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Games that have aged like a fine wine | The Traxion.GG Podcast, Season 2, Episode 3

We’re back with a brand new episode of the Traxion.GG podcast, and this week we discuss games that have aged like a fine wine.

Dodgy episode title aside, this is pertinent, as we live in an age where games are updated, refined, patched and added to post-launch, which means that the original Metacritic becomes less and less relevant.

‘Games as a service’ is a term that exists. Some simulators work on a subscription basis. Games have a second life beyond the initial release.

So, here are just some games that we think fit the bill as something that has got better with age. Like Ryan Gosling or Sienna Miller, but in video game form.

Be sure to let us know some games that you think have got better the older they become and we may revisit this topic in a future episode.

Hosted by Justin Sutton, with guest Thomas Harrison-Lord

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Below is the full transcript of this episode. It’s auto-generated, hence why it’s completely random…

Justin Sutton:

Hello. And welcome back to the traction podcast today, Tom and I are going to be talking about racing games that have aged like fine wine. My name is Justin and the voice you’re about to hear is Tom

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Hi that. Yep. Good to be here. Happy to talk about this subject.

Justin Sutton:

Looking forward. So first thing we want to do is actually, you know, kind of explain what we’re talking about here today. So there’s multiple types of games. So this could be either a game that has been updated, like crazy to be much better than it was at launch, which is more and more common as time goes by or potentially a game that just has aged really well. You know, that we didn’t fully appreciate it back when it initially came out. But now with the passage of time, we can look back on, on this game, and we can fully appreciate, what was best and what was great about it. Do you ha are there many games that you can think of any way? I’ll start with you Tom.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah, I think we could, I think we could both think of absolutely loads of these. Right. And I’m sure the listeners would. So bearing mind we’re just going to cover a few, some of our sort of top picks, but we’re not saying that these are the best or worst games in the world, and there’s plenty more that well, you can put in the comments, I will speak on different podcasts. So just bear that in mind, but, um, oh yeah, there’s absolutely loads I could think of. And I’m sure you can as well Justin, shall we kick off with the first one?

Justin Sutton:

Yeah and in fact, why don’t you go ahead and go first, since, since you’re sort of the guest this time, I’ll let, I’ll let you go first. I

Tom Harrison-Lord:

All right. Well, my mine is from a few years ago, I think 2014, developed by evolution studios, which are kind of different, but not quite. And it is Drive Club, which was a PlayStation 4 exclusive. And so just really quickly for those who aren’t aware or haven’t played the game because it’s only on one platform, for example, it was kind of a pseudo arcade racer, but it still sort of felt authentic. It was mainly about, about road cars and it was on fictional locations. The graphics are unbelievable, but sometimes the game play was a little bit soulless and it was mired in problems for many years, but then was, was updated forever. I don’t know if you remember any like, controversy around it just in back in the day.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I didn’t. So because of it, because it was an exclusive, I didn’t play it and I didn’t keep up with it all that much, but I do remember people talking about it and stuff like that. And, yeah, it was a bit mixed and it almost wasn’t mixed from people. It was mixed depending on what part of the game you were talking about. Is sort of what I remember.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. Yeah. So, so the, the point of Drive Club is if you take the driving aspect, I don’t think that was ever in doubt, but the club aspect with this was this sort of trying to be innovative with the online.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

That sounds familiar.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. They had, um, trials and stuff and tests for it, which clearly in the end, basically they were having big problems with the NetCode and it was delayed by about a year or so, was the release. It was going to be like a PS4 launch title or launch window. And it missed that, unfortunately, because of primarily the online issues. And then when it did come out, apparently when a few reviewers were playing the game, the online was working fine. As soon as more than six people went online on, on day of launch, which is a common thing that happens with games, but it was cataclysmic.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And to the point where the online basically didn’t work for months, I’m going to say months. And so the whole club element of it didn’t work. So basically as you’re driving in the game, even on each corner, depending if it’s like a drift mode or race or time trial on your friends list on PlayStation, a little challenge would pop up as you’re driving along. And so obviously you’ve got your own objectives to progress the single-payer career, but there’s like these little mini ones, which are based around how well your friends have done, none of that really worked or was reliable. And then another element. And it was a really cool feature.

