Elemental Challenge Day Nineteen: Racing

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Life in the fast lane. See you at the finish line. Put the pedal to the metal. I got a need and it just so happens to unironically be a need for speed. These and other familiar phrases evoke today’s genre at hand: Racing. Racing games, admittedly, are not my forte but I recognize their existence and the appeal of their high-speed antics. I’m particularly interested in those racing games which add a little something extra to the general structure of “drive from point A to point B”. Throwing items, seeing some combat, customizing vehicles, driving as the characters from beloved franchises, these are all things that push racing games a little further down the road. When can we get a Final Fantasy Kart? That’s what I wanna know.

Catch these favorites if you can…

 

 

FF3-NES-Summoner2.png  The Green Screen Mage

By far Mario Kart 8 is my favorite racing game. I love a lot of the older ones, but you can’t beat the new levels and DRIFTING!

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blackmage  The Black Humor Mage

Mario Kart: Double Dash is my favorite racing game. I’ve played this game so much as a kid with my cousins, and we still play it to this day. It was the only Mario Kart where you could get two characters in one cart, and hold two items as well. Mario Kart 8 is a close second, and we’ve been playing that one much more recently. I’ve seen that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes the functions of Double Dash with Mario Kart 8 as the core game, so that one is definitely a reason to get the Switch.

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mystic_knight1 The Midnight Mystic Mage (Sublime Reviews)

Burnout. I’ve had my share of fun with racing games, they aren’t my favorite type of games but The Burnout series was really something else. The first time I got to a mission where the objective was to cause as much destruction as possible, I was like oh yeah, I can get into this. (Honorable Mentions – Mario Kart, Need For Speed Underground 2, MX vs. ATV)

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spoonybardmageright.jpg  The Spoony Bard Mage (Nerd Speaker)

Mario Kart has had so many iterations that it’s hard to keep track, and everybody has their favorite. For me, it’s Mario Kart 64, simply because of the many high school hours sunk into it and the glitchy shortcuts.

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finalfourteenthmage  The Final Fourteenth Mage (Cilla vs. Games)

Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour.

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HandheldMage1  The Hopeful Handheld Mage (Retro Redress)

Burnout 3 (Xbox). I can barely drive and know nothing about cars. To me, racing games should be about driving as fast as possible. Burnout 3 was amazing at this, high speed races with frantic CPU chasing you around tight corners. The World Tour mode, different cars and the great variety of races made Burnout 3 a classic. Thankfully, EA phased out Burnout so we could play Need For Speed instead…

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Kx18GL1dNEW  The Dapper Zaffre Mage (Save File 02)

Hoo boy! I knew racing had to come sooner or later, and there’s absolutely no other series that had me as captivated as F-Zero, with its GameCube entry F-Zero GX being the favorite of them all. The N64 and GC games had absolutely none of the problems the 2D ones had; malicious drivers were now fair targets, and you could even finish a race in both first AND last place if you were so ‘inclined’. Nintendo expanded on the cast from the N64 and gave even the most bit-player driver their own backstory, revealed through the ‘interview’ segments at the end of a GP. The soundtrack was the best in the series, and I’d even go on to use it in Wipeout HD. F-Zero probably even nudged out Metroid in terms of what my favorite Nintendo IP was, and I’m sure I was one of many fans waiting for a Wii release that would finally grant us the 30-player online mod we all wanted.

…So you can imagine how disappointed I was when the Wii came and went with no F-Zero. With its last game being as far back as 2004 on the GBA, it seems as though we’re not getting a continuation any time soon.

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nostalgiamage  The Over-Caffeinated Nostalgia Mage (Nostalgia Trigger)

In the late 90’s, I took a gamble while in a CompUSA, and picked up a game based on my favorite sport. That game was Motocross Madness. I had never played a racing game before, but this game lives on as my favorite racer of all time. Not only because I loved watching motocross on TV at the time, but because years later I still credit it as the driving force behind me getting into the sport of dirt bike racing. It’s wild how much a video game can get into your head and give you ideas, even decades after they came out!

