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    jp's Outrun 2: Coast 2 Coast (PSP)

    [September 17, 2007 10:26:02 PM]
    When I last checked, I think I was 15.7% complete. That sounds a lot less than what I feel like I've accomplished! This is actually a good thing. The more I play this game the more I enjoy it. In particular, despite the occasional annoyance, I've begun to get a feeling for how it works and how to play it.

    I've learned two things about this game so far which I feel are worthy of mention.

    1. If I had to distill this game down to the most basic decision the player has to make, I would have to say that would be: Drift or drive?

    It look me a while to learn how to drift, but now I realize how "powerful" it can be while at the same time recognizing it's drawbacks. Basically, when you drift you maintain your speed. So you get to make huge turns without decelerating. However, you can't accelerate either AND you can't "break out" of the drift until the end of a curve. So, the essential questions you are always asking yourself when you approach a curve are: Am I going fast enough that I should drift? Is this curve wide enough that I don't need to drift? In the beginning I used to drift all the time ('cause it looks cool) and sure enough, I'd get passed by all the cars ('cause I wasn't going fast enough). Now, I have to really think about it. You don't want to get stuck on a loooong drift that wasn't necessary!

    2. Sometimes, you have to drive the car that's best for you.

    For a while there I was struggling at winning races. I was using the novice car (on AT) which has crappy acceleration, crappy speed but good handling. As soon as I was able to, I upgraded to the Intermediate A car which has muuuch better speed, lower acceleration and I don't recall the handling. I was doing slightly better with this one, but that was until I bought an Intermediate B. That made all the difference in the world. It has super high acceleration, slowed speed than InterA and don't know about the handling. For some reason, THIS is the kind of car that I intuitively drive (in games). I'm pretty conservative so I usually go with the good handling vehicles, but the high acceleration makes all the difference in this game. At least for me it does...and that's what has me thinking. Is this the type of car for my driving style, or is it really an "easier" drive, or is it that I've simply gotten better at the game?
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    [September 10, 2007 09:29:50 PM]
    I am getting better, but too slowly.

    This morning I competed twice in the last race of the novice "championship". (ie, the first one, there are at least three). A few days ago I wasn't able to end the race better than 8 (out of 12). This morning I was doing great! I wasn't halfway to the end and I was first. First!!! Not only that, but I held on to the lead until about 400 yards from the finish line when suddenly...

    Zip! Zip! Zip! Zip! Zip!

    I ended 6th.

    ...and this happened twice. 400 yards from the finish line.

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    [September 7, 2007 02:41:05 PM]
    Ok, now I seem to be figuring this game out a bit more, and it's more interesting that I had originally thought. Of course, I'm still terrible at it! I've only just been able to finish a whole race...barely..and it's embarrassing how many times I've run out of time mere yards from the goal. Yes, I need to learn and practice drifting otherwise I'll never make much progress.

    Now on to the what I really want to write about it. Space!

    1) I've found that a lot of the racetracks seem very familiar! I feel like I've driven many of the before, from other games like Burnout. Maybe these are real racetracks? Strange...because it's not like I have subconscious memories of earlier Outrun games ('cause I never played Outrun all that much and I was never that good either)

    2) Outrun is basically a series of tracks that are done continuously one after another. Between tracks there is a shortish section that is "generic". So, you get to the end of course A, drive along this "connector" for a short while and then start course B. I find this interesting and frustrating. It's frustrating because you reach the end of a course, but you still have to reach the beginning of the next one and time is still ticking. So, it's a weird transient state where you're not actually in a race, but you can still lose. In fact, if you don't have enough time on the clock, you might not even be able to make it the start of the next course. (thus, the frustration). However, from a game design perspective, I find it really interesting as a way of segmenting gameplay (and space). Each course is like a level, but you experience it continuously. Also, each segment follows from the next AS IF you were driving along a longer route, but you actually now that it's a bunch of discrete locations that are strung together. So, it's as if Outrun's gameworld wasn't unique, but rather a set of "parallel" gameworlds as defined by the combinations of tracks linked by connectors.
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    [September 3, 2007 01:00:05 PM]
    Haven't played much of this, so this entry is mostly about what I don't currently understand about this game but need to figure out... So far I haven't been able to win a single race (by this I mean get to the of the 5 stages before I run out of time).

    1. When you're driving along you'll often see "Rivals" ahead of you. What's all that about? When I overtake them, nothing seems to happen. Also, when you clear a checkpoint they stop becoming rivals (and new ones appear further on). Why?

    2. A few times my "girlfriend" (who sits next to me in the car) gets excited and hearts appear above her. I have no idea what I did for that to happen, why it's desirable and if it means anything in the grand scheme of this game.

    3. I've been driving with the "Novice" cars. Does that mean the game is on "easy" or are all the tracks essentially the same?

    Lots of things to find out!
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    jp's Outrun 2: Coast 2 Coast (PSP)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Monday 3 September, 2007

    GameLog closed on: Friday 26 October, 2007

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Drives fast and sounds good. Pure fun, once you start to learn it.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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