Justin Sutton:

I was thinking that’s super neat and then it was not working at all.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

You’d come up on a corner. And it would be like, oh, this man has got certain drift score in here. As you’re doing the level, it was like a live reactive thing.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And then also you could join friends to create a club. And if you, all of your friends in a club were doing well, you’d get bonus XP as well. And that didn’t work, unfortunately, hence the name of the game. there was also going to be some elements of it that it was free on PlayStation plus that was delayed as well again, because of these online issues. So it was just, I think everybody’s learned from games like this, when you launch again, as a heavy online focus, there’s like enough servers involved, the code has had a beat, a test with enough people. I’m not saying everything’s perfect these days, but certainly it’s a lot, a lot better than this. And that was, that was the big disaster basically.

Justin Sutton:

And did this Come out around the same time as the Crew?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I think the Crew came slightly later.

Justin Sutton:

Slightly later okay.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. And that was an open-world and this wasn’t, but certainly in terms of the Crew, you could join together in a crew, hence the name of the game. Right. and race together and get bonus points. So that is very similar. Good, good shout. And that kind of worked for the crew. And there was a big beta, which started put a lot of people off because the gameplay was a bit dull. Right. But at least it got the, the internet side of things working and it got out then maybe with Drive Club they just didn’t get enough people playing it and testing the servers. You know, I don’t know, but, but ultimately this game aged, well, for two reasons, one, they stuck at it for many years. Obviously they finally got the online working. I’m pretty sure that that meant a lot of expense that meant the game was never profitable.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And maybe that’s why there’s never sequel also the reputation was kind of tarnished for that brand name. But they did this amazing, DLC season pass, which is extremely extensive, had wonderful cars and challenges. They added new tracks and I believe from memory old tracks where were free. So that’s sort of the template that we like in DLC, these, these where tracks are free, but Cars are paid for that’s fine. And also, that added bikes, which is really random and the bikes were really amazing. The bikes better handling than most motorcycle games these days by this point in the game have been completely forgotten about. And it was a real shame. But it was Drive Club Bikes, which sounds like a separate game.

Justin Sutton:

Could you race the bikes with the cars,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

no, you couldn’t separate, it was a separate career path.

Justin Sutton:

I figured That was too much to ask.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And Then ultimately I think then Sony had sort of given up on the game partially, but they were trying to launch PlayStation VR. So there was actually a separate Drive Club, VR spinoff. Oh, okay. Which played exactly the same. So from a game point of view, it was like, oh, this is not really that new, but the VR works great. And on that hardware, the cheap PlayStation 4 with the cheap VR headset. It was a technical marvel, but it came out like I’d already played through the season pass, had already done the bikes, but I was playing the same cars, the same tracks. Again, it was a bit light, but it also, it wasn’t a full price release so that if you combine all that together and if you’ve not, played the game at the time, this game would be amazing. Sadly the online servers are no longer on. So the online element doesn’t it work again? So it’s like back at the launch again.

Justin Sutton:

So it’s come full circle. It’s back to where it started with online problems, but for a very different reason. Yeah. My experience with Drive Club is, I think I remember the trailer, which is why I asked about the Crew, because I want to say the trailers came around the same time, possibly even the same E3, potentially. but yeah, I remember watching the trailer for it and going, okay, this looks neat. You know, the graphics looked really good for the time and stuff like that. And it was just, it was a really well put together trailer as well, which is sometimes sort of like a lost art form. So it was, it looked really, really cool. And then, yeah, I found out PlayStation exclusive, which I have mentioned before in the past that I think PlayStation needs to get rid of exclusives because I probably would have bought that game for PC.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

That’s a discussion for another time for another podcast because I disagree with you. I do have that. So we know this. So we’ll, we’ll talk about,

Justin Sutton:

Yeah we won’t get sidetracked on that one.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I’ll mention this game as well, because cause we, well, you did, social posts and the Traxion GG sociasl channels right. And still now that photo mode in this game holds up.

Justin Sutton:

The best photo we got on that, on that social media post where I asked for people’s in game racing game photos. My favorite, my personal favorite was from Drive Club and it looked absolutely incredible.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. Old game though, seven years old, apart from the DLC which was basically, you know, dropped then fortunately, no sequel, but there is a spiritual successor kind of, ish.. nah, that’s a bit tenuous, but basically the team that make it obviously ditched from Sony, but Codemasters bought them, the entire team and they made one Justin’s favorite games, which is Onrush. And then last year they made Dirt 5.

