Showing posts with label Racing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Racing. Show all posts

Hit the Road Down America’s Highways in Heading Out + the First 30!


Grab the wheel for a thrilling, narrative-fueled driving adventure inspired by cult-classic American road films, here today with a 10% launch discount

Buckle Up for an Adrenaline-Fueled Road Trip in Heading Out, Out Now on PC

Embrace Your Inner Rebel and Hit the Open Road in This Stylish Narrative Driving Adventure

Get behind the wheel and prepare for the ride of your life in Heading Out, the hotly anticipated narrative driving game that just released on PC today! Developed by indie studio Serious Sim and published by Saber Interactive, this thrilling road trip experience takes inspiration from iconic American road movies to deliver an unforgettable cross-country adventure filled with high-stakes racing, meaningful choices, and stories that will stoke your spirit of rebellion.

With its unique blend of high-octane driving and compelling storytelling, Heading Out invites players to ditch the mundane and pursue an odyssey of self-discovery on the open roads of America. Whether you're yearning to outrun your fears, escape the long arm of the law, or simply chase your dreams to the horizon, this game is your ticket to an exhilarating joyride across the urban sprawls, desert highways, and forgotten backroads that make up the vast American landscape.

"Heading Out is all about capturing the visceral thrill and emotional weight of the great American road trip," says Sam Raimi, founder of Serious Sim. "We wanted to bottle that feeling of liberation you get when you put the pedal to the metal and let the world blur by, all while taking players on a high-stakes personal journey that will really resonate."

At its core, Heading Out is a freeform narrative adventure with roguelite elements that empower you to carve your own unique path across the United States. As you roar down the asphalt, you'll encounter a diverse cast of eccentric personalities that could become allies or antagonists depending on the choices you make. Will you lend a sympathetic ear to the lost soul hitchhiking on the side of the road, or zip past without a second thought? The impactful decisions are all up to you.

And with every pit stop on your transcontinental trek, radio stations and random citizens will spread tales of your growing legend, immortalizing your badass antics in the cultural zeitgeist. An eclectic Americana soundtrack provides the perfect mood music for your adrenaline-charged escapades too.

One of Heading Out's most compelling features is its innovative blend of real-time driving with meta-game strategic planning. Before hitting the road, you'll map out your intended route and resource management on an overhead map, carefully budgeting fuel, money, and vehicle repairs to increase your odds of making it to the final destination in one piece. Or you can take a more impulsive approach and just put the pedal to the metal, dealing with challenges as they arise in a daring, spur-of-the-moment road rally!

These races might seem like something you can simply do everytime your echallenged... but there are multiple factors you have to consider. Fear, sleep, car condition, and if the money is truly worth it based on the position you're in. If you lack sleep, it leaks over into your racing and your overall driving experience... so getting zzz's is a must. Blu 

No two journeys are ever the same in Heading Out. Procedural systems generate new narrative vignettes, races, vehicular challenges, environmental hazards, and more on each soul-searching run, ensuring a fresh and unpredictable ride every time you start up the ignition. And with the game's stylish graphic novel art style bringing the action-packed escapades to life, it's like playing through an interactive comic book brought to life.

So whether you're craving some cathartic nitrous-fueled street racing, an emotionally compelling narrative adventure, or just an opportunity to flip a middle finger to society's restrictions, Heading Out will satisfy all those cravings and more. The keys are in your hands, and the open road is calling!

Heading Out is available now on PC via Steam for $17.99 USD / €17.99 EUR / £14.84 GBP with a 10% launch discount until May 14, 2024. For the ultimate road trip experience, the Heading Out - Soundtrack Edition ($22.49 USD / €22.49 EUR / £18.44 GBP after discount) includes the game and its awesome original Americana soundtrack. Gun that engine and hit the streets in this one-of-a-kind driving opus!

 + Blu 

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Disney Speedstorm... a true Mario Kart alternative?

