I recall saying some time ago that I hoped no one else ventured into what I refer to as “Malibu’s Domain
” and attempt to make conversions. I said that out of fear that a couple of yahoos out there would think it’d be a “neat” thing to try...and end up butchering good Evo tracks beyond recognition. Suffice to say that hasn’t happened (yet), but even if it did, it wouldn’t change what is an irrefutable fact or detract from what Malibu350 has contributed to this game. Actually, regardless of what transpires with respect to importing Evo tracks over to MTM 2 from this day forward (good or bad), as far as I’m concerned he would still reign supreme as “The Conversion King
”. No questions asked.
Fortunately this review falls into the category of a good thing
. Please allow me to introduce “ZO_Fitzee”. He’s no newcomer to the Zone or to track making, however he’s more well known on the rumble scene for the tracks he's authored. Fitz is a rumbler-racer, and let me tell ya, if you racers out there ever come up against this guy, watch out. He can do some damage on a track, and I don’t mean the kind where you crash into stuff either! Furthermore, his track making skills are just about on par with some of the heavy hitters out here. If you’ve run “Nem’s TruckStop”, then you’re already hip to that.
All righty, getting down to business here, TruckStop is based on Evo-1’s “ Truckstop 101”. In a comparison of the two, the MTM version is nearly a direct clone with respect to the layout. There are, however, a few subtle differences between the two, and that was very much by design. Probably the first thing you notice upon firing this baby up is the graphics. The sharpness and detail literally grab your attention. Those of you who've run conversion jobs in the past already know spectacular graphics are status quo. As in most conversions, this one’s ideally suited for 2 – 3 racers due to its narrow roads and limited to non-existent passing lanes. The other quality that seems to hold true to form is the fun and enjoyment derived from racing these tracks offline. By no means is this a difficult track. However, in an effort to shave time or gain an edge by weaving thru the heavy population of trees along winding roads, coupled with dodging animated vehicles, it provides for somewhat of a challenging and fun experience.
As in the Evo version, there is a rather substantial shortcut to checkpoint seven. Hit it correctly, and the payoff is significant. Conversely, if you opt to use the cut to test your gymnastic skills,you better hope your opponent gets jammed up by the moving vehicles at the start of the next lap (if there is a next lap, that is hehe).
Even with the few minor texture mismatches (off-road) here and there, this is quite an impressive effort from Fitz. Objectively speaking I suppose one could raise the point that the number count for the animated vehicles is a bit high. On the other hand, it’s the only variable in the track that makes it unpredictable, and ultimately fun! Real pro’s will use the extreme right and left passages to evade the moving vehicles, but be advised you’d better be alert if you’re going to try such a maneuver; it’s not for the faint of heart.
Still, it’s the winding roads, weaving thru trees and the lone high-speed stretch that makes this an exciting ride from start to finish.
Hehe I guess some could compare me to the sports commentator who’s never played any sport professionally, but will sit up in a booth and critique the play of others, to include all-pro veterans. I can appreciate that. So what I’m going to do is go out on a limb here; let’s hear what “The Conversion King” himself has to say about this track. If he says it’s a winner, then consider it money in the bank. Not real money, mind you. The “money in the bank” thing is just a figure of speech. If Mal owes you money, you can forget about ever seeing it again (trust me, I know) Hehehe. As for the “Copey Rating”, this one rung up an impressive 9 out of 10 possible points. Again, if you haven’t heard the name “ZO_Fitzee
” before, I’m here to tell ya this guy is for real. One look at this track (and Mal’s opinion) will validate my words…or not! Hehehe
[This message has been edited by SLO_COPE (edited 16-08-2002).]