Driving games have come a long way in the video game industry. From the old black and white driving games to Pole Position, Out Run, and even Crusin’, they just keep getting better and better. But I will be perfectly honest, I really am not a fan of them. Something about the driving concept seems to annoy me. But don’t get me wrong, there are some really good games out there. Heck, I played Mario Cart for the Wii for hours on end. And sometimes, I break out my retro handheld to play a little of the original Mario Cart. But, frankly, I wasn’t really amused as a kid.
I mean sure, I pumped tons of quarters into the driving games. And frankly, I don’t know why. I think it was a concept of, it’s a video game play it. But back then, there was a game where I thought it was the greatest driving game to play because it was where driving games really evolved…for the times.
Back in 1989, Atari was on top of the ball when they released Hard Drivin’. What they claim as the “World’s First Driving Simulation Game!” was in fact the truth. I mean, yes there was Outrun that did have a sit down game feel to it. But there was something different about the Hard Driving’ that made it completely different from the other games. First of all, it had a very strong force feedback. If you are holding onto the wheel and crash, you would really feel the impact on the hands. Also, unlike the other driving games, there was a 5 way shifter. Of course for me that didn’t make a bit of difference since I always played manual.
But when the game started, you have a choice of hitting the race track or the stunt track, that had loop located in mid-track. And you can also choose the type of view that you wanted when you were racing. It, in all honesty though, was a pretty basic game.
Graphically, there was nothing interesting about it. It was all polygon graphics and no scenery. It was very bland. But it was however, really cool when you crashed either by the loop or by a ramp jump because you get to see the replay from different angles.
I’m not saying that the game was terrible at all. For what it was, it was very entertaining. Why I kept going back to it, I will never know. It’s probably one of those, I’ll just play it once to say I played it. Then one hour you go back and say, “Did I play that game?” Let me try again. And then one…you get the point.
And now the game is pretty much old and gone and seen going for a couple hundred dollars at a video game auction. If you want a piece of really good history, unlike me, you could try to find one. But if you are like me, you can just…
Keep Calm and Insert Coin