First off, let me announce that we not only have a new track, but also a new track maker. Ah but there’s more! The author, SYR_Demigod, is a former strict rumbler turned pro racer. An amazing transformation for sure given the fact it’s much easier (in my opinion) to go the other way – a racer learning to adapt to rumbling. Oh and hey, let me tell ya, don’t let the fact that he’s technically a rookie racer (been at about…oh, 6 months now) lull you into a false sense of security. The guy can turn and burn on a track, take it from me.
But I didn’t come here to tell you about his racing prowess; that’s next week lol. This week I’m going to talk about his track, and I’ll also attempt to throw in a little insight about my good friend and racing partner. : ) With that said, if you haven’t packed a lunch, you’d better break now and grab yourself something to eat; we could be here a while lol.
For starters, I like how Demi began with a theme and thought about what he wanted to do, tying in the name to describe the track’s characteristics. “Fine Line” is a pro level track consisting of narrow passages smartly combined with open areas that together make this an extremely fun, but very challenging track. It’s set in wooded area with a small portion sectioned off for campers, with a lake to boot. There are several noteworthy aspects about Fine Line worth highlighting, so please indulge me while I hit a few of them. First up is its level of difficulty; it’s definitely harder than it looks! Oh, and I love how he left certain areas just a little rough, being kinda stingy with the smoothing tool lol. Those are the parts that require finesse, and often times severe accelerator control. But it’s also part of the allure I think, the need for racers to overcome that which isn’t quite perfect or ideal, and run near flawless lap times regardless. It’s a great feeling, it really is. I also like the two trees he placed in close proximity of one another in the water on the jump over to checkpoint 4. If you misjudge the amount of space between the trees, you’ll slam into one of the trunks, not the branches, which is how it should be – realistic. Even if you clear the trees, the landing is such that you have to adjust your takeoff to hit it correctly, so actually there are two things to consider on that section of the track. Finally, I think the two areas he split (at checkpoint 6 and just before the finish), giving racers a directional option was a good idea. It provides for variety, as well as a momentary break from potential close-nit battles up to those points. : )
Those are just a few examples, and I could easily cover several more, but I’d better be moving on with this review. Besides, Demi refused to pay $250.00 for the “I think this is the best track in the universe” review, so he’s not going to get it lol. Hey, he’s a good friend and all, but I’m not going to cheat myself in the process lol.
From a technical standpoint you’ll see a few alignment blemishes in the texture work here and there. He was aware of them, however he couldn’t figure out how to clean them up. Still, he did a pretty decent job. As for checkpoints, during beta testing we discussed how they registered just slightly on the outside. He chose to leave them as is. His rationale: with all the little things on this track that could trip you up, if a racer thinks they can shave a few hundreds of a second off their lap by tripping a checkpoint or two on the outside…and in some places it’s very risky…then they deserve the little bonus it yields. Finally, and this one’s my fault actually, I missed pointing out a tree that needed to be fixed (no 3d effect, and the model should’ve been set to no-collide, then adjusted so that the trunk was the only impact point). The good thing is the flawed tree model doesn’t interfere with the racing line (thank goodness lol).
First time author or not, this is just a very nice track – it’s that simple. Yes, it’s definitely narrow in spots, but it also allows for a great deal of improvisation, and that quality alone really appeals to the racing purist. Demi augmented “Fine Line’s” superb layout with a healthy sampling of very nice trees (compliments of SLO_HotShoe) and models found right here at MTMG. He didn’t saturate the track with “stuff”; he merely used the models as accent, which is perfect. With that said, this one garnered a Copey Rating of “9.25” out of 10!
Great stuff Demi! I know you said you were done after this because of all the agonizing frustration you endured making this one, but now that you’re getting all the attention, the big money endorsement deals, and the girls, don’tcha think it was worth it? Ok so maybe you’re not getting the girls…still, I hope you continue to make tracks, bud. You seem to have a pretty good eye for it, and who knows – one day you could get one of those fancy thrones like Mal has lol.
<font size=1>Edited by SLO_COPE (01-12-2002)</font>