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cubanismo

Anyone Else Enjoy Playing Checkered Flag?

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You're all going to think I've gone insane, and maybe it's the fumes, but I've been playing a lot of Checkered Flag lately. I was ordering some other stuff from Goat Store, and somewhat on a whim, I tossed a copy of Checkered Flag in the cart. I'd played it on a skunkboard a couple of times before (Even tried the "fixed" steering patch), so I knew more or less what I was getting into, but hey, it was cheap.

 

To my surprise, I loaded it up just to verify it arrived in working order, and ended up playing for over an hour. Maybe it's because I played a lot of Virtua Racing. It was in our local arcade, and my friend and I rented it for his Genesis about 3 times and played it all night each time. I also played a good deal of Stunt Race FX on my SNES back in the day, so I like my flat shaded polygonal racers.

 

On Checkered Flag though, the frame rate is awful. I often feel like I have no control over my car and just randomly veer straight into a wall (The "cockpit"/first-person view seems to be a little better, but I don't even trust my own judgement here at this point). I seem to randomly be in first place or last place (rarely in between), regardless of how great or terrible I drive. And yet, I'm having fun for some reason. I've kept coming back to it over the past few weeks.

 

This happen to anyone else, or should I seek help?

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I had a cart made of the SP (Steering Patch) edition; and that is tolerable for me to play from time to time.  Overall I tend to stick to World Tour Racing though, which probably has a worse framerate but far better controls and music. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, cubanismo said:

Maybe it's because I played a lot of Virtua Racing.

Upon seeing Checkered Flag for a first time, a friend who's a Megadrive fan described it as "this is basically Virtua Racing, but done wrong".

So it's pretty surprising you like it, given how much worse it is compared to the "original".

Edited by Zerosquare
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I purchased a loose copy a few years ago to re-visit the game. I used to enjoy it back in 1997, but I have no idea how. This game gives me a headache. It's almost unplayable. I sold it on eBay not long after that.

I'll take World Tour Racing any day...

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I have fun with virtua racing and its various ports, even the one to the genesis.  I've gone back to Checkered Flag many times to give it a "second" chance and maybe see if I can figure out a way to enjoy playing it, but I've never had a breakthrough where it becomes fun.

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I tried it recently. Definitely gives it the virtua racing feeling. Is it stocked up with as many options as the Saturn VR? No. But it was pleasant enough. I need to try the other racers. 

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I like Checkered Flag.  It's probably entirely for nostalgia reasons, to be honest.  I got it as a gift around 1994 or 1995, and I played it enough that I actually took first place in tournament mode a few times.  The controls never get good, but if you play it enough you can get used to them just enough to keep your car off the walls. 

 

If it wasn't for the controls, I would actually rate the game something like a 8/10 for its time.  The graphics were solid back in the day and the music was catchy and memorable.  But controls are only the most essential thing in a racing game, so they bring the score way down of course.

 

Believe it or not, one of the biggest reasons I'm looking forward to the JagGD is to try out the Steering Patch version.  

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5 minutes ago, PFG 9000 said:

Believe it or not, one of the biggest reasons I'm looking forward to the JagGD is to try out the Steering Patch version.  

Yeah that changes it from a totally unfun, unplayable mess into a... err.. ok doesn't do much for it :D

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10 hours ago, madman said:

I'd rather play Club Drive.

Now that is a fun game, especially two player.

 

blogentry-4709-1212776448.jpg.5213c95a3d10631316c6ba51dc15c413.jpg

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10 hours ago, madman said:

I'd rather play Club Drive.

I'd rather play with a dog shit and a lollypop stick. 

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5 minutes ago, doctorclu said:

Now that is a fun game, especially two player.

 

blogentry-4709-1212776448.jpg.5213c95a3d10631316c6ba51dc15c413.jpg

But you like Bubsy....

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Club Drive is so ridiculous it can be fun if you don't take it seriously, and the design has a few interesting ideas.

 

Checkered Flag is just... tedious.

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12 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

But you like Bubsy....

 

Like Tempest 2000, Doom, Joust, Raiden, Bubsy, Zool, and variety of other original, ST ported, and homebrew games on the Jag.

 

Among many, also Club Drive.

 

Checkered Flag... pretty game but not a fan.

 

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12 hours ago, Zerosquare said:

Club Drive is so ridiculous it can be fun if you don't take it seriously, and the design has a few interesting ideas.

 

 

I think what makes the game so fun is that the game's theme is ridiculous.   "It's a toy car driving around a living room driving past... I think that's a cat".   And so on.  :D  

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On 1/8/2021 at 6:28 AM, Zerosquare said:

So it's pretty surprising you like it, given how much worse it is compared to the "original".

I haven't actually played virtua racing in decades at this point. I remember the cartridge having all of one track though. I'll have to load it up in an emulator this weekend for a real comparison.

On 1/8/2021 at 6:21 AM, Rick Dangerous said:

Overall I tend to stick to World Tour Racing though, which probably has a worse framerate but far better controls and music. 

Yeah, I've liked WTR from the minute I hit the first turn. The frame rate really isn't that much of an issue as long as the controls remain tight. I wonder if they're sampling input on the DSP asynchronous to  the graphics update loop or something. It's kind of surprising it can feel as responsive as it does at what looks like single digit FPS.

 

I liked Virtua Racing and Super Hang-On, but Daytona USA was always my arcade racer of choice (Basically bought the Saturn because of it), and WTR is clearly trying to be Daytona for the Jaguar, with F1 substituted for stock cars.  Gets you the best of both worlds: The energetic feel of Daytona with the go-kart-style steering of a formula car.

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21 hours ago, PFG 9000 said:

If it wasn't for the controls, I would actually rate the game something like a 8/10 for its time.

Agreed. I think it's beautiful graphically, and the frame rate is more or less par for the time it came out. Sound is meh, but completely adequate. Besides the controls, it has one other serious flaw though: The A.I. It must have been hard to come up with an algorithm that randomly makes all the computer-controlled cars come to a halt for no reason, but they pulled it off.

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21 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

Yeah that changes it from a totally unfun, unplayable mess into a... err.. ok doesn't do much for it :D

When you were poking at this, did you happen to see whether the frame time is factored into the movement? It really feels like they assumed a constant frame rate here instead and coded their acceleration/delta vectors for the steering accordingly. Haven't checked out the source myself yet.

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5 minutes ago, cubanismo said:

When you were poking at this, did you happen to see whether the frame time is factored into the movement? It really feels like they assumed a constant frame rate here instead and coded their acceleration/delta vectors for the steering accordingly. Haven't checked out the source myself yet.

I spent about as much time poking around as Atari did caring about making a fun game :)

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If you were coming from the lynx, you had this idea that checkered flag was this fantastic racer game, so of course its jaguar counterpart could not be bad, could he? 

 

I think that's the reason I really tried to like it and actually managed to finish it. Now I remember playing it on an emulator with a decent frame rate some years ago and while it does not solve the control issue, it makes it a much more decent game I think.

 

And Im sure the jaguar is capable of that.

Edited by LordKraken

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