PS4 – Racing Games

Racing games seem to come in two varieties: hyper realistic, and hyper unrealistic. The first type has accurate physics modeling of cars, roads, etc. The other has a more cartoon physics attitude: bounce off opponents, crazy jumps, impossible race courses,  and perhaps even powerups and weapons.

I’m definitely a fan of the 2nd type.

One of this month’s free games via PSPlus is Dirt Rally 2.0. I tried it out for a bit, driving in solo/training mode for a few laps around some random course that had both paved and dirt sections.

Car handling definitely changed moving from pavement to dirt, along with turning responsiveness. I hit a few obstacles because I didn’t quite make a turn and accumulated damage to my car. First a flat tire, then a crumpled hood. After finishing I had the option to repair my car. So I did.

Then I tried an online mode, racing other players. I think this is the only way to advance in career mode, actually racing other players.

I didn’t do so well.

At the first transition from pavement to dirt, I was last, and the cars ahead threw up a thick dust cloud. I sort of remembered the way through, just a few minor turns, but fell further behind. Trying to catch up I slammed into a barrier and got a message about unrepairable damage and that ended the race for me.

That’s fine, I went to check out another PSPlus game I received months ago: Trackmania Turbo.

Now this is what I was looking for!

Right from the start there is a solo mode where you are racing for gold/silver/bronze against the clock. The game shows a ghost racer labeled with the time goal (e.g. “bronze medal” ghost car) you can try to match. If you repeat a race you can even see your own ghost racer labeled with the your current time record.

The race starts with your car being dropped in by a crane onto a ramp. Each course is fairly short, averaging about one minute so far… but the courses feature impossible designs such as gaping chasms to jump and inverted loops.

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I mis-timed by screenshot here. This course features a straight section with a ramp, and a giant tire you have to jump through in order to land on the bridge and continue. (I wanted to show the tire). Too slow and you crash into the tire. Faster, but not fast enough and you don’t land on the bridge. Fast enough and you sail through the tire, land on the bridge, and keep racing. It’s super fun!

Gravity Rush

With the extra time I have, I’m trying to clear a backlog on my PS4. Yes, I have a boardgame backlog, Steam backlog, PS4 backlog, etc.

One game I bought a while ago was Gravity Rush, apparently a cult-hit on the PS Vita. In Gravity Rush, you play Kat, a young woman in a mysterious world. Your superpower is that you can suspend gravity and manipulate how it affects you.

For instance, hitting R1 causes you to float up, then with a joystick you can “aim” what direction gravity will pull when you hit R1 again. L1 returns to normal gravity, which is something to be careful of because that might mean falling quite a distance.

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In this screenshot, I’m trying to get to the next mission point, which is 89 yards away. In a straight line, possibly through a building. By aiming the faint blue circle where I want to go, R1 will cause me to fall that direction. In this case, after reaching the visible ledge, I hit R1 to drop on it, then figure out where to go next. After looking around, I saw a lower alley (not visible now) I could fall to, so I did. That alley led me to the courtyard the next mission point was.

I’m not too far along, currently in the 4th mission, and I like this game. Combat is on the easy side which is good, and so far the story involves either collecting stuff for your home, helping people fix various broken things (collect crystals which means using your gravity superpower to “fall” around to them), and possibly helping fight weird monsters while doing both of those things.

It’s relaxing and fun, and not too punishing. As in, I’ve fallen off the world and rather than dying, you get repositioned in the mission area. That was nice even though one time I was trying to collect crystals near my home, got completely disoriented, and wound up climbing up above the city in order to drop back to the streets and find my way home. I was determined not to just say screw it and drop too deep and get restored nearby.

PS4 Games

Here’s a few PS4 games I also play, besides Elder Scrolls Online.

Detroit: Become Human

This is essentially a choose-your-adventure game, sent in the future with you playing 3 different androids. Markus is an assistant to a disabled man, Kara helps around a home, and Connor works for the police.  At least so far.

The game has you respond to various UI prompts so you have to walk places, pick things up, manipulate the environment a bit.

I’m about 25% though and so far it’s enjoyable. The story looks like it has something to do with android becoming self aware or “alive” and whenever possible I’m making choices that are decidedly pro-android. 😉

At the end of each chapter you get a flowchart showing what you did along with optionally showing percentages of what the player base did as a whole.

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Persona 5

This is a JRPG that mixes attending high school and fighting as a vigilante at night. There’s a lot of story so far, with a bit of battle here and there. It’s got great music and a very distinct visual style.

Like many games in this genre, the storyline and tutorial are interwoven. I’m not far into the game and a typical play session will be: a lot of dialog to move the plot along, followed by a tutorial over a game mechanic.

The plot involves… heck it’s bizarre. Students entering a weird castle in their dreams (or perhaps an alternate universe), odd cat-like beings helping out, opponents that are twisted version of their real-life counterparts… well it doesn’t have to be realistic to be fun.

God of War

This game…what can I say that hasn’t been said. Fantastic voice acting, plot, visuals, combat is very satisfying… I bought this after renting it from a RedBox first, and it is amazing all around.