Justin Sutton:

So another console exclusive, unfortunately, which was again, my big complaint with Onrush just put it on PC I’m begging.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Oh yeah, right. Sorry I’m with you now. Onrush on PC. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, but Dirt 5 was, and so if you want to get, and it has a really good photo mode. So, I don’t think there’s a coincidence there it’s clearly the same.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah, Very good point there actually, because yeah, Onrush, I spent a lot of time actually in that photo mode probably almost as much time playing it. Which, which was really impressive and it just had, it just had a style to it that I, that I really appreciate. Was Drive Club sort of similar to that, did it have

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I thought it would felt quite, quite unique in its aesthetics and like we say, the photo mode was, was great really sort of set itself apart, which was quite nice, but also maybe that was to the detriment of itssales, which also applies to Dirt 5 and Onrush weirdly.

Justin Sutton:

Right. So at least they’re consistent. We’ll move on for that one. I’ll go ahead. II’ll go with my first one. And my first one is actually from a similar time, about seven or eight years ago. And it is in fact, Assetto Corsa on the PC, which is, is a game that’s very near and dear to my heart. I used to do YouTube stuff. I used to think myself a content creator at one point. But I was one of those people that quickly found out that he enjoyed one aspect of the content creation process and hated all the other aspects of the content creation process. So I gave up on that and decided to just get a job instead. But I did, exactly. So now I get to talk about Assetto Corsa instead of playing it, which is arguably better for me anyway, but, I did a whole YouTube series where I play, where I played Assetto Corsa and I did dozens of episodes of this game, but let’s before we, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go back to Assetto Corsa.

Justin Sutton:

So this was a PC only game initially that came out as an early access game on PC, on steam specifically. And it, it, wasn’t very good. It’s a small team. We should mention that as well. It’s from KUNOS-Simulazioni Srl.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Something Italian

Justin Sutton:

Yeah, exactly. It’s harder to pronounce than Competizione, but Kunos, as I like to call them, they released this game with a very small team. You could tell there was a lot of passion that it was put together by car nerds. Like you and me, the people listening to this podcast as well. This was put together by people that were very, very passionate about cars and not just racing cars, but road cars as well, too, which is part of what I really liked about Assetto Corsa, there was a lot of issues with it though. It was very shallow game. There wasn’t a whole lot going on. The graphics were good, but you really needed a bit of a monster PC in order to run it. I remember the early days of Assetto Corsa having a black bar at the top of my screen that said high CPU usage, all the time. It never went away, no matter what was going on, I was getting high CPU usage. I don’t know why they felt the need to obscure 10% of my screen to tell me that I had high CPU usage, but there we have it. And the multiplayer wasn’t that great. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t that great, it sort of.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Bit fussy to set stuff up I thought.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s sort of akin to Wreckest, so it’s not impossible to set up a server and get it running but it wasn’t amazing. Do you have a point on that.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I have a small point on that because, sorry, on console because Assetto Corsa this is the OG one, not the Competizione which is current now, but this is the OG. One of the reasons that sort of improved over time was how they improved some of the online elements and just like Wreckfest, like you mentioned there on console, they did add at later date, like a server browser and private lobbies, which was really great. I remember for ages my friends were playing it and ah, there wasn’t a way of actually playing it online properly, and then they did improve that, which is really good. And now that lives on and you can still play online to this day, get some friends together and that’s, and Wreckfest also has these private lobbies on console, which is a big help. So that was just the parallel I’d like to make there. That’s all.

Justin Sutton:

Also Assetto Corsa didn’t have any sort of customization, which was, I mean, a real problem at the time. Right. Exactly exactly and that is something that’s sort of, changed, not in Assetto Corsa, but that that’s something that’s changed in the, in the racing game world, by developers, over time, we’re, we’re starting to get more and more PC racing games that have that kind of customization and stuff like that, which is great. But yeah, Assetto Corsa didn’t didn’t really have it.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

It had those weird, like almost pretuned cars, I don’t know if you remember that it was like stage one stage two, stage three.

Justin Sutton:

Stage two. Yeah. The Lotus Exige 240r, which was one of my favorite cars had like three different power, variants.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Also there was like a million Lotus cars in there, like way, way more than any other brand, but fine.

Justin Sutton:

Yeah. It was like, there was the 2-Eleven, the Exige the Evora just, yeah, pretty much.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

The classic F1

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. The, the one that they drove on top gear, the T, somebody is listening to this right now and they’re screaming out the name at their, at their screen or wherever they are. But yeah, yeah, the F1 car that you could buy from Lotus that as featured on Top Gear back in the.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah Jean Alesi was doing it was a third and it was great.

