Review: Blur

Steve Butts

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Review: Blur

Gran Turismo meets Mario Kart in this enjoyable, but not especially memorable, game.

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Dragon_of_red

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Damn, I was hoping this game would turn out really good. Shame really, ah well, May as well rent it anyways.
 

DTWolfwood

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Oct 20, 2009
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have friends over and rent this when you do. always nice to have a kartgame with actual cars :D
 

Jared

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Jul 14, 2009
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Looks like a good one to rent but...as to own I think I will take a pass. Could be good for a few rounds when drunk though!
 

Digikid

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It is a fun game....but NOT worth the 60 Dollars CDN that they are asking for it. This is worth 30 tops. Still a great game though and loads of fun.
 

Onyx Oblivion

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I was going to actually buy an Activision game again...Guess not. Ah well, I'l probably get Split/Second.
 

VulakAerr

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I actually really enjoyed this. It's a fun arcade racer and it doesn't stress me out in multiplayer even if I don't do well. It's great fun just to ruin somebody's day. Disagree with the review. I'd give it 4, maybe 4.5 stars. Each to their own though.

P.S. Much preferred it to S/S. That game was dross.
 

Fasckira

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Oct 22, 2009
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Theres been a lot of issues with the European release of this game, with places like HMV and Steam dropping it the day before it was due to be released with no explanation really given. I gave it a shot but wasn't impressed - will stick to NFS World for now.
 

edthehyena

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I'm sad the review didn't mention that it has split screen multiplayer, making it an ideal game to play with friends. That was the main reason I bought it.
 

Kermi

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I won a copy from Kotaku a couple of weeks back (still waiting on Activision to send it to me though - hopefully before the weekend!) so I don't have to part with money for it, which frankly I didn't intend to. I enjoyed the beta and I don't mind that single-player unlocks won't carry over to multiplayer. I look forward to doing something besides playing MW2 every night to make the most of my XBox Live connection.
 

Kermi

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Onyx Oblivion said:
I was going to actually buy an Activision game again...Guess not. Ah well, I'l probably get Split/Second.
For what it's worth, I've heard the shine comes off of the Split/Second apple even faster than Blur. Guess it depends what kind of game you want.
 

katsabas

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steve butts said:
Review: Blur

Gran Turismo meets Mario Kart in this enjoyable, but not especially memorable, game.

Read Full Article
Steve, when can we expect a review on Split Second? I was surprised it was not mentioned in the article. Non biased, looking forward to more.
 

VulakAerr

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Kermi said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
I was going to actually buy an Activision game again...Guess not. Ah well, I'l probably get Split/Second.
For what it's worth, I've heard the shine comes off of the Split/Second apple even faster than Blur. Guess it depends what kind of game you want.
I definitely agree. Once you know what can happen on a Split/Second track the novelty is gone completely.

My favourite thing about Blur is that different things happen each race, and the outcomes are almost always very good fun.
 

MattAn24

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Jul 16, 2009
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dragon_of_red said:
Damn, I was hoping this game would turn out really good. Shame really, ah well, May as well rent it anyways.
..Yo... You're taking one review from "Random Guy on the Internet #5644657643231" as gospel and just from that, it's not a good game? Grow up and actually try it yourself. I never take reviews as law. I take it as "advice of what may or may not be expected". Hence why I haven't even touched Red Dead Redemption due to how unbelievably boring and dull it is. I've seen reviews giving it 9.5's and 10's. Doesn't mean it's good at all.
 

AvsJoe

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Great. More lightning. Because it is so much fun to get hit by it in Mario Kart. Is there a blue shell too?

Actually, this game looks like a b-b-blast. D-definitely worth a l-look.

EDIT: Good job there, Steve. Great review. But no more "I see what you did there jokes". Those haven't been funny in a while.
 

Kermi

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AvsJoe said:
Great. More lightning. Because it is so much fun to get hit by it in Mario Kart. Is there a blue shell too?

Actually, this game looks like a b-b-blast. D-definitely worth a l-look.

EDIT: Good job there, Steve. Great review. But no more "I see what you did there jokes". Those haven't been funny in a while.
There's the Shunt which is a red shell, the Bolts which are like having three green shells... the lightning actually makes big static fields appear on the track which do damage - so they're not magic "fuck you everyone!" shrink rays.

