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5ive Gears In Reverse

Observations, annoyances, etc., from the past few days of driving around Oahu in Test Drive: Unlimited (followed by some other unrelated ramblings):

  • I haven’t had to dodge around this many idiotic drivers on the road since…well…the last time I actually went out for a drive. Seriously, it’s like Atari has made the perfect “stupid driver” AI for it’s commuter traffic in Oahu. Their favorite stupid things to do are a) make left turns against oncoming traffic (i.e. you) or b) stop for no reason in the middle of the road, even though there’s not a stop sign in sight.
  • Hitchhikers, “top models”, and the like don’t mind if you do 150 MPH over the speed limit, or if you endanger them by narrowly dodging in-between two cars on a two-lane highway. But let your tires go even one millimeter off the pavement (even if it’s to avoid an accident), and they’re all “boy, you’re a crappy driver”. Excuse me? Well, maybe I could take it easier if you didn’t want me to go 15 miles in two-and-a-half minutes. Idiots.
  • The GPS can be infuriating at times, too — most notably when it waits until you’re on top of an intersection before telling you “turn left” — because I can stop on a dime and make a 90-degree turn when I’m doing 210 MPH in my Enzo Ferrari.
  • My Enzo Ferrari is fun. =P (It had better be, for the $650,000 I paid for it in-game, though that’s still less than what it takes to buy the F1 McLaren).

I also decided to attempt the “Millionaire’s Race”, or whatever it’s called — it’s a time trial race that pretty much takes you around the entirety of Oahu. If you complete the circuit in under 60 minutes (yes, an hour), you win 1.5 meellion dollars. Despite doing my best to completely screw up (crashing into cars, getting ticketed no less than three times by the cops), I ended up finishing the race in just over 61 minutes. Still, I won $250,000 for having the second best time, which ain’t bad. Of course, I want to win that $1.5 million — I’ll just have to steel myself for another hour-long race. Yay.

Lastly, because I apparently have to mention Puffy in EVERY. SINGLE. POST. I make, check out the music video for their upcoming single, “Hazumu Rhythm”, due to be released next week in Japan. Actually, this particular single is credited to “PUFFY x Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra” (hence the giant backing band in the video); perhaps interestingly, the horn section of the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra has already played on a Puffy song before (that being “Boogie-Woogie No. 5”). This song was done to celebrate 100 years of Lipton brand tea, which Puffy helps promote (hence, the garish red and yellow backdrop in the video), so check it out if you are so inclined.

Good day, all.

10 thoughts to “5ive Gears In Reverse”

  1. Sounds like you’re a good deal ahead of the curve in TDU, already stocked up with an Enzo! That’s the car I am currently luuusssting after. Yeah, okay, I want the McLaren F1 too, but at “one meellion dollars” I don’t think it’s gonna be happening anytime soon. How do you get the Enzo, though — I didn’t see it at the dealership?

    Over the weekend I finally made it to 10-car collector status by adding a Lambo Murcielago, a Ferrari 575M and 288 GTO (Magnum P.I.! Woo!), an Ascari KZ1 and a Saleen S281E Extreme Mustang. Bought a third house way out in the mountains, the one with only one twisty road leading to it that you have to drive on for miles.

    Hee, I see you beat me to the punch with the “realistic crappy driver A.I.!” feature of the game; I was gonna make a post about that aspect too. I think they must have come to Florida and done an extensive study of driving habits, then digitized the “fogey driving” model. The longest race I’ve done so far was the “Big Challege” (about 35 miles) and I could not believe how many times I ran into people. Fortunately I was still able to hit the finish line well within the target time, but it’s unreal the way people drive.

    Actually, that’s the wrong word. It’s all too real. One time I came flying up on some SUV in the right lane of a two-lane highway, I think I was in the Z06 at the time. I made a move to pass him and suddenly he cuts into the left lane, just in time for me to see that he himself is passing some fogey who’s doing about 10 MPH. WHAM, I hit the fogey’s car. So hard, in fact, that for the next several seconds I saw spinning tires and bumper covers flying through the air and bouncing off the road — in front of me as I continued blasting down the highway.

    So, the title of this post…Elvis Costello, right? At first I thought you were talking about the actual bug wherein the Ferrari 288 can reach 150 miles an hour in reverse… 😀

  2. There are actually two Ferrari/Maserati dealerships — the one with the Enzo is in the southeast corner of the island, just northwest of the “U.S. Classic Car” dealership (it also says it has 7 cars for sale, while the other Ferrari dealer sells 6 cars) . After doing a zillion perfect car deliveries, I had the prerequisite $650K, so of course I grabbed an Enzo. 🙂 It’s a lot of fun to drive.

    I’ve been slowly adding to my car collection as well. I now own an AC Cobra, the Lotus Espirit V8, a Nismo 350Z…and a Kawasaki bike. Yep, I got a bike. Hoo boy…will that take getting some used to!

