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 Post subject: Rodent Run #2
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 9:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 1011
Location: Nebraska
For all intensive purposes SMP Creations is comprised of novice track makers, but I’ll tell you what, if you were working with them you’d never know it. The mental image that comes to mind when I think of Mike (SMP_Mouse) and Jeff (OLD_Coach98) are two guys walking around a very elaborate and technical oriented facility wearing lab coats, carrying clipboards with a dozen pens and mechanical pencils in their upper left coat pocket. Ok maybe that visual image is a bit much, possibly more indicative of my overactive imagination, but still, the fact is these guys are consummate professionals – period. I for one think their approach to track making sets a standard that should be adopted by every new track maker, and it wouldn’t hurt the skilled veterans, either. No one person knows it all or sees it all, thus, a few extra eyes will typically yield a better final product.

If you read the review on Paris To Dakar you’re familiar with how they work. If not, I’ll run it down for ya real quick, and it’s so simple it’s almost…ingenious! Instead of throwing a track together and hustling up a few people out of the main in the Scenic Route game room to try their track, and end up with feedback like “good stuff” or “yeah, it’s ok”, then list their names in the readme as “beta testers”…these guys went out and did a by-name request of the people they wanted, then asked those same people to name a few highly qualified track makers/racers to round out the group. In the end they recruited 7 beta testers in all, and they are as follows: Malibu350, Phineus, SLO_Jumper, SLO_BRO_USA, RIP_Maniac_, _AlG_ and myself. Definitely a lineup of heavy-hitters, and every one of the aforementioned members of this handpicked beta testing team are highly experienced racers and track makers - professionals in every sense of the word. Believe me, these guys (SMP Creations) would have it no other way.

Rodent Run #2 is the sequel to Rodent Run #1. Yeah, I know that’s not a profound statement by any means, but I’m trying to set up my lead-in, so cut me some slack! Much like its predecessor, and even more so, this track has one primary ingredient: pure, uncut speed. Ok sure, they threw a pinch of finesse here and there, but even with that it’s still 95% high velocity stuff. Their goal was to create a “racer’s track” that didn’t require a major learning curve. Any pro will be able to perfect this track in just a few runs, but rest assured, this baby will always give you highly competitive, super fast races, which translates into big, big fun.

The track itself consists of dirt/paved combinations, but it’s mostly comprised of dirt roads. It’s not heavily inundated with models for the sheer purpose of accentuating visual appeal, and that’s ok, because at the speed you’ll be traveling, there wouldn’t be much time to look at that stuff anyway. What I do like is how they positioned two 18-wheelers so that racers can have an alternate means of continuing on without conceding ground to another racer. Specifically, you have the option of going on either side of the trucks, but you incur a substantial risk going left as opposed to staying on the right because of the limited availability of road space. It’s an extremely tight fit, but very “do-able”, which adds to the overall excitement this one gives you. Again, the scenery is sparse, but I will say the air balloons were kind of a surprise, and a nice one at that. The last time I saw balloons of that sort in a track was on “Alps 2” – and old classic. They’re just not used that often, and I find that somewhat…well, strange. The flowers were put in especially for Phineus. I’m not entirely sure what the deal was with that. The guy must have a thing about flowers or something (who knows with him). Hehe I thought Tulips would’ve been a better choice, but hey…I’m just a racer - what do I know?

On one hand you could make the case that Rodent Run #2 pales in comparison to “Paris To Dakar”, and it does. But no one expects these guys to take on gargantuan projects every time out. The goals they set for this track were limited in scope, but they definitely got the most out of what they were after in my opinion. Let me put it this way; from rookies to pros alike, if you don’t enjoy the “hang on to your hat” pace after runnin’ this baby, someone better check your pulse. There just aren’t many short tracks around with this kind of sustained speed, and on top of that it flows very, very well. Oh, and for those of you who like big air, there’s something in it for you as well!

