Dec 13

So what do i think overall?

Well i think it’s fantastic and opens the door to alot of possibilities, Like GTA revolutionized a open world game, i feel test drive does this again, though purely for driving games. I think it still has one of the largest enviroments of any game to date, It’s got a great online community and is just the funnest racing game to play online at the moment.
I hope like GTA many developer will copy the concept, and develop it further in other areas. This really is something fresh in a pretty polluted genre. That said being a wildly ambitious concept-it shows in some places, theres numerous glitches and small niggling problems here and there, but when the game runs well, few things feel as solid as it does

 

 

i guess the best way to rate this is out of 10 sooooo;
Graphics 8/10
The car models are beutiful, so is the reflections and some lighting effects, especially sunsets. But the brutal truth is they aren’t really next-gen, the game uses Pixel shader 2.00 for a lot of its effects and thats last gen. Overall though, some truly beutiful landscapes, scenery and country side
Sound 7/10
There are some gorgeous sounding cars here, but with cars like the Saleen S7, the Nobles and Skyline its a huge disapointment. Theres a few other cars, but i dont remeber them all. Ambient effects are nice. The tire squeel gives a good indication as to whereabouts you are on the grip side of things. Theres the odd good music track, but they dont add or take away anything. You can add your own MP3s which is a nice feature

 

Gameplay 7/10
I’m a heavy sim racer, cant really stand arcade racing games. but this strikes a really nice line between sim and arcade, until you get past the point of no return in a drift. can feel a bit to “rubbery spring” like at times. The hardcore mode is a great attempt at simulation, but it all seems a bit to lunar, the apparent lack of down force and low-gravity is no good when cruising at speed, forget racing in hardcore mode. overall though it is a very enjoyable and joyous expierience

 

Longevity 9/10
If you have a short attention span and arent all that into cars, this probably won’t last you long, if your a kind of casual gamer the novelty of cruising anywhere with anyone online will never really wear off. I find i keep on coming back to it just for a “Drive”-weird as it sounds, whenever im down or bored a cruise round a beutiful island with a bunch of mates, really brightens my day, the fact you can go anywhere is great

 

I’d say overall 8/10, its a landmark game and has some trully great features.

 

Please everyone, let me know your thoughts on this. do you think its good? what do you like best about it? see areas for improvement? how was my opinion? and views?

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2007/12/so-what-do-i-think-overall/

Dec 13

Test Drive Unlimited part 5 Hardcore mode

 

Now for one of the worst and best parts of the game, Hardcore mode, It’s basicallly supposed to be like a full on simulation-which it kind of is and isnt.

 

What they seem to of done is lower the effect gravity has on the car, seem to of made downforce, near non-existent-this is obvious because you can go faster in hardcore mode than you can in normal-assuming you don’t crash, then when you slip stream a car it’s like a sudden turbo boost or shot of nitrous, before you pass you will crash because they have also lowered the tire-grip.
Another thing is when you go over a jump at any considerable speed, the car sort of flys through the air. You have to see this.

That said it’s quite real and nice when low-speed driving, and if you love drifting, you will love how well you can drift in this, it’s fun to go to the racetrack and be drifting with everyone there. The racetrack is the only place you can reallyuse and enjoy hardcore mode.

thats the thing the downforce and gravity was just right in normal mode, but the tires seemed way to rubbery and springy, like when you pitch the car sideways at speed, you feel it load the two outer tires, then it throws you off on a tangeant basically.

If they kept the downforce and gravity to more earthlike levels it would of been very spot-on. It is overall quite accurate. They include a diagram call a G-meter on the right hand side of the screen, and it’s great the way it gives you a live readout of what your chasis is doing. it gives you side-g accelerating and braking-G suspension readings-not a series of numbers, actually springs so its understandable. It’s got a picture of tires, shows how much of the tire is contacting the road, vertical grip limits and horizontal grip limits. It’s very good, accurate and interesting to look at. given time it would teach a five-year old the characteristics of a car

Heres a picture explaining it-ok its not in an english language but it was the best image i can find to show you, it’s englishy-(dont think thats a word) enough. Putting some of these issues aside, i promise you it’s provided me and alot of other people with some of the funniest moments in gaming. and it’s great to be drifting down a mountain with a group of friends. There reallly is few things as fun as it.

