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Project Gotham Racing 2


iainl
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The new UK version of the official magazine has a playable demo of PGR2 on it this month, and so I took it for a spin last night. Anyway, here are my initial impressions from about 45 minutes of playing:

 

The first big change is the way the different medals work. Rather than adjusting your goal time/score/position to increase or decrease the bonus you'll get (which was the only real way to get good enough kudos for a gold or silver in PGR), you now have the far simpler method of choosing just from 5 different options of goals. You're picking your medal aim straight off (pass through to platinum medal) rather than having a nebulous kudos idea; I'm not sure how I feel about that really.

 

Once you're actually in a game, its literally like night and day compared to the first one. Even with the daytime races on PGR and particularly MSR the game looked dull and overcast - PGR2's three demo courses were all bathed in sunlight and very bright indeed. Slightly washed out, in fact, which makes driving a lot easier but I don't think looks that wonderful.

 

Another change is the car handling. I don't know if its just because the three cars in the demo are all supercharged fancy things, and I'm more used to the slower cars in PGR, but they are all seriously twitchy; full throttle with anything like a serious turn and you'll be facing backwards very easily, and over-correcting is a constant problem. I got used to it fairly quickly though, and it does mean that kudos-cranking slides come naturally.

 

Finally for now, they've tweaked the Kudos meter even further towards being generous to minor mistakes. Now if you clip a wall on your 5th trick of a combo you don't lose the whole lot, but just get the straight scores of the last 4 without the accompanying combo bonus.

 

All in all, its more of the same with some tweaks though, and as I've still not got that far through PGR (I gave up on getting far in MSR years ago) I think I'll be waiting based on this, basically because I don't know the new cities like I do London, New York or San Francisco.

 

Besides, F-Zero arrives next week, and I'm neck deep in Soul Calibur II as well...

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Twitchy? That's not something I'd expect from that game given the fairly neutral handling of PGR.

 

I think I will like the amended kudos system, where you don't lose all your points.

 

How's the aliasing in this one? It won't affect my buying decision, but I'm curious if they were able to tone it down any.

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Another change is the car handling. I don't know if its just because the three cars in the demo are all supercharged fancy things, and I'm more used to the slower cars in PGR, but they are all seriously twitchy; full throttle with anything like a serious turn and you'll be facing backwards very easily, and over-correcting is a constant problem. I got used to it fairly quickly though, and it does mean that kudos-cranking slides come naturally.

 

Hmm, I'm rather ambivalent when it comes to twitchy racing games. On the one hand, I really like the challenge. On the other, how that twitchiness affects the controls is really important. If the cars are nervous but you still have a very responsive, very precise, very faithful method of control then it can be a great thing because it's all down to how good you are. However, if the twitchiness is hard to dial out with skill it ruins the gameplay.

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I don't know if its just because the three cars in the demo are all supercharged fancy things, and I'm more used to the slower cars in PGR, but they are all seriously twitchy; full throttle with anything like a serious turn and you'll be facing backwards very easily, and over-correcting is a constant problem.

 

It was like this in the first PGR, IMO. For example, take a F50 out on a twisty stretch of road after driving a WRX for about 20 minutes and you're going to be sliding that F50 all over the place until you come to grips with the handling.

 

This is by far my most anticipated game for the Xbox this holiday season, as I spent over 200 hours with the original PGR and still play it at least 3 times a week. All the previews of PGR2 have made it sound like just what I expect from it, same as before, but with changes that make the game easier to get in to for beginners, but at the same time, provides a challenge for the veterans.

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This is by far my most anticipated game for the Xbox this holiday season, as I spent over 200 hours with the original PGR and still play it at least 3 times a week. All the previews of PGR2 have made it sound like just what I expect from it, same as before, but with changes that make the game easier to get in to for beginners, but at the same time, provides a challenge for the veterans.

 

Not to mention it will have LIVE.

 

I will be getting a wireless adapter and a LIVE subscription just to race you, Buck. :D

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Another change is the car handling. I don't know if its just because the three cars in the demo are all supercharged fancy things, and I'm more used to the slower cars in PGR, but they are all seriously twitchy;

 

As Buck says, that sounds just like the really powered cars in PGR, they were super twitchy too.

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Originally posted by Sam P@Oct 30 2003, 03:00 PM

Don't forget to pick up that can of "luck" with your wireless adapter and Live kit, Sam

 

I won't need it. :P Be sure to wave in my rear view mirror.

NE1469

 

This is what you'll see on my license plate, but you'll probably want to get a look at it at the beginning of the race since it'll be hard to see when I'm putting you a lap down :P

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Originally posted by Buck@Oct 30 2003, 07:35 PM

I don't know if its just because the three cars in the demo are all supercharged fancy things, and I'm more used to the slower cars in PGR, but they are all seriously twitchy; full throttle with anything like a serious turn and you'll be facing backwards very easily, and over-correcting is a constant problem.

 

It was like this in the first PGR, IMO. For example, take a F50 out on a twisty stretch of road after driving a WRX for about 20 minutes and you're going to be sliding that F50 all over the place until you come to grips with the handling.

Well, I tried it again last night, after playing PGR for a bit too, and yeah - its not really much different to the Porche and co in PGR. Its just that, due to my general rubbishness I tended to stick to FWD or 4WD cars. Its certainly something you can get the hang of, just that in order to show off the speed they gave us lots of fast rear-driven monsters.

 

I can't really tell on the aliasing front, because neither game offends me there; I'm running on an LCD screen, so the 480i is getting scaled to 768p internally, which wiped out jaggies as it goes. I might be hooking it back up to the main widescreen TV for Saturday, though, and if I do I'll comment on them then.

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