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Marcus Grönholm & Timo Rautiainen, Ford Focus WRC, Rally Sweden 2007
Marcus Grönholm & Timo Rautiainen, Ford Focus WRC, Rally Sweden 2007
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A new broom sweeps cleaner

Bruno's Blog, from a fan for fans!

Welcome back to my blog, thanks.

 

Let's find out why my favorite game had lost it's attraction suddenly:

 

After more than a year full of thrilling battles against friends or the clock, I switched my PlayStation off, opened the disc drive, grabbed the red-hot and still spinning data wheel carefully with my glove-protected fingers and placed it on my living room table to cool down. It took much longer than expected but finally it was cold enough to put the silver disc into its casing and from there to retirement.

 

What had happened?

 

Short question, simple answer:

The a bit more experienced ( I don't say old) readers will remember this masterpiece of coding. 

For all the others: Colin Mc Rae Rally was the very first console rally game with no direct opponents. The only one to beat was the clock. I don't want to say it was a simulation game but it came close. The gameplay was simply awesome, well balanced, very challenging but always motivating for another try. I remember that its completely new approach with having no other cars on the track (unlike V-Rally) was too new for gaming magazines. The game got great reviews but at the end, there was always one question left: Would the gamer accept to race against "no-one"? Nowadays we laugh about these concerns but in 1998, it was revolutionary. Rally-blind from V-Rally, I discovered that game in early '99 and loved it from the very beginning. That was sooooooo my game...

No other cars on the track meant that I couldn't blame anyone else anymore when I had lost a race. No unfair maneuvers anymore (which we never did anyway, haha), no excuses, only my skills made the difference between top or flop. What a joy!

Again hundreds of endless gaming evenings, nights , weekends went by until the champion among rally games was beaten.

 

Meanwhile we're in the year 2000 and Colin Mc Rae Rally developer Codemasters launched their new offroad racing flagship:

I bet that this bring you gamers out there some great memories back. It was really possible to make a great game even better: More cars and more locations, more cheats... Who remembers the funny "Helium-Nicky"? Insiders know what I mean.

 

Needless to tell that this game was another milestone for me. My growing interest about rally had reached new heights but for some strange reason only in terms of console rally gaming. 

 

I don't remember that I had been watching ever rally on TV these years...

The fact that rally isn't a big thing in Switzerland (actually it's not existing in the big medias) and I wasn't a TV-holic still made it so that rally existed for me only in my meanwhile 3 year old PlayStstion.


Nowadays when I look back or even now when I write these lines, I wonder about myself very much. How was it possible that I didn't find the way from virtual rally to real world? I have absolutely no clue...

and to tell it beforehand, it continued like that for another very long time...

Strange, I know.

Time went by so quickly and not only the rally games got updates, also my grey box of joy became older. Sony had noticed that too and announced the Playstation 2 for November 2000. Guess who ordered the black brick months before its launch? That was easy, wasn't it? Too much I had read in gaming magazines about the new wonder-console not to be among the first ones to have it. 

 

Finally my countdown had reached "Day 0" and to celebrate this early Christmas suitably, I took a day off. Unlike years before, I wasn't shy anymore to tell everyone why I didn't come to work that day. A special PlayStation 2 launch party was arranged, friends invited and 2 consoles connected with 2 video projectors offered party all evening. The new graphic power with now 128bit instead of 32 was simply jaw-dropping (back then). Unfortunately only 2 Games fitted to my limited budget: Tekken (beat-em-up), and Ridge Racer (arcade racing). There were only 2 or 3 more games available that day but as long as I still had Colin McRae Rally on my suddenly old-fashioned PS1, I could manage.

 

Only a week or two later, a random visit of our local electronic department store lifted my rally fever to a new level. The very first game of the official World Rally Championship WRC smiled from the shelf to my direction. I can tell all of you out there: Love at the first sight exists, it happened to me at that moment. This game made about the same impact like V-Rally back in the days. When V-Rally was the spark, then WRC - The Game was the blast!

All the cars, drivers and co-drivers of the highest level of rallying (except Colin Mc Rae, which was exclusively used in his own game). Does anyone remember how developer Evolution Studios solved that issue? You got it: Colin was "Driver for Ford". :-D

 

And there was one more reason why I loved that game and what consequences that caused.

 

Do you want to get to know? Find out next Tuesday. :-D

 

High octane greetings and Uf Wiederluege!

 

-Bruno-

 

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