Nice reviews by RepFan, Jump, and Wint – concise & to the point. Concise and to the point isn’t necessarily my style, but I appreciate those who can pull it off lol.
About three weeks ago SLOs Jumper, JDAK, SCATTER, HotShoe, and a few of the other guys suggested we erect some sort of Malibu350 shrine on our site. I opposed it (vehemently even lol), citing how he’s never ever put my picture in one of his $2.00 tracks, and that he still owes me money! They bucked, protesting my position with flimsy stuff about how he’s one of the best track makers in MTM history, highlighting the volunteer work and help he’s afforded to countless people, to include several of our team members, the really cool billboard he made for our team…random crap like that. My response was, “So. And?” LOL it’s too early to tell how this thing with the shrine is going to pan out, but what I can tell you is that Malibu350 is truly one heck of a guy–-all jokes aside (for now). He’s been around for quite a few years, and although he works most of his magic behind the scenes, where making tracks is concerned he’s definitely leads the pack, out front and center stage. If you find someone who disagrees with that assessment, have em call Jump, JDAK, SCAT or Shoe (e-mail me for their numbers…and be sure to call them collect lol); they’ll tell ya the exact same thing…and maybe a few other things since they’d be footing the bill for the collect call.
According to Mal, he came up with the name “Quid Pro Quo” (loose translation: you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours
) because there aren’t many tracks that begin with the letter “Q”. I suppose you could look at that two ways: either he’s pretty observant and feeds off of being original/innovative…or maybe someone should be checking the dosage level on his medication lol. Even though the name “Quid Pro Quo” doesn’t quite mesh with the track’s atmosphere/theme, one thing’s for sure, it’s undeniably unique, stylish, and kinda classy. Ok maybe I shouldn’t use words like “stylish” & “classy” when referring to a track full of rusted out buses, trucks, old tires, stray dogs, and various pieces of other junk lol. Still, I definitely like the name.
If the track looks familiar to you at all it’s because it’s based on EVO 4X4’s “Salvation Wasteland”. As with all of Mal’s conversions with the exception of “Artic Wasteland” & and “Treasure Bay 2”, he either made a conscious decision to make slight changes to the track’s layout and elevation, or such changes were necessary in order to achieve maximum playability in MTM 2. Often times the decision & reasons overlapped, but either way the final product is always right on the money (old guy slang), and “Quid Pro Quo” is no exception. It’s a short triple figure 8-like circuit (about :57 on average) with several crossover sections. The word “crossover” should automatically prompt racers to think “crash…big crash” lol. Yesiree, if the pack gets spread out enough that’s exactly what’ll happen, which of course, adds an another level of fun and excitement. As I mentioned to in the previous paragraph, it’s set in a junkyard that’s relatively flat, but with subtle bumps and humps which require you to be more alert than you might initially think. I ran this track with a few buds of mine – OLD_LoL_Evil
, and OLD_mumhra
– pros, all very good racers. Given its simplistic layout of “Quid Pro Quo”, the learning curve required to effectively negotiate the course is almost nil, and as such, you’ll find that more often than not you’ll be in a dogfight with two to three other racers…at a minimum. The racing is not based on who is more skilled necessarily as much as it is who’s grittier, and more determined to fend off an all-out, hostile assault. It probably sounds like I’m talking about urban warfare or hand-to-hand combat. I’m not, of course, but it wouldn’t hurt to be skilled in those areas if you’re going to run this track lol. I’ll tell you what, there were more crashes and lead changes than you would think on a track with such a basic layout. The tires, barrels, and water puddles serve as perfect obstacles to those who fail to successfully navigate around them, slowing you up just enough to allow others to close in. Then again, if you’re already in last place, you’ve got serious problems lol. Put four to five racers on “Quid Pro Quo” and you’ve got instant, nonstop fun and excitement – guaranteed. If you’re looking to run a 10 or 15-lap session on this baby, you’d better have had 8 hours of sleep…and a bowl of Wheaties lol – it’ll wear you out! And hey, don’t forget about those crossovers I mentioned earlier; they tend to sneak up on ya lol.
I just don’t know about this Malibu350 guy. He’s either on one heck of a lucky streak or he really is a track making genius lol. I say that because to tell you the truth I wasn’t overly impressed with this one after my initial inspection, which consisted of taking 8 laps on it solo. But when you spend a little time taking in its visual appeal, as well as subtle differences between it and the EVO 4X4 version, and so many the other minute details, it’s hard not to love it. For example, the checkpoint poles are spaced much further apart in “Quid Pro Quo” than they are in “Salvation Wasteland”. Additionally, they’re set to no-collide, and adjusted so that sweeping a tire thru the pole will trigger them. And mind you, you <u>have to</u>
ensure a tire or some portion of your vehicle breaks the plane established by the checkpoint poles or it won’t register. It’s that precise, that accurate and it’s indicative of unrivaled attention to detail, which is Mal’s forte. My point is those things were done to expand upon the race area, allowing for more freedom to improvise where necessary. Knowing when and where to make use of such characteristics (and others) is the key, and no one does it better than Mal in my opinion.
If you’ve never read any the previous reviews I did on Mal’s conversions, just so you know, the process is nowhere close to being as easy as it sounds – it’s not as simplistic as “copy and paste”. There’s TONS of work involved, and with Mal, he goes that extra mile to ensure every aspect of his tracks are just so. Here are a few words from the man himself taken from a recent interview. Actually it’s excerpts from an e-mail, but I thought “interview” sounded better lol. NOTE: I edited & condensed his information so that you get a sense of what it takes to produce a conversion. Mal tends to go on and on, so I cut quite a bit of his commentary out lol.
“…elevations were changed on all of them to one degree or another primarily because they would be undriveable or at the very least very not fun due to the physics differences between the games (EVO 4X$ & MTM 2), if the altitudes were made exact that is. Secondly, that's where I get the most enjoyment out of doing these conversions - tweaking the terrain to suit MTM. Far more time is spent molding the ground than anything else combined. If it takes me four weeks to do a track you can bet that at the very least three of those weeks were spent on the terrain.
“The only two tracks I tried to get as close to the originals as possible were the first two - Arctic Wasteland and Treasure Bay. I took hundreds of screenshots from all angles of each section not only to get the terrain as close as MTM2 would allow, but also to get the model placement down as close as possible. That approach quickly got old and boring lol. I needed to get more creative, so I did, and do from all aspects except the actual course layout, although I've been tempted to alter that as well and I'm sure I will in the future. From one track to the next I gradually went free form, adlibbing here and there. Now I basically just dump all the EVO art and models into folders, then reassemble the track piece by piece my way without even looking at the EVO version unless there was something they did that I really liked. Even the models are sometimes altered to please MTM.
Amazing stuff, it really is. If you haven’t guessed it by now, this one walked away with a Copey Rating of “10
” out of 10
possible points – no questions asked. Yes, it’s a completely different kind of fun than you’ll experience on say, “Deadman’s Gulch²” or “Kodiak Island”, but I assure you, after one or two frantic romps around this bad boy you’re adrenaline will hit an all-time high. Definitely give this one a go with a few friends, then come back and tell us what you think – we’d love to hear from ya!
Mal, what more can I say – excellent track, man. Stunning detail, superb workmanship, ingenious improvisations, and all the extras—traits that are status quo where your tracks are concerned. Hey did ya like that? The “status quo” line, I mean. Kind of clever, huh? LOL we’ll see ya next time around, bud.