And there's no blue shell equivalent, which is completely AWESOME.
 

Steve Butts

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Blur was an Activision product? Good god, no wonder I never enjoyed the Beta.

And believe me when I say Split/Second is TOTALLY worth your money if you want big aggressive explosions and drifting + Racing of course.
 

VulakAerr

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Split/Second is shite. A shallow mechanic, controlled by the track, not the player. Also, 20-player racing is insane. In a good way.
 

Steve Butts

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Great review. I always enjoy The Escapists staffs take on the games they review. Except for the lack of love for STALKER.
 

JourneyThroughHell

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Finally, an Escapist review I can easily and fully disagree with.
I don't think the game is forgettable and I sure as hell don't see any flaws in the multiplayer integration.
 

Darktau

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Mar 10, 2009
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Warning Warning Flame war incoming Warning Warning Split/Second vs Blur. Lol :)

Played both, like both, prefer spit. :)
 

Swifteye

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addeB said:
Nothing can replace Mario Kart in this genre.
Ya probably but seeing as none of them are on the wii it wasn't really the intention.

Split/second, blur, and even modnation. Man it used to be fairly easy to choose which non mario kart racing crashing game you wanted to get. Speaking of which. Where's twisted metal? Offroad thunder? Burnout? You'd think they'd be in on this little craze.
 

NeuroShock

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Kermi said:
AvsJoe said:
Great. More lightning. Because it is so much fun to get hit by it in Mario Kart. Is there a blue shell too?

Actually, this game looks like a b-b-blast. D-definitely worth a l-look.

EDIT: Good job there, Steve. Great review. But no more "I see what you did there jokes". Those haven't been funny in a while.
There's the Shunt which is a red shell, the Bolts which are like having three green shells... the lightning actually makes big static fields appear on the track which do damage - so they're not magic "fuck you everyone!" shrink rays.

And there's no blue shell equivalent, which is completely AWESOME.
Also, the power-ups are laid out on the track so the guy in last place doesn't get preferential treatment in terms of power-ups.
 

Rarhnor

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THe singleplayer was...well boring. The AI doesn't really create any tension. It's a game to be played with friends or online. If you want a better singleplayer experience i'd recommend Split Second.
 

VulakAerr

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Rarhnor said:
THe singleplayer was...well boring. The AI doesn't really create any tension. It's a game to be played with friends or online. If you want a better singleplayer experience i'd recommend Split Second.
I'd say this is pretty fair. Blur excels in multiplayer. Single-player less so. I can see Split/Second being pretty fun all the way through the SP campaign.
 

Elec0

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May 29, 2009
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Hileict said:
dragon_of_red said:
Damn, I was hoping this game would turn out really good. Shame really, ah well, May as well rent it anyways.
..Yo... You're taking one review from "Random Guy on the Internet #5644657643231" as gospel and just from that, it's not a good game? Grow up and actually try it yourself. I never take reviews as law. I take it as "advice of what may or may not be expected". Hence why I haven't even touched Red Dead Redemption due to how unbelievably boring and dull it is. I've seen reviews giving it 9.5's and 10's. Doesn't mean it's good at all.
You're contradicting yourself. First you say that you should take reviews as advice and try the game yourself, then you say that reviewers gave Red Dead Redemption 9s and 10s, but you won't touch it because it's boring and dull, but you haven't tried it, so how could you know?
 

SenseOfTumour

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I've played it, only for a short time and it felt...fun!

Isn't that the most important part of games?

It's certainly no driving sim, and it's no Burnout, in terms of car combat, but the weapons are fun without being unfair, and if you play cleverly, you can hold some powerups back for defence, for instance the 'Barge' which sends a small shockwave out in all directions, pushing other cars away, can be used when you see the 'red shell' equivalent looming large in your rear view to knock it away. Mines can be shot away from in front of you, etc.

I agree the drifting element is rather weak however, but I felt I had some good battles to get 1st place at times, with my main problem being once you get first it seems very easy to keep it, and not very interesting as there's no-one to blow up with stuff! This in turn means you're not earning points or the checkmarks needed to unlock later things.

