It’s not very often we get to feel the adrenaline rush from traveling over 120mph on a globally recognized circuit track. In fact, you could even go as far as to say that we never get that tingling sensation at all. But, thanks to the fantastic art of racing and ambitious developers with an excellent eye for lifelike touches, we’re handed the watered-down opportunity from the comfort of our own homes. Now that’s something we can enjoy without having to take the bolted-on risks of racing in real life.
Sadly, however, even racing through a console or PC isn’t perfect. To be honest, there’s still plenty of things that haven’t quite been ironed out just yet. But, that being said, these are things that some might refer to as being minor speedbumps. Either way, the problems are still very much there and consistent even after many, many years. So, let’s take a drive down memory lane and cruise through the issues that can sometimes make the smooth ride feel jittered. And if you’re expecting the puns to stop any time soon – you might want to skip to the next article. We’ve got a few more.
5. Pedestrian Vehicles
Picture this: you’ve just turned the last corner. Your N20 is depleted, and you’re neck and neck with the second driver. You speed through the final red light and inch slightly into the first place spot. You begin to feel the victory cheer coursing through your body as the checkered finish lane reels in closer by the second. You squeeze the trigger and put all your might into finishing with style. Then BAM, a taxi, crosses your path and wipes you out. The second driver cruises past, and all you’re left to look at is the cubed wreck of a trashed Ferrari. That’s pedestrian vehicles for you.
Any game that allows you to roam the streets of a city will, of course, have pedestrian vehicles. From taxis to minivans, buses to pensioners mobility machines, there’s no denying that these awkward Sunday drivers always tend to pick the worst times to cruise on by. It’s made worse when you feel you’ve just got the hook on somebody and then suddenly get written-off by a minivan doing 15mph. That’s usually when we feel the veins bulging in our foreheads and the urge to launch a family platformer instead.
We’ve lost plenty of races due to these types of vehicles. Sadly, however, we doubt they’ll be removed from the streamline any time soon. We think that might be something to do with realism when creating a world with vehicles in it. Personally, I’d much rather have a city riddled with racers as opposed to oldies doing grocery runs. That’ll be the day, though, eh?
4. False Sense of Achievement
There’s nothing worse than feeling the victory rush hit us as we turn the last corner only to be overtaken by the underdog. That’s something that can drive an average gamer to insanity at the squeeze of a trigger. It’s especially frustrating when you’ve spent a solid three laps playing the kingpin only to be knocked off the throne and demoted to jester at the final stretch.
We’ve all felt the same smug sensation as we drift endless amounts of dust in rivals’ faces for an event. Annoyingly, it’s the blushing that gets us when we lose to the person we were initially supposed to demolish. That, in itself, is one of the most jaw-dropping moments in any racing game. But we’ll continue to blame the mechanics of the game rather than our gaming abilities. That’s just how it is, of course.
3. The Last Corner
Speaking of last-minute defeat, we thought it would only make sense to include one of the worst parts to any race. Yeah, you guessed it, it’s the last corner; the same corner you breezed on through three times over but failed to recognize on the last lap. That’s the corner we’re referring to here. It’s that same part that at any other moment in the race you’d laugh at, but when facing the final stretch, the full confidence takes over and causes you to spiral out of control for no apparent reason.
From calm corners through tranquil woodlands to nasty hairpins over volcanic ash, the last corner can often be deemed as the burden that keeps on taking. And, like most, you’ve probably encountered thousands of these crucial moments which only make you want to bury your head in the sand as opposed to starting all over again. But that’s racing for you.
2. Ridiculously Tough Tracks
There’s navigating complicated corners, and then there’s dodging rockets while trying to overcome the fluorescent dazzle in your eye. Yes – we’re talking to you, Mario Kart. There certainly is a moment where we, as gamers, stop to think for a second as we contemplate our strategies for circuits like the infamous Rainbow Road, and then crumble in doubt. That’s pretty much expected with certain tracks that are simply beyond ridiculous. However, that being said, many gamers take pride in being able to tackle such circuits with minor confidence. Ninety percent, on the other hand, do not.
Developers like to throw in a curveball here and there to test our gaming capabilities with tracks that are often frustratingly tough. And, what sometimes makes these worse is the fact that further progression into the game cannot be made unless the course has been completed. So, because of that, this one has to go down as one of the most hated things in racing games.
1. Poor Mechanics
When it comes to building a racing platform, the one thing developers must have is the ability to implement realism into the controls. Sadly, however, many have tried and failed at the first hurdle. That’s mainly because there’s no real fine line between realism and originality. A lot of times, a car can have the smoothest controls but also struggle to hit a mailbox without soaring into the fifth dimension. And, it’s almost rare to catch a game that combines both realistic movement and original concepts we’ve never seen before.
When we boot up a racing game for the first time, it can often be a make or break situation depending on the mechanics. If for whatever reason, you feel like you’re navigating a cardboard box with lead-acid batteries for wheels, you can pretty much guarantee you’re going to shelve it before long. But, if the movement is swift and enjoyable, you can expect countless hours of stacked gameplay and then some. This is a crucial thing many developers still slip up on today even after decades of programming.
What are your pet peeves in the racing platform? Perhaps we missed something that you’d like to clue us in on down in the comments below? Oh, and while you’re down there, why not swing by a few of our other social links, too? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.