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  The Rage Mage

Just in case you can’t tell the difference between a Fast & Furious movie and a Fast & Furious video game, here’s Fast & Furious: Showdown, a game that could only be worse if Vin Diesel were in an FMV in it pretending to act, mumbling something about how painful it is staring directly at the sun.

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rmage2.jpg  The Well-Red Mage

I haven’t delved into too many racing games, mainly because I’m not very good at them, but some notable titles I’ve enjoyed more or less include Gran Turismo 5Top Gear 3000Rock n’ Roll Racing, Mario Kart… but my favorite has got to be the highly addicting and pitch-perfect Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Once again, Nintendo dominates the list. I read some weeks back that MK8D was the real reason to get a Switch, not Breath of the Wild. That’s quite an audacious statement, and impossible to prove, but I can assure you that MK8D is phenomenal. It feels like the ultimate kart racer. It’s the triumph of decades of Mario Kart evolution. It is as fun as this picture looks.

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FINISH! Tomorrow we’ve got something big. Very big. Come back again and thanks for reading!
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26 thoughts on “Elemental Challenge Day Nineteen: Racing

  1. R R R R R Ridge Racer Four!!! Drifting!!!! PacMan Car!!! A cool lookin batmobile-esque thing!!! Yayyy!!!!
    Twisted Metal series was cool too!
    (Ytubed character storys n endins ages ago)
    However, I also love Diddy Kong Racing (Timber obvs, as Lord C’s a Tiger!) & OG Mario Kart (I had the Ghost Jump Down Son!!!) 😀 XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I almost missed this because the email for it led to the error page! I’m guessing that happens when you update or take it down ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Anyway I have a feeling MK8 will be near the top of my list, but I haven’t played it yet (soon though…and I will pwn all comers mwahahaha!!! 😈). Ahem…I loved Rock n Roll Racing; I was always Kat, since she was the only lady racer, and I also love cats lol.

    There was also this amazing game from the NES/SNES era with this kick ass soundtrack. I can still hear the songs in my head, but I cannot remember the game’s title. Ack, it’s going to bug me.

    I’ve also played and enjoyed Gran Turismo. Tbh racing games are my favorite type of sports games.

    My favorite racing game to date is Diddy Kong Racing. I loved the cuteness, the fact it had a story, and boss races. Such a great game.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny, I stumbled across the Disney kart racer the other day for Dreamcast and it’s just arrived and now someone has named it as their favorite racing game. Anyway I love a good racing game, Gran Turismo, Forza, Burnout, Need for Speed, Mario Kart, I could keep going to but since there can be only one, I’m going to say Burnout Paradise. It’s fast, fun, and crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t play many traditional racers, but I’ve enjoyed most of the Mario Kart releases, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, and Crash Team Racing. Forza Horizon 2 was a fun way to kill a weekend as well, with less sim-nerd settings and more “hop in the weirdest painted vehicle and chaotically explore the open world of Australia.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Man, I’ve played a lot of racers over the years, in spite of me not being much of a car guy. There’s just something fun about driving a car you’ll never own, or even one you will, in ways you never will in real life. I think if I had to narrow it down to just ONE I’d say Need For Speed Hot Pursuit II. I don’t know if it’s my FAVORITE racer, but it is one of the most memorable in my collection. EA’s racing series has tried on many hats, by many developers over the years. But after the first two games had ridden a line between simulation, and arcade racing, the third didn’t. NFS III Hot Pursuit had gone full arcade style racing, and included police chases. After a couple of newer entries, that again, veered toward other directions, they brought back the idea in 2002. They fine tuned the steering, updated the graphics, and brought back all of the excitement of trying to win races while not getting arrested. There was also some skin texture damage on cars when they got banged up. And while one could argue that the split screen multiplayer taking a framerate dive on consoles made it less fun than some of the more console-centric releases of the time, playing the PC multiplayer was ace. Consoles were just then starting to come into their own with online multiplayer, so it didn’t really touch the PC version’s multiplayer. This was also before companies started omitting home networking game options from PC version menus. So this one supports LAN, even though you can’t play it online anymore, if you have two computers, and a router you’re good to go.

