Monday, May 7, 2012

World Rally Fever: The Road to Victory Part 2

When we last left my World Rally fever campaign, I was feeling pretty optimistic about things. When I embarked on this campaign, I was afraid that beating the game would be an insurmountable task, but with the Rookie Cup under my belt with relatively little effort, perhaps that wasn't going to be the case after all.

Much like the Rookie Cup, I'd played through the Amateur Cup quite a bit in 2001 and even a bit in 2002. At the time I had completing the first two tracks down to a fine art and I'd certainty raced the final track several times with the prospect of a cup victory very much in contention. Why had I never beaten it? I didn't remember, but I was about to get well acquainted with why as I set my sights on cup number two.

Tokyo (Amateur Cup)

We kick things off with a pretty straightforward track; one that I've raced on dozens of times back in the day. Even with a lot of experience here though, the trucks that randomly cross the road can still be quite a pain in the ass to avoid. Unfortunately, they won't be the last randomly occurring obstacles we see in the game either. Awesome music though; easily the best tune in the game here.

Utah (Amateur Cup)

Man, I used to be able to destroy this track. It wasn't without a lot of practice, but the tight bends, the narrow track, the piles of tyres, even the freaking dinosaur skeleton, I was able to tear through all of it and cruise into first without breaking into a sweat. Coming back to it ten years later, I got to re-experience just how freaking hard this track actually was, which is extremely freaking hard. :D It took quite a bit of fresh practice here before I was even placing high enough to proceed, let alone coming first. Not one of my finer performances above, but I was definitely getting there at that stage.

Scotland (Amateur Cup)

Overall, this isn't too much of a step up in difficulty from the first Scotland track, for the most part anyway. There are two quite risky jumps over water about 3/4 of the way around the track though, one after another. Both of these require you to avoid some unhelpfully-placed obstacles, the second one also requiring you to line up your jump so that you can swerve around a bend while in the air. Tricky stuff, but surely a high-level player like myself would have no problem pulling those types of jumps off, without say, colliding into a bunch of rocks...

Hawaii (Amateur Cup)

Utah may have been tough, but the Amateur Cup's final challenge is a fucking nightmare. There's really no respite to be found anywhere here. First of all, the whole track is extremely narrow, which is bad news for overtaking - given how aggressive the other racers tend to be, it's usually best to give them a wide berth least they bounce you into a nearby obstacle. And obstacles you'll find aplenty here: the whole right side is a wall of momentum-killing greenery; the whole left side is bordering a fucking ocean and in no less than three points during each lap, you need to weave through an even narrower path between these existing hazards, and a set of trees, bushes or hedges in the middle of the track, requiring such precision to navigate that you feel like you're performing a high-speed endoscopy or threading the world's most insane needle. Ah, now I remember why I didn't beat the Amateur Cup.

07/08/11 - I've almost got the Amateur Cup, I just need a bit of luck to finish 2nd or 3rd in Hawaii. Holy crap, that's a badly designed track. - JiliK's Backloggery

I didn't come this far to give up now though. What helped me eke out a passable result here I think was lowering the CPU cycles in DOSBox, slowing the game down. That helped me out quite a bit to get through the more obstacle-ridden parts of the track, not without crashing, but at least crashing a little less often. In the end I think it was still more luck than skill that finally got me through this bloody track.

07/08/11 - I got through Hawaii somehow to finally grab the Amateur Cup. I'm halfway through the game now and further than I ever got in 2001/2. - JiliK's Backloggery

And with Hawaii mastered, well sort-of, World Rally Fever's Amateur Cup was in the bag. This was the furthest I'd ever gotten in the game, but after that last track, I was feeling a lot more sketchy about the two cups to come. I would have felt even more so if I'd known where the next cup would have me revisiting.

On to Part 3

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