For all you achievement whores out there tho, it's an almost constant flow of 'ding - 5 shunts, grats' 'ding - you shielded yourself against 10 mines' 'ding - you've healed 500 damage' etc, and they actually mean something, as the leader of each league won't even challenge you until you've proved yourself by meeting his/her bullet points of showing off.

Also, if you liked PGR, it's got a similar kudos system, which is a nice addition.
 

Hashbrick

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VulakAerr said:
Kermi said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
I was going to actually buy an Activision game again...Guess not. Ah well, I'l probably get Split/Second.
For what it's worth, I've heard the shine comes off of the Split/Second apple even faster than Blur. Guess it depends what kind of game you want.
I definitely agree. Once you know what can happen on a Split/Second track the novelty is gone completely.

My favourite thing about Blur is that different things happen each race, and the outcomes are almost always very good fun.
Ya blur is far superior then that action cinematic game called Split/Second. It's like your the producer and just take the same shots over and over again, once the satisfaction of blowing shit up passes and it will pass fast, it's over.
 

Steve Butts

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Thanks for the comments. This is my first review for The Escapist, but I've been reviewing games professionally for nearly twelve years now. I've always felt that the purpose of a review is not to tell you what you should think of a game, but merely to tell you what I think of it. If I do that job well enough, my opinion can help to tell you whether you'll like a game more or less than I did. As always, disagreement is a crucial part of the process.

My interpretation of the difference between a 2-star and 3-star game is simply this: A 3-star game is fun but has some bad qualities. A 2-star game isn't fun but has some good qualities. Sadly, the video game market has adopted a hit-driven mentality that sees moderate successes as failures. This cynical belief that "good" isn't "good enough" keeps us from honestly appreciating the variety of games that exist between the extremes of perfection and disaster.
 

VulakAerr

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Steve, I don't think anybody has a problem with the review itself. It was fair (though I do wonder if the lower-than-expected rating could just be down to a case of "not your cup of tea") and well-written. The view in it, though different from my own and some others, were well-structured and explained. I don't think right-minded people have a problem with that as I'm sure your years of experience should be able to tell you.

You also raise a good point with regards to the star-rating system. For all its flaws, I do rather like a percentage system. It's more granular. I, personally, would probably give Blur somewhere between 80% and 85%. You're right in that it doesn't set the world alight, but it does what it aims to do, very well.

Anyway, I hope to see more reviews from you in future. Thanks for sharing it with us.
 

SimuLord

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Wait just a damn minute. When did The Escapist get Steve Butts on staff? IGN's best reviewer, now on my favorite gaming site? Rock!

Steve, you get instant props for recognizing the greatness of Paradox Interactive and the EU/HoI series.
 

MattAn24

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Elec0 said:
You're contradicting yourself. First you say that you should take reviews as advice and try the game yourself, then you say that reviewers gave Red Dead Redemption 9s and 10s, but you won't touch it because it's boring and dull, but you haven't tried it, so how could you know?
No, you obviously misunderstood. I said that I often take no interest in what a reviewer rates the game. If I personally look at it and don't like what I see, then I'm not going to let a review decide what is and isn't a good game. I also saw enough of RDR to know that missions involving hideously long distance on a horse, checking out a fucking barn as the first mission, and not even doing anything remotely fun.. Why should a review change my mind at all?

First five hours of Red Dead Redemption;
-Sat on a train listening to people talk about shit I don't care about.
-Looked at a barn, as part of a mission.
-Shot some rabbits and coyotes. Again, a mission.
-Got incredibly bored and went off to explore the world.
-Found out I could do shit-all out there, so I came back.
-Got on a horse and ran around in a giant circle, as the Mission God commanded me to do so.
-Went to the local store to get some medicine. Mission.
-Walked really motherfucking slow behind some cows. Mission..
-Threw some rope at random objects and a horse. Mission.
-To really spice things up, I had to throw rope at cows next.
-Ditched the missions, ran out into the world and found absolutely nothing to do.
-Nothing to do that was exciting anyway.