Disney Speedstorm offers a compelling alternative to Mario Kart, boasting an unforgettable cast of characters that resonate with avid gamers, Disney fans, and casual enthusiasts. Not only are the tracks visually captivating as is the music, but the gameplay itself is truly remarkable. The fluid AAA quality movements take the exhilarating racing experience to a tournament-worthy level, enhanced by the strategic utilization of item pick-ups to outmaneuver opponents and secure a top spot on the podium.

What sets Disney Speedstorm apart is its accessibility and inclusivity. The game is not only free-to-play, but it also supports cross-platform play, allowing players to compete against others regardless of their gaming platform, be it PC, Nintendo, Xbox, or Playstation. In essence, Disney Speedstorm possesses its own unique identity and does not need to rely on the shadow of Mario Kart to shine. Access is the key to victory, as long as it receives the necessary backing and support from gamers.

Gameloft Barcelona, the developer behind this cross-platform arcade combat racing game, launched Disney Speedstorm as a free-to-play title across multiple platforms just in time for a new season. The highly anticipated Season 4 update, inspired by the beloved Disney film Aladdin, introduces an array of new Racers, tracks, crew members, and more, further enriching the immersive experience.

The transition to a free-to-play model has made the game more accessible to players worldwide, and I believe this was a great strategy to make the game available to all. Victory in the game relies on mastering each character's unique skills. The roster of Racers is expanding, including popular characters such as Sulley, Mulan, Mickey Mouse, Belle, Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, and Captain Jack Sparrow. Each Racer has upgradeable skills and abilities that can greatly influence the outcome of races, according to Gameloft Barcelona.

Players have the option to race through thrilling tracks on their own or challenge friends in multiplayer modes, whether they are playing locally or remotely. According to the developer, the game will continuously grow with the addition of new Disney and Pixar Racers and racetracks, providing players with fresh opportunities to showcase their racing skills and dominate the competition.

New additions include Abu, Magic Carpet, Rajah, Iago, the Sultan, and many others. Additionally, the developers have two surprise racers yet to be revealed.

Available for Xbox | Playstation | Nintendo | Steam | Microsoft | Epic Game Store

Sophima | Guest Contributor

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The Cushion Designed for Gaming!

Nascar Arcade Rush... Reviewed!

Special Thanks to the GameMill team for supplying us with a copy of this game for review. My opinions are my own.

Nascar Arcade Rush takes the world of Nascar and gives it a simple + kid-friendly take on arcade racing, but does it hold up? Let's find out.

Gameplay: Gameplay modes are delivered by way of Solo mode, Splitscreen, and Online.

In terms of gameplay, it's what you would expect in a kid-friendly racing game. The tracks look great, especially the Homestead-Miami Speedway (aka that's my fave). You have access to 12 tracks, each with its own look and layouts to enjoy against the competition. Red, purple, and orange turbo boosters are the name of the game... as you shift around the track trying to maintain a good position. As long as you're hitting the track boosters and recharging your boost as much as possible via the orange boost, it should give you enough juice to make it across the finish line. Just make sure you use it wisely. You have a challenge in both the Rookie & Elite difficulty levels, so start with Rookie (Quick Race) until you become familiar with the controls for handling.

Solo Mode

Cup Series - Is the main game mode where you start and build your career stats as a Nascar driver.

Quick Race - This mode gives you the ability to jump in and race against the CPU racers without the need to race in a cup.

Time Attack - This mode allows you to race against the clock to beat your best times. While I can understand that, I think a cool take on this would have been to allow racers to collect clocks in order to continue going and see how long they could last. We already have modes where we're completing our best times, and so I think this would've been an awesome plus to make Nascar Arcade Rush, even more... arcade-like.

Online Mode - Online gives you the option to race in the Cup Series... which is great and gives the cup even more value because you're playing against other people. Wins are even sweeter. You also get the option of Quick Race in this mode, so that... you can enjoy a race when pressed for time.

In Splitscreen, you get the option to play in the Cup Series + Quick Race. I love the 2 player option for Cup Series because kids don't have to sit out while their siblings or friends race it up. You can actually roll out together.

Tip: One drawback to this game is the use of the boost. It's a gift and a curse. Do not use the boost on a ramp, because if you go too high or too far, you're going to respawn. My guess is that they have a certain area where you can race and if you go outside of that area you... respawn. I can shrug it off in this arcade experience since it doesn't break the game, but consider it a tip.