    I was actually going to suggest that the game designers studied the driving habits of Florida fogies when they made the game, but didn’t. Heh. I can’t believe the sheer stupidity of some of the drivers — like the idiots who STOP THEIR CAR in order to change lanes. AGH. I keep hitting so many people during races it isn’t funny, which in turn gets the cops on your butt. It also makes for much teeth-gnashing when I’m trying to do perfect model/car/whatever deliveries. And it always seems that the two-lane back roads are always more crowded than, say, the freeways. Funny that.

    Yep, the title is an old Elvis Costello song (which is currently in rotation in my custom Test Drive radio playlist). And what’s this about the Ferrari going 150 in reverse?!? That’s wild. Now I’m gonna go buy a Ferrari 288 just so I can go that fast in reverse. 🙂

  3. Aha, so the Enzo is only at the one dealership! I see; I thought all the dealers for a particular make had the same inventory. I’ll definitely fast-track the Enzo. First, though, I better fast-track some money acquisition, since I think I have less than $200,000 after my latest binge. Still plenty of garage space, at least.

    Yeah, I noticed that about the back roads being super crowded. It’s like everybody’s going to the beach at the same exact moment. I can’t tell you how many times I had to restart the Shelby GR1 car delivery mission because PEOPLE. KEPT. CHANGING. LANES. IN FRONT OF ME. And of course, I will accept nothing less than perfect when delivering a car…otherwise you’re just throwing money away!

    I haven’t actually tried the “150 MPH in reverse” thing but I heard about it on the forums, it’s apparently one of the bugs that will be fixed in the official patch that Atari is working on.

    I was wondering if you had bought a bike yet…based on my limited experience with them during the TDU demo a few weeks before the game’s release, they are extremely hard to control. Gonna take some getting used to, indeed.

  4. Upgrading your cars is definitely a good thing.

    My Enzo now tops out at 230+ MPH (858 HP!). Of course, it cost nearly $300K to get the top-end performance package on it. I’ve also upgraded my Z06, GTO, Trans Am, and GT500. 🙂

    It’s all about doing the piddly “no restrictions” races (or even the class races) and wiping the floor with everyone else because you’ve tuned your car up.

  5. Upgrading definitely rocks, I just wish they had an option to throw on some custom wheels. I hear that was gonna be a feature but they actually ran out of disc space and had to drop it.

    I’ve tuned up some of my cars (Sky, Trans Am, GTO, Mustang) but haven’t gotten around to doing them all yet…I typically wait until I have trouble with some race and then I go for it.

  6. The whole wheel thing makes sense, seeing as a huge wall o’ wheels is the first thing you see when you enter the tuner shops. That’s too bad they couldn’t fit it in.

    I’ve actually run most of my races thus far sans tuning — for the most part that was because I hadn’t run across the tuner shops for my non-Japanese cars yet. So I guess I’m in decent shape if I’ve been able to get this far without abusing the tuner shops so much.

  7. Sweeeeeeet. I just took the gold cup in the Millionaire’s Race! The funny thing was that I got pulled over twice, and each time there were tens of thousands of dollars in fines for destroying cars, but the bottom line of the ticket said “Zero.” So I ended up not paying, it seems.

    After taking the prize, of course I went and bought an Enzo right away. 😀

  8. Yeah, I noticed that. In fact, it seems that if you ever get pulled over — in any race — the ticket and fines amount to $0. That’s good, though, since I usually get pulled over in my Enzo; I doubt I could afford all the tickets I accumulate in races if they actually charged what they should. 🙂

    I’ll probably end up trying the Millionaire’s Challenge again tomorrow; with my souped-up Enzo, I should hopefully be able to take it easily. 🙂

  9. I won the Millionaire’s Challenge this morning…

    ..So I bought a McLaren F1 (big surprise, eh?). I spent a few minutes debating whether to get the base McLaren F1 or the F1 GTR; in the end I decided I wanted some money left over (at $1.5 million, the GTR would have completely wiped me out) so I “opted” for the base F1.

    You need to get that car. It’s a lot of fun. And fast, too. =P

  10. The F1 is next on my list, definitely…soon as I can get around to running the Millionaire’s Race again. 😀 I think I’m going to save up enough to opt for the GTR…the standard F1 has better acceleration, but the GTR is less squirrely and keeps its ass pinned at high speed thanks to that wing on the back.

    By the way I finally got my Xbox Live Gold account up and running, and drove around Oahu last night in Free Ride mode watching other live players crash into traffic and drive into lakes. It was hella fun. 🙄

    One dude in a Corvette tried to catch my Ascari, and he was matching my speed pretty well as I shot through the middle of the urban area downtown. Then I decided to reel him in a bit, let him get closer and then firewalled the brakes as I pitched her into a turn. I made it through and the Vette guy flattened his car into a skyscraper. He turned around after that.

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