I think this video demonstrates it well. you can get some beautiful slides going

 

 

This Game is currently £14.98 on amazon. deal of the year i say! check it out here

 

Test Drive Unlimited Review 1
Test Drive Unlimited Review Part 2
Test Drive Unlimited Part 3 Road Maps
Test Drive Unlimited Part 4 How Do The Cars Drive?…
Test Drive Unlimited Part 5 Hardcore Mode
Test Drive Unlimited Part 6 Overall Verdict
Test Drive Unlimited Car Pack Pc

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2007/12/test-drive-unlimited-part-5-hardcore-mode/

Dec 13

Test Drive Unlimited Part 4- How Do the Cars Drive?

For this I’m using a Logitech G25 with clutch and H-gate transmission being used. I remember watching some very early footage of the G25 in the Eden production offices, on several computers.

They REALLY did a great job optimizing this wheel for the game. It makes driving the cars such a wonderful experience when they are not out of control. you can feel the gradual weight shift to the front under braking, when your steering you can feel the tires scrubbing on the edge of tire adhesion, You can feel the rear corner wheel almost come off the ground or go very light(obviously depending on which way your turning).

For the most part the cars drive fantastically, It’s a bit of a mix between Simulation and Arcade-while its good, you could say this is it’s slight short coming. You can feel and drive the cars right to the edge of their grip limit-very confidently, that what I like about them, because each car has very unique handling it’s great to learn each car’s characteristics. Once the cars slip past the grip limit, that’s usually it, you spin and crash. You go to counteract it one way and just as your about to straighten the wheel out towards the end of the slide, it flicks back the other way, very much like a violent pendulum.

In very light weight cars such as the TVR and Lotus’. This Can be quite annoying. You feel the effect most in all the small cars. With some of the heavier cars such as the Aston Martin Vanquish, this can still be a problem. While less pronounced, once the car is sideways that violent grab of the grip can still throw you off into a dramatic spin.

 

 

 

You can really feather the throttle round a long corner nicely, again being able to feel the weight shift is brilliant. I love the way its so dependent on how you accelerate, i can’t really explain with out an example, but i’ll try anyway, Hopefully upload a video regarding it soon. ie. you turn the steering wheel 90 degrees accelerate very slightly, watch as it trys to straighten out a bit, release the accelerater it calms down, Flatout you’ll end up witnessing the steering wheel go to opposite lock quite quickly as the car begins to donut. It sounds complicated but its great to feel EVERYTHING the cars doing.

Also its great to be able feel all the minor gradients and changes in the road. It gives you a MASSIVE advantage. you don’t really notice this until you sit back and think about it. It really becomes Intuitive. This can be a massive advantage over say gamepad, or keyboard users, while they slow down to take a corner, you can bounce it off the bumps and ruts to carry a nice high-speed low-angle drift through the corner, they can’t do this beacause they dont feel or know that those bumps even exist, Assuming you keep it low-angle, otherwise you’ll spin and be like-crap. Overall the car control becomes very instinctive and intuitive. It’s like trying to explain how to drift to someone, you can tell them all the techniques methods and ways to intiate and control a drift, but until they really practice it. it’s pointless. ask a kid whos fanatical about drifting, “how would you drift around this corner?”, they’ll tell you what they think, maybe dirt-drop or something like that, then tell them go and do it, they’ll spin because they think to hard about it, in this respect it’s similar to Test Drive, you get really confident and you begin to “feel” your car, but unfortunatly because of the slightly wonky physics, when you pitch that car sideways round a corner to carry the speed- your gonna crash.

