Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit – Steam Backlog Bonanza [Blaugust 6]

848 words.

I bought 2010’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit for $8 in a Winter sale in 2014, and yesterday I installed and played it for the first time. I believe this was the ninth game in the Backlog Bonanza so far, with a depressingly huge list of games left to get through.

Every frame of every race looks exactly like this.

I’ve always liked racing games. They’re simpler games from a simpler time. I remember playing a Need For Speed game somewhere around the late 90s or early 2000s. I even bought a steering wheel and pedals for it (now long gone).

Your goal in Need For Speed is … wait for it … to drive a car down a road really fast. Usually you have to drive faster than other cars. Sometimes you have to avoid getting caught by the police. Each race takes about 5 minutes.

I can’t think of anything else to say about the mechanics of the game. It’s one of the most basic forms of video games in the world, and this is one of the most basic racing games I’ve seen in a while. It’s more of an arcade-style racing game, at least on the default settings, which I did not adjust. The right trigger controls acceleration, the left trigger is the brake. And that’s about it. I found the steering relatively easy to master in the very first race, which is almost unheard of in a racing game.

Usually it takes a few hours to get a feel for the controls of any driving game, and during that time you constantly slam into the walls or plow headlong into the trees along the side of the road. Dirt Rally, which was the last racing game I played before this one, took quite some time to get a feel for. But not this one.

If you like car porn, there's a lot of facts and figures about each of the cars during these cut scenes.

The game seemed so simplistic that I think it was intended to mainly be an online multiplayer title. The challenge was probably supposed to be from racing other players. The description of the game goes on for a while about the online component. Unfortunately, the online servers appear to be offline now, so you can only play against a very forgiving AI now.

Perhaps later on, the racing will become more complex, but at least in the first 45 minutes, it was so simple that I won five different races on five different roads on the first try. I think. I actually don’t remember if I won the first race or came in second. I think I came in second. But I definitely won all of the rest of the races. I felt like I would easily win every other race for the remainder of the game without any issues. I got kind of bored and put it away.

Will I play more? Maybe. It seems like a nice game to pull out when you only have 15 minutes to do something and don’t want to think very much. Then again, there are a whole lot of other games around to play. And, well, I also own Dirt Rally and it was more challenging and fun. So maybe not.

Previously on the Steam Backlog: Brutal Legend.

Live Stream - Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

Stream Production Notes: The stream was kind of boring. Need For Speed is a terrible game to try to say anything interesting about, and to watch, in my opinion. “Well, see, I’m going really fast now. Now I’m trying to go even faster. Now I’m turning. Now I’m slowing down. Wait! I just had an idea! I’ll try to go faster!” Yeah, not ideal. Probably most racing games are like that.

I guess I’ve fallen into a pattern with the streams, because I find myself not really thinking about the technical aspect very much anymore. I just sort of show up at the computer at the appointed time, run the game, make sure the screen size is set right, then start the stream. I probably only spend about 5-10 minutes before the beginning of the stream setting up now.

The writing of the blog post is by far the most time-consuming part of this Blaugust 2019 project so far. Sheesh. Blogging. Who ever came up with this crazy idea? Writing is so much work! I feel like the Blaugust mentors are not doing enough yet to scare prospective new bloggers away by highlighting the massive, massive, massive amount of time and effort that goes into blog posts, all completely unrewarded in any meaningful way. :)

Anyway I’m trying to whittle my writing and editing time down to about 30 minutes a day for these posts. I started out trying to write the draft in the evening in EverNote then move to WordPress, edit, and publish the next morning, but now I’m finding it easier and faster to write and edit and get the draft into WordPress in the evening, then publish the next morning.

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