But anyway, this is about Blur. I don't quite see the point in the single-player other than "training" for multiplayer. The multiplayer is damn fun. You gain fans even when you DON'T win. The races are always insanely hectic. Split/Second, however.. It's purdy and has a load of things blowing up, but.. It's mainly drifting.. It's a shinier Burnout 3: Takedown..
 

Steve Butts

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SimuLord said:
Wait just a damn minute. When did The Escapist get Steve Butts on staff? IGN's best reviewer, now on my favorite gaming site? Rock!

Steve, you get instant props for recognizing the greatness of Paradox Interactive and the EU/HoI series.
Wow. Thanks! I joined last week as managing editor.

It's nice to finally meet my fan!
 

Kanima423

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I've enjoyed this game quite a lot, to me its a good stress releif and almost like everyone wins when you play. Came 20/20? If I did people knew I was there cause I kept blowing them up or making their life a living hell! To me its fun also when the shoe is on the other foot and I am trying not to get blown to bits!
 

Tonimata

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Actually, I don't understand the complaint at all. I don't think I've come across a single game that doesn't keep your single player and multiplayer progressions separate, and even though it might just be because I don't get to play much lately, I think the reason the developers did this so was to lengthen the duration of the game.

But then again, I suppose it makes sense if the things you have to unlock on one mode are the same as the ones that you have to unlock in the other, in which case, it's not gameplay lengthening, it's just pointless repetition
 

Aura Guardian

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steve butts said:
Review: Blur

Gran Turismo meets Mario Kart in this enjoyable, but not especially memorable, game.

Read Full Article
Dude...you were on IGN right? And now on The Escapist? Awesome.
And your review is spot on. This game was fun but what turned me off was the graphics actually. I don't think the realistic graphics work with this genre. Maybe cell-shaded.
 

socialmenace42

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hmmmm, I agree. there's just not enough to this game, it sort of meets the genre half way, i got split second because it picked its orriginal idea and ran with it, and that worked; but I feel Blur has just tried to mix too much in...
 

De Ronneman

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edthehyena said:
I'm sad the review didn't mention that it has split screen multiplayer, making it an ideal game to play with friends. That was the main reason I bought it.
IMHO the multiplayer splitscreen make everything look very small. And since your car takes up a lot of screen, you might have to move your couch to the TV, or buy glasses...
 

Weaver

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steve butts said:
Thanks for the comments. This is my first review for The Escapist, but I've been reviewing games professionally for nearly twelve years now. I've always felt that the purpose of a review is not to tell you what you should think of a game, but merely to tell you what I think of it. If I do that job well enough, my opinion can help to tell you whether you'll like a game more or less than I did. As always, disagreement is a crucial part of the process.

My interpretation of the difference between a 2-star and 3-star game is simply this: A 3-star game is fun but has some bad qualities. A 2-star game isn't fun but has some good qualities. Sadly, the video game market has adopted a hit-driven mentality that sees moderate successes as failures. This cynical belief that "good" isn't "good enough" keeps us from honestly appreciating the variety of games that exist between the extremes of perfection and disaster.
Wait, Steve Butts as in my favorite editor on IGN Steve Butts? I loved your PC reviews because your tastes seemed to be similar to mine. Also, you were pretty down to earth about things; other reviewers seemed to be way too high-score happy with "alright" games getting like an 8.


--------------

Anyways, for any people thinking of getting blur on the PC: the controls are not rebindable. Yep, it's 2010 and we can't pick our own key layouts. Thankfully, if you have a 360 controller you can use that and it has a pretty good layout.
 

Flame Rider

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addeB said:
Nothing can replace Mario Kart in this genre.
If the Crash Kart games stuck to the formula after Sierra took over, just maybe...

And then there's ModNation Racers which was reviewed earlier, of course, that poses a better candidate for this day and age.
 

Weaver

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steve butts said:
I almost never get a chance to say this but, yes, I am THAT Steve Butts.
Awesome!
I used to listen to the PC Command Prompt podcast all the time too, I really respect you as a reviewer. You had your fans, I just best most of us never posted on IGN's forums because they were ... well if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all ;)

Jeeze, look at me ramble!
Welcome to the escapist, I hope you like it here!
 

