Fast Lap: 2:38.58 (Moose Challenge) by SLO_Jumper
Garage Settings: 1100 medium tires/soft suspension
It may take me 10 months to get to it, but dang it, when I say I’m gonna do a review, I mean it lol. You know, initially I thought to myself that it was terrible how I let this one get away, how it may have been a little more popular with a fitting review under its belt. But then again, “LaPaMa’s Elk Fun” and “Moose Challenge” are currently sitting at 157 & 184 downloads respectively, so needless to say they didn’t need no stinkin’ fancy-smancy review to help bolster their popularity. Besides, tracks speak for themselves – either positively or negatively. I just like talking about em, and this is the only place where my posts don’t get deleted, so that’s why I do em here lol. Honestly though, I do love talking about tracks, and guys like Rocketalces not only make it easy, but a heck of a lot of fun as well.
” was Rocket’s second track, and if ever the phrase “leaps and bounds” applied to an individual’s work, it’s his. Check this out – the guy has made three tracks; the first one “LaPaLu” (made in Dec of 2002), left quite a bit to be desired. The layout wasn’t that bad, but it was riddled with flaws, and its “race worthiness” left a little something to be desired. But as I said, it was his first time out, so no problem there. In April of 2003 he returned with “LaPaMa”, and three months later topped it off with “LaPaWop”, a track that earned top honors in last years Expo. It’s like the guy took a 4-month crash course on how to refine MTM 2 tracks and came out blasting lol. It would be foolish (and maybe a touch arrogant) to suggest that the monumental leap in the quality of his work is due to the Beta Room here at MTMG. It helps, but it still comes down to the author having to do the work. Also bear in mind the prize winning “LaPaWoP” was done without the assistance of the Beta Room, which to me speaks volumes about what this guy is capable of. Personally, I like his sense of style, and his attentiveness to the way his tracks come across visually. He doesn’t over do it by any means; the emphasis is still on the track itself, but the way he intertwines the two compliment the finished product extremely well. I suppose I could’ve said he achieves a nice balance between his layouts and the way his tracks look, but that’s just too straightforward for my taste lol. Oh, and it might help to know that he has a flare for making his tracks challenging (a nicer way of saying “hard” lol), to the point that one would think he’s intentionally trying to make racers cry or scream out in frustration lol.
When Rocket dropped this track in Beta Room, he opened up with this line: “If you have sold the brakes to your monster truck, you won’t be happy with this one…
” LOL well, there’s more to “LaPaMa” than just standing on the brakes. I hardly ever use that particular feature when I race, but trust me, they’re definitely a good thing to have when driving this baby. I didn’t expound on this in the first paragraph, but like “Black Gold” there are two versions of “LaPaMa”: Elk Fun and Moose Challenge. Unlike “Black Gold”, Rep Fan wasn’t involved in the beta testing process, so we were spared having to listen to his incessant whining about it being too hard and suggestions that it have more flat, wide straight-aways so he can feel safe lol. The differences between the two versions are as follows:
• The oval
near the start of the course that require racers to loop around it 1.5 times before proceeding thru the track on Moose Challenge.
• On Elk Fun the oval is there physically, but the checkpoints are repositioned to negate the loop.
• For Moose Challenge he used realistic texture type settings. For example, the gray texture used for the oval and later in the track (checkpoints 6 thru 9) is set to gravel, which was by design to give the effect of a gravel road.
• On Elk Fun he states that he used “high grip” texture type settings, which I’m guessing was default and dirt.
The tracks are identical otherwise. Elk Fun is easier, more racer-friendly, however, rough roads, acute turns, and semi-extreme angled roads make both versions extremely challenging. You’ll have to temper your speed overall, but especially so when approaching the inclined road just after checkpoint four and en route to checkpoint six. You're mislead into thinking that the result will be routine MTM 2 flight with a predictable landing, but you'll quickly discover that's not the case. Failing to anticipate and adjust accordingly could prove beneficial to your opponents, and given the grueling nature of this track, don’t be surprised if they cheer and take great delight in your misfortune lol. The upside is if you’re not quick enough on the trigger to hit “H-H” and avoid disaster, you can recover easily and rejoin the fray. It’s interesting how he changed up after checkpoint ten, choosing to switch to a wide, blacktop surface that takes you through what looks to be the beginnings of a city. It’s more of an illusion, however, because after passing two office buildings you’re thrown right back into moose country to begin again. And speaking blacktop roads, that’s probably the only place you’ll get a shot at a clean pass. If you can hold your own to that point, a momentary lapse in concentration may be all you need to make a move on your opponent. Then again, in the portions of the track where you “take flight” may also work to your advantage if the leader gets a bit too aggressive.
I’d be doing Rocket a disservice if I didn’t mention the great lengths he went through to give the illusion that the game’s viewing distance is infinite. What I’m referring to is how the models and terrain are rendered before they’re seen so that they’re not forming as you drive the course. It’s pretty interesting actually, and he’s the only guy I know that puts so much effort in achieving such an effect. If you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about, take a spin on say…Crazy 98 and take note of how things come into to view as you drive around it, and then run this track. The difference should be readily apparent afterwards.
I love this guy’s stuff, I really do. Sure, his tracks are demanding, and the slipperiness of Moose Challenge may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but quite a few pro racers love the challenge of overcoming those types of extreme characteristics in an attempt to run near perfect laps. It’s a rare achievement, but when you finally nail a clean one, boy ‘o boy what a great feeling it is!
Rocket, I know this one’s late in coming, but great job, man—outstanding work, especially given the fact it was only your second track. Sure, your track-making resume is a tad on the slim side (lol), but I for one have absolutely no qualms proclaiming you as one of my favorite track makers. Your unorthodox style is very refreshing, and even though your work inspires me to spew socially unacceptable language in large quantities, I love your stuff, bud lol. Copey rating: a resounding "10
" out of 10 possible points!! Again, superb job, partner!