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Hotshot Racing - Sumo Digital


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Yeah I’m enjoying this, similar to what most people have said, the handling/drifting is good, time trials are fun, the AI/rubber banding is a bit off. Generally I think AI in racing games is pretty much always rubbish though, here it’s just slightly more rubbish than normal. I prefer time trials anyway so no AI problems there.

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I had an hour or so of fun/annoyance with this.  Will dip in for some more when I have a chance. Definitely glad to play it and pleased it's on Gamepass.  The mixed feedback might have had me gloss over it otherwise.

 

I'm not sure about the untextured graphics. Sometimes it works for me and other times it doesn't. Maybe it's because it had a much higher poly count than Model 1 / System 21 games? Must have been a tricky act to balance.

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One thing that really stuck out on the videos to me was the collision stuff, AI racers bumping and shoving just seems really annoying on a game like this, didn’t really happen in outrun 2 and was all the better for it. If the AI is a real hindrance don’t think ill bother

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This is the thing, the AI being this aggressive isn't a QA thing, it's an active design decision. Probably thinking being neck a neck up to the line make the racing more engaging and thrilling yeah, I get that, but making it so you're being rammed, shunted and bashed all the fucking time is tedious and actually detracts from the racing. There's a middle ground somewhere.

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maybe its the consumers but there is a general trend for developers or the publishers to overthink racing games and fiddle with them, to the ludicrous point with Onrush not even having proper races or a finish line.

 

this is a £15 supposed homage to the old time arcade classics, they've nailed the hard part in the handling and look, why then decide you know better and fiddle with the rubber banding and enemy AI - don't overthink it, just trust your instincts in what you set out to make in the first place.

 

it's why I love Wreckfest, all the power and tech wizardry went into the game engine and physics, the actual structure and racing is kept pure and old school

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Maybe, but the decisions should enable the enjoyment of the game not hinder it. Making it 'accurate' to the old models of how AI worked makes the game not fun, so at that point surely there has to be a concession? Like, if they were making a true 90s racer homage they wouldn't have put the different racers, their dialogue, the cosmetics or anything else like that into it. It'd have been like Virtua Racing where you pick a track, pick a transmission and go.

Just to clarify, you can stick an 'IMO' anywhere in any of my posts. And I do think there's an awful lot to enjoy about this game, and I love that it exists. I just think the AI very much works against the game itself.

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I think that the AI racing you neck and neck , door to door  is great but needs to feel fair which this doesn’t , and I think if it just didn’t break your drift it would be better, as that kills the momentum of your car and the race 

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2 minutes ago, Junker said:

I think that the AI racing you neck and neck , door to door  is great but needs to feel fair which this doesn’t , and I think if it just didn’t break your drift it would be better, as that kills the momentum of your car and the race 

Agreed, though the ramming aspect does feel like you have a massive fucking magnet on your car as they behave like Blue Shells. Maybe it's to do with the drafting,? They're not pulling out of the slipstream in time so are just driving straight into youm

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35 minutes ago, wev said:

Agreed, though the ramming aspect does feel like you have a massive fucking magnet on your car as they behave like Blue Shells. Maybe it's to do with the drafting,? They're not pulling out of the slipstream in time so are just driving straight into youm


I think that’s it in a nutshell. And you can do it yourself - the game doesn’t penalise (in terms of track position or speed loss) ramming into opponents from behind. Indeed, it encourages it, since it’s the opponent who spins out. That’s why I think the devs were aiming for Destruction Derby rather than Daytona USA from the get-go. 
 

Which is lamentable in my opinion. 

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Had a quick shot of this this morning.

Seems pretty enjoyable so far. I haven’t seen enough of the AI to know how annoying it is (was mainly TTing)

 

My two beefs.
 

Why is there no controller scheme options. The current lay out isn’t great IMO, they have accelerate/brake on the triggers and gear up/down on the bumpers. This doesn’t feel good at all. I want to be able to brake AND down gear not brake OR down gear. Seems minor but it’s minging to play like this. Pretty much every other driving game I’ve played (which granted isn’t many) puts the gears on the face controls, it works way better.
 

The other is the apparent need for 4 players to be in a lobby before you can start an online game. Sometimes it’s just you and a mate who wants to play and it’s not right that you can’t start MP without needing to get 2 other people in first.

