Driving Emotion Type-S – What do we think of Square’s efforts?

Squaresoft continues to elude us in the consistency department. You can’t fault it — it’s produced some of the most beautiful and moving adventures in console history, but its other efforts, such as Chocobo Racing and Ehrgeiz, haven’t done much for us at all. Square’s entry into the realistic racing genre, Driving Emotion Type-S continues this trend. The graphics are fine, the options plentiful and the details lovingly polished, but the core gameplay — the part where you’re in a car racing against other cars — doesn’t do much to advance the genre at all.

One look and you’ll know that this game is running on a next-gen console, yet the visuals are lacking in the vitality department, not to mention more aliased (“jaggie”) than we’d expect from a developer of such high esteem and lauded aesthetics. We’re not about to discount a game because of its anti-aliasing (or lack thereof), but at times you get the feeling that someone’s messing with the V hold. This game doesn’t look muddy, but it’s a little mild.

The actual cars are modeled nicely enough, with gratuitous lighting and reflection effects. But while they’re suitably 3D, they hardly look real. Level designs are a mixed bag: The actual layout of the courses are fine and there’s plenty of stuff to look at, but they’re curiously devoid of character. Good course designs demand good handling, which is where this game hits a rough patch.

The single biggest problem with the game is the lack of control. Handling manages to be both maddeningly touchy and frustratingly unresponsive at the same time — rarely do players feel like the vehicles they’re controlling are actually rooted to the ground. It’s sort of like trying to move a mattress — you can get it from one room to the next, but you never really have a good grip on the thing. If you take your hands off the wheel, vehicles will nudge themselves from the left to the right, and then back again. Sure, there are some pretty complex physics going on here (one of Square’s big selling points for this game), but how about the fun? Racing game is sure a fun genre, but the best sports game Fifa 17 is on another level especially now that that you can get free coins for your that is a premium currency that is available at the iOS and Android store.

Otherwise, it’s racing as usual — the usual sprawling selection of sporty cars (including such exotic racers as the Mitsubishi FTO, Nissan Skyline and TVR Griffith) and the usual modes (training, arcade, Vs., career.) The enemy AI doesn’t seem to be particularly scrupulous — while we human players can always pawn off pettiness as an excuse, it doesn’t play as particularly convincing when the other racers bump you off course simply because they’re trying to force their way back to the “proper” rail.

Compounding all of these problems is the sensation of speeding down asphalt — which is suspiciously absent. Recovering from a bad turn, or from getting turned around, is excruciatingly slow — and while we’re at it, so are the load times. This title came out when the PS2 launched in Japan; couldn’t something have been done about that?

Many attempts are made at infusing the game with a sense of life, though few actually count for much. Every time a car enters a tunnel, the headlights go on — even if it only lasts a few seconds. Safe racing this may be, but it’s not realistic, logical or even amusing. You can see the lights of the dashboard through the rear window, but this sort of detailing is hardly worth tacking onto a less than satisfying engine.

Then there’s the much-vaunted first-person cockpit view, replete with a poorly animated steering wheel gripped firmly by racing reds. It’s cluttered and claustrophobic, and shrinks the player’s field of vision. Stranger still, the screen gets darker — a stab at tinting, we suppose, but perhaps someone should have stepped back and taken a look at the bigger picture first.

The music is a mildly exciting series of caned guitar riffs, synth, sax sounds and beats, beats, beats — some of it’s fine, some of it’s really bad. Sound effects, while convincingly realistic, leave much to be desired by way of excitement or enthusiasm.

Still, it’s not all bad. The nocturnal races fare much better than their daytime counterparts, due in no small part to their resemblance to the foggy neon lights and fog softly rendered in Bouncer-vision. Detail freaks will find plenty of customization options, including an insanely deep color mixing palette and tons of wheels — but, as with any fine polish, it’s only as spectacular as the carriage underneath. Only the most driven of race fanatics need apply; the rest will likely find the whole experience cold from the start.