Split Second Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS3 Trophies 20/47
Total Credits 2910
Power Plays 465
Crashes 165
Route Changes 3
Distance Driven 495 miles
Close Calls 181
Longest Drift 235 Yards
Rivals Wrecked 421
Local Play Number 18
Online Play Number 99

Level Stats: Level Placements

Episode 1 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd
Episode 2 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st
Episode 3 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st
Episode 4 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd
Episode 5 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd
Episode 6 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd
Episode 7 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Episode 8 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 4th, 3rd
Episode 9 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 1st, 1st
Episode 10 2nd, 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd
Episode 11 1st, 1st, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 3rd
Episode 12 1st, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd

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Split Second Review

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It’s time to check out a car game that I recently got. This may come as a surprise to some, but I’m actually a huge fan of the racing genre. There are few things more satisfying than nailing a crisp turn and sailing into first place. It’s why I used to play a car game on my PC for so long. Anyway, this is the first racing game that I’ve played in a while, not counting spinoff titles like Farmyard racing. This is probably the first pure racing game I’ve played since Asphalt 3D. (I think that was the title) This is definitely a really fun game and one of the best core driving games out there. It does have a gimmick and while I sometimes prefer my racing games not to have any (F-Zero) I don’t mind them if they’re handled well. Look at Mario Kart after all.

There are a few modes to play when you start the game. Online mode is around of course, but you’ll likely be heading straight to Season mode. (Honestly, I haven’t gone online at all) The season has 12 episodes in it and the general plot is that you’re starring in the show. Think of it as one of those reality programs on TV. You have to dodge all of the landmines and disasters to claim first and prove that you’re the best. Each episode has 5 events, with the final one being unlocked if you’ve earned enough points. Rinse and repeat until you’ve reached the end and you can replay old levels to increase your standing and earn more points if you’re short. For the most part I was able to make it to the end naturally but I did need to replay a few. Once you unlock a certain car at the end of the game, you’ll be breezing through it with no problem.

There are different kinds of events. The main one is a race. You go through the stage and try to come in first. The gimmick that this game rolls with is that you can use your energy meter to set off traps. You can energy by turning and driving behind another car. The best way is to dodge an opponent’s trap, but they rarely spring any. You can activate traps as soon as one energy bar is filled or you can wait til they’re all filled and activate a massive one. I don’t recommend the latter since you’ll typically destroy yourself as well. If there’s going to be a gimmick, I typically prefer a quick booster, but I can live with this. It’s a pretty unique concept after all and I like the strategy behind it. You always have to decide if it’s worth using your energy now or later.

Another event is Elimination. You start with 60 seconds and have to ensure that you’re not in last. After that, another car is eliminated every 20 seconds. You must stay at the head of the pack or you’ll risk being eliminated. This is another pretty fun event and as it’s quite a bit shorter than a race, it’s a lot easier to keep on replaying. Another event is the Airplane boss. You have to attack it by shooting missiles using your action meter. In this case, I recommend waiting until the red one is ready to go since you can then deal massive damage. Next is Survival which is probably the weakest by default. It’s just you by yourself as you try to complete the stage while the A.I. activates all of the traps. It’s essentially a time trial so it’s not all that exciting.

Finally, there’s the Oil tanker battles. This is the best one by far. A truck ahead of you will be spilling barrels and you have to dodge them as you overtake it. The more trucks that you pass in a row without being hit, the more points that you get. It really tests your reaction times and takes you down if you dare to go too fast. It’s just a lot of fun and I would have loved to have seen more of it. The variety of events in the game helps keep the gameplay fresh throughout.

With 72 levels in the game, it’s certainly one that has an ample amount of content. If anything, I’m glad the game didn’t overdo it and throw in over 150 levels just because it can. As it is, most of the levels are the same. I think there may be 12 tracks total, with a few more if you count night versions. It’s not a lot although I suppose it’s a decent amount. You’ll memorize the layouts after a while which is certainly useful. There’s a lot of replay value here as well. If you decide to aim for the Platinum, you’ll need to get 1st place on every level which will be quite difficult. It’s certainly not impossible, but I’d expect you to be replaying the levels many times before you can finally ace them all. Multiplayer also guarantees that the replay value is basically unlimited.