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14 minutes ago, Goemon said:

Why is there no controller scheme options. The current lay out isn’t great IMO, they have accelerate/brake on the triggers and gear up/down on the bumpers. This doesn’t feel good at all. I want to be able to brake AND down gear not brake OR down gear. Seems minor but it’s minging to play like this. Pretty much every other driving game (which granted isn’t many) puts the gears on the face controls, it works way better.
 

 

My right hand was ossifying in to a twisted claw shape from using my middle finger on the accelerator and my right index finger to shift up. I know testing has taken a hit thanks to Covid but this genuinely feels like nobody who worked on it actually tried playing with manual gears.

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3 hours ago, Gotters said:

maybe its the consumers but there is a general trend for developers or the publishers to overthink racing games and fiddle with them, to the ludicrous point with Onrush not even having proper races or a finish line.


I think you can blame the public for not buying racing games in anything like the numbers they were doing, so devs and publishers have been thinking outside the box to find new ways to appeal. Not always successfully.

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8 minutes ago, Lovelyman said:

Why are all the characters a little bit on the racist side? Was that intentional?

Stereotypical surely but not racist. Or is that the same thing now?

 

Regarding the AI - if you watch the replays I have noticed the AI seems to be stuck to your car and it seems to skip frames to either catch up or slow down to match your speed.  Or maybe just my PC but if that is what the AI is doing it doesn't look great. 

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I'm really struggling to get on with this. I find the steering too twitchy and I'm struggling to make any progress whatsoever. I'm playing it on PC and while it runs at 60fps it seems to constantly judder. I can't work out if it's designed to simulate speed or if it's an optimisation issue but it's really off-putting. The character voices are immensely annoying as well but you can at least turn them off. Going to play it some more over the weekend as I've been really looking forward to it, but it's simply not vibing with me at the mo :(

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39 minutes ago, Parappa said:

Stereotypical surely but not racist. Or is that the same thing now?

 

Regarding the AI - if you watch the replays I have noticed the AI seems to be stuck to your car and it seems to skip frames to either catch up or slow down to match your speed.  Or maybe just my PC but if that is what the AI is doing it doesn't look great. 

Of course it's the same thing. 

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I’m finding the best tactic with this is to aim to stay with or just ahead of the pack for the first couple of laps, using slipstreams to catch-up, drifting as much as possible and boosting mainly to get out of trouble if it gets a bit rough. Then on the final lap start to use boosts to get ahead of the pack making sure you have one left for the final straight.
 

Thoroughly enjoying it and quite happy with the battle style nature of it, so far I think I’ve only been spun out a couple of times so it feels relatively fair. Just about to move onto Expert though so may well change my tune. The sound and voices feel like an arcade soundscape so all good.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Parappa said:

Lets leave it at that then.

 

Enjoying this though - but the AI is taking the shine off somewhat.

Yes let's not discuss (almost certainly unintentional, but that shouldn't matter) any racial stereotyping when it's one of the most important things to call out when it happens. 

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1 hour ago, scoobysi said:

I’m finding the best tactic with this is to aim to stay with or just ahead of the pack for the first couple of laps, using slipstreams to catch-up, drifting as much as possible and boosting mainly to get out of trouble if it gets a bit rough. Then on the final lap start to use boosts to get ahead of the pack making sure you have one left for the final straight.
 

Thoroughly enjoying it and quite happy with the battle style nature of it, so far I think I’ve only been spun out a couple of times so it feels relatively fair. Just about to move onto Expert though so may well change my tune. The sound and voices feel like an arcade soundscape so all good.

 

 

 

 

 

You're gonna need a shit load of boosts for Expert.

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The ridiculous AI must be intentional as ther is no way this could have got through testing if unintentional. I've done a few single player races then went to online. Found a quick match pretty quick but can't find any ranked matches at all and the game hangs when searching. Some aspects of the game seem really nice and others just seem terrible. The drifting seems really nice and predictable but the tracks are pretty dull and not at all exciting to navigate. Also, I get the aesthetic is trying to envoke Daytona/virtua racing but I can't help seeing it as a fake. VR and Daytona were that way because of the limitations of the hardware. I love the soundtrack though.

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Just ran out of time at a checkpoint when I was in first place thanks to a combination of how harsh the crashes can be and how generous the rubber banding is. 

 

Edited by matt0
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