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The Playstation 4 hasn't had a single good new Arcade Racer in 5 years - why? **Criterion founder Alex Ward responds on page 2!**


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@Mike1812 I'm not the best person to ask about that.

 

@MW_Jimmy at one time we were down to do  the the conversion of Outrun 2. We had the prototype of the coin-op (incomplete) in the office for a long long time. I was one of the first people in the UK to play it when the machine arrived at the docks. I wrote the text about it for the following issue of EDGE IIRC. We didn't though and did Burnout 3 instead. But kept the prototype machine.

 

@TehStu Thank you - and help us spread the word. It's everything to us.

 

@Down by Law If massive drifts are your thing you will love the drift-heavy courses we've made for this game. Look out for "Dead Rock Canyon" in the game.

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57 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

We were "doing research". We also played a lot of Gran Turismo and Tony Hawk's, for some reason. 

 

It was Starsky and Hutch - an arcade driving and shooting game that we wanted to pack loads of stunt driving in. 

Fantastic Tim Follin music in that.

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Well, I'm really glad that there are so many of you who like arcade racing - the scene, the vibe, the style of play. Thanks for coming out of the woodwork to let me you're at least out there.

 

Again, if any of you can come to Petersfield. Hampshire tomorrow  you can play our software and put a bit of YOUR play style and racing line into the DNA of the game. We'll be 'recording' everyone's driving so if you turn a few laps and do some nice drifts, our AI will be learning from your play. There will be a bit of you in the game. In between trying to follow this thread, we're doing a few laps on the Mountain and Desert stages.

 

@Benny Thank you for those kind words!

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For me Burnout 3 is pure arcade driving greatness. Nothing matches the sense of speed and danger to this day. I played it to death on PS2 for years until, for some reason, the save file corrupted. So I just started all over again. Equally Revenge may have had its critics but things like the Traffic Checking events were a welcome variation to the racing.

 

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Dangerous Driving. Right up my street.

 

Generally I'd like to see someone take a brave step away from the semi-sim 'arcade' racing and go fully arcade, complete with fantasy cars and tracks. If things like turn-based strategy can make a commercial comeback then pure arcade racing certainly can.

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@vimster we're a self funded Studio. Sales of our games fund our developments. None of our games have been big so far, in sales or scope. But that's because each one is a stepping stone to the next. If you're looking for someone to take a brave step - trust me, we've done it! We've got fantasy cars and fantasy tracks. I'm really proud of how well the tracks drive. I've driven all of them in every vehicle 100's of times in the past few days.

 

The genre can only 'come back' if its fans support it. I'll never claim our games are the be all and end all - we're a tiny team working with a tiny budget on a tight timescale.

But I can guarantee that they are made with passion, love and a determination to entertain our audience, and listen to them.

 

@Mike1812 yes DANGER ZONE and DANGER ZONE 2 were our last two games. The start of the work to do vehicle handling, and using real physics for car crashes.

If you boot up DZ1 around this time of year, it will be Xmas themed complete with tree, presents and muzak playing.

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Awesome stories Alex, loved Burnout 1, 2 and Paradise. When I worked on action driving games, Burnout titles were always on the list of inspirations for combat, presentation and sense of speed!

 

Dangerous Driving looks fun, but I'm curious whether you had much problem getting the publishers to say yes to it? Is it based off your heritage and the fact Dangerous Golf did ok? I am guessing the fact you are a tiny team with presumably low costs helps a lot in getting funded.

 

I'm really curious to see how it does. Arcade racers have severely struggled lately but there's a lot of nostalgia for Burnout out there, and maybe the winning crash formula will be enough to rope in some new players. Will there be multiplayer by the way? Or maybe even split screen?

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I'll be there day one, fucking love me some arcade racing.  I'm currently playing Asphalt 9 on my phone and it's pretty damn fun, even if I'm not usually a big mobile game player, it's a good way to get a quick arcade racing blast for 10mins or so at a time.  Last driving game I really loved was Driver San Francisco though of course that's not 'arcade' in the sense of Burnout, Sega Rally etc.

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Ridge V is my all time favourite game. Sadly there only seems to be about 3 people that like it! 

 

I'd like to see a return to games like it. A limited number of tracks at different times of day, reverse options, manual gears bonus and a smart but taught car list. 

And 60fps!

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The problem with stuff like Onrush is that in trying to appeal to the mainstream market they add gimmicks (like stressing that there's no finish line) and alienate the people who want an arcade RACER.

 

The realities of the modern market probably do mean we won't be seeing many traditional arcade racers from the big 100+ person studios, but I feel like smaller studios of passionate arcade racing fans could be well suited to delivering the type of games that many of us who really miss arcade racers and feel alienated from a lot of bloated/open world/overly serious modern racers want.

 

I remember the first time I finished Burnout 2's grand prix/career mode watching the photoreel and credits and being impressed by how few people seemed to be involved in making it.

