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It really is. I still prefer Mario Kart or ExciteBots overall, but as a 600 point downloadable title, Light Trax delivers the goods, and then some.
The simplistic art style is really cool.
You are the white light track, and you must navigate the course, avoiding obstacles, while slipstreaming next to other light trax to gain boost and overtake the leaders. It's an uphill battle from the get-go, because you're forced to start from 7th position. You can not travel in the same lane as another light trax, but you do want to travel next to one so you can accumulate your boost. Changing lanes reduces your speed, but cutting corners on the inside will give you an edge. You can even screw over light trax behind you by changing into their lane, forcing them into another potentially hazardous direction. There are plenty of perspective changes as you race, which can be confusing at first, but I feel they add style to the game, and force you to be on the ball.
There are a few different game modes, from single race to tour (three-race cup with points), to freeway mode. Freeway mode is different from the racing, essentially you are on a highway and want to accumulate points within the time limit by slipstreaming past other light trax, while going faster and faster.
The game is quite difficult, and I love it. I spent a good few hours trying to get 1st in the 3rd cup, and finally getting it, to unlock the 4th via the freeway mode, was very rewarding.
The music in this game has a techno/electronica vibe to it, and to say the least, it's awesome. Every race has a different tune.
I'll leave you with a video, and impressions from a long-time NW member. In short, buy this game.
So I picked up Light Trax. I have Dotstream, but I never played it much, and I now realize that I didn't understand the mechanics at all. It is sort of a single-player slot-car racing game, but it's SO FUCKING WEIRD, the strategies you have to employ and such. Basically, you build up boost by slipstreaming, and you slipstream by being next to another light track (or, ideally, between two). Very abnormal, but pretty cool. There are also power-ups, and you can cash in a 'life' for a mega-boost. The 3D stuff is nothing more than a neat visual gimmick, as far as I can tell. You automatically shift between planes and keep the lane you were in.
There are two main modes in Light Trax - the original race mode from Dotstream and the new (?) Freeway mode, which is very neat. The rules in Freeway mode are different. You have to slipstream until you can shift to the next gear, which makes you go faster and faster. Very exhilarating. Especially with the cool, minimalist visual design. I really enjoyed what little I played of that mode.
I played the first cup and the first Freeway. I've gotta say, I'm liking it! I don't know why, but I'm enjoying this game a lot more on a home console. The aesthetics really shine (aside from some jaggies), and now I actually know what I'm doing (ProTip: RTFM!). I'm very happy with my purchase.
It's a very cool game. Unfortunately, I haven't picked it up since that first day, but that has nothing to do with its quality.
I really enjoyed the Freeway Mode, as well. A nice addition to the series. I should bust out my twice-played copy of Dotstream and compare the tracks.
It would be nice to see Skip experiment a bit and reach beyond the puzzle genre. I know they've prototyped even MotionPlus Art Style sports games, but I guess those concepts didn't make the cut. Regardless, Skip is awesome.
Tomorrow I get the day off and it's supposed to be rainy. I think I'll take a break from trying to beat canonj's score in BT Beat (well, one of them) and get this as well as those Topsy Turvy games on DSiware.
No, unfortunately there is no way to save your info.
Well that is too bad. One click buying like Steam or XBLA is the way to go. On Steam it isn't such a big deal because of the keyboard, however if I had to enter my name, address, card info etc every time I bought something on XBLA I'd go apeshit.
Honestly it's like Nintendo doesn't want you to spend money on their service the way they run it.
@Oldmanwinter That looks pretty cool. @Pandareus Freeway mode is a high score attack, as opposed to the races where you try to get the best time or win the three-race cup.