The graphics for the game are quite good. All of the cars look shiny and new. I could have sworn that one of the cars almost looked as good as the Ford Focus. The levels are nice and bright and the rare night time versions are also quite crisp. The game has aged very well there. Furthermore, the soundtrack is also pretty nice. There are some really good action themes. The music fit in pretty well even if I didn’t notice it in some episodes. It would sort of pop in and pop out if that makes any sense. I suppose not every theme can be an instant winner.

The game’s difficulty level feels pretty fair. There was a very brief time where I felt the computers were a little too fast and strong, but once I got the super car it was all good. I never really mastered the drifting mechanic, but I’d say that it felt fair. The overall gameplay was nice and smooth. Towards the end there weren’t many opportunities to drive as fast as the title would suggest, but driving as fast as possible was always very satisfying.

I also have to give a shoutout to the ending of the game. The voice acting was spot on and the way the game ends just begs for a sequel. Whether we get one or not, it works really well as a stinger. I was practically shaking by the end of the cutscene. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it, but I can safely say that I would be super hyped if they announce a sequel.

Overall, Split Second is definitely a great game. It’s one of those titles that you just don’t want to put down once you start it. You’ll find yourself wanting to play it constantly and you’ll be sad once it’s over. Once again, I do think the length was just right though. Extending it further might have felt artificial and they also got the right balance with the points needed to unlock the final levels. You had to do pretty well in the events (1-3rd place for the most part) but it wasn’t anything too crazy. You don’t want it to have to be a grind to beat the game, that should be left for the people who want the Platinum. The game was just solid on all accounts and I’d highly advise buying this title. It’s one of the best car games on the market.

Overall 8/10

Spongebob Boating Bash Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 1h 15m
Total Drive Points 12130
Grades: 18 As 8 Bs 3 Cs
Events Started 45
Events Finished 35
Events Won 22
Parts Collected 100
Knock Outs 65
Ring Outs 26
High Combo 548
Drivers 9/9
Boats 18/27
Levels 22/22
Classrooms 6/6
Game Options 2/3
Videos 18/18
Total 75/85

Spongebob Boating Bash Review

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It’s time to finally delve into the world of Spongebob! I must admit that I actually haven’t played a great deal of Spongebob games before. This is one of the first ones for me, but it’s a pretty good way to get back into the franchise. This title is a racing game mixed in with a little vehicular warfare. It makes for a good dynamic and the game even has a plot which is an added bonus. Especially considering that this game goes for only a few dollars, you do not want to miss it!

The game starts off with Spongebob failing to get his license once again. It’s a pretty emotional moment since he had been doing so well in the training, but he randomly decided to accelerate and hit every obstacle. I feel like his short term memory had just ended when the exam started so he forgot everything that he learned. He feels bad about it, but then a shark comes along and offers Spongebob a chance to get a license through…other channels. He simply has to complete the Shark’s D.R.I.V.E. school which teaches you how to be a bad driver, that way you know what not to do on the real exam. Spongebob figures that this is easy enough and decides to pay the high entry fee to join. The rest of the characters get in on the action as well.

After you finish singing the Spongebob theme song to yourself and get back into the game, you’ll see that the DRIVE chapters have now opened. There are 5 chapters in the game along with a final chapter where you must use everything that you have learned. It’s graded report card style, but fortunately you don’t need all As. The levels are mostly pretty easy. A few of them may have taken me 2-3 tries, but ultimately you’ll have it down pat. The controls are easy enough as you just accelerate, turn, and brake. That’s it. You get to choose which vehicle you want as the game goes on and once you unlock the big boat, there’s no turning back. One good hit from that car can total just about any other. It’s only drawback is that it’s slow, but that’s not a problem in bumper cars. Just don’t pick it for the races.