Controls: I know the team was thinking arcade in regards to the controls, but... I feel like the control scheme for the Xbox controller, was meant for the... Nintendo Switch. The "A" button is mentioned, but I had to use my keyboard to go back (ESC), after using the "B" button on the Xbox controller (as if it were the "A" button) in order to proceed to the next step ahead of actually racing. This threw me for a loop, so I know it would throw others for a loop.

I give two thumbs down to the fact that there is no way to change the button configuration. There literally isn't the option to do such a thing.

Here are the in-game controls for the Xbox Controller):

A button - Look back

X button - Respawn

Left analog stick - Accelerate and Steering

Press the left analog stick in - Boost

Start - Pause

D-Pad Up - Cry

D-Pad Right - Sad

D-Pad Down - Laugh

D-Pad Left - Shocked

Emote expressions change based on the type you select. While I can shrug this off, they should honestly maintain the D-Pad presses for similar expressions instead of placing us in the position to memorize them over again for new ones.

This control scheme is simple and basically requires you to use the left analog stick, and that's pretty much it... aside from the emotes. You run the risk of losing momentum if you try to use an emote because the left thumb stick is how you accelerate... so think twice about it or a laughing emote can go to a crying one really quick (dun dunn dunnnnn).

When it comes to control schemes, comfort definitely has to be in mind for gamers, and the team has multiple buttons to make that happen. It won't complicate things, and in this case, it could actually help. Allow one of the triggers to perhaps be the acceleration or allow the A, B, X, and Y buttons to be the emote selections. It wouldn't hurt to add a controller configuration menu as well.

Now let's get into the replay value because the control scheme here is actually preventing you from getting the full experience.

Replay Value: Believe it or not, the replay value is high in this game. You have 9 cups to take on in the Cup Series, each with 8 tracks to challenge the competition... both online & offline. You start with the Rising Talent cup and earn Cup Points from each race. 100 points unlock the next cup, and then 280 for the next, 420, 560, 720, 890, 1020, and then 1200 for the final. I think fans of NASCAR will eat this up because it gives them replay value while racing their way to the top.

You start out with 4 Drivers, and the additional ones are unlocked at LVL 10, LVL 32, LVL 42, LVL 52, LVL 62, LVL 72, LVL 82, LVL 92, and LVL 99. You aren't buying these as extras, so salute to that. This gives you access to 13 drivers in total once the remaining 9 are unlocked.

You start with 3 Vehicle Tuning Kits, and unlock new ones at every 10 level increases, giving you access to 12 cars once they're all unlocked.

Outside of racing online, and the Cup Series, I think that the Rewards certainly increase the replay value. They actually take things to a new level, because the rewards not only give you additional vehicles, spoilers, skins, exhaust, and all that good stuff, but... you also get specific emotes that go with the various rewards. You activate those with the d-pad during races to show cry, laugh, shock, sadness, and more. You start off with a smiley face (the usual), but you're able to unlock little Kawaii pineapples emotes and all that cool stuff.

As mentioned above, based on the controls being set up the way they are... you aren't going to comfortably set off the emotes as intended while focused on placing in 1st, 2nd, or... 3rd. So the control scheme complicates things.

Replay Value could be even higher through Driver Customization and Vehicle Customization because they're there, but do you know why they don't matter? Do you reallllyyy want to know why?

Well, it's simple. You can't access the freaking options to customize the driver or vehicle customization options. It's like... what?! Is it just there to make people think they have the option, but it was never intended to work? I don't see that being the case, but right now that is the case because the controls aren't set up properly. I'm not able to use LB or RB to navigate through the different options to share the details, and the same even applies to camera rotation. It's a no-go.

That's a lose-lose situation. This is a review of the PC version, on consoles, it could be a completely different story.

These are supposed to be the controls:

Price: Nascar Arcade Rush... comes in at $49.99 on console and... PC/Steam. I wouldn't lay in on the price of the PC version... if everything was firing on all cylinders, but they aren't. All it takes is something like jacked-up controls to alter or ruin a customer's experience when it could be avoided. The good thing is, this can be fixed, but in this state, I'd say it's worth $25 on PC until the controls are updated.

