Well, well, well…looks as though Mal has the smorgasbord thing going on here! I had actually planned on reviewing a different track, but when I saw this thread at Track Talk, and then saw “Malibu350” in the author’s column…well hey, I just had to scope it out!
If you don’t make a habit of reading the included text in your downloads, you might want to consider doing so. Often times it contains some very good info about the track, and it sometimes gives you a little insight to the author and what inspired him/her to make the track. This one happens to be a conglomeration of several tracks: MTM 2’s Crazy 98, MTM 1’s Crazy 8s, 4X4 Evolution 2000 and 4X4 Evolution 2 Crazy 2001. Well, I’ve done a few track reviews for Mal, so I’m not going to talk about him anymore – getting tired of it. Hehehe—yeah, super guy, track maker extraordinaire, should run for President, blah blah blah. There – now that you got that part, let’s get busy with this track!
Your first inclination will be to run it like Crazy 98 because the course layout mirrors that track to the “T”. Well, in a way you can run it like C-98, but in a way you can’t. There are a few subtle little adjustments you’ll have to make to traverse this one without slamming into a tree or a checkpoint. Even the shortcut on the bridge is different, so be sure to approach it straight, and not from an angle. Like C-98, the corners have to be taken with surgeon-like precision (probably even more so on this one), and the pace is such that you can’t afford to let up for a second, or bad things can happen.
You’ll also notice you can come within a fraction of an inch from the tree trunk without hitting an invisible portion of the bin. That’s how it’s supposed to be, but you won’t find that on a lot of tracks, and I’m talking about the newer ones. Older tracks were plagued with bins/models like that, but that was status quo back then, and racers knew to expect it. These days, and correct me if I’m wrong Phin, there’s really no excuse for it. What I DO know, however, is racers hate it, they hate hitting invisible bins that stick out. Exacting stuff from Mal once again – details, details.
The road texture is awesome! When I did the review for Treasure Bay 2, I made a remark about wanting to get out of my truck and lay on the road. The same holds true for this one, I mean where it changes up from blacktop to that other stuff. I’m sure I’d take my socks off too, just to see how it feels on my toes! The narrowness of the track stems from the 4X4 Evo influence. Some may not like that because your passing opportunities are limited. Me, I love it! Tracks like this force you to be patient and think your way thru the race. If you’re behind you want to maintain a close position on the leader in order to capitalize on a mistake or poorly executed cornering. If you’re the leader you want to keep mistakes to an absolute minimum and hold your line, taking special care to guard the inside lane on corners – fun stuff!
If you like close quarters racing with a little bit of banging and bumpin, downloading this one is a no-brainer. It looks great, it’s fast paced, there are no “technical” errors that I saw, and it’s simply a joy to race. After runnin this one the old “Copey Rating” meter was pegged fully to right, which means this one’s a rock-solid “10” out of 10 possible points!! If anyone disagrees with that – tough! I just had that thing calibrated, so I know it’s right on the money.
Mal, great job, bud!! This is truly a nice piece of work, and the only reason I didn’t throw money at the screen after sampling this one is because my wife told me I couldn’t do that anymore. The last time I did it the neighbors were over, and after witnessing my post race celebration, well…they gathered up their kids and left somewhat hastily.. Now I just lay a quarter on the monitor to “secretly” show my appreciation of your tracks. : ) Very much looking forward to the next one, Mal!