 

Look at stuff like the first couple of Ridge Racer games or Sega Rally/Daytona USA etc. They have a tiny number of tracks and cars etc but here we are in 2018 and people still play them regularly, because they have something that most modern racers lack, fun , immediately satisfying arcade gameplay. Trying to beat times etc on a smaller number of well crafted tracks is what I want. Don't want 50 tracks, real cars, endless tuning options or other stat fiddling(or any for that matter) etc. Just satisfying mechanics and a few tracks to master. Catchy music and bright colours help too :)

 

There seems to be a lack of indie racing games for whatever reason (and then vapourware like 90s Arcade Racer) but hopefully we'll start to see more smaller companies make fun arcade racers.  I feel like they've been absent from the market long enough at this stage that people have started to miss them.

 

I'm looking forward to Dangerous Driving and wish the team the best of luck.

 

Others on my radar are Xenon Racer (although all there is so far is a teaser that doesnt show much gameplay) and Racing Apex.

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2 minutes ago, CrashedAlex said:

@nakamura I think you seem to have mis-spelled "Rage Racer" there right?

Sorry pal!

 

Funnily enough I spent last night playing PS1 racers. I received a unit that plays PAL games as my PS2 is only 60hz. An absolute PS1 and PC gem is Motorhead from our friends at Dice! It's still an absolute thrill to play, albeit very difficult. 

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@CrashedAlex just to make sure you aren’t going full Molyneux or ‘No Man’s Sky’ and just telling us what we want to hear, can you confirm the following deal breakers will be absent from the game

 

Innovative non track based open world racing

 

RPG stylings for no real reason

 

Loot boxes

 

Car handling setups

 

Crafting

 

Tracks adapting on the fly

 

A clutch button

 

Team based online only point based non-racing

 

Edgy Fast & The Furious style story modes and car modding

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I remember back in 2002 or so, a friend was staying at mine and the very first Fast and Furious was on TV.  We watched it for about 20 minutes, said "this is fucking crap" and played two-player Burnout on the Gamecube for 3 hours instead. 

 

Burnout had a totally hypnotic experience because it was so punishing. One slight crash and you'd struggle to make the time up if the other player was perfect. You'd memorise every point in the track where you could use the boost. Ah, good times. I still play it on the Gamecube to this day.

 

Anyway, yeah, arcade racing is another gaming genre that's bitten the dust. I remember going to Blackpool in the late 80s and 90s and would be amazed by the latest racers in the arcade. Especially when they had the silly sit down ones that moved, because the only way to truly experience them was in the arcade.

 

WEC Le Mans

 

 

The sit down arcade machine (which would spin you round when you crashed) 

 

hqdefault.jpg.c9948396c5dd0e615282345a44edfe8f.jpg

 

 

Continental Circus 

 

Powerdrift

 

 

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@Gotters I think you work in a senior position at any of the leading game publishers. I therefore unmask you! Again do I win £5?

 

Sounds like brilliant minds think alike my friend.

 

Crafting? Now why didn't I think of that!

 

Thing is, if I put that together I'd probably raise a million quid though!

 

Whatever happened the the 'story mode' in Blur? Remember that in EDGE?

 

You would always know when you weren't doing a press tour in Europe and in America you'd be asked 'why are you driving in this game?' and 'what is your motivation?'

 

I used to answer 'because it's a driving game' which did me no favours whatsoever.

 

Our press release was going to say 'have you ever wanted to become part of the tuner underground? or drive an as yet unreleased car and win at Le Mans? No, because we haven't either.'

 

The EA of yesteryear was very successful by focusing the development teams around 'a marketing X' - and an example was 'step into the shoes of a WW2 soldier' or 'be Harry Potter in Harry Potter's world' - for B3 that was 'aggressive racing required' or - just because you've never heard of it before and someone else put it out, spend some money on it because it's going to win every award there is going.

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@gone fishin' You Sir are a man after my own heart.

 

WEC Le Mans in the full rotating cabinet! Mr B's in Blackpool had it just inside on the left hand side.

 

Once got off the Bus home three stops early to piss away my change on WEC LeMan. Came outside into the real world, and walked home in heavy rain.

 

Continental Circus (in 3D folks!) - in my first Saturday job selling suits in a shopping centre in Hanley Stoke on Trent, me and the Manager Paul Nicholls worked out we could go without food and sprint 15 minutes across town to Shipley's Amusement Arcade and get close to 30mins of play in on that game, and sit-down Road Blasters.

 

Power Drift - I *still* daydream about that game.

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2 minutes ago, CrashedAlex said:

Continental Circus (in 3D folks!) - in my first Saturday job selling suits in a shopping centre in Hanley Stoke on Trent, me and the Manager Paul Nicholls worked out we could go without food and sprint 15 minutes across town to Shipley's Amusement Arcade and get close to 30mins of play in on that game, and sit-down Road Blasters.

 

Ah, Shipleys up Hanley duck. Great venue, remember it well.

 

Will certainly be picking up the new game next year. Good luck with it

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5 minutes ago, CrashedAlex said:

@nakamura I have to say I'm loyal to the original Saturn release - with the JPN joypad. Probably on my own there.

 

Right there with you bro. Very fond memories of Sega Rally on the Saturn with the original pad. The wheel wasn’t great as I recall. I must have played it for hundreds of hours in time attack, just trying to shave a hundredth of a second off my Desert time alone. Fantastic soundtrack to boot. 

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