The Clutch is very well implemented, You can slip it very nicely, and change gear faster than you could if it was just a normal setup-gear up A Gear Down Z- well thats my keyboard setup for gear up gear down in some driveing games anyway, It acts like a real clutch. You need to hold it in if your in a gear at a stand still-if you let go the car will jolt and stall, if you don’t hold it in while you change gear, well you don’t change gear. It’s weird, alot of people will be like a clutch seems a waste of time, but the truth is, you can get faster changes, you can go from something like 5th-2nd while slipping the clutch so as to not over rev and thus brake for a sharp corner faster, later and quicker. Also it just adds a level of immersion to the gameplay. makes it seem all that more real
I will go into Hardcore mode in the next post, It’s a simulation mode, quite interesting…

 

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2007/12/test-drive-unlimited-part-4-how-do-the-cars-drive/

Dec 13

Test Drive Unlimited Part 3- Road maps

The real map of oahu- 

Test Drive Unlimited map of Oahu
As you can see they look stikingly similar!, it has to be seen to be believed. I think this is a testament to how truly Epic this Game is. Theres over a 1000 miles of road, Thats right! 1000!!!, I can believe it, i bought the game back in May or March when it was released. I’ve played it alot, and still not covered all the roads or done all the challenges.
If you notice the Mountain ranges are almost identical in everyway in the game map and reality. Also the meteor crate with the science or army base in the middle is there. When looked at from above. Pearl Harbor truly looks identical to the real pearl harbour.
Whats cool in the game is it’s almost like google earth except with a much higher level of interactivity and detail. It functions essentially the same and you can zoom out to a view of the world……maybe a sign of things to come?…. you zoom in on the map and spawn anywhere ( you have to of driven the roads first to spawn there). It’s essentially an exact rip-off of how Google Earth works, but because of this it makes the gameplay smooth, fluent, and next to know loading screens. The game really does have no loading screens. It’s such a streamlined, slick expierience. 

The accuracy of the topographical features in test drive unlimited is second to none. It’s far better and more detailed than it’s closest equivalent-Google earth. When you compare a real map of Oahu to that of test drive unlimited, you will see straight away. Then when you compare it to it’s real counterpart you will be very impressed at how close it is.

If you’ve ever watched Lost you will recognize a lot of the land features and areas of the mountain ranges. Lost was filmed on the north coast of Oahu. In Test Drive Unlimited you can see these mountain ranges all along the massive straight road going down the north side of the island. A lot of the beaches look very familiar and similar to Lost as well. The biggest difference being the long straight road in Test Drive is a dust gravel road in real life.

All the buildings in Oahu city are apparently spot on to how they are in real life. Every building in Honolulu City centre is in Test Drive Unlimited. The biggest difference being a lot of them in TDU are lacking proper advertisements and company logos, which is understandable and not really an issue. Imagine trying to get the rights and permissions of every business and company based in Honolulu city. It would take ages, maybe years and it’s just not worth the effort.

While close up and cruising round Oahu, you never really get a chance to appreciate the accuracy. There’s photos around the internet comparing TDU scenery to real Oahu, It really is identical. The biggest difference being, you can tell it’s a game, but one with beautiful rendered graphics at that.

The most accurate piece of rendering though defiantly goes to Honolulu international airport. You can see the runways, terminals and aircraft hangars all there just as they should be. Just outside the airport Is the race track, and from videos I’ve seen, that’s probably one of the most true to life renditions of any racetrack. And going by everything else, maybe the most accurate race track ever in a racing game?… I’d defiantly say it’s a strong contender.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2007/12/test-drive-unlimited-part-3-road-maps/

Dec 12

Test drive unlimited review, Test Drive Unlimited Part 2

here you go!:- car list here

As far as i know, from what i’ve played and seen this is the set of cars when you intially buy the game, Get it for a Great price here

 

Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 24V
Alfa Romeo GT V6 24V Sporting Technical Kit
Ascari
Ascari KZ-1
Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
Aston Martin DB7 Zagato
Aston Martin DB9 Coupe
Aston Martin DB9 Volante
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Aston Martin Vanquish S
Audi
Audi A3 3.2 Quattro DSG
Audi A6 4.2 Quattro
Audi S4 Cabriolet
Audi TT Quattro Sport
Caterham
Caterham CSR260
Chrysler
Chrysler 300C® SRT8
Chrysler Firpower Concept Car
Chrysler ME-FOUR Twelve
Dodge
Dodge Viper SRT-10
Farboud
Farboud Supercharged GTS Prototype
Ferrari
Ferrari 288 GTO
Ferrari 575M Maranello
Ferrari Enzo
Ferrari F430
Ferrari F430 Spider
Ford
Ford GT
Ford GT40
Ford Mustang GT-R Concept
Ford Mustang GT
Ford Mustang GT Convertible
Ford Shelby Cobra Concept
Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept
Cadillac®
Cadillac® XLR-V
Chevrolet
Chevrolet® Camaro® Z-28™
Chevrolet® Corvette® Stingray™
Chevrolet® Corvette® C6™ Coupe ’05
Chevrolet® Corvette® C6 Z06™ ’06
Chevrolet® SSR™ ’05
Pontiac
Pontiac® Firebird™ ’70
Pontiac® GTO® ’04
Saturn™ Sky™ ’07
Jaguar
Jaguar E-Type ’64
Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar XK Coupe ’06
Jaguar XK Convertible ’06
Koenigsegg
Koenigsegg CC8S
Lamborghini
Lamborghini Gallardo Coupe ’04
Lamborghini Gallardo SE ’05
Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder ’06
Lamborghini Miura P400 SV ’71
Lamborghini Murcielago 6.2
Lotus
Lotus Elise R ’05
Lotus Esprit V8 ’02
Lotus Sport Exige 240R ’05
Maserati
Maserati 3500 GT ’60
Maserati GranSport
Maserati MC12
Maserati Spyder 90th Anniversary
Maserati Spyder Cambiocorsa ’04
McLaren
McLaren F1 ’97
McLaren F1 LM ’95
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz 300SL ’57
Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG ’05
Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG
Mercedes-Benz CLS55 AMG
Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Nissan
Nissan 350Z Coupe
Nissan 350 Nismo S-Tune
Noble
Noble M12 GTO-3R
Noble M14Noble M400
Pagani
Pagani Zonda C12S
Saleen
Saleen S281 3 Valve Coupe
Saleen S281 3 Valve Convertible
Saleen S281 Extreme Coupe
Saleen S281 Supercharged Coupe
Saleen S281 Supercharged Convertible
Saleen S281 Supercharged Speedster
Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
Shelby
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
Shelby GT500 ’67
Spyker
Spyker C8 Laviolette
Spyker C8 Spyder
TVR
TVR Sagaris
TVR Tuscan S
Volkswagen
Volkswagen Golf V R32
Volkswagen W12 Coupe
Volkswagen W12 Roadster
Wiesmann
Wiesmann Roadster MF3
I’ve driven most of these cars in the game, and i have to say, they all handle very uniquely and have there qwerks and perks, I’ll cover that in the next part
Get it for a Great price here


Test Drive Unlimited Review 1
Test Drive Unlimited Review Part 2
Test Drive Unlimited Part 3 Road Maps
Test Drive Unlimited Part 4 How Do The Cars Drive?…
Test Drive Unlimited Part 5 Hardcore Mode
Test Drive Unlimited Part 6 Overall Verdict
Test Drive Unlimited Car Pack Pc

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2007/12/test-drive-unlimited-part-2/

Dec 12

Test Drive Unlimited

is the most amazing racing game, i think ever to exist. while it may not be the best ever its stunning none the less. It has revolutionized racing games.

Believe me theres nothing cooler than cruising round with a bunch of your friends online. The best part is you can cruise around the whole island of oahu!. It’s apparently been very accuratly recreated, i can beleive it. there seems to be the WHOLE of pearl Harbor in there and a the massive city of Honolulu. it really is a pleasure to drive around. There lush beautiful countryside and some stunning mountain roads to drive round. One of my personal favourites is Kelecole pass. i’ll upload a picture of the road when im next playing.

