I tend to regard myself as someone who isn’t a fan of racing games. This is for quite a few reasons. I’m not really very good at them, I’m not very proficient at noticing the differences other than ‘I like this one, I don’t like this one’ and they don’t tend to stick in my mind for long. I’m more of a single player, story based gamer which naturally rules out sports games and racing games. I say this, and will be quick to point out I don’t generally like racing games. But then I realise I play and enjoy quite a few racing games to have that attitude. I’ll throw out a few examples:

Need for Speed Underground 2. It’s ridiculously over the top and no doubt hugely appealing to chavs. However there’s something about it that captivated me when I first played it on the PC about 5-6 years ago. I played it to the end a few times and loved it. I picked it up again a few weeks ago on the Xbox for a couple of quid. Still love it.

Gran Turismo 1 and 2. Again, I sucked at it. I loved collecting up cars and upgrading them though.

Forza 2 and 3, PGR3 and 4, DiRT 1 and 2 (the latter of which I’ve owned on the 360, PC and PS3!)……they all have a few things in common.

First of all they’re arcade racers for the most part. They don’t compare with the likes of GTR on the PC for example, my only experience of a hardcore sim racer. I don’t have the patience to spend hours upon hours perfecting my racing line. Second of all, they’re all a bit like a car RPG. They’re all about starting at the bottom and working your way up. Gradually accumulating more wealth and buying better cars and better parts. They entice you into playing more by trickling a steady supply of new items/cars/upgrades to you the more you play.

I like being constantly rewarded. It’s like the achievements/trophies system. It’s nice for a game to, every now and then, say ‘well done’ and give you a metaphorical pat on the back.

So I guess I am a racing fan. Just a selective one. When they grab me though, eesh. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time with the racers I’ve named above. All excellent fun of course 🙂 Except maybe Forza 3 which never did grab me in the same way as its predecessor although I still spent a good 30 hours or so with it.

Blog a Day 123of365: An uncertain racing game fan