The different game modes are: “Smash The Cars” “Race The Cars” “Smash The Cars and pick up the pieces.” My favorite is certainly the first mode, but they’re all reasonably solid in their own right. I haven’t played a great deal of car games with this gimmick so that was definitely a lot of fun. The gameplay is actually pretty smooth and I’d say that the game got a pretty decent budget for a title based on a TV show. There are even a lot of sound effects as you’re driving where the characters hurl some pretty personal insults at each other. Lets just say that their friendships will be a little strained after this event is all over. It’s the price that they have to pay for victory!

Graphically, Spongebob delivers. It may not look great, but the levels are very clear. If anything, the only part that bothered me was the loading screen as Spongebob would get a very weird facial expression. They also added too much color to his cheeks which was odd as well. So when you ignore the loading screen, then the whole thing comes together quite nicely. I should also mention that the game has fully animated cutscenes with voice acting which was a really good bonus to have along. The music is also pretty good. The main theme is very catchy and I still remember it which is a very good thing.

There is a little replay value to be found here. Once you obtain all A ranks in the game, you’ll unlock the final vehicles and game options. It probably wouldn’t take long to get the rest of them. I got a bunch of A ranks without even trying so it’s not like you’d have to redo all of the lessons. Still, I can’t say that I’m too tempted to get the rest of the cars since the ones that I already have are pretty good. I suppose it still does help to make the overall game longer and more worth your dollar though.

You definitely do need to enjoy the gameplay though since the game is very formulaic and can be seen as a little repetitive. There are roughly 35 levels sprinkled into the game and since there are only 3 game modes, you’ll be seeing them quite a lot. I guess you could say that it’s set up like Mario Kart, but with far fewer levels so you’re usually just on the same roads. The game did its best to shift things up a bit, but the level designs was certainly its weakness. There are no colorful levels as they all look the same.

Overall, I’d recommend checking out Spongebob’s Boating Bash. It’s a surprisingly fun adventure and one of the only underwater racing games that I can think of. What really gives it an extra boost is the story mode since it’s pretty engaging. Spongebob is definitely a little more naive than I remember, but at least he’s portrayed as a good kid. He’s always acting pretty modest and addresses everyone as Sir. His friends all seem a little more mean spirited though as they all join just to beat up Spongebob. I forgot how much the whole village resents his success. I look forward to trying out one of the Gamecube games at some point, but it’ll likely be a long while before then.

Overall 7/10

Rayman Arena Review

Rayman Arena
It’s finally happened. I’ve finally gotten around to playing one of the Rayman games! Honestly speaking, I can’t say that he’s probably going to become one of the more likable main characters. I just can’t get behind this guy in the same way as the hardcore platformer leads like Sonic, Pac-Man, Mega Man, Mario, and Roy(?). That being said, I do like fighting games and I really like 4 player ones. That was a huge advantage that the Gamecube always had over the other consoles. It’s the one thing that the Playstation consoles have lacked. If they ever got this feature for most of their games, it would be Game Over for the competition. This game is great when playing with friends and just good if you’re by yourself. You need to have others around to make the most of this adventure.

There are two main forms of gameplay here, Racing and Fighting. Each of these two options have two more options so lets get right to it. The normal way of fighting is a time limit is set to around 2 minutes and you have to blast each other. The player who scores the most points takes the win. You can use your normal blaster to take away life points from the other player or you can use the power ups which are scattered across the stage. I highly recommend going for these super weapons since they are incredibly overpowered. Grabbing the Green Multi Rifle basically guarantees a full 5 life wipeout for the opponent. There is no way to escape once you have been hit which is why the next 4 shots are confirmed. You can also grab bombs, (Which are terrible) self guided missiles, (Also terrible. They should have grabbed a page from Star Fox Assault’s playbook) and Barriers. (Which are awesome) There are a few more weapons, but those are the main ones. A nice defensive option is a magnet, which lets you steal the opponent’s weapon. Use these tactics to win the fight! You can jump and hide to cheese out the opponent if necessary. It may not always feel fun, but if it works then it’s time to use it.