Justin Sutton:

That’s the one, that’s the one. So, um, but, and it didn’t in the early days, it didn’t have the mod support either not, or it didn’t have the vastness of quantity of mods to choose from either so early days, et cetera. Of course it was, was a little bit frustrating. And, uh, again, this is something that I’ve kind of briefly touched on before, but the, instead of course, a career mode, which came out, um, not that long after, it was like a couple years, a year or two it’s definitely

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Was included in the console from launch in 2016, PC version came out at the end of 2014. So somewhere in that period, the career models,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And, uh, you could tell that they kind of put it together kind of quickly, cause it was, it was not the most, it was more a series of challenges than a career mode.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I’m very difficult. Most of it was,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

It was very frustrating. Uh, I had a video of me getting very mad at one of her driving, no surprise, a Lotus around Silverstone. Um, and yeah, it was, it was a little bit frustrating, but, but they did turn things around. So they added, uh, DLCs, uh, to the game car pack specifically. Um, they added my favorite version of the Nordschleife, uh, ever in a video game. Um, the laser scans Nordschleife that came around and I can only imagine how much it costs for them to laser scan. The Nordschleife. Uh,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I know it’s amazing.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

It must’ve been expensive, but, um, yeah, my favorite version of the north side and that YouTube series that I mentioned earlier, that was entirely based on the north side. So, uh, that came out, uh, right after I had done a couple episodes of, uh, me driving the Nordschleife, uh, on a, on a mod version. So the one that had been created, uh, by somebody in the community and it was really good. I don’t know who created it otherwise, I would totally shout them out. It was really, really good. Wasn’t quite as good as the laser scan one, but it was still very, very good. Uh, and I’d started driving that in different cars, almost in a way to compare cars. Um, you know, so I would have like a bar. Exactly. So this car gets a seven minute 30 and this car gets an eight minute 30 and, uh, just kind of like a benchmark really. Um, and I turned it into a, into a whole thing, especially after the laser laser scan version came out and especially with those great car packs that were coming out. I remember my favorite, my favorite was the Japanese car back. Did you have a favorite? Hi,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Uh, I didn’t have a favorite car pack, but I can understand why you,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And that was another one that had pre tuned cars, by the way you could, um, it was an 86, uh, the Toyota Corolla, sprinter Trueno, whatever you want to call it. Uh, there was a regular version, so it was just stock version of the car with its 120, 130 horsepower or whatever it happened. Exactly, exactly. Uh, and then there was a version, a drift version, uh, that you could get. And then there was like a racing version that you could get as well, too. So there was like three different versions of it. And I took all three out on the door, just life, uh, uh, for a half hour long videos and, you know, fully commentated and everything like that was the love that I had for a set of course, but those early days it was, it was pretty rough. And since then, uh, the mod scene has absolutely exploded since then. Um, we have a streamer on our stream team, for example, named arrow, uh, who does a set, of course, a drifting using just a raft of mods. You know, it’s an incredible amount of mods for the cars, the tracks, I think even like the tire, the way the tire physics work is a mod to the game. Um, so it’s, yeah, it’s very, very in depth, but he’s turned it into something completely different, which I really appreciate

Tom Harrison-Lord:

About it. Although the drifting was always in there quite, it was a dress circuit from the start. Right. But it was, I find it very, very difficult to control, but also I think for the drifting, I had a gear driven the steering wheel and probably actually belt-driven might be better for drifting actually before it was his direct drive as well. I think probably with belt driven might be better just for drifting. Um, but what I would say about modes is like the game as aged. Well, regardless of those, cause they cause, um, it still plays well now and it’s only, if you go back to it, you go, okay, well the visuals are secondhand and some of the career’s shoddy, but the handling and the way the cars drive is still better than a lot of games I’ve come out of late so that it doesn’t fit. It doesn’t even look like it, especially with the menus to feel like six and a half years old. Um, but then on the flip side to that buds, you know, when formula one, the sport wants to preview its Jetta street circuit, it used to cost not the formula one. Yes it did.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

It did that for Jetta and the end. I think they may have done it for Pennoyer as well, a little while when they did have no way possibly, but yes. Yeah. They, they turned to, uh, to them to do