Although its a “next-gen” game, the graphics don’t necessarily give the impression it’s next-gen, but theres moments when you just cant help but say ‘wow’ it’s git some of the most beautiful scenery, when your at the top of a mountain road looking down into a valley, you can’t help but be slightly awe-struck, it’s wonderful. The most memorable moment i’ve had was when i was doing, i think the millionaires challenge in a V12 Lamborghini murcielago, the sun was setting and there was a very mellow beutiful glow coming off the rear quarterpanels of my Lambo, the road was reflecting a golden glimmer and the sound of the V12 as it was hitting the redline on a very long straight down the north side of the island by a miltiary base. It was a beautiful expierience. The car models are very accuratly created, in the garage you can zoom right into just about every aspect of the car, this will blow you away as you feel you can almost touch them at some points, what amazed me is the fine curvature of the e-type bonnet and body, you could zoom right in and really admire it. They are very lovingly made and absolutly beautiful. Theres plans to release alot more cars, at the moment that doesnt seem to be happening on the pc version, but xbox 360 people got Lexus’s, Edonis a wide range of Ferarrris including the F40 and 250 GTO. heres actually a list of the Xbox 360:cars-

Test Drive Unlimited Launch Pack-
Nissan Skyline R34 GTR
Audi RS4 Quattro Saloon
Test Drive Unlimited Car Pack 1-
Corvette C1 1957
RUF RGT
Koenigsegg CCR
Noble M400
Corvette C6 Convertible
Ferrari 250 GTO 1962
Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition
Test Drive Unlimited Car Pack 2
Lexus IS350
Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
McLaren F1 GT
Dodge Viper SRT-10 Coupe
RUF RT 12
Alfa Brera
1971 Dodge Challenger RT
Edonis
Test Drive Unlimited Car Pack 3
Cadillac CTS-V
Ferrari F40
Chrystler Crossfire SRT6 Roadster
RUF Rturbo
Audi S6
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 1971
Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR
Test Drive Unlimted Car Pack 4
Lexus GS 450h
Lesus GS 460L
Ferrari Challenge Stradale
Cadillac Cien
RUF RK Spyder
Ferrari Dino 246 GT
Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster
TVR T440R
Saturn Curve
Test Drive Unlimted Car Pack 5
Ferrari 512 TR
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R
Spyker C8 Spyder T
Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole
Dodge Charger Super Bee
Chrystler Crossfire SRT 6 Coupe
Holden Efijy Concept
As you can see theres alot of great awesome cars in this game, i’ll post up the intial list next time

 

 

As far as sound goes, overall it’s awesome and very realistic, you get the roar of the V8 going all the way up to 8000rpm in the Ferarri F430, The Lamborghini Murcielago sounds EXACTLY like the real thing, i’ll post up some videos shortly demoing it. you get that deep seductive V12 grumble, low-down it sounds nice, then you hit about 3500rpm then suddenly it barks into life. The Mclaren F1 sounds reminiscent of the real thing. you can here the twin-turbos spool up in the XJ220, if you love the sound of forced-induction cars, YOU WILL LOVE the XJ220, i kno i certainly do. the VQ30/35DE in the 350z also sounds spot on. The DB4 Zagato, sounds extremely nice low-down, you get that nice smooth V8 grumble, likewise in the Camaro and Pontiac, you get tht nice tickover sound. The Ford GT (GT40) is also worth a mention, it’s stunning, as you lift off you get a really nice exhaust crackle, sounds like the engines on overrun, you just don’t get the visual flame, it’ll crackle as youll lift off then suddenly one last crack as it then carries on normally, i love the way it’s dependant on how you rev the car, soem cars sound terrible tho. The saleen S7 is quiet, sounds nothing like the real thing, even a Saturn is louder than it, same with the Skyline, you dont get that smooth straight-six purr. that said, the Nismo 350z actually sounds like the skyline minus the turbo.
Tomorrow i will go into how the cars drive, Musical score and overall verdict and see about a car list :)

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2007/12/test-drive-unlimited/

Dec 12

Cars and cool stuff

i am passionate about cars, especially japanese performance cars, i love games and all internet related stuff, i’m going to  be writing about everything from cars, to racing sims, my websites and everything and anything in between,

Permanent link to this article: http://carsandcoolstuff.com/2007/12/cars-and-cool-stuff/

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