my team. Done with the main adventure of Ultra Sun, I again turned to training a team of Eevee. But this time, I put a few rules on it, to make it feel like a second adventure.
I would train them all to level fifty, starting from Route 1 and Lv:1 with set level markers of when it was time to move to the next island. Alola being designed as it is, I was pretty loose with those markers, and didn’t want to restrict myself too much in moving around. I wandered around Alola looking for tough wild Pokémon fights, confident in the Eevee I had beside me.
With Shield’s release, I completed the main game, and spent time wandering the Wild Area with Lv:100 Umbreon and Espeon beside me. But the Wild Area’s a bit small to really feel like I’m on an adventure. So what else was I to do but start another Run to Fifty, as I call it. The last run was a bit easy, though. While it is an adventure, a bit of challenge provides just a bit more fun and a bit of consequence for actions taken.
Saints Row: The Third was a game I had my eye on from when it was first announced to be coming to the Switch. An open world game similar to GTA? Count me in! Not as if the latter series is ever coming to Switch. However, it took me a year before I bought into it. I was still playing a lot of GTA V back then, with the Switch filling in for experiences different to both it and Forza Horizon.
With it being a year since it released on Switch, I took notice of the series again. By this time, I was playing less of both of those games on the Xbox One, what with Framing Simulator and the LEGO marathon taking up my time, so now the tables had turned. It was time for the Switch to get another true open world game.
The Third was the most obvious choice, as it was the one I had previously been looking at, and from opinions I had seen around it was the better choice to start with. From the ten hours I’ve been with it so far, I’m certainly enjoying my first taste of hanging with the Third Street Saints.
It’s been directly one month since I looked at The Skywalker Saga last, giving a rundown of what is set to be within the game and a few of my ideas. I held hope that perhaps this month, we would see something about the game. After all, Star Wars Day would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.
While we didn’t get any gameplay, or even any trailers, we did get to see the key art of the game, with a slip up from the official Star Wars Youtube channel revealing what seems to be the official date of the game. Such a date does fit, what with recent releases for LEGO and Star Wars games. I assume EA are aware of this release, and have no plans to release anything that might cause conflict with TT Games’ effort.
So while there’s no new information to be found (except more confirmation of how much TT are putting into this), I felt it might be worthwhile getting a few more of my thoughts and ideas about the game and how it will play out for all to see. I’ve got a good idea of how I’d want the exploration to be handled, so I’ll start there.
I’ve previously admitted that Sonic Generations is a great game. It’s got to have been for it to have solidified my interest in the series. The celebration game of everything Sonic the Hedgehog, with a wide variety of music tracks and a number of favourite levels.
One thing I wish it had done, though, was use more. Sure, the adage that more doesn’t equal better, but Generations… could have used more. I’ve talked before how there didn’t feel like there was much interaction with the worlds or characters (for any character not a Sonic or Tails, anyway), and I wished there had been.
Here, then, I aim to present an idea on how it could have been expanded. More levels and more interaction between characters and the worlds. Unlike with the Redesigned Galar concept, I won’t be sticking to as strict a guideline. By providing expansion, it needs more room to do so.
The idea of seeing gameplay of some of the first games of the next generation is an attractive proposition, and this Inside Xbox was said to do just that. I’m… not entirely sure how much of what we saw was gameplay, but most of it was said to be in-engine. The trailers looked great, as always, but it does feel that seeing the differences between the generations can no longer be just in the graphics alone.
That is where the gameplay should have been used to showcase such differences. Showing the AI improvements, the greater worlds that can be built, the speed of getting into games, and the other improvements that moving a new generation can bring. However, we do know of a number of games that will be coming to the Series X thanks to this Inside Xbox.