Dragon_of_red

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Hileict said:
dragon_of_red said:
Damn, I was hoping this game would turn out really good. Shame really, ah well, May as well rent it anyways.
..Yo... You're taking one review from "Random Guy on the Internet #5644657643231" as gospel and just from that, it's not a good game? Grow up and actually try it yourself. I never take reviews as law. I take it as "advice of what may or may not be expected". Hence why I haven't even touched Red Dead Redemption due to how unbelievably boring and dull it is. I've seen reviews giving it 9.5's and 10's. Doesn't mean it's good at all.
Then what the hell is the point of looking at reiews then? Or making thme at all. I was looking for someones opinion, and thats why I said i would Rent it first to see if it was worth a purchase.
 

Weaver

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dragon_of_red said:
Hileict said:
dragon_of_red said:
Damn, I was hoping this game would turn out really good. Shame really, ah well, May as well rent it anyways.
..Yo... You're taking one review from "Random Guy on the Internet #5644657643231" as gospel and just from that, it's not a good game? Grow up and actually try it yourself. I never take reviews as law. I take it as "advice of what may or may not be expected". Hence why I haven't even touched Red Dead Redemption due to how unbelievably boring and dull it is. I've seen reviews giving it 9.5's and 10's. Doesn't mean it's good at all.
Then what the hell is the point of looking at reiews then? Or making thme at all. I was looking for someones opinion, and thats why I said i would Rent it first to see if it was worth a purchase.
Because reading and or watching a review is way faster, easier and cheaper than renting it.
If I'm interested in a game, I want to see someone explain things about it's mechanics and how they feel to give me a better glimpse at what the game is like.
 

SomeGuyNamedKy

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In my opinion, both Blur and Split/Second suffer from one flaw that prevented them from being as good as Burnout, and that's the steering. Both games make steering and drifting a hassle providing, like he said, no feedback for the sweet spot. Many times I would go into a drift and do it perfectly only to lose half of my speed and 10 spots in the race. Besides that, both games are still enjoyable.
 

The Random One

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Ah, man. I'd love a game that mixes Mario Kart frantic gameplay with real cars. This one looks like it came so close to being that great game and missed.
 

Weaver

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The Random One said:
Ah, man. I'd love a game that mixes Mario Kart frantic gameplay with real cars. This one looks like it came so close to being that great game and missed.
It also has really awful commercials.
What's the deal with that?
 

wastaz

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Nov 16, 2009
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While the review was good and touched on pretty much the same feelings I have about this game (the drifting is a bit off, it's a shame that single/multiplayer is separated, a bit too long lobby-times in multi etc) I disagree with the final result. This game is like cocaine for me and regulary keeps me from playing my other "better" games that I haven't managed to finish yet (red dead, alan wake...) since I get the urge to just go shunting people for a while...and then end up playing for hours just to get a couple of more fan levels.

It's a beautiful game that takes the best elements from mario kart (the powerups and combat) and gets rid of the stupid randomness actually allowing for some strategy. I am in love with this game even because of all its faults. My friends usually watch me play this and go "Meh, just another racing game with shooting?" - then I hand them the control and they go "WHOA YEAH DID YOU JUST SEE THAT". Splitscreen + 20 player online multiplayer means a lot of fun :)

As I said, well written review that touches on the games bad qualites, but for me personally this game deserves at least a 4.
 

bjj hero

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Personally I loved the beta. A 20 man race with weapons firing off everywhere is an absolute blast. If you have a few friends playing online with you then its even better.

I would get it but I got 3 games for my birthday this week so I need to finish those first.
 

Dhatz

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you can't dodge a projectile. Now how I'm supposed to give a damn about your opinion if you(along with masses of others) can't play it.
 

Baneat

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Did anyone else want to play the game shown at the start of the TV ad more than the Blur one?
 

Seneschal

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Mmm, the game looks very pretty. And I haven't played any arcade-y racing games since the PS2.

Also, I could listen to Steve's voice all day long. :D
 

FinalFreak16

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While i agree with a few comments i disagree with a few more. Some stuff in single player does translate into multiplayer, legend cars unlocked from winning one on one races are available in multiplayer once the stock car is unlocked.

