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Playstation Games Under #10


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Driving Emotion Type-S

- Driving Emotion Type-S
Number Of Players: 1-2
Release Date: Available Now

Let's just get this out of the way right now: Driving Emotion Type-S is not good. One of the most gorgeous racers you're likely to see is marred by the single worst controls EVER used.

How this managed to get though Square's usually strenuous QA is beyond me, but the fact that it managed to get though Sony's too is just unacceptable. Sure, the game is absolutely gorgeous, almost giving GT 2000 and Ridge Racer V a run for their money eye candy wise (almost), but the fact that most gamers will spend the better part of their gaming experience with this game slamming into walls is just too much.

Type-S' track designs are slick, offering such sights as a cascading waterfall and it's spray that drifts over the track a short distance from it, or a neon-lit metropolis that boasts some awesome skyscraper-mounted signs. Everything has been coated with a very light motion blur that, in my best guess, was done to ease the aliasing that unfortunately plagues the PS2's early launch titles. It's subtle enough to not annoy, at least in the exterior view.

The interior view is a slightly different story. While the modeling on the dashboard is flawless (there's even the reflection of the top of the dash and steering wheel on the inside of the windshield when the lighting is just right), the motion blur is much more noticeable, even if it's not any more prevalent. But, as I said, this game is gorgeous. And even though the rear view mirror is completely useless, thanks to your field of view while in the cockpit, the way the perspective is handled is great. Run into the wall or another car (and you will -- a LOT, but more on that later), and you'll see the "head" of your perspective move exactly as it would if you were looking through your own eyes when you hit said obstacle.

But, all this beauty is trivial when you throw in the way it's all controlled. Type-S boast the worst controls in any racing game EVER, possibly in any game. Controlling your car is an exercise in sanity, since for at least the first 10 hours, you'll spend your time bouncing from wall to wall. The problem comes from horribly unresponsive steering. Even after completely removing the dead zone on the steering, I had to constantly play "steer and counter-steer". The car's wheels never return to the center, so you're constantly manually returning the wheels to center, even though the friggin' steering wheel looks centered. It's annoying, useless, and ruins an otherwise good game.

The music is typical Japanese synth pop, and if you can stomach this glorified elevator music, you'll be okay, otherwise, you'll be scrambling for the settings just to shut it up (especially since you'll be hearing the same song over and over and over and over...). The effects are nice, offering all the engine noises and tire squeals that you've come to expect from a racing game, but it's nothing amazing.

Should Square be able to tighten up the control for the US (it was done marginally with US release of GT2, so it's not a completely far-off concept), we could be looking at a very viable game, especially considering the licenses Square and developer Escape managed to snag. Subaru, Mazda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, BMW, TVR, and Ferrari are all here, with their most popular models, and while the Ferrari and Porsche licenses will probably have to be removed due to licensing deals with other companies, it's still a full list.
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