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Posts with tag racing

Trackmania DS is not Touchscreenmania

It seems like a pretty bold move to make a DS racing game that doesn't use the stylus to control an onscreen steering wheel, but then it's a pretty bold move to make a DS version of a PC racing game. According to Trackmania DS producer Dan Fletcher, the team felt that touch controls "do not fit" for driving.

That's not to say that the stylus has no place in Trackmania. The one aspect of the game that is perfect for touch control -- the editor -- uses it awesomely. In addition to the basic stylus control used to place tracks, Trackmania DS also features a "free draw" mode that lets players draw tracks directly!

Moto Racer DS is two-wheeled tomfoolery

When it comes to racing on the DS, we have the good, the bad, and the monstrously ugly. Moto Racer DS looks to be a refreshing change from the usual flurry of mediocrity -- both as a motorbike racing game and as a pretty impressive technical showcase. The environments look nicely detailed, and the tracks scream FUN!

The biggest selling point we can see is the aptly-named Stylus Precision Handling (SPH). There isn't much of an indication on how this will work, and the touchscreen images in the gallery display only a map. Moto Racer DS supports up to 8 player Wi-Fi races, and features 44 tracks in a variety of road and dirt racing. That's quite a hefty amount of content, and we're hoping for a solid experience when it comes out in Q4 this year.

Gallery: Moto Racer DS

[Via press release]

Bury the Shovelware: Homie Rollerz

Bury the Shovelware is a new weekly feature in which DS Fanboy dives deep into the mounds of gaming abominations dumped upon the unsuspecting public by various developers. Like a stool sample collected from a heap of animal dung in order to learn more about its creator, we'll be dissecting, studying and testing our subjects. We will record our findings, and mark how long the title can be endured. Every Wednesday, we'll take a closer look at the proletariat of the DS's vast library.

For this first installment, I sought something that epitomizes shovelware: a game that shows too little inspiration (or too much from one blockbuster title) and/or is virtually unplayable. These attributes are all well represented in Homie Rollerz. In an attempt to feed off the momentum of the "Homies" craze (of many years ago), developer Webfoot Technologies created a racing title that aspired to capture the invigorating frenzy of Mario Kart DS, but instead leaves the user bored, frustrated, and robbed of their time. How long could I stand Homie Rollerz? Roll on to find out.

Gallery: Homie Rollerz

Continue reading Bury the Shovelware: Homie Rollerz

Motocross Challenge rides back from the sunset for another go

We couldn't pay Motocross Challenge enough compliments when indie developer DHG Games released the Excitebike-inspired GBA racer last year. For those of you unfamiliar with the game's history, it never saw a commercial release after its publisher backed out of the project due to declining sales for GBA titles.

Not letting its code go to waste, DHG eventually released Motocross Challenge to the homebrew community as a free downlodable ROM and a limited edition flashcart. As great as the game was, we thought, with a tear in our eye, that we would never see it again.

The Montreal-based studio wants another crack at getting its game in stores, however, and has announced a DS remake! The graphics look mostly unchanged, but there are a lot of additions to get hyped about -- a track editor, three new game modes, a skinner mini map on the bottom screen, more AI opponents, a new Challenge Mode mechanic, and a new soundtrack.

DHG is still looking for a publisher, so make sure to direct your industry friends to this arcade racer! Turbo boost your bike up a ramp and fly past the post break for a trailer of Motocross Challenge DS. If you'd rather try it out yourself, you can still download and play the GBA ROM, too!

Continue reading Motocross Challenge rides back from the sunset for another go

System 3 drops Ferrari Challenge deets, first screens

Ferrari's rich historical connection with videogames alone is enough to make us curious about System 3's forthcoming Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, for which the first screenshots and further details appeared today.

Even though the online mode has been confirmed as a PS3-only feature, the shots we've seen so far show promise, at least as far as 3D racers on the DS go. According to today's press release, the DS version of Ferrari Challenge will contain fifteen real-life tracks (including Italy's Mugello circuit), eight cars per race, fifty types of Ferrari, and, if this screen suggests what we think it suggests, wireless play. Thankfully, it doesn't control via a steering wheel plastered across the touchscreen, a la the awful Ridge Racer DS; instead, the touchscreen features a swanky dashboard interface.

It's out soon, as well -- July in Europe; and during Q3 in North America. Rev into our gallery for your first look at the game!

Gallery: Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli

[Via press release]

Ferrari Challenge motors onto the DS

Let's face it: you'll probably never drive a Ferrari in your lifetime (alas). Those of us in North America can't even have the satisfaction of driving one on a handheld -- not yet, at least. Thanks to a distribution deal with System 3, Activision is bringing Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli to the U.S. and Canada in Q3.

Since this game is also coming out for the Wii, PS3, and PS2, the press release doesn't boast about the features of the DS version, sadly. We don't see why the DS game wouldn't include online multiplayer like some of its counterparts, though. Ferrari Challenge also features fifteen international circuits, which isn't too shabby.

Hopefully the developers actually put time into the DS version (which releases in Australia and Europe on June 19th and 20th), as we can use some more fun racing games for our favorite handheld.

Note: Image is from the PS3 version.

First Trackmania DS screen is appropriately Trackmanic

4 Color Rebellion has just posted the first official screenshot of Trackmania DS, and it seems to be in line with our expectations of Trackmania -- continuous, looping tangles of brutally insane track, as designed by people who have no business designing racing tracks (us).

For a DS racing game, the graphics look pretty great. Trackmania's look has always had a surreal simplicity about it, which works well for the graphical limitations of the DS, and allows a pretty racing game to be made. And as long as we're not bound by physics or common sense in the track designs, which apparently we are not, we're pleased.

