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We love our driving games at PFTP and over the years there have been some classics! Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix was and still is a bonafide classic and who can forget his previous work on Stunt Car Racer. Not to forget Outun, the granddaddy of arcade racing and Team 17’s often overlook but rarely beaten, Overdrive. Skidmarkz too – the list goes on!

Back in the day for a proper ‘experience’ with steering wheel and all it would be the domain of your local arcade or waiting every 12 months when you went on Holiday, but now? Our homes are basically Arcades and for this evening we had a Logitech G27 Steering Wheel to road test!

Unfortunately Si was unable to make it but the Blues brothers (both fans of Birmingham City!) negotiated their way over to Halesowen to see what this marvel was all about.

A few months back Gaz played Drive Club and was often at the rear of the pack but this time with a Wheel, the game was certainly not easier, but perhaps more natural. On his first lap he was on the cusp of making head way but never quite there. But on the second go? With about 80% of the race completed he went past one, then another..he got upto the heady heights at the front. Unchartered territory and it was great! With us all laughing and egging him on he oversteered and crashed! Harshio for sure.

After a fair few technical difficulties (PS4’s don’t work that well when the plugs are maxed out!), Bri stepped up and transferring his love of speed from games like Micro Machines, he saw off Gaz’s time – only just!

Modern gaming can be very cruel but with a Wheel it didn’t seem to matter that much – did it? More on that later with my (Steve’s) final comments

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Back to the controllers and Bri had brought Trackmania Turbo and with it’s crazy roller coaster style tracks it’s a party classic. Bri was the undisputed king of the racing. Despite the high capacity for falling off the edge, the quick ‘restarting’ dynamic means you’re never frustrated and instead it’s fun all the way. Every party game needs different modes and Trackmania was no different. We didn’t get chance to try them all but away from the splitscreen the standout mode was a ‘challenge’. Where one person sets a time and it’s upto others to beat them. For me this felt proper and hearkened back to the adrenaline rush of Overdrive on the Amiga. Tenths of a second shaved off on laps where every turn, every brake mattered. Loved it!

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Thought it had ended there? Well we only intended to go those two games but then we decided to merge our love of football with the driving theme for the night and play Rocket League. As with all modern games, the online mode was seamless, a few clicks to get the game started and Gaz was away! Nice thinking to click ‘triangle’ and have the viewpoint always follow the ball. Bri was a dab hand too with and nabbed a goal! I did struggle but due to going down 0-3 in the first 30 seconds I think a final score line of 0-3 was a victory hehe

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To round off the evening we had a quick blast of Table Top Racing – A free game from Playstation Plus. Amazing attention to detail and superb HD graphics. It boggles the mind that such care and attention within a game is given away for free. Fair play Sony.

Thought the driving was over? Not for the Blues brothers! They had to go home! I’m sure the drive home though was just as eventful as the evening – given past history of journeys to Kick Off tournaments and reunions with old players, I’m sure it was lol

 

Final Thoughts…

I touch upon earlier about playing games with a Steering Wheel and it is awesome – at first anyway. For me I loved the feel, love the pedals, loved the fact I was able to recreate that arcade in Rhyl that was driving nirvana with the simple addition of a wheel and pedals. But one thing nagging away for me is that my times are simply better with a controller on Drive Club. After a hard days work – which involves a short commute driving – I’ve decided that it’s too much of a pain to set up the steering wheel each and every time. Perhaps if I didn’t have kids and had the option of a permanent set up and time to try and master it, then it would raise games to a higher level, but controller is king once again – for now! I underestimated just how much hard work it can be.

An awesome peripheral for sure, but sometimes you cannot beat sitting back, controller in hand and literally let your fingers do the talking.

 

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