    Years later Criterion would reboot the idea for EA with its own Hot Pursuit, which is also an excellent game. It also looks beautiful, has great tracks, a good vehicle selection, and is a lot of fun. Be that as it may, I still recommend checking out Hot Pursuit II. Yes it has the blockiness of the PlayStation 2 era. Yes some of the textures may be blurry, and you may notice some pop in that you may not have back then. But it completely commits to the over-the-top mantra of driving like a madman, and trying not to get busted while doing it. Which is why it’s super fun. It’s also dirt cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (the original version on PC from around 15 years ago) was fantastic at the time. I liked High Stakes too for the car buying/gambling aspect.
    More recently though, Burnout Paradise and Forza Horizon 3 take the crown!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Is it cheating to go the Car Combat route? Twisted Metal 2 was amazing of course, but I remember really loving Twisted Metal: Black. I can still see the title screen, which featured a zoom in camera moving over a freeze frame destruction scene from hell, focusing in on Sweet Tooth’s demonic face, all set to the opening riff of “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones. God damn, that was cool.

    Anyway, I remember absolutely loving the gameplay – it felt like Twisted Metal nailed it in that entry, and their attempt to replicate it several years later was a bit of a failure. The disturbing stories for each racer were very engaging and interesting, and this element combined with the gameplay made me eagerly finish the story with all of the characters, just to satisfy my curiously of knowing what would be each one of their fates if they won Calypso’s contest.

    Love me some Mario Kart as well, and F-Zero too, but this game comes first to my mind when I reflect on driving games in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I wouldn’t consider car combat games to be cheating for today’s category. They’re races to the death rather than to a finish line, so sure they count. Twisted Metal is a good one!

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  8. When I was a kid, I spent a great deal of time playing racing games with my neighbor, who loved them. We played several on the PS1, the names of which I don’t remember beyond “oh, it might have had something to do with Miami, Malibu, or Drifting…). Our favorite was probably Mario Kart 64. We would play for hours, with him competing with the NPCs, and me spending most of the game in the moat at Moo Moo Meadows. Because the game was difficult for me to interpret visually, I don’t count it as one of my favorite games, but do have a distinct fondness for it that paved the way for me to absolutely love subsequent Mario Kart games.

    Of all the racing games out there right now, my favorite has to be Mario Kart 8. My selection doesn’t add anything new to this particular category today, but I figured that it would be easier to be truthful and unoriginal than to try and find the title of one or two obscure and generic PS1 racing games that might have been on our childhood roster.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I nominate Mario Kart 64 on the Nintendo 64. While I enjoyed Mario Kart: Double Dash and thought the double characters was an interesting addition, I prefer the levels from the older game. I liked the way the characters were either small and fast, medium size and moderate speed or large size and slow. I enjoyed the power ups, ranging from deadly weapons (such as the blue shell) to creative obstacles (what was the most effective way of tricking someone into picking up a fake power up?) to game changing tools (such as the lightening). I also liked the way using the star power-up can destroy or harm the obstacles. I enjoyed the stages as well, which all had a different aesthetic and individual challenges so that each player had favourite stages and hated levels. I found the courses in this game had more danger than the ones in Double Dash (which mostly seemed to have a safety rail to prevent falling off the road). A comparison is Toad’s Turnpike against Mushroom City, one had slow moving vehicles and open roads, while the other required the player to narrowly navigate crowded highways.
    What new features are added to Mario Kart 8: Deluxe? What are the new characters and courses? Do they still have a Rainbow Road course? I agree with the statement about enjoying racing games with power-ups. I cannot rely on effective cornering and timed braking and accelerating during racing, I need weapons.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Burnout 3 was THE racing game for me as a kid! Burnout Paradise was ok, but felt too convoluted. Burnout 3 kept it simple and just allowed you to jump into your favorite modes without the open world aspect. Just let me do Takedown events all day, please!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh man….Burn-out 3…such an awesome game. I spent so many hours playing that one, loved the World Tour Mode, and there was something so satisfying about taking down opponents. Truly a great game 😀

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Yup, I think it was called Red Asphalt. Super Macho sound about right though. I always thought it was a shame you couldn’t use the scorpion car that you could see in the background on one of the tracks.

            Liked by 1 person

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