Buy Race Driver: GRID, dress like a square

If you're serious about racing (but not so serious that you refuse to play racing games on the DS), you're probably keeping a keen eye on GRID (or Race Driver: GRID, or whatever the kids are calling it these days). Handheld racing enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that Gamestop orders will also include a fairly nice-looking t-shirt featuring the game's logo!

Graph paper enthusiasts may also find the shirt worthwhile, we suppose, as could city planning enthusiasts. Basically, anyone with a love of grids, since the word "GRID" is really the only identifiable element on the shirt. If you want to tell people it's a video game thing, that's fine, or you can say you just really appreciate power line networks.

European dates for Etrian Odyssey, LOL, Pokemon Explorers

News of a European release date for Super Smash Bros. Brawl has dominated coverage of Nintendo's latest European release schedule, but there are a number of tasty morsels on the list for DS owners.

For a start, the continent will finally be getting Atlus roguelike Etrian Odyssey, and it's about time -- lest we forget, the title made its U.S. debut last May! Notably, there are also dates (of varying specificity) for Race Driver: GRID (May), the new Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games (July 4th), New International Track & Field (Q2 2008), and Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat? (June), the European version of Cooking Navi. "ArchimDS" appears on the list as well, though we presume this refers to LOL, or Bakushow as it'll be known in Euroland.

Add all of those to this morning's Final Fantasy IV announcement, and Europe has quite the line-up of games to look forward to. Check past the break for the full list!

Continue reading European dates for Etrian Odyssey, LOL, Pokemon Explorers

He's Speed Racer and he drives real fast

Drives real fast -- he's gonna last. New screens of the Speed Racer movie tie-in game (which looks more like F-Zero Wipeout than anything else), revealing pretty much the same kind of roller-coaster-like tracks we've seen in the Wii version. We aren't sure what's going to happen on (the rest of) the touch screen -- will there be a steering controller, Ridge Racer/Indianapolis 500 Legends style? Warner Bros. Interactive is hiding that particular detail carefully, going so far as to release screenshots like the one seen here with part of the bottom screen visible.

The screenshots also reveal that "car-fu" is really the name the producers have given to the racing action, in this case seemingly some kind of car-to-car combat. We thought -- and hoped -- that it was just an informal term for some kind of especially acrobatic racing.

Race Driver: GRID trailer revs up, impresses

Can the DS do "serious" racing games? As things stand, there are three such titles due this year on the handheld: Evolution GT, Trackmania DS, and Race Driver: GRID. Developer Codemasters showed off the latter earlier today, and you can color us impressed. Watch the trailer above and you'll see pure, white stallions emerging from magnificently rendered waves that this is already looking remarkably fluid -- and that's with eight cars on track at once and an array of weather effects.

It's an early lead for GRID then, though there's every chance that Trackmania's vaunted track creation mode could see it pull back in front.

Gallery: Race Driver: GRID

[Via press release]

Evolution GT joins growing field of 'serious' DS racers

The DS is to play host to its own version of Evolution GT, a 2006 PlayStation 2 and PC racer which, if we're being entirely honest, none of the DS Fanboy team are actually familiar with. Hence, a quick trip to Metacritic is in order (we call this "journalism"), where the two previous versions of Evolution GT currently sit on ... 60% and 61% respectively. Bah.

Anyway, for the (hopefully superior) DS edition, we'll be able to get behind the wheel of officially licensed GT cars such as the Corvette Z06, Mercedes-Benz SLK, and Audi A4 Touring Car, and subsequently bounce from barrier to barrier around courses set all over Europe. There's also a multiplayer mode for up to four players, and the game will be joining the small list of titles that use the DS's Rumble Pak.

It's out on June 23rd this year, by which time it should have plenty of healthy competition.

[Via press release]

Rumors of an Initial D game for the DS spread

Racing fans might have something to look forward to on the DS, as whispers of an Initial D game have been fluttering around the intertubes. Don't get too excited, though; this tidbit is still in the "rumor" category. News of this game coming to the DS was originally deemed a hoax, but screens have recently popped up supporting the argument. Did the hoax just get more elaborate, or are these screens legitimate? Only time will tell, but we're hoping for the latter.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Initial D is based on Japanese street racing, but takes place in mountainous areas rather than city streets. Is anyone hoping to see this hit the DS, or are you indifferent?

Also, you can check past the break for more of the alleged screens.

Continue reading Rumors of an Initial D game for the DS spread

Race Driver: Create and Race (and buy for ten bucks)

How did Race Driver: Create and Race end up in Best Buy's bargain bin? The Codemasters-developed title received favorable reviews, and, by most accounts, it doesn't deserve to share the same shameful shelf as Julie Finds a Way and Original Frisbee Disc Sports.

As you can see in the above trailer, it doesn't look terrible at all! In addition to its robust track designer, Race Driver's multiplayer features include online matches and single-cart download play for up to four people. Best Buy's uninformed markdown means savings for you, however, as you can now purchase the game for only $9.99 from the retailer's online store. Of course, you'll still have to pay for shipping, but you can skip that by finding Race Driver at a brick and mortar location.

[Via CAG]

DS Fanboy Review: Homie Rollerz

I was pretty worried about reviewing Homie Rollerz. I didn't really get into game blogging to discuss serious issues, and the Homies franchise seemed to involve one. Is Homie Rollerz a good thing because it is designed for a Mexican-American audience (which, as a goal, is very cool and laudable), or is it an insult to that audience with broad stereotypes? The toys continue to be popular, so I happily suspect the former. However, my own impression of the characters and storyline is that I might find them offensive if I belonged to the supposed target audience. In any case, further investigation of this cultural issue turned out to be unnecessary, because Homie Rollerz is not very good. The biggest issues with the game turn out to be with the game and not with the subject matter.

Gallery: Homie Rollerz

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Homie Rollerz

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