Driveclub™ (2014, PS4 exclusive) – 8/10 racing game review

AmazonBuy Driveclub™ at Amazon

Cast / crew
Game Director: Paul Rustchynsky

Driveclub™ (2014)

8/10

Serious launch errors and delayed features (replays, photo-mode and weather) have undermined Driveclub and shapeless mobile game presentation will continue to undermine it but the thrilling experience of driving on spectacular, fun, original tracks make this a racing game to relish. A racing game isn’t likely to differentiate itself through a real world car list (GT6‘s Vision Gran Turismo and Red Bull X programme excepted) but through the track list. Driveclub‘s beautiful tracks are expertly designed so that they can be bounced around but accuracy will always give you lap time and sweet satisfaction. Driving them in a different class of car is like driving a new track; you discover new yumps and curves just because you’re travelling in a much faster car. It is entirely wonderful and helped by a choice of superb exterior and interior driving views. Even without the Challenge system and consistently working leaderboards (most of my times do not upload even though I’m connected to Driveclub‘s servers and earning Club points), Driveclub‘s outstanding racing and driving experience is enough to recommend it.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

Links

PS3 vs PS4 vs Xbox 360 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: Alien: Isolation and Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PS4 logo 75x16  Alien: Isolation
  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

Seventh Generation

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 better Alien: Isolation

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom (2010, PS3) – 8/10 fantasy action game review

AmazonBuy Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom at Amazon

Cast / crew
Director: Yoshiki Okamoto

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom (2010)

At the urging of the forest animals, a thief makes his way into the castle in Q’umarkaj with the aim of finding out what’s causing the darkness that is devastating their habitat. Inside he finds a giant creature imprisoned and weakened and it’s clear that, whatever the darkness is, this Majin is the key to clearing it. However, the Majin, Teotl, cannot do it alone: he’ll need a friend.

8/10

Just let the title screen sit and play the attract sequence. That trailer and, especially, the main musical theme is entirely wonderful: uplifting, heroic and full of promise, inspiration and hope. It sets up the mood of the game perfectly which is warm and charming as you befriend a giant, somewhat clumsy, creature named Teotl with whom you will thoroughly enjoy this adventure. One of the main ways this is achieved is because each of you can only be healed by the other. A lovely moment that is replayed delightfully is when you pick fruit to boost and restore Teotl’s power, you can hear Teotl excitingly burble in salivating anticipation. Developer Game Republic and publisher Namco Bandai must have been tremendously disappointed with sales, not just because they were about half what was expected but because this is a good, fun, original, accessible and unusual game. Everyone did a good job and still too few bought it.

This game contains extreme fantasy violence

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.

Links

Old PC racing games now working on Windows 8.1 with Steam custom images: CannonBall, Juiced, Le Mans 24 Hours (2002), OutRun, Sega GT and Sega Rally

Steam icon 48x48Steam allows you to set custom images for all items in your library, including non-Steam games.

It was with some surprise that I revisited some old PC games on Windows 8.1 and found them working again for the first time since Windows XP.

Often you need fixed versions to remove copy protection that no longer works and if they are running from protected locations (like your system’s Program Files folder), they will need Run as Administrator set in the Compatibility properties page.

Here are some Steam custom images to integrate them into your Steam library.

CannonBall / OutRun

CannonBall / OutRun

Cannonball is a reassembly of the OutRun arcade machine and adds widescreen and 60 fps support to your MAME-compatible OutRun ROM.

Juiced Steam custom image

Juiced

Juiced transparent Media Center Steam custom image

Juiced (transparent)

Juiced is a game with ambition and ideas and lots to do but it never quite found a big audience. It runs in widescreen resolutions and has full controller support.

To get Juiced to run:

  1. If you want to use a noCD patched version, copy the fixed Juiced.exe over the original.
  2. For Juiced.exe, set Compatibility Mode to XP Service Pack 3.

To set up controls:

  1. Copy diactfrm.dll, diamp.dll and Fix DInput.bat into Juiced folder (if this doesn’t work copy it to %windir%\SysWOW64 and run from there).
  2. Open an Administrator command window (or Right-Shift Right-Click and Run as Administrator) and run Fix DInput.bat. This registers diactfrm.dll using the command: regsvr32.exe /s diactfrm.dll
  3. Run JuicedConfig.exe and set Juiced to 640×480 Windowed Mode.
  4. Run Juiced and select Controls from the Options menu. Now you can assign your controls using the old Direct Input controls editor.
  5. In Juiced’s options, adjust steering sensitivity to a preferred value as it will be a bit too sensitive for a gamepad.
  6. Then you can exit and set Juiced back to full screen using JuicedConfig.exe

Juiced saves:

  • Located in %appdata%\THQ
Le Mans 24 Hours (2002)

Le Mans 24 Hours (2002)

Le Mans 24 Hours aka Test Drive: Le Mans, the 2002 game from Melbourne House and Infogrames is one of the best racing games of all time.

It has full controller support and recognises all 4:3 ratio screen sizes registered to your display. (4:3 on a 1080P display is 1440×1080 pixels.) All controls are rebindable.

  • If you don’t want to see the intro movies you can rename or delete the Data/FMV folder.
  • You can force anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering using your graphic card’s control panel.
Sega GT Toyota Celica Steam custom image

Sega GT (Toyota Celica)

Sega GT transparent Steam custom image

Sega GT (transparent)

Sega GT Steam custom image

Sega GT

Sega GT was Sega’s attempt to produce a Gran Turismo class game. It spawned a really good Xbox-exclusive double sequel (Sega GT 2002 and Sega GT Online) but the original game was let down by baffling handling. The game surrounding it was quite good but the core gameplay was not. The chance to race around original, non-real world tracks is worth it though and the tracks in the sequels are superb.

The Dreamcast version was good-looking but the PC version was not. With your graphics card control panel you can force anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering but it will still only be 640×480.

To get Sega GT to run:

  1. Set Compatibility Mode for SegaGT.exe to Windows 95.
  2. If you don’t wish to see the intro movies which pop up in silly little ActiveMovie windows, simply delete or rename them. The game will then launch directly.
Sega Rally transparent Steam custom image

Sega Rally (transparent)

Sega Rally red Steam custom image

Sega Rally (red)

Sega Rally Steam custom image (1)

Sega Rally

Sega Rally is the PC version of the original arcade game. It is surprisingly good, arguably better than Sega Rally 2 thanks to more consistent and understandable handling.