Puzzle games and Online games

Posts Tagged ‘racing

Midnight club has dragged itself out of the shadows and in doing so has instantly disassociated itself with the slightly teenage Fast and Furious aesthetic. This is an older, wiser, classier racer than before, with slick, HDR-lit visuals and a genuine sense of power in its engines. As its core, though, Midnight Club remains faithful to its original premise. The open world is used to stage races with no boundaries point-to-point challenges where having a taxi-driver like knowledge of the streets pays dividends.

You can follow the flaming checkpoints, of course, but savvy drivers will use back alleys, subtly disguised ramps and corner-shaving petrol stations to gain an advantage. Nothing new of course, but rarely has it looked and left so coherent and substantial. The RAGE engine has been created not just to shift polygons but also to emote, to allow Rockstar’s development teams to suck us further into their games.

A good example of such immersive techniques is Los Angeles Turbo mode. The camera slides in behind the car when you hit the NOS, the screen fades to sepia and the bass begins to thud. The sense of danger is dramatically increased: the motion blur combined with a narrowed viewing angle makes dodging through the traffic a harrowing experience. Just as it should be, and when you crash, the impact is terrifying. Whereas other racing titles may revel in the pornographic glory of a traffic accident, Los Angeles has gone for a raw, gritty, nasty feel.

Adding to this notion of gritty reality, Los Angeles is a stringently streaming gaming experience, while the arcade handling and ridiculous speed disregard any notion of genuine realism, this is still a world that wants you to believe its real. So, after flagging a rival driver for a race, you drive to the start line, race your wheels into the axles, and then finish, straight back into the city. No loading times, no menus, everything has been crafted so you feel connected to the Los Angeles streets. Immersion is Rockstar’s ethos this generation.

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Playstation Network contains as electric selection of titles considering it’s only been just over six months since console was launched. Certainly the downloads on offer during this time have been more varied than the early days of Xbox Live and obviously more original than the retro catalogue of the Virtual console. But with three new Playstation Eye games available for download, its time for us to sit up pay attention.

A trial of Topoq is a simple puzzle game with gameplay comparable to Archer MacLean’s Mercury, Marble Madness and Super Monkey Ball. You roll a ball around various platforms in an effort to reach the goal. There are 30 levels, with a different challenge associated with each, such as avoiding Red Devils, collecting boxes or simply racing to the goal within a time limit. What makes Trials Of Topoq unique is its use of the Playstation Eye. Instead of rolling the ball with the analogue sticks or hitting the screen with the Sixaxis, making any movement on screen will cause the mosaic surfaces of the platforms that the ball moves no to rise and fall according to the speed of your actions.

You will usually be using your hands but you can also use other parts of your body. Needless to say, this can create quite a scene, and your apparent mime impressions and invisible football headers will look more than a little odd to onlookers. The difficulty ramps up by quite a margin after the first few levels as the enemies become mobile and the minimum score threshold is pushed higher, but Trials of Topoq is till very accessible game for all  to play, and a pretty decent way to spend a few pounds and couple of hours of your time.