It’s been a while since we’ve seen the name “ShaggZ” on a track, but it seems as though the guy has the desire to start producing tracks, and in my book that’s always a good sign. His latest effort is called “Snowy Eights”, and if uncomplicated speed is your thing, this track is definitely for you!
When you fire up this track for the first time, you might get that “I think I’ve seen this track before feeling” even though you haven’t because it’s…well, it’s a new track. The reason you’ll get that “I know I’ve been here before” feeling is because ShaggZ opted to go with the same textures (to include the same blue checkered starting line lol) he used in “Phrostbyte Island” and “ZO_Sno Run”. That’s not a bad thing, nor is it a knock against him, but rather an observation. It’s just the déjà vu feeling I described above is exactly the impression this track made on me when I cranked it up for a test run on it.
“Snowy Eights” consist of an elongated figure eight with, you guessed it – snow all around it. Its primary attribute is speed, coupled with a sampling of “air time” at the end of each lap. For a seasoned pro this track won’t present much of a challenge, but sometimes it’s good stress relief to take a few laps on a track like this with another equally adept opponent for a fast-paced, close race on a track that doesn’t require you to be a wiz in analytical geometry to figure out. Just a simple race for kicks, ya know?
From a technical standpoint I believe it’s biggest flaw lies within the computer trucks programming, or lack thereof. They’re incapable of running the track…at all. In my opinion this is a rookie to intermediate level track, and as such, the computer trucks should be able to provide drivers at that skill level with fairly decent offline competition. The other thing I noted was the texture work lacked sufficient “attention to detail” throughout. Where the snow meets the roadway there should be a “blended” effect, not linear, as you’ll see in this track. Also, the snow covered off-road areas suffer from pretty major alignment problems. Mind you such discrepancies have absolutely no impact on how the track runs, but they are part of the overall package, and as such, I always render an opinion or make what I feel are “appropriate” comments that are actually geared more toward the author than the casual reader/racer.
“Snowy Eights” isn’t innovative, it’s not challenging in any real respects, nor is it a visual masterpiece…but it’s not a disaster either. All the checkpoints work as they should, and the helicopter will extract you from whatever jam you’ve gotten yourself into and put you back in the right spot. Additionally, he did a good job with his rock models; you don’t hit what you can’t see, and I definitely applaud him there.
If you’re a pro racer looking for an exhilarating ride, this one will fall short of your expectations. But if you’re a rookie/intermediate aspiring to improve basic cornering skills, by all means check it out. The speed of Snowy Eights should definitely appeal to you if nothing else. According to the Copey Rating scale this one garnered a 6.5
out of 10 possible points. My guess is that ShaggZ may have just pieced this one together using minimal time and effort. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s capable of much more, however…significantly much more.