Tom Harrison-Lord:

That, which is

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Absolutely incredible. And uh, shout out to arrow. If you guys haven’t checked out arrow drifting on. I said, of course, uh, it is actually incredible. I mean, it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen done in a racing game before. Um, and it makes me really, really want a racing to get, to make that work so that I can, I can get it on some of that too, because I’ve done drifting in Forza, but not on the, like that’s a whole nother level that he’s doing, so, okay. We’ve talked, we’ve talked probably too long about it. Is that okay? So Tom, why don’t you go ahead and give me your second year.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

The second one felt fairly obvious, fairly recent. So just to be clear, um, I don’t think any of our choices are going to be a particular, uh, modern classics or retro games, but that could be for another time and comment on YouTube on the website. If you’ve got social media, if you’ve got any other, so I’m going to go for another recent one around a similar sort of time. Actually, I suppose we’ve talked about that is the original, the first dirt rally and the reason why this improved over time, like I said, of course it was early access to start with, but more so importantly, this was a simulation Merlot game. Whereas the previous code masters rather game called McKay Riley and the dirt series to that point were authentic and you definitely had a great time. This was a bit more serious, but it was more of a skunkworks project.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

So in order to get it through the management and the financial decisions, it was through the access, which at the time was very weird for quote unquote, large company like coach. Yeah, exactly. Um, and so to see then it picked up by the community and loved and enjoyed and get enough of an audience to then continue to add to it in early access. And then to find the release, the final version on PC and console and even, uh, VR additions on PC and PlayStation was very, very satisfying. Obviously there was also a DLC and consistent updates for it, but I think the main reason why it’s age. So that’s, that’s probably the main reason actually why it saves trouble. Right. But, but also I think it also sets the template for, oh, the Reis actually market for a serious rally game after Richard Burns rally. Um, we’ve seen now that the WRC games have got a bit more serious in the hunting game, there was a sequel for this game as well. But if you still go back and play it now, it still of good driving serious rally game. And that’s key. It still holds up now. And for

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Me, uh, cause I’ve actually played that one. Um, it was one of the best career mode experiences, the progression on it was so good. And, and, and as I just mentioned, when I was talking about a set, of course, uh, at that time, especially, it seems like the PC side was really starved for that kind of experience specifically within a racing game. So correct. Um, I, even though I was complete garbage at the game and I was absolutely terrible. I am not, I am not a radical as it turns out. Um, but I, I still had an absolute blast with it and I loved the depth of it, the, the repairs and stuff like that. So would you say that this one, would you say this one is more of a it’s aged? Well, just because looking back on it, like, you know, it wasn’t, so this is one that wasn’t bad and then got better, has gotten better.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

It was good from the start. It was good from the start they evolved it, but it was pioneering in many ways, it sort of set the template. And one thing that I’ve really highlights how this game was aged while is the debt Raleigh 2.0, came out, um, how the amount of content, perhaps it was arguable, it wasn’t enough, but there was a full seasons of DLC and every rally stage that came to it apart from one pocket at the end was actually remasters of the dirt rally one stages. So the first stage it was so good. They released them as the DLC for that rallies to, yes, they played better and the physics were more advanced than you had more cars in the second game. Yep. Great. But it just shows how good, especially those finished stages is in Finland, where in the first dirt rally that they actually revisited them for the second game. So that was just a, another reason why it held up so well, it was like, oh yes, these were amazingly well-designed stages. And would you

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Say a dirt rally has aged better than a non rally dirt game?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Oh yes. Yes. I do think that three is a really good game. If that’s what you mean or show down, they’re both good fun, but they don’t play as, quite as well in the current age as the day they were older. So that’s perhaps a bit unfair. Right. But, um, let me put it to you this way. The fall came after dirt rally and dirt rally is a better game

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And dirt rally, Andrew rally to play on both have VR, right?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Um, yes, but D two only has VR and PC, but the first, it rarely has it on the console as well, which

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Is quite interesting. I’ve always, and I’ve always thought that was really strange too, because, um, there’s been no inkling of VR from the F1 side of code masters.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. I guess there’s a risk reward, investment sort of thing. And because the first step rally was early access, maybe they sort of were like, Ooh, let’s go for the hardcore audience if we are, is a bit weird in it though, because if you turn around the rear of the car, isn’t modeled, it’s just like a gray wall or something. So you can look, you can look into the apex, which is great. But if you look behind, yeah, it’s not that

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I was actually just thinking that maybe that’s why, uh, they did VR for dirt rally and not for F1 because you do need, you know, you’re getting sideways and you’re, I mean, you’re looking out the side window of the car sometimes,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

But that’s those little shoulder things. Maybe the driver doesn’t actually look that much. I don’t know. Anyway,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

You’d be looking over essentially just to see other cars for battling and stuff like that. And yeah, maybe, but anyway. Yeah. Any, any other points to make on that?

