Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Drag Race Demon 2

In many ways, drag racing is the best form of motor sports. not for these guys the endless hours of circuits that Nascar and Formula 1 consider entertainment. Nope, here it's just two guys, head to head for about a quarter of a mile, the entire thing over in less than twenty seconds. That economical use of time and energy is something I can support. However, I'm starting to get tired of the few online games that try to replicate the fast-paced thrills of drag racing, of which Drag Race Demon 2 is the latest.

Mousebreaker Games can usually be relied on to produce entertaining games, but even the best of us slip up from time to time. However, since this is a sequel, one would have thought any mistakes they'd previously made would have been rectified. Sadly, Mousebreaker seem to repeat history far more often than they learn from it.

The controls are... weird. That's the best way I can describe them - they're awkward and I'm left wondering why the game was designed this way. Clearly someone took the "Drag" in the title a little too literally, as the player accelerates by dragging an arrow left and right. Gears are changed by pressing the up and down arrow keys.

Mousebreaker seem to have a hard on for these controls and I don't understand why. If I'm already using the arrow keys to change gears, why can't I also use them to accelerate? The current set-up might be fine for some, but I'm trying to play on a laptop, the result being I have to cross my arms to play. I'm already suffering the early effects of carpal tunnel syndrome; I don't need this game exacerbating the problem.

You start off with a little cash to invest in your dragster, plus you can also customise the paint job. I went with all black because I'm dark and brooding, like a character in a Stephenie Meyer book. Now, I'm not the biggest drag racing fan, but even I know that it's not good for a car to rear back like that whenever you step on the gas. I guess if I practised more I could stop that from happening, but it would probably also help if the controls weren't retarded.

OK, I've seen plenty of mismatches in my time, but God damn! I'm sure that's a very nice car my opponent has, but this is like a Porsche 911 facing off against a Big Wheel. Surprisingly, this isn't the cake walk I imagined it would be, as it takes forever for the dragster to pick up any kind of speed. Eventually it does and I take home the prize money (£300 - that'll get me, what, a tyre?) I only win by a nose, however.

With my hard earned winnings I can buy more upgrades and tweak my dragster to my heart's content. Eventually. It'll take some time, and a lot more races, to earn the cash needed to make a world-class racer.

Time to go back to the track!

What in the hell!? Look at the size of that guy's wheels! How much acceleration can you get out of those? All I need to know is that it's more than mine will ever produce, and I'm left eating dust on more than one occasion.

Drag Race Demon 2 isn't a bad game... actually, yes, it is. Flat, unimaginative graphics; pointlessly overcomplicated controls; and a learning curve as steep as K2. It's certainly a drag to play!

Get it?


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