Dirt 2 - there was a game I was GOOD at... very rarely did I not come podium in online races. I felt a complete connection with the handling model - the cars were an extension of my desires.
Dirt 3 - I am rubbish. Can barely finish an online race - I seem to be magically pulled towards every available tree / lamp post / fence and limp across the line in some low-end position. I have attempted to fiddle with the assits (normally go for all off, but have tried alternative set-ups) but to no avail.
Now, I have either become incredibly crap at racing games in a short period of time, or Codemasters have fiddled with the handling model. I am working under the assumption it is the latter and not the former causing me issue. Trouble is, try as I might, I just cannot settle into a true rhythm with the game - I always feel disconnected from the cars - they don't do what I want. The flow of my races ends up being very stop-start and awkward which, in turn, leads to a great fustration.
So, question... anyone else feeling this or being affected by it?
Not trying to put people off getting this as I love the game.
However, as a proud owner of the original Xbox version, I noticed that the HD re-release appeared to be more 4:3 than 16:9 / 10 when I played it in 1920 x 1080 (1080p) settings on my widescreen monitor, despite the image filling the entire screen.
To elaborate, the original version of BG&E featured a forced widescreen / letterbox image which meant that, even if played on a non-widescreen TV, you were still provided with a widescreen view. This is something that those people who might play Xbox 360 games on a non-widescreen TV / monitor may be familiar with if they have adjusted their display settings from Widescreen to Normal - the 360 displays games in a forced widescreen / letterbox image.
However, despite this re-release running on a widescreen monitor at 1080p, the image seemed to lack the horizontal width of the original, and the vertical width also appeared slightly enlarged or stretched. Forever the geeky nerd, I whipped out my dusty Xbox and the original BG&E and did a compare and contrast only to find that I was correct in my assumption - the re-release offers a lesser horizontal viewing angle than the original!
Now, I can only assume that this is simply a case of the game not being true 1080p, and that in order to fill the screen the image is altered. However, I could not shake off the irk I felt. So I knocked my display settings down to 1280 x 1024 and knocked the Xbox 360 from Widescreen into Normal settings.
Upon re-booting the game, I now found myself presented with a letterbox view but the full widescreen experience I had with the original. Not only this, but the graphics look just as sharp and the subtitles are smaller and less intrusive whilst the text appears crisper.
So, the issue was fixed and I have ended up with the same viewing experience as provided by the original. However, it cannot but bug me that this HD re-release isn't properly configured to run widescreen on a widescreen monitor without me sacrificing screen real estate to get the effect.
First things first - I'm a huge fan of Quake 3... at least in memory. Played the feck out of the Dreamcast version of the game. Also played the PC version and can happily concede that it is superior - the weight, speed, inertia etc are all clearly built for mouse and keyboard controls. But then that is what happened 10 plus years ago, before Halo made FPS workable on consoles - developers would port their deathmatch masterpieces over with no re-engineering of the mechanics to suit the 'limitations' of the controller. And we (the players) knew no better. But things have changed since then and we console owners have a wide range of FPS games that are built from the ground up for console use.
I mention this as I have been very excited at the news of Quake Arcade Live and have download the demo. I hoped that the game had been configured for console use and am hugely disappointed that absolutely no concession has been made, other than a slight slowing down of the game's speed. This just makes the game feel like a lazy, cheap-ass port and not a legitimate attempt to re-invigorate Quake 3 for the online Xbox masses.
Also, there is (from what the demo shows) absolutely no stat-tracking or player profile page... yet again, Deathmatch shooters are ripe with various stats that are interesting to view and Quake Arcade's refusal to provide them further enforces the sense of this being a lazy port, especially when viewed alongside the PC version of Quake Live.
Sure, you could argue that this is 'just' an Arcade game and these demands are unfair, but we're also talking about a port of a 10 plus year old game for a charge of 1200 MSP...