about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Initial D 4 vs. Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3

Initial D 4 is finally out and I've just tried it.

First thing's first: the game is ridiculously expensive at PhP30 a pop. Okay, that's fair enough, but the thicker newfangled IC Card costs the equivalent of four games. Gulp.

Okay then. I buy a card, put in my usual car (a black Mazda RX-8 Type S) and go take it for a spin. There are a number of new courses now: Lake Akina is the new beginner loop track, while the previously looping Myogi has become a downhill/uphill mountain pass and thus much harder than before. At the very end of the difficulty ladder is Tsukuba. For my first few games I tried Myogi. It's much wider than the other mountain passes but it's also pretty challenging.

Unfortunately this is the biggest failing of Initial D 4: it feels almost artificially hard. While battling against Takeshi Nakazato and his R32 Skyline GT-R, I found it too easy to lose control of my drifts and I was colliding against invisible "walls" that logically should not exist. I kept losing against Nakazato no matter what I did.

I appreciate the fact that actual drifts are now part of the game, but it's nowhere near as intuitive as it should be. I doubt it's just the learning curve.

My gaming money goes to Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3, thanks. Cheaper, more intuitive and faster to boot---the only thing I don't like is the horde of game hogs that load up PhP1000 on their cards and play the whole afternoon away.

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