I have to admit, it’s tough being a beta tester for these guys, then coming in here and rating their tracks. It’s not like I can slam em, you know. I mean, if I had something to say objectively it should come up in the beta testing process. I may have to get with my lawyers to rethink my position here, but in the mean time, this one gets a “Copey Rating” of…. 9 out of 10 points! Nope, there’s not much to see, and it’s definitely not complex by any stretch of the imagination, but none of that matters. It provides for fast and furious racing with an emphasis on maximizing fun and excitement. I think they more than met their goals.

Great job, fellas – outstanding! And I’d be remiss in my social graces if I didn’t thank you for the billboard with the names of all the beta testers. Class act, and it’s very much appreciated. I will say the font size on Malibu’s name seems to be somewhat larger than the rest of ours. What gives with that? Guess I’ll add that to the list of things to discuss with my lawyer. Hehehe once again, excellent track, Mike and Jeff!!


[This message has been edited by SLO_COPE (edited 15-05-2002).]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 3:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2002 2:01 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Canada
Testing tracks for these guy's is pretty much like posting a review here after cope. At the end of the process everything been said and nothing new i can add hehehe.
Like cope said, their approach on listening to the testers does it all. To be honest, they pretty much did changed all the points that were mentioned to them. The pace is real good it flows well and those of you who race clean and enjoy close race are likely to enjoy this one.

The first time me and copey ran this one together, we had to split left and right of the 2 trucks parked on the road and i must say the special effect of meeting on the other side of the truck at fast pace is real cool. It add an original touch to the track. Unlike some tracks where you meet trucks and train along the way and depend on 90% luck to make it without crash, this one rely only on your capabilitiy. Plenty of room on right side for less daring pilots.

This is another great exemple of simple but very effective layout. Thx To Mouse and Jeff again. We will sure enjoy this one.

Jumper

[This message has been edited by Jumper (edited 15-05-2002).]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 5:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 33
I was very impressed by this one! Awesome awesome track guys!! What really stood out was those mountains & trees effect after CP4...looked GREAT! Also loved the baloons, heh they were great!

Sure it was a bit plain at the start but that does'nt take away from the track at all....track does very well for itself!!

Very good job guys!! Well done! Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 6:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2002 2:01 pm
Posts: 4
Location: USA
This is a very nice track Mike and Jeff. I really like high speed tracks, and this one is great.

Thanks guys.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2002 8:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2002 2:01 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Gilmer, TX, USA
Ok sense I am here reading these boards and have sense giving some reviews I would give ya my take on this track.

Rodents Run 2 rocks. This track will give you all you need in a racing track, well only one thing you really need and thats SPEED! Im not one to quote movies but this track fits one in particular "I Feel the need, The NEED FOR Speed!"

Like Cope and Jump said it offers many different place to make a pass happen. I would like to point you back to my reasoning behind good race tracks. My laziness factor. This one fits great. But it is complicated enuff to make u find the best Line. Because it is so fast only way you can gain on somebody is to have a better line. Some of that requires some thinking.
Like the very beginning. I am sure the rest will agree, more often than not you find your 1st lap on this track as being your fastest. The reasoning behind that is I think because you dont have as much speed going into your 1st left hand turn at CP1. You have to take this one just right to line up on the next right hand turn that is coming on ya real fast heading to CP2. This is where You can loose lots of time. You have to take it just right and your speed here is a factor. Cant go too fast, but if your too slow same thing.

These kinda of turns are located thru out the track its what gives it the PRO racing feel. Because of these things is why I will never be the fastest on it hehe. I am pretty dang quick though, I have beat Jumper on it, and can stay close to I guess just about anybody.

I like this one better than Paris2Dakur because its so fast, and My rating on it would be a 9.5. Great Track

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Nuff Said
3B

[This message has been edited by SLO_3B (edited 06-06-2002).]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2002 9:14 am 
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Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 2:01 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the kind words everyone.

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<IMG SRC="http://www.smp-creations.50megs.com/mouse-tm.jpg" border=0>

SMP-Creation's


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