The other form of combat has both opponents try to grab as many objects as possible. Both players get a freeze gun to start the match and shiny objects are placed around the field. They switch positions each time someone grabs one. The matches are all right I suppose, but these are definitely very luck based and once you have a large lead, you can just stand in place and wait out the clock. I definitely prefer the standard combat. The main racing game has you try to dash to the goal. There are many obstacles around the stages and you have a purple energy blast which you can use to activate traps and grab aerial rings to give yourself a boost. Activating traps may not sound like it’s in your best interests, but you can really trip up an opponent that way. This was definitely the toughest mode as the A.I. is quite good. Just remember to pace yourself and look for the shortcuts. They will certainly come in handy.

The alternate racing style is a one on one fight. You have to get ahead of your opponent by 6 seconds in order to win. This results in a lot of incredibly short 1 lap fights in one player mode, but I don’t see how it’ll work in multiplayer mode when you’re facing someone of similar skill. Maybe you just lose if you’re behind when a certain amount of laps end or something like that. Both players get freeze guns once again so you can try to freeze your opponent at a tricky spot so they lose a lot of time I suppose.

Graphically, the game holds up pretty well. The character designs have that solid Gamecube feel about them. They have depth and everything looks pretty sharp. The color scheme is a bit dark if you ask me, but it’s solid otherwise. The soundtrack is very forgettable though and it doesn’t help that the game doesn’t really have any cutscenes. World of Final Fantasy puts this game to shame in that aspect among others. It doesn’t hold the game back, but having some more up beat tunes would certainly make the game a lot more fun.

There isn’t a whole lot of replay value to be found here. There are 4 tournaments for each event and you can play each event in two difficulties. That makes 32 tournaments or 96 actual matches since each tournament has 3 rounds. You can beat each tournament in around 10 minutes and possible less depending on the event. It’s not a terribly long game, but there’s not much point to beating the hard mode versions aside from a few extra shirts for the characters. It wasn’t enough of an incentive for me honestly and that’s the only post game content available.

Of course, there is one form of replay value that does save the game. I’m talking about multiplayer mode of course. The fact that it is compatible with 4 players opens up a lot of doors that had been slammed. The game would still get a solid 7 if it was just single player, but it would be lacking quite a bit in content. Fighting games get around this through the multiplayer and that’s exactly what Rayman does. This kind of gameplay would work really well with 4 players. It has less depth than others, but the core gameplay is solid. The racing works really well and I can only imagine how chaotic it gets with 4 people around. Likewise for the shooting events. That ultimately helps bump it up an extra star as it’s a game I can definitely see myself picking around Christmas time for everyone to have fun with.

Overall, Rayman Arena is definitely a solid game. Adding in both racing and fighting was definitely a good idea as it adds some variety and also adds more content to the title. A little more of a story would have been appreciated though. It would possibly help me like Rayman more as a character and it would make Story Mode more interesting. Just look at Pokken, they were able to squeeze in a nice story during the normal campaign. Trust me when I say that it makes quite the difference. Of course, Pokken was just a complete masterpiece in every sense of the word so that’s another story. Rayman’s great, but Pokken is amazing. It’s scary how large the jumps are between scores. Look at Super Smash Bros, Pokken isn’t even in the same league because Smash is the ultimate game. It’s like the saying goes, there’s always something better. I digress. I definitely recommend picking Rayman Arena up if you want a new fighting game to play or just something fun and chaotic for a session with friends and family. This game won’t let you down and it’s very easy to simply plug and play. The controls are intuitive.

Overall 8/10

Myth Makers Super Kart GP Review

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“Myth Makers, Start your engines!” is how every race in this game starts and it is a good way to build up the Myth Makers brand. Even if you don’t want to remember the title of the game, the choice is taken away from you as soon as the race starts. After playing Trixie’s little Candyland adventure, I realized that I was in for the long haul with this franchise. Super Kart GP was the next logical step on my Ninjabread man tour and this game manages to be somewhat decent. It’s still at a really low budget and the controls are a mess, but it feels a little more like an actual game than the other titles. There is even a lot of content here…even if it is rather tedious.