Tom Harrison-Lord:

That’s why I think dirt rally is still stands up. Perfect. Um, okay. What’s your, what’s your next game? So

Tom Harrison-Lord:

My, my, uh, my second one is a bit of a strange one and, and it’s very different from, from the ones we’ve talked about so far. Um, and it’s a game that I haven’t played in a very, very long time, but I look back back on very fondly, um, which is why I’ve picked it. Um, and this, the initial D arcade game specifically, I, did we get the initial D game, um, for [inaudible] I think it was, um, for, I think there was a PlayStation two version of it, but it just, it didn’t, it didn’t have the same sort of feel to it. You know, it, it just wasn’t as rewarding. And maybe it was because I was coming from, I played the arcade version first. Um, and just to, just to clarify it for people, especially young people out there, uh, this is a game that is nearly 20 years old. Now I want to say actually it’s extremely old, in fact. Um, and it’s actually my first experience with a racing video game, no wheel

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Ever, just a car for when you say Arcadis and a physical arcade,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

But what I’m talking about, this genre quarters in the machine, and then you get to play it for a certain amount of time, and then it’s over for again, this is for the young people watching it. Okay.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Never blinked DLCs about these days.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Right. So, um, so yeah, this is based on the popular Japanese anime, uh, initial D um, which was a Japanese cartoon sort of for teens, um, you know, like a young adult thing. It, it wasn’t for adults and it wasn’t for children. There were some very serious topics actually that got covered on initial day. I won’t go into those on this podcast, but, um, uh, but yeah, it was for like young adults, like, you know, 16, 17, 18 year olds, uh, those, those sorts of people, um, and it was very popular. Uh, it was, you know, if anybody that knows animate knows that you pretty much have an anime for everything, you know, there’s like a volleyball Anamae, there’s like a swimming animate, there’s an ice skating anime, and this was the drifting anime. And I think they worked with, um, uh, Katie

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Two games anyway, sorry.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Uh, I think they worked with, uh, kg Sue chia, who is commonly known as the drift king. I know that person. Yes. I’ve heard of it. Yup. Yup. Yup. Um, and if Aero is listening to this podcast, he will, he will definitely be knowing all about this stuff as well, too. Anybody that’s firmly in the drifting scene will already know about this. So I apologize. I’m explaining this stuff though, for people that are, you know, the uninitiated unfamiliar, that kind of stuff. Um, so yeah, it’s, it was an arcade racing game. Uh, they had a physical wheel, so, you know, it was like when you would go play Daytona USA and it had a wheel, but it was, it was much better than Daytona USA and it was based on the anime. So you would drive the, um, the tow game roads, the, the Japanese mountain roads downhill, um, specifically was what initially was about, was about racing downhill in Cartosat weren’t ultra powerful.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

You know, a lot of them were, were tuned, but not massively. So we’re talking about, uh, you know, uh, nineties, uh, RX seven, uh, twin turbo RX seven, that’s got, you know, maybe 300, 400 horsepower going up, uh, against the Toyota Corolla from, from the same sort of time. And the, the, the arcade game kind of followed that. So you would pick, you had like the 86 Toyota Corolla, you had an S 14 and as 13, a 180 SX a skyline. Exactly. Exactly. And this was, uh, this was actually post fast and furious, I think when the game came out. So I think that had a little bit of an influence potentially just, you know, the car tuner culture and that kind of stuff. And what was great about the game. Uh, and this is, so this is one again, just like your second pig.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Uh, this is a game that was great right away. Um, it’s not that it got better with time or anything like that, but it’s just, you know, when I think about it, when I look back on it, I’m like, man, I miss that. I miss that experience about it. So the way the game worked was you would pay extra the first time you played. Uh, and the, and the machine would spit out a card. Um, I don’t know. I should’ve gotten my, I have some still, I have them still around. I still have these cards, physical cards. Yes. Maybe I’ll tweet out a picture there they’re filtering. Cause they’re like, you know, 15 years old or something. And they been sitting in my wallet forever. So, uh, but I’ll tweet out a picture from the attraction account, uh, since I don’t have it to show right now.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

