FUN Versus accuracy. This is the balancing act which all the creators of the latest genre of driving simulators have to master. Power Drift and Hard Drivin' appeared in the arcades at the same time. One was fun, the other accurate.
Now I'm sure that with plenty of time behind the wheel, Hard Drivin' would be more rewarding. But at £1 a throw I couldn't afford to find out.
So I became hooked on Power Drift, with its huge screen, amazing hydraulics and "faster than the eye could follow" graphics. A machine with more just one more go appeal than any other.
It would be a brave man who attempted to convert such a game to a home computer. That man was ZZKJ. He'd been to the brink of technology before with Super Hang On. Now he prepared to dive into his source again. And this wasn't ketchup. The problem with spritey games, like Outrun for instance, is that they look and feel 2D.
Solid games like Interphase feel better but need some serious processing power. And anyway, Power Drift is intrinsically sprite based.
ZZKJ managed to find a way to story, magnify and rotate sprites so that they appear solid. Then he calculated relative positions in the same way as he would for a 3D game.
The upshot of all this technical mumbo jumbo is that if one car cuts a corner, slides past a tree and back on to the track to crash into the next car, the graphics all look right. And you really feel as though you've done something pretty clever.
Missing from the conversion are the rotation, including an Afterburner style roll if you crash, and a small map which shows where the other cars are. Nothing to worry about.
The frame rate is acceptable in most places, helped by the blitter. Sometimes it slows to a crawl when there is a lot going on. The person with a Commodore processing card in his A2000 will be surprised to learn that not only does this game load, it benefits from the 68020.
It's exciting, spectacular, and impressive. One of the compromises made for the sake of playability is particularly generous collision detection. But then karting is supposed to be a non-contact sport.
The game's got instant "grab the mouse and go" appeal, but also has depth. You won't do well until you learn the 27 circuits.
Master the game for a mode which puts you in control of the Afterburner jet or the Super Hang-On bike.
Me? I'm off karting for real. Let's call it research.