• Replay of Shortcuts 1 & 2
• Garage Settings: 1400 med tires/soft suspension
• Fast Lap to date: 1:29.23
It’s been a while since we’ve seen RT DJ_MP (one day he’s going to have to tell us what all those dang letters mean lol). I’m not sure what inspired him to return, but if it’s something he’s drinking, I hope he has a lot of it on hand, especially if it’s the primary ingredient to him cranking out tracks like “Hello, and Welcome to Last Year” – his new release. It’s been nearly a year since he completed his last track (Nostalgia?, which is excellent, by the way), and I’m not sure what inspired him to release this one, but it doesn’t matter; he did. Hehe It'd make for a dramatic story if I could report that he woke up in a cold sweat one night after a dream he had about MTM 2, wandered into his backyard armed with only a flashlight and shovel, dug up his track making tools, then sat for hours, hammering it out this track, pausing only to use the restroom and nibble on crackers he stole from a field mouse several days ago lol. It didn’t happen that way . . . at least, I don’t think it did. I’m sure things transpired just as he said - this track had been camped out on his hard drive for some time, and although I have no clue as to how much work he had to put into it to get it ready for release, that doesn't matter either. Again, what’s important is that it's here, and boy o' boy is it ready!
You race on a speedway through some
mountains and small cities.
Those are RT’s words describing “Hello, and Welcome to Last Year”. Is it just me or does he sound a bit bored . . . or maybe just tired lol. What I do know is that he grossly underrated his work. Truth be told, he's right actually; there's nothing special about "Hello, Welcome to Last Year", but the layout, coupled with his excellent choice of models, as well as the way he used them make this an exceptionally nice (and nice looking) track. He opted to go retro, borrowing the texture sets from Sir James’ Popcorn (4n1), and it works . . . quite well in fact. I'd also go so far to say that this is a pro level track. It's a touch slippery, and if you're driving it right, you'll let off your gas just as many times as you'll gun it. The reason for that is to maintain control through the turns, which you’ll find aren't very forgiving. Approach them with a John Wayne attitude, and you'll be digging yourself out of a hill lol. One person commented that maybe he should have set the road textures to concrete (cement I'm guessing) because the severe angle of the corner, combined with the slippery road makes it tough to execute the turn through checkpoint 9. There are two things to keep in mind when driving on slippery roads: know when to let off the gas and start your turns early. This track happens to require that particular technique on several occasions, but if you like racing, it’s one you’ll want to learn because there are quite a few tracks out there without great traction. The replay (hwtly_short2.rpl) shows how to make the turn through checkpoint 9.
“Hello, and Welcome to Last Year” has two shortcuts. I’m not sure if the second is actually faster, but I’m almost certain it can give you the advantage of position (if executed cleanly) over those who take the conventional route. This track wouldn’t record an entire lap, so I made two replays to illustrate the shortcuts. Both are fairly easy to spot, but landing the first is another story entirely. Oh I’m sure people will shoot wide to the left, wide right, or slam into the checkpoint a few times before they get a feel for it, and that’s to be expected. Again, it looks pretty routine, but uh . . . no lol. If a track is going to have shortcuts, I prefer ones you have to work for, take a risk for. Hey, if you’re going to be rewarded with an advantage it shouldn’t be handed to you over those who simply don’t know the cut; you should have to prove yourself worthy by “earning” it. If RT did know about both cuts, I for one don’t object to him leaving them in. Make no mistake this is a finesse track – period. Yes, the layout is simple, and it has respectable speed overall, but if you bring up the map at the start line and think “Oh this should be cake”, you’ll be in for quite a surprise. It’s going to take you a few laps just to get the hang of this track, but to me that’s what makes it so much fun to drive – even by yourself.
As far as flaws/blemishes are concerned, you’ll find a few seams here and there, but as I mentioned earlier, the texture sets are by Sir James, and although they’re extremely nice, they’re certainly not perfect. But so what – when you put tracks together like this, who’s going to complain about a few seams here and there? The layout and design are superb, the attention to detail (no floaters, “righteous” collision properties, etc.) is excellent, and I even like how if you get off-road in certain areas, try to cut a corner, the roughness of the terrain will make you pay. The way he did it is subtle, understated even, but very effective.
I’m not going to say this is RT’s best effort to date; that’s up to interpretation, preference, and probably considerable debate. However, I very much like this one, and it is indeed my favorite of the 20 tracks he’s made, and this guy has put out some very good work. As for the Copey Rating, it’s a no-brainer: this one’s a grand slam in my opinion – 10
Very nice work, RT – excellent job, bud. All I can say is I hope you don’t wait another year before showing up again lol.
P.S. I fixed the readme.txt for ya.