Overtaking and drifting on Wii too

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Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
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Entrusted to the care of Sumo Digital, Colin McRae: DiRT 2 appears on Wii as an atypical and extravagant conversion, which has little to do with what is seen on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. While in fact the new generation consoles battle to the sound of polygons, introducing the element of "rewind" in the classic gameplay of the series, on the Nintendo console we are witnessing a sort of revival of the 90s made of toy-looking cars, almost without textures, which compete in bare scenarios and which in some cases adopt antediluvian graphic solutions (suffice it see the small trees along the road, made with two "slices" of two-dimensional foliage arranged in a cross). Our drifts often end up crashing into stones or immovable sticks, which contrast with completely intangible bushes and cacti that spring away when they come into contact with the car body. The message is clear enough: it is better to stay within the boundaries of the track, because the slightest idea of ​​a trip through the meadows will be punished with a brutal collision. But when this does not happen, the game takes care of getting back on track with the classic "fade to white" that also characterized the first DiRT. The graphics of Colin McRae: DiRT 2 it certainly appears essential, if we want to define it that way, and this would also be fine if the



lack of detail, the low polygon count and the horrible "sparks" that arise from the contact between two cars ensured a smooth, fast and uncertain frame rate. Well no: the only four cars on the track and the total lack of moving elements in the background (spectators or whatever) are managed by the graphic engine in a convincing way only within the simplest scenarios. However, a collision or a change in the background is enough for the situation to precipitate between shots and slowdowns. And if the game's graphics don't catch the eye, the sound certainly doesn't "catch your ear". Try dragging a shoe on the dirt: this is the sound effect that in DiRT 2 accompanies drifting on the sand. And you know your best love performance on an old creaking mattress? Here, that's the sound effect of the suspension after a bump. Unfortunately, things do not improve thanks to the "signed" soundtrack, poor in every respect.



Guidance system

The options screen mistakenly suggests that the game does not offer any alternative to control via Wii-mote, while fortunately the reality is very different: we can opt for the classic motion detection (possibly inserting the Wii-mote in a shaped adapter steering wheel), use the

Wii-mote / Nunchuck combo or connect the Classic Controller. The quality of the driving system changes radically depending on the configuration, and in this case it rewards the more "classic" choice of the joypad. Driving with the Wii-mote turns out to be a cumbersome and frustrating experience: the car's wheels seem to immediately follow our directions, but in reality there is some delay from when we tilt the controller to when the car turns, which ends. to cause big problems especially when we have to counter-steer (which, being a rally game, means "always"). Let's say that driving using the Wii-mote is a great way to realize how the game handles collisions (bad, for the record), as well as to evaluate the deformation of the bodywork that follows each impact. Using the Classic Controller the situation improves substantially, the control becomes precise and you can manage the car without particular problems. It is a pity that some road surfaces, even if sandy, do not facilitate the execution of the drifts, also due to the way in which the brakes react to our stress. Pulling the handbrake when cornering, for example, most of the time the car does not lose the rear end and the maneuver ends up penalizing us rather than the other way around. Driving aids, then, only have a marginal effect, changing very little the cards on the table.



Challenge friends

Unfortunately DiRT 2 does not offer the possibility to play online, but the multiplayer modes present allow four players to challenge each other simultaneously via split screen. The graphics do not seem to suffer too much from the multiple display of the track, and indeed the scrolling of the track appears almost faster than normal. Too bad only for the drops in the frame rate, which in any case also characterize the single game.

On the track

Colin McRae: DiRT 2 provides single and multiplayer modes, the latter only available locally for up to four players in split screen. The "world tour" is the heart of the game, and is made up of four levels in turn divided into four tournaments, each made up of a variable number of races. Each tournament won allows us to unlock a new car, which goes to

to be added to those initially available and which are often offered to us as an alternative choice to the "fixed" ones for certain routes. There are a total of nine tracks on which you compete, excluding variations, and each of them is distinguished by the combinations that concern the road surface: asphalt is contrasted with dirt, sand with ice, and so on. The "arcade" mode gives us the opportunity to participate in single races, championships and time trials, and represents an ideal choice to enrich the gaming experience, which in the "world tour" alone would have actually seemed rather sacrificed also given the degree of difficulty anything but exaggerated. The picture is completed by the "challenges", or rather five different skill tests for four levels of experience, in which we are asked to perform various stunts (jumps, drifts) or to maintain a fast guide to overcome checkpoints or races in which the slowest competitor is gradually eliminated.



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The debut of DiRT on Wii can only disappoint fans of the series and lovers of driving games in general. While keeping in mind the technical limitations of the Nintendo console, in fact, it is not possible nowadays to create such an uncared for product. The discourse of sacrificing details in favor of speed and fluidity could also be there, but the test of the facts the drops in the frame rate are still numerous. Beyond the technical sector, there are also major problems with the control system, which entrusted only to the Wii-mote horizontally proves too imprecise to allow us to manage the steering optimally. Fortunately, with the Classic Controller or already with the analog stick of the Nunchuck the situation changes radically. As for the available modes we are average, but the lack of online multiplayer weighs heavily. In short, there is very little to rejoice: we hope that for the development of a possible third episode of the series we can do better.

PRO

  • Great Classic Controller Support
  • Good number of modes
  • In some scenarios the graphics are fluid and fast ...
AGAINST
  • ... in others it loses frames all the time
  • Technically old
  • Artificial intelligence of mediocre opponents
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