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July 6, 2005

Ten years later
   [ posted by: R.I.P ]
Every now and then I drag out some old title or another and kill some time on it. Sometimes, like in the case of Stunt Race FX, I play the game for a while and sit there thinking "My god, what the hell was I thinking when I put this in? The graphics in this game are so bad, it's barely watchable." But then again, I have to remember that in the context of 1994, polygon based 3-D games were so rare that playing a true 3-D racing game was amazing at the time. There was seriously high-novelty value in the graphics. Kind of like the first time you played Combat on the Atari 2600 after spending a few years of playing nothing but one-player Pong.
So some games just don't stand up to the passage of time, it's a fact. Then again, there are games that I throw in and I'm glued there for the whole re-solve. Like Road Rash on the 3DO. For the record here, I've played just about every version released even that cringingly bad N64 release with side cars... (oh I'm cringing more just thinking about it... ). While the 3DO version of Road Rash is getting a little rough on the eyes these days when you first fire it up, play control is still awesome. And when you hit the zone... all you're doing is going from twitch to twitch as you thread the needle between traffic along the center line just after you kicked Axel into the back of that mini-van so he's non longer a second place threat during the last 1/3rd of the race...
Oh, and just don't wipeout on that idiot in the business suite carrying his briefcase across the road in the middle-of-nowhere Napa Valley. Hey, why was there a guy carrying a brief case across the road in the middle of nowhere? (My wife say's "he's wine tasting". Thanks, smart ass.)
Anyways, the game is still as good as it was ten years ago... but you know what really scared me about playing this again? About two hours into playing I caught myself thinking "Gee, these CD loads aren't as bad as I remember them. They're pretty speedy..." AHHH... Yes, I said it, and caught myself gagging and spitting up soda on that thought. It was right then that I realized just how we've all become so desensitized to CD loads on modern consoles. Road Rash on the 3DO used to represent some of the longest CD loads around. Although, I think the record is still held by Willy Beamish on the SegaCD. You know, that game with the balls tracers you played with which had these intermissions where you moved this little kid around on an adventure.
It was next that I remembered getting angry because you had to wait for those cinemas to load before you could skip them and get on with the menu loading. Oh man, the horror of the CD loads. But now... It's not that bad anymore. Wow!
And you know what? The music still kicks ass.
I'm glad I got that off of my chest.

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