Monday, 4 September 2017

My way, please

So, Highway Patrol 2 is terrible. Really, really terrible. There are much better DOS driving games than this. Heck, there are much better BBC Micro driving games than this. It's even more annoying because it has some good ideas. You're not just here for the fun of driving, you're here to do a job. There are heinous villains who have performed terrible crimes who you need to catch and bring to justice before they can strike again. Feel the excitement of a compass that points in the direction of said villain, thrill at the wind rushing past you, your sirens blaring, as you chase (hq) down your foe... retch at the constant nausea of your spinning car, squeal as the foot-long spines of yet another cactus puncture your frail vehicle and send you into yet another spin, wonder at what the game might have been like if you could turn a corner without spinning out of control for the millionth time, dream of the fun you might actually have if you ever found one of these mythical villains, scream as the road takes you even further away from your foe and you clip a tiny signpost that sends you into another uncontrollable spin, actually vomit as the constant stupidly loud and strangely throbbing engine noise plays havoc with your inner ear... So yeah, what's the point of having all of these extra game mechanics if the central mechanic of driving is so terrible that you can't even reach the rest of the game? One thing I did find after a while was that speed here is a constant that you set, rather than a modeled value that degrades. What I mean is that in most driving games, you hold down the accelerator to go faster, then when you release the accelerator the car starts to slow down. Well, in this game, you use the accelerator to set your speed, then you let go of the key to continue to travel at that speed. If you want to slow down then you have to use the brakes. Before that, I'd been constantly holding down the accelerator, as you would in most games, but that was just sending me up to top speed and making the car impossible to control. Unfortunately, while my new-found skill meant I could actually approach and turn a corner at a speed that meant I'd survive it without spinning off the road, it also meant that adversary continued to get further and further away. So, no, Highway Patrol 2 is not a good game and I'm not going to be continuing with it. Onwards!

Next up on the randometer is...Crime Wave! An early Access sidescroller that's renowned for being terrible. Yay!

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