Certain names or name combinations evoke a sense of expectation. I could easily go off on a tangent here and make loose analogies to my love for jazz or even draw semi-lucid comparisons to my passion for tennis…all the while giving the impression of staying within the confines of the topic. I’ve decided to remain focused for this one, however. Besides, I have a ton of reviews to do, so there’s plenty of opportunity for me to wander off the subject lol.
As for names, ZooN and Spider awed us with “ZS Rally”, World & TonkZ pooled their efforts/talents on “Mudd & Country”, Fila and HotShoe collaborated on “SLO Worlds” (which is outstanding, by the way), OLD_NickatNite hooked up with Team Death to produce “OLD/TeamDeath", which lacks imagination in the name department, but more than makes up for it with its fun layout. Now there’s Alpine & Phineus, whose reputations run deep where MTM 2 is concerned, however, if you have absolutely no idea who they are…well, that’s not necessarily a bad thing lol. Keep your eyes open though because they pop into the Zone from time to time to shoot the breeze with whoever’s around …oh, and give away autographed photos of themselves. There’s a (small) $35.00 charge for the pic, but I’m told a portion of it goes to a local charity lol.
After running “Muskoka Road” for the first time your impression might very well be, “Great track! So like…when will it be done?” lol. It looks as though it’s in its beta stages still, but I assure you, what you see…rather, what you “don’t” see is what you get. It’s what I call a “pure racer’s track; no frills, no gimmicks, no high-priced models or fancy animated, whiz-bang stuff – it’s all about the track, and nothing more. And do take note of the checkpoint markers; they are painted into the road texture in the form of a checkered start/finish line marker, which I thought was pretty slick. You can trip them from outside the limits of the visual marker, but don’t get too loose with it or you’ll be doubling back to make another pass thru lol.
For you old timers out there, if this track looks somewhat familiar it’s because “Muskoka Road” was borne from discussions related to retexturing “Alpine’s Crazy”, and the textures are based on an MTM 1 track. Again, it’s model-free (save for the road support structures), which gives it the feel of being an old track. Still, it has a contemporary air about it with its clean, polished look, and precision workmanship. You didn’t find this level of quality in tracks made back in 98, 99, and so on.
Wrapping things up, “Muskoka Road” garnered a well deserved “10” out of 10 possible points on the Copey Rating scale. There’s absolutely nothing to dislike about this track. Yep, it’s extremely basic and simplistic from a visual point of view, but you have to keep in mind the intent was to maximize characteristics that make racing fun and exciting. It packs enough speed to satisfy the most demanding MPH junkie out there. It gives you a good sampling of airtime & jumps, sometimes in multiple combinations, and the lanes are such that passing opportunities are plentiful. The fact that it’s virtually model free is actually a plus in that it easily accommodates lots of racers without inducing excess lag. I’d say it’s a sure bet you’ll see this one in a tourney soon, and it’s definitely headed for the SLO APL come July when we do our update.
Take it from me – if you haven’t tried “Muskoka Road”…cancel your plans with the wife, blow off work for the day, forego that fishing trip with the fellas, and take a few spins on this track! I already know what you’ll say afterwards: “Gee COPE, you were right! Course, I got fired from my job, I’m sleeping on the couch, and my friends have banned me from any future group outings…but you were definitely on the money about this track!”
Great work, Phin & Alpine! About the only thing left to say is…we want more tracks!!