And plus people are probably listening anyway, so that doesn’t make sense, but, uh, um, you would get this card. So you pay a little, actually you pay like $2 the first time you play it. Uh, and you would get given this card. And every time you play the game, after that at the arcade, you would bring your card and you would pop the arcade into you, pop the card into the arcade machine and it would load up your saved data. And it would remember like what, how your car was tuned. It would remember your name and, you know, all your best runs. And I think possibly even ghost the data. So you could like, yeah, you could see your own, uh, ghost car and race against yourself and all that kind of stuff. Um, and it was just totally unique. I don’t know if it was unique for Japan, um, because it was a very, you know, Japanese.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I don’t know if that it actually got localized when I played it, um, at the good times, arcade in Boston, Massachusetts, that’s where I used to go. I used to take that that’s right. And I used to take a two hour bus ride to go play this game. Well, they had a good DDR machine and I was really into DDR at the time too. So I was going there for multiple reasons. I had friends out there too, so I wasn’t just going for an initial D, but that was a big part of it, to be honest, it really was a big part of it. Um, and I think it was just in Japanese and I, you know, you just had to like ask people that were there, like, Hey, where do I go to, to select things and stuff like that. Um,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I think it’s still like a holds up. Is it just because it was so much fun, we need more games that are more like in that style these days. Yes.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

So it was a racing game in that the end, the emphasis on game, more on racing, which is the weird part. Um, and a lot of times it was just a time trial run that you were doing, uh, when you were showing up like you could race, but because these run Japanese mountain roads, they’re very narrow and racing was kind of just staying close to the AI car in front of you. So a lot of times you were just kind of racing by yourself, but what was the interesting mechanic about this game? And it wasn’t realistic at all. So don’t, don’t think it had like realistic physics that behaved at all like the real world or anything like that. Um, but what it did do was your car got faster, the better you drove. So it was almost like the horsepower on your car went up as you did your run.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

So, um, and that’s why I say it was more of a game than, than a racer. So, um, you would go, so if you made a mistake in the first corner, you were D your run was screwed. Uh, similarly, like I, I can almost compare it to dance, dance revolution, because I was playing dance, dance revolution. At the time, dance, dance revolution, you start up a song and you start going, if you make a mistake at the start, that means you can no longer full combo, the song you hit, every single step you’ve now made that mistake. You can’t, you get, you’re just going to have to start over from the very beginning similar sort of thing with the initial D you needed a perfect run all the way through it. Wasn’t about like, oh, I made a mistake at turned one. So, you know, now I need to have a little bit more commitment in the next turns.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

It was, it was more of that. Exactly, exactly. And it was, it was that kind of game mechanic to it where you got faster and faster. So if you really nailed the opening set of corners, then you would actually be carrying more speed on that straight in the middle of the course than you would if you had to hit the barrier a couple of times, right? So it was a game that actually rewarded you really, really effectively actually for not making any sort of mistakes. So it was, it was not just about hitting your apexes and drifting, because again, it’s all about drifting. So you drifting the whole time, pretty much constantly, um, and much like Mario kart, you know, it’s faster to drift than to not to drift to that sort of stuff. Um, but it rewarded perfection. And I think that’s the kind of thing that is completely absent from racing games these days. And if it does exist, it would be in a game like art of rally, some sort of like top down arcade sort of thing, not in a game where you’re sat behind the wheel and turning it and all that kind of stuff. So I think it’s a little bit of a lost art.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Well, something must have, uh, clicked with this because there is a, this year, a new initial D game only in Japan and only in our case, which is weird, right. Because I thought the industry was over, but say initial date games with a wheel in arcades only are not localizing them. So, um, right. That must be something to it.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. Uh, um, I’m very into, so I looked, I looked that up, um, and at a quick, like kind of, uh, just YouTube video, just looking at it and stuff like that. And it looks very, very interesting. I’m super interested. Um, we do sometimes get Japanese arcade machines here in Houston where I live. It’s a very diverse city and stuff like that. Uh, we used to get Japanese DDR machines at some of the more upscale arcades and stuff like that. So, um, it’s certainly possible. We, we also have, I don’t know if you get these in the UK, we have places called Dave and busters where it’s like an adult arcade where you go and they serve beer and, you know, hot wings and all that kind of stuff under different

