Friday, May 28, 2010

Pole Position and Pole Position 2

John Marine | 5/28/2010 12:21:00 AM | | |
What is the greatest racing game ever? In the 1980s, you'd be tempted to say Pole Position. Pole Position was a generational leap in racing games when the first game was released in 1982. No other racing game of its time scratched the surface of what Pole Position had to offer. Any gamer that truly loves racing games seriously needs to offer respect to a game series like Pole Position.

--- Why Should You Care About the Pole Position Series? ---
People in today's culture will likely fall in love with games and game series like Blur, Split Second, Burnout Paradise, the GTR series, and games like that. Before any of those games came along, Pole Position was king. The greatest element of Pole Position was the fact that this was one of the first racing games that had an emphasis on qualifying. If you failed to qualify on your hot lap, your race is basically over as you won't have enough time to get a second lap completed. It was a racing game series that exemplified the importance of qualifying for a race. Before you can race, you must qualify. I think this is the greatest emphasis on the Pole Position series and for racing games in general. It was also a Manual/Standard transmission game. We have the luxury of Automatic transmission these days, but the two-speed Manual is what a number of old racing games have had.

In addition, it was an elaborate progression in making realistic 3D-style graphics. Race tracks have never been more believable when Pole Position 1 came out. That Chase Cam view would be used in VARIOUS future racing games. Even details such as crashes were pretty realistic in the violent explosions after hitting something.

This game has brought too much to racing games for most people to negate or disregard. Pole Position was the Gran Turismo of the '80s. And if you're not at least respectful of what this game has brought to racing game history, then you aren't a true racing game fan. Plain and simple.

--- Pole Position 1 ---

^ from: - Pole Position went a long way in changing racing games forever.

"Prepare to Qualify!" The woman saying this gets you ready to qualify. Pole Position has only one track, called the Namco Circuit, but is basically the Fuji Internetional Speedway. The track is fairly simple. The real key to good and bad laps is how you handle the super-sharp left-hander at about the halfway point of the course. It's possible to just let off the throttle or quickly downshift to clear the corner successfully. Also learn to properly find you way around rivals while not crashing into them.

GOLDEN RULE OF CLASSIC RACING GAMES: Avoid crashing at all costs! Allow yourself one crash. But if you crash more than once, you will NOT finish. Guaranteed!

--- Pole Position 2 ---

^ from: - Pole Position 2 offered up three more courses in addition to the course from Pole Position 1.

Pole Position 2 continued where Pole Position 1 left off. This game let you choose from the track in the previous title, but also included three more courses. The tire squealing was now a bit more realistic in accelerating and in braking. Three new challenges await. And just like the previous title, it's all about qualifying.

The first of the three new courses is the Test course. The Test course highly resembles the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in layout. This is where you can enjoy high-speed racing. It's still very important to use caution in the corners and make sure not to overlook any of the opposing racers blocking your line. No need to brake unless trying to avoid rival cars.

If Wonder's layout seems familiar, that's because it is vastly based on the Suzuka Circuit. The ferris wheel at Suzuka even gives you a hint as to what track you are at. This is the most difficult track in the game with about two really critical zones. Completing this course will be difficult, let alone getting Pole Position here.

Seaside is completely based on the Long Beach Grand Prix course. However, it has a structure similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. This course is more tricky than difficult. The most important corner to get right is the final corner heading towards the finish line. This track

This is basically the same course from the first Pole Position. If you can complete this course in Pole Position 1, you should have no problem beating this course in Pole Position 2.

This blog entry concerned Pole Positions 1 and 2. I'm not even counting "Pole Position 64" for the Nintendo 64, which was basically a re-branded version of "Human Grand Prix: The New Generation." It wasn't very well-received. You can play "Pole Position 1" and "Pole Position 2" on console by playing games like Namco Museum. They may even be available for download for major game systems and even on mobile devices. No matter how you play these games, both aforementioned titles are classics that simply can't be forgotten (then again, since when do classics become forgotten?).

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John B. Marine said...

I like this article! Will come again next time for sure, thank again

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