Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cars cubed

It’s been a bit of a car themed afternoon at Hopkins towers.

First of all, I dusted off my vintage copy of Waddington’s formula 1 from the top of the wardrobe for a game with Jamie. I picked this up from a charity shop for a couple of quid a few years ago and apparently it now goes for $sillymoney on ebay. It’s an excellent mix of strategy and risk taking, and you really need to plan at least three moves ahead to optimise the speed you go through the corners. Jamie was actually ahead for most of the race until a blown engine at a pitstop delayed him for long enough for me to sneak past. Good fun, and the 1960s vintage cars and the dashboards where you keep track of your speed are very atmospheric.

Next up was Ronin, a video I picked up from a bargain bin, probably around the same time I bought F1. It’s the usual thriller story of double crossing mercenary types with Robert De Niro phoning in his performance, Jean Reno giving a sterling performance as Jean Reno and Jonathan Price with one of the worst Oirish accents ever committed to celluloid. However, it’s the car chases that we want to see and they are superb, particularly the final sequence going the wrong way through a Parisian underpass at high speed. Hmmm, I wonder if that's where Henri Paul got his driving lessons from.

Finally, I stuck Gran Turismo 3 in the PS2 for a race or two. I’m concentrating on maxing out my shiny little red MX5 to earn enough money to buy a decent rally car for the rally stages, something I’ve never actually got around to completing in a GT game yet. This really is just about the best thing on PS2, even after all these years, from the heat haze on the starting grid to the perfectly rendered cinematic replays after each race.

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