There is no plot of course so you will want to just launch right into the races. You can play quick races against A.I. or a human player or you can go to the Grand Prix mode. Playing with friends is probably how you will have the most fun playing this title. That way you can poke fun at the title and really make the most of it. Otherwise, you’ll spend most of your time in the Grand Prix. There are 3 different speed settings and in those speed settings there are three different difficulty levels. After you get past that, there are 5 different cups for you to enter. Each cup has 4 stages and beating them all will give you a lot of bragging rights.

That’s a lot of replay value for this kind of game right? The stages aren’t long and each one can be beaten in around 3-6 minutes, but they add up. If that’s about 12-24 minutes per tournament and there are 15 in all, that’s not half bad. There is one catch though and it is a fairly big one. There aren’t unique stages in the cups. From my estimation, there appear to only be around 4-5 different stages. One or two of them may have a night time variation that is virtually identical, but that’s about it. A bit of a shame if you ask me eh? That means that the cups are completely arbitrary and the only real benefit is having the personal satisfaction of completing them. Otherwise, you could just play the stages in free play mode and it’ll be around the same thing. I don’t see why the game couldn’t have added more stages. “Have you ever made a game, DReager1?” No, but I sure have played some in the past and many more stages could have been added imo.

Ah well, let us move past that. One other aspect of replay value here is the fact that you can buy characters with the stars that you earn on the track. Run into as many of them as you can and hope that the computers don’t attack you or you will drop a lot of them. By the time you complete the first 5 stages you should have probably unlocked the first character. There are 5 unlockables I believe and getting them all wouldn’t take a crazy amount of time, but probably more than you are willing to put in. It’s also handled very oddly as the first character you unlock has the worst stats in the game. She has a 1 in two out of the three areas and a 2 in the other. Compare this to Trixie who is the main character and also has the best stats in the game. I believe that all 3 of her stats are maxed out, which is quite crazy.

Granted, speed may not be all that important to you with this gameplay. It just means that you’ll be sliding off of walls and crashing a lot more. Slow and steady is enough to win this race. You hold the Wii remote sideways and try to steer as you go through the levels. The controls are easy as pie, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good. The motion controls simply don’t work well with the Wii so you’ll struggle quite a lot as you play. It’s manageable, but I wouldn’t call it that fun at times. There are items like in Mario Kart (Same style of item block) and if you look closely, you’ll notice a lot of other things that they rip off from the series. The item variety is very limited though and while you also have a final smash, you probably won’t get to use it. It simply takes too many stars to use and by then the race is over or you’ll have fallen way behind as you try to collect them all.

The soundtrack keeps on using the same tunes from the other titles like Ninjabread Man. People must have gone crazy while making these games since they will have been listening to the same song over and over and over again. Even if there was another tune or two in this game, you’ll quickly forget it as the main theme is burned into your mind. I’d say that the graphics are fairly decent compared to some abstract art, but I’ve seen Super Nintendo games with more creativity. You can always tell what is happening on screen, but that’s where the buck stops.

Overall, While this racing game may not be a bad steal if you can find it for a few bucks, you may as well get a better one. There is no shortage to racing games on any console so this should be at the bottom of a very long bucket list. The only real incentive to purchase this is Trixie. She still grins a lot as always and even has her iconic “Take that Bustah!” lines sprinkled in. It’s hard to tell what she is saying at times since the audio quality isn’t that good, but I’ll assume that the game will get patched at some point if it gets a remake. There is more to do here than in the average game of Myth Makers and it just barely keeps Super Kart GP from falling into the negative area.

Overall 5/10

Calvin Tucker’s Redneck Farm Animal Racing Tournament Review

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That’s a really long title right? It’s a little sadder when you realize what it’s actually abreviating. Calvin Tucker’s Redneck….hmmmmm. It’s all very intriguing and a little sad. On the main menu, they actually edit the title and take the word Redneck out. The game developers and marketing guys must have not been on the same page, but I suppose that it happens. This is certainly not one of the high budget games that you will look at and be amazed at how far it’s gone. The gameplay actually looks better on the Nintendo DS, but I can’t confirm that at this time.

