Dual GRiD Shock 3

june 23, 2008

I broke down today and got a Dual Shock 3 controller.  Yes, Sony has punished me for their stubbornness in not settling the whole force-feedback lawsuit.  But, I'm glad I got the controller, it works well in Burnout Paradise and my new game GRiD.  Unfortunately, the force-feedback does not work in Call of Duty 4 (I'm hoping for a patch or something to activate it).

Talking about new stuff, I also picked up GRiD today (I got a stash of birthday money).  I had downloaded and played the demo -- I didn't know what it was, but I thought I had to give the demo a try.  What a fantastic demo it was, very polished and the presentation was spot-on sexy.  I just had to get the game after playing the demo.  The driving mechanics are not hardcore simulation like the Gran Turismo series, they have some simulation feel to them, but the mechanics lean more towards arcade (though, not crazy arcade like Burnout Paradise).

The thing that intrigued me was the damage modeling in the game.  It is pretty cool and a car can be broken down into pieces -- and the debris littered all over the roadway as a driving hazard for the rest of the race.  Gran Turismo 5 Prologue still continues to "tradition" of Super-Man cars that are indestructable.  That has always been an annoyance to me, as I could use other cars as bumpers around corners to win races.  Not here with GRiD where your car can fall apart from too many hits -- the damage modeling is cool, but not realistic as each car can take quite a beating before falling completely apart or malfunctioning.

GRiD is the old Race Driver TOCA game, but with the RPG and backstory crap ripped out -- and the hardcore simulation engine removed and replaced with a more arcade-like engine.  I am glad they ripped out the backstory and drama crap from the game as it refocuses the game on racing.  And what a great racing game this is.  The feel of speed is tremendous -- and in some situations it is scary fast, like when one drives the open wheel formula cars which scream down the tracks.  The sense of speed that Codemasters has put into the game is indescribable in words or pictures, you have to play the game to get a good feel of just how fast (and fun) the racing is.

Although I love Burnout Paradise and continue to play it, I wanted something that was track-based to play -- and something with real licensed cars.  Paradise's open-world is both a blessing (it's rather cool not to be forced to play races in order) and a curse (frakking getting lost during a race really blows).  Having track-based racing lets me practice and memorize something a little smaller than a whole city.  And the licensed cars (45 in total from what I read) is really cool.  Sure, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue has 60+ cars, but do I really want to spend my time racing a Suzuki CappuccinoNot really.

Anyways, back to racing!