Secondly the wait between races is 5 seconds to vote for a track, 25 seconds prep time and about 15 seconds loading screen. Thats less than a minute between races. Not 4.

Anyway in my opinion this is probably the most fun ive had with a racer, particularly the online mode, races are hectic but usually always enjoyable.
 

Steve Butts

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DTWolfwood said:
always nice to have a kartgame with actual cars :D
I respectfully disagree - this falls right into the darkest depths of my automotive Uncanny Valley. When I see actual cars, I absolutely expect them to act like actual cars - as in Gran Turismo territory at least, and I'll have more fun with the likes of GTR Evolution and Grand Prix Legends. The whole thing about car licensing shouldn't be, "Oh, I recognise that car" - it should be, "Holy crap, now I know how this car feels on the road".

It disturbs and annoys me to see actual cars being portrayed in ways that don't bear any semblance to their real-life versions, as I demonstrate here [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.105860-Probing-The-Inaccuracies-The-Automobile]. If you're going to make a kart game or a driftathon with cars that are ostensibly real, I would call upon the developers to invent the cars for the game rather than waste good licences on portraying Ferraris and Lamborghinis as the sorts of cars that people actively try to drift. Watch some GT class racing [http://www.channel4.com/programmes/british-formula-3-international-series/4od#3077034] - you'll see very little that counts as a drift, unless the drivers have lost control for some reason. Considering that this is the weekend for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Canadian Grand Prix, both events that use cars that aren't set up for drifting, you have plenty of opportunities to watch real car physics in action.

Having power-ups and drifting cars at the touch of a button simply makes the game too easy. It takes more skill in my experience - and I've played plenty of racing games - to find those racing lines and know when to feed in the power so that you get the best run out of a corner without losing control of the car. So, every time I see one of these types of games, I come closer and closer to letting out a massive scream that will be heard on the other side of the Atlantic, and which will be followed by my head exploding into lots of little chunks. Thanks a lot, Blur.
 

DTWolfwood

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RAKtheUndead said:
DTWolfwood said:
always nice to have a kartgame with actual cars :D
I respectfully disagree - this falls right into the darkest depths of my automotive Uncanny Valley. When I see actual cars, I absolutely expect them to act like actual cars - as in Gran Turismo territory at least, and I'll have more fun with the likes of GTR Evolution and Grand Prix Legends. The whole thing about car licensing shouldn't be, "Oh, I recognise that car" - it should be, "Holy crap, now I know how this car feels on the road".

It disturbs and annoys me to see actual cars being portrayed in ways that don't bear any semblance to their real-life versions, as I demonstrate here [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.105860-Probing-The-Inaccuracies-The-Automobile]. If you're going to make a kart game or a driftathon with cars that are ostensibly real, I would call upon the developers to invent the cars for the game rather than waste good licences on portraying Ferraris and Lamborghinis as the sorts of cars that people actively try to drift. Watch some GT class racing [http://www.channel4.com/programmes/british-formula-3-international-series/4od#3077034] - you'll see very little that counts as a drift, unless the drivers have lost control for some reason. Considering that this is the weekend for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Canadian Grand Prix, both events that use cars that aren't set up for drifting, you have plenty of opportunities to watch real car physics in action.

Having power-ups and drifting cars at the touch of a button simply makes the game too easy. It takes more skill in my experience - and I've played plenty of racing games - to find those racing lines and know when to feed in the power so that you get the best run out of a corner without losing control of the car. So, every time I see one of these types of games, I come closer and closer to letting out a massive scream that will be heard on the other side of the Atlantic, and which will be followed by my head exploding into lots of little chunks. Thanks a lot, Blur.
nothing says u have to play it or like it. "variety is the spice of life." still nice to have the option even if its not your cup of tea. I never liked kart games so i have no interest playing this but still good to have it (i really cant think of another game like this, probably not all too memorable) :p ill stick with my sims rather than your run of the mill crap racers that are out there.
 

Steve Butts

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Jun 1, 2010
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when u say diffrent advancements do u mean diffrent lvling up systems? and if u did than its good that they arnt connected cause that someone would just beat the computer a thousand times and get the best stuff than destroy everyone online