Basically, you're on a five minute timer, heading down a highway and you can see other light trax approaching as you gain on them. Light trax may also pass you from behind so you've got to keep alert. You want to slipstream next to them to increase your speed by changing to the next gear. You get points for streaming and for passing other light trax. But you lose speed if you cross over another light trax or bump into one's tail end. The faster you go, the higher your scoring and scoring opportunities, but the tougher it is to react quickly because you're speeding away. At some point, you can get off the highway, and merge onto the highway in another region. I haven't quite figured out the benefit, other than switching up the music, and unlocking new cups for the first time.
Freeway mode is actually really fun, and a neat addition that draws on the strengths of the gameplay and stands alone from the pure competitive racing in the other modes.
@Oldmanwinter Although I admit this isn't a real solution, if you buy a bunch of Wii points at once you don't have to enter information every time you buy a new game. I pretty much know I'm going to be buying a lot of WiiWare games so I buy like $50 or $100 bucks of points at once.
But yeah Nintendo's a bit backwards with most everything online-related, though at least this is one area they have spoke about knowing they need to change.
On the flipside, I wonder how many people have bought used PS3s and discovered credit card information still there...
It always kills me when people rip on Nascar, and then go nuts about things like "slipstreams" (drafting) and similar dynamics in Mario Kart.
These things are in EVERY single Nascar game, but are put down because its Nascar. A shame.
Its not just this thread. Just an observation and a comment. Hey, I'm glad you guys dig it. I think drafting is cool, too.
Not the best game out there, but its been mentioned before (by someone else): Indianapolis 500 Legends (not a Nascar game) is draft happy, and it gives you a history lesson at the same time. Probably less than $20 now, too.
If obstacles (Monty Mole, rotating red blocks, oil slicks, etc) are paramount to your enjoyment, I should tell you that there are no Caution flags in the Indianapolis game, and that there will frequently be old school 60's cars spun out all over the place, sans wheels, and on fire. Pretty scary when you're coming up on them and you've got just about a second to react from the time you spot them.
There are other Mission type modes where you have to satisfy certain things, like pass 3 guys in 2 laps, or something. Also, theres a really awesome Pit Stop sequence. I never understood how racing games (all that I've played) since Bill Elliott's Nascar Racing for NES (or maybe it was Days of Thunder for NES..) had the CPU do your pitstops for you. Doing them yourself, making sure not to spill a drop of fuel before hitting all of your lugs to get four fresh ones is pretty exciting.
--Back to this thread; haven't played this game, and I probably won't. Looks interesting enough though.. If you're ready for more complex racing, take a chance with the Indy game (its NOT the deepest game in the world, however).
Me either. I don't understand the appeal. It's like as if the developers looked at racing video games, and instead of making something better, they decided to remove the fun.
No crazy, creative and surreal race tracks anymore - just realistic tracks (or even real-world tracks, i.e. ovals). No more responsive steering or acceleration controls... now you get sticky, non-responsive steering unless you SLOW DOWN and take the turn at a lower pace, then try to accelerate out of it (slowly! Go faster, but do it slowly!) without accidentally spinning out and crashing into the shoulder because you were trying to win a freakin' car race.
Oh! And don't forget to STOP in the middle of your race to get your car fixed/tires changed. Don't want your fake video game car to burn out or fall apart. *sigh* It's like the developers don't want you to just drive and enjoy yourself. You need to take a whole bunch of other annoying aspects into consideration so that you can make sure you get do what you bought the game for. Which would be, I assume, to enjoy some high-speed racing in the comfort of your home. "Race around this track as fast as you can, but be sure to go slow and stop once in a while." BUUHHH?!? Does this shit make sense to anybody?
I loathe the day Gran Turismo was introduced to the world. Gah. The graphics are always amazing, but the game itself is like the antithesis of why I enjoy the racing genre in the first place.
Omigod, whenever I'm at someone's house and they whip out... Gran Turismo, I cry a little on the inside. The new Gran Turismo has Nascar.
Basically, I never want to have to brake, ever. We should make a thread on which racers have the best powerslide mechanics. I've always been partial to Ridge Racer. Double Dash was pretty great, as well. And Super Circuit was very technical and precise.