When you enter the game you have a free play mode and tournament mode. Being the epic gamer that I am, I launched right into the tournament mode. There are about 5 tournaments if I recall correctly and each one is 4 races with the exception of one that is only 3. Each stage is only two laps so it’s actually a fairly short mode. Keep in mind that you need to win the tournament or you’ll have to try it again. I had to try again 2-4 times, but the game wasn’t very difficult. The controls were the only challenging part and you get the hang of them eventually.

The gameplay is fairly straight forward as this is a racing game. Get to the finish line first and you’re the winner. You hold the Wii Remote horizontally in this game, which is usually the default setup for all racing games. You gain items throughout the course that you can use to throw at opponents or give yourself a boost. Each character has their own special ability that you get to use every time you collect 8 coins. There are a lot of coins in each level so getting enough coins is a rather simple process. It shouldn’t take you very long at all. You really want to be a character who has a good special ability since it can make a big difference between winning and losing.

Almost all of the characters in this game are called Billy, which is a really fun concept. I forgot which Billy I used, but he’s the one who has a booster as his special ability. I highly recommend going with that guy for the tournaments once you unlock him. Alternately, having a special ability that throws something at an opponent can also be very useful when you’re in a tough spot. Remember to keep your eyes on the road at all times since even a small bump can really launch you off the track. Bumping into other opponents will typically hurt you more than them so I wouldn’t recommend that either. Just steer clear of everyone else and drive a solid game. So long as you do those two things, you should be all set to rock and roll.

As for the soundtrack, it’s a little on the generic side. The themes that play are what you would expect from a farm title. I would have preferred themes that took the racing a little more seriously. Something action packed and quick would have been my ideal choice for the game even if the actual gameplay isn’t very fast. As it is, the music doesn’t really help the game. Neither does the graphics. They aren’t downright terrible, but I have seen Super Nintendo games that have looked better so take that as you will. The character models aren’t very clear and it can be very hard to see an obstacle until you are already crashing, which isn’t cool.

A good thing to remember is that you can hit the minus button to reset your car after you crash. I didn’t learn that until the final tournament and it can really help you when you’re in a pinch so always keep that option in mind and it’ll help you a lot throughout your races. The controls are a little sketchy when turning, but they’re not as bad as they could be. I believe that the main problem is just that the cars are super weak so banging into anything will really cause you to do a big turnaround and get into some trouble. That’s where the reset button comes in handy.

There’s not a lot of replay value here and you can probably be done with the game in a few hours depending on how easy the races are for you. If you do find them to be very easy, then you can probably beat the game in 2 hours and have nothing left to do. This is not a game that has a whole lot of replay value and you may never pick it up again unless you have someone to play it with. The multiplayer option is its only form of replay value and that’s only if you want to play this over a better racing game like Mario Kart.

It’s easy to think of this as a bad game, but it’s actually a tough call between giving it a 4 and a 5. I got it for only a dollar or 2 so the content wasn’t bad considering that, but it’s almost not fair to lower the bar for the game on account of the price. At the same time, I could see the game getting a slightly lower score if I had bought it for retail price way back in the day. It’s safe to say that the rating has a small impact on what I ultimately end up giving the game.

Overall, The Calvin Tucker game is certainly one of the weaker racing games that I’ve played in a while. It’s better than Quad Kings, but that’s not saying a whole lot. I felt like the game didn’t really put a lot of effort into the actual racing, which is a little odd considering that it’s a racing game. I can only assume that the budget was incredibly small, which is why it doesn’t look or sound very good. The gameplay is the main part though and it’s not really that bad. If the game had been a lot longer then it may have been an issue, but it was a very short game so I didn’t mind it all that much. I think that I’m going to have to give the game a 4. It may be the best 4 that I’ve ever played, but I don’t think that there are enough positives to totally warrant a 5. This is one racing game that you may want to skip, but if you find that you have an extra 2 dollars lying around, maybe you should skip out on ordering that frappe and just buy this game. It’ll last you a little longer than the frappe after all!

Overall 4/10