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.
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!