Gameplay 4

Controls 2

Replay Value 4

Price 2

3 out of 5 Cool Points

Level Up Father's Day 2023

Father's Day is nearly upon us, and for a number of dads it can be summed up with a shrug because it's not deemed as big of a deal as Mother's Day. This isn't to compare, because moms rock, but... dads don't pop up on the radar, despite being awesome. 

Most moms are appreciated + loved + praised + you get the idea, meanwhile, dear old dad feels like an optional task to be celebrated. This includes very active stepfathers who have changed the lives of children who aren't biologically their own.

Even the O.G. ICE T feels the chill around this time of year, and it's... summertime! What?! 

So this Father's Day, let us help you... show your dad some love + appreciation + praise + you get the idea. Here's our Father's Day gift guide for 2023... by a Dad for Dads!

Of course, a dad won't turn down a tie or a pair of socks. Usually, he isn't going to pout, because a lot of dads don't want that type of look and... many try to go in with no expectations. So... this year, consider going an unconventional route that turns his head for a few reasons.

Not only can you surprise your dad with an item, and I'm not saying go around flashing price tags... but if the deal is unbelievable the dad who's big on deals might be impressed because of the resourcefulness. Tech is a given, but the question would be what type of tech would he appreciate and actually utilize.

If he's big on TV, but he's also a gamer... definitely consider a Samsung option featuring the Gaming Hub + an Xbox game controller to use with TV. This is a bigger purchase, but... there are deals that you can land for great prices with nice lengthy warranties thrown in (i.e. 5-year coverage).

If I were to recommend tools, they would be the uncommon ones that you're able to attach to others (like a drill guide) for the sake of getting more than one use out of it. I'm not going into specifics about certain tools though, because I don't know who has what... so look around for yourself with deals in mind.

If you don't know a lick about tools, and you don't have anyone to pinpoint what your dad could want, leave this one alone. If this is something you really want to gift to your dad, either listen for hints while asking him what some of the best tools are or... get a gift card.

By the way, there are various tools for home repairs, automotive, PC repair, and even left-field ones like the golf ball retriever.

Food is definitely a given, but forget a sandwich on the couch next to a Father's Day card. Take him out! As many of you know, the sandwich might be a nice gesture, but if you can enjoy some fun times over a good meal that he likes... that's a memory he'll likely never forget. Aim at usefulness, food, and fun that doesn't consist of... socks, mugs, hats, talking bass... and things like that. If he's already been there and done that, give him a different experience. If you absolutely have to get him a tie, add a suit to the mix... or at least the shirt + tie + watch or shoes.

I can't forget about fun experiences to round this one out. Whether he gets out a lot or not so much, an experience can be just what he needs and... here is a list of them to consider:

Comedy Shows - This is a great way to get Dad out to enjoy some of his favorite comedians.
Movie Tickets or a Movie Theater Membership - Monthly tickets included + Discounted snacks
Mini Golf, Golfing, or a nice Driving Range experience
BowlingRacing, or whatever you decide... as long as he knows it's from the heart, he'll appreciate it. I don't want to minimize certain gifts, but if you can bring it this year... consider it.

If he's not big on using phones, but he has a table sitting beside his favorite chair... consider an Echo Show for video chat and much more. He might assume you're trying to keep tabs on him, but... there's nothing wrong with keeping in touch, plus having access to the weather, a calendar, access to smart home devices, music, shows, news, etc. 

This will most likely get plenty of use from the sheer point of curiosity... alone. You can ask him about it over time and find out what he's been doing with it, drop tips, and all that good stuff if he's not big on tech. 

It may seem weird to some of us, but there are literally adults under 50 who aren't tech-savvy at all... so this should prove useful without the need to fidget with their phone or laptop.

That said, I'll leave it here. Fun it up this Father's Day and get tons of pics. You never know the time you have left to make memories and capture priceless moments with Dad... so your mission starts now!