Tag Archives: Super Mario Kart

Baby, you can drive my car…in Borderlands (cause I don’t want to)

I’m beginning to wonder what videogames with vehicles would be like without their vehicles. Most likely better, to start.

The Mako in Mass Effect was frustrating to control, and unsatisfying when you finally did get the hang out it because then you’re mostly standing still, bunny-hopping incoming rockets, and firing your own weaponry off into the great distance. Not fun, and it might have just been easier–and more fun–to walk the path from Mako point A to Make point B then drive like a loon. I was extremely glad to hear it got the ax for Mass Effect 2 though they seemed to have added in a flying ship of sorts. Not sure how it controls.

In Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, if a single block was off or the wrong type of fuel was attached, the vehicle would be classified in the local paper as 100% jalopy/clunker/hooptie. This made making your own vehicles un-fun, and using the ones provided by the game until you hit a spot where none of them would work. Wish it was a platformer again instead of a car circus.

And Grand Theft Auto IV‘s vehicles are just hahahahaaa ahaha ahahahahah ha. Ahem.

But I’m not here to harp on Mass Effect‘s shoddy future tank or Banjo Kazooie‘s pickiness. No, no. This blog post is all about the vehicles in Borderlands.


Actually, nothing. But there is something terribly wrong with the control scheme for them. So, once you’re inside the driver seat after accidentally climbing into the gunner seat a few times, you’re ready to burn some rubber around the wasteland. To do so, on the Xbox 360, you have to press forward on the left analog stick. Okay, weird. Old-school design. So how do you steer then? Oh, you also use the left analog stick. “But,” you ask, dear reader, “how can you effectively hold it forward to drive and tilt left/right to steer the vehicle away from sharp rocks?” You can’t.

I really had a lot of trouble figuring out how to use the vehicle once I got in it. And so far, after trying to use it on two missions to speed up travel time, I’ve found myself stuck on a rock or down a ditch thanks to hard-as-vault controls. It really boggles my mind, and I can’t seem to find a way to change the scheme myself. Why couldn’t you hold A for gas and steer with the analog stick? Makes no sense, I tell you.

Now I’m just waiting to unlock fast travel because driving vehicles, especially in a solo game where no one is watching my back or driving for me, is not a good time. Of all time. NOT A GOOD TIME OF ALL TIME. Shooting bandits is much more desired.

Yet somehow–and I assure you there was no skill involved here thanks to previous mentioned controls–I unlocked the following Achievement:

Get a Little Blood on the Tires (20G): Killed 25 enemies by ramming them with any vehicle

Seriously, at this point, I think the only game with vehicles I’ve ever greatly enjoyed is Super Mario Kart. Those things handled perfectly.

IMPRESSIONS: Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

The kart racer is dead, long live the kart racer!

Actually, it’s not so much dead. More like…hard to stand out in the crowd. See, Nintendo created the kart racer many moons ago with Super Mario Kart for the SNES, a game that still holds up remarkably well today. The fiancĂ©e and I play it a lot, actually, and I like to throw false information at her such as telling her about secret teleports hidden in spots of water. Alas, she’s learned not to trust my “advice.” Anyways, Super Mario Kart naturally spawned some imitators, the majority of which failed to live up to the flagship’s standards. Save for Crash Tag Team Racing; I like that one for reasons I’m not ready to say.

So the demo for Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing felt very much like it should: formulaic. You select your racer, you select your track, you hit the gas, you pick up weaponry from floating somethings, and you zip along until you’ve crossed the finish line. We know how to play it; we’ve been playing this game for years.

Definitely the one place where Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing outshines Nintendo is in its roster. Given the game’s title and much like in SEGA Superstars Tennis, there’s a unique gathering of characters from all sorts of previous games. You can definitely play as the blue blur himself, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Eggman, Big the Cat, moody Shadow, Ulala, AiAi from Super Monkey Ball, and Beat, among others (Banjo and Kazooie if you’re lucky to play it on the Xbox 360).

The demo only offers up one character to play (Sonic) and one course (a rather generic level). Driving is simple and fun, and getting Sonic to do his “all-star” move, turning him into Super Sonic, a speeding blue blur of death, is awesome. However, the track itself was very straightforward, and I never once felt like I would steer the wrong way or anything. Had an “on rails” sort of feel to it, despite not being that. The audio works well, with actual commentary happening live as you do stuff, but I did notice one of Sonic’s lines was taken directly from SEGA Superstars Tennis, which seems a bit lazy.

It’s not the worst thing to ever hit a console though it definitely lacks innovation. If you don’t own a Wii or dusty SNES, sure, give this a chance. Otherwise, you might want to stick with what you know already.

And of course, it’s still hard to wrap your brain around the fact that Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the fastest critters around the gamesphere, is racing in a car. And losing at times. Oh well…