Life has been incredibly busy lately. Work and my private life have been hectic, to say the least, with so many things demanding my attention.
Visits to OCN have been restricted to quick pops and peeks. I've had precious little time to get stuck in and contribute the way I'd want to. At least I know that, when things get settled again (which will happen eventually), I'll be able to enjoy OCN the way I'm accustomed to.
In my few cherished moments of freedom from responsibility (late at night, before I go to sleep before the next work day), I've indulged in a little bit of gaming. Three games have captivated my interest: Far Cry, GTR Evolution, and Project Torque.
It's a little unusual for me to have a selection of games to choose to play at any given time. Of the three, Far Cry has demanded the most attention. I can honestly say that no game since Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has made me want to escape from reality the way Far Cry has. It's an older game, sure, but if the story is good and if the gameplay is likewise superb, who's to say it's inferior to newer games? I have to confess that I pulled a near all-nighter last night just to get to the end of this game, and I have to say that it was a superb romp.
GTR Evolution and Project Torque are interesting to me as well since they represent different challenges. Perhaps it's absurd to say, but I find Project Torque to be more difficult. For one thing, I'd just begun playing it, so I have just a starter car. I'm also having to race real human beings as well, which is interesting because they do so many unpredictable things whilst in a race. I'm also very very poor at "drifting" (an annoying misappropriation of a term describing a controlled four-wheel slide; modern misused parlance describes an intentional power oversteer technique done more for style than actual performance benefit); I'm more accustomed to playing Formula One simulations, so my senses are more attuned to these cars' handling requirements (I tune the handling to favor a slight understeer most of the time). Project Torque is a fun arcade racer, I'd say, with some sim-like elements thrown in.
GTR Evolution is closer to the type of racing game I typically enjoy, and I've owned it for a while. Only recently have I tried to delve into it more deeply. I'm in a championship series (single-player) for the first time, driving an Audi R8 GT Concept racer. It's a twitchy car with not a lot of horsepower compared to some of the brutes I'm competing against (Corvette C6R, Saleen S7R, etc.), but with handling that's more responsive. It's funny; I lose out on a drag race down a straight, but if I get ahead of any of the competitors, I can usually just keep the lead down to the end of a straight by virtue of having superior performance going into and out of the corners. After three races, I've got twenty four championship points (one fourth place and two consecutive wins); I've also got a big weight penalty now (since the championship "penalizes" winning cars with increased weight added onto the car with each finish in the points, to help level the playing field).
The next race is at Monza, a super-fast circuit near Milan in Italy. I have my doubts about winning on this track; I don't have the horsepower to compete with the other cars with their superior engines, plus I have an appreciably heavier car (+60Kg added due to my points), which will punish the brakes.
We'll see how things go.
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