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Names, something similar to that as a started, but just saw it was coming, becoming a trend, but COVID happened, the everything shut down that were opened up again, I don’t know if those have survived, but they certainly well something like that name.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yep. Gotcha. So that’s where I would expect to find it, if so, um, for those listening at home that are, you know, saying, oh, that sounds interesting. I might want to give it a go. Um, your opportunity may be coming up potentially, but again, most likely if you’re in, you know, like a populated area, a major city or something like that, if you’re outside Japan. Yeah. You’re probably gonna need to be in a, in a major. Yeah, exactly. Go look online and see if, uh, see if any of your, um, local arcades, if you have any, uh, big local arcades, if they have that. But again, I highly recommend it. It takes a lot of getting used to, especially if you’re a SIM racer, which I wasn’t at the time. So that’s how I was able to just jump in and have a lot of fun with it. So it might be a little bit weird coming from somebody who’s used to iRacing or armed factor or, you know, something really hardcore like that. It’s a totally different experience. It’s sort of like a lost art form. I really, I really think that, and it’s it sort of hearkens back to the day when games were games rather than simulators. So that’s enough about initial day a game that most people can’t play, sorry to park

Tom Harrison-Lord:

About the different games in the way it gives attraction. So it’s all good. You did a great

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Job with the first three. We picked games that are still, you know, you can still go play, you can pick them up right now, very easily. And then for the last one, but we do want to pick some honorable mentions and anybody that’s a regular listener to the podcast.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

I wonder, I think y’all going to say GT spot and I’m going to say fulls all rise and fall. Yeah, that’s right. That’s

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Right. That’s right. It’s the other way around. And I mean, to be fair, we’re both right though. And in, in the case of those games, so I’m not going to pick a specific Forza horizon. I would say just Forza horizon in general has aged very nicely as, as a, as a, uh, a franchise, you know, um, since, since it’s first come around. Um, and also the updates have improved it a lot. I remember Forza horizon three, my introduction to the series. Ooh. It was a little, it was a little rough around the edges on the PC side is, is how I’ll put it. You know, there was some problems with wheels support and, um, just lots of glitches and, and weird stuff. But they’ve had however many years it’s been now, um, working on the PC side of, uh, of, for a horizon. Um, and it’s just gotten a lot better with all the updates. I don’t, I don’t know anything about the steam version. I’m not, no, no mention that one. Um, but certainly, you know, they, they’ve added things like the custom course creator where you can make your own courses and stuff like that. Um, the super seven stuff as well. Um, I think this has all been really good at, uh, additions.

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Yeah. Plus at least two cars still new to the game every month. Exactly. A big thing. Uh, yeah, so obviously GT’s bought, I mean, I’ve talked about it many times. It was a, a bit of a shell when it came out, but the online innovation was really cool. And then they built upon that with some more single player stuff. But I would also like to shout out to a race room, which has been very quiet for a long time as one that could age better later this year. Because if you go to the traction.gg website, there’s an article where they’ve announced a roadmap. I think they’ve had some fresh investment. And so they’re going to go back in change the false feedback, change, the particle effects, all this good stuff alongside new content. Um, breakfast is a good one as well. I mean, there’s loads. And for me, one game that was it’s similar to initially ish in that it’s an arcade game on by Sega. Uh, I still, now, if there’s an arcade that can go to the seaside to something in the UK, I would, I will play say good rally to, uh, not that improved over time, but it’s still a fun game now,

Tom Harrison-Lord:

Hydro thunder, I’m throwing that in as well. But yes, I did want to just briefly mention, uh, if we hadn’t just done an entire episode dedicated to breakfast, we probably both. So the only reason we haven’t talked about breakfast until the very end, we have a whole episode dedicated to breakfast and why you should all be playing it because it is the best racing game of our generation. Uh, everyone should go. And th this is coming from a guy that says Forza horizon four is incredible. So, um, okay. That is going to do it for today’s episode. Uh, and thank you everybody for tuning in, um, uh, make sure you like subscribe, follow all that good stuff you want to get notified. Of course, about the next episode. Also check out our website@attraction.gg for all of the latest racing game news reviews, hardware, e-sports the podcast and much more and give us a follow on social media at traction GG on most platforms. Thank you for listening. Thank you to Tom for joining me and keep it pink.

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