Post by Nester the Lark on Jun 16, 2021 10:59:19 GMT -5
I don't think there's too much to discuss about this game, but the announcement was a big surprise during the Direct. I was hoping for a Switch version of Cruis'n Blast since before the Switch was even out, and despite Raw Thrills and Eugene Jarvis insisting it would remain arcade exclusive, here it is!
I immediately wondered who was doing the port since Raw Thrills has always developed exclusively for the arcade, and the rare home port was handled by another developer, but according to this article at Arcade Heroes, not only is the port being done in-house, but it's personally directed by Eugene Jarvis (original creator of the Cruis'n series)! The N64 versions of the earlier games are often criticized for their poor quality (especially Cruis'n USA), so this is the first time the original developers are handling it. Hopefully that's a sign of good quality!
Here's the official trailer:
It really feels like a '90s racing game, with the cheesy music and collectables on the tracks.
Post by Nester the Lark on Aug 17, 2021 8:38:25 GMT -5
Here's a lengthy interview that Arcade Heroes did with Eugene Jarvis about the entire Cruis'n series:
- For the original Cruis'n USA, Jarvis was inspired by classic racing games like OutRun, Hang-On, and Turbo (all Sega games).
- Jarvis felt that other 3D racing games of the time were too slow (specifically, Hard Drivin'), so he wanted to make one that was accessible and responsive.
- They went against the conventional wisdom of making the player pay to see the whole game, and instead let players choose whichever stage they wanted to play.
- Most arcade racing games at the time forced operators to buy two-in-one units. Cruis'n USA was sold as individual units that could be linked together. This made it cheaper, and allowed it to appear at more locations.
- Addressing how the game advertises the "Ultra 64" even though the actual N64 had completely different hardware, he says that Nintendo did fully license the arcade board they made for Cruis'n USA, but thinks they didn't use it because it was too "scrappy."
- After Cruis'n Exotica, he thought the next logical step might be racing in outer space, but he decided that would probably be too far removed from the original concept, so he left it a trilogy.
- He started to consider making a new Cruis'n game because it had been 20 years since Cruis'n USA, and he was feeling nostalgic, but he worried that maybe no one would remember the Cruis'n series.
- They settled on the name "Cruis'n Blast" because even though the games are racing games, they were mainly supposed to be about just having fun driving and "having a blast." Also, it's the first game in the series with a turbo button, so it can refer to having a blast of speed. He also felt that a single-syllable word was catchier than a multi-syllable word like "adventure."
- After almost five years, Cruis'n Blast is still one of Raw Thrills' best selling games ever, moving over 10,000 units.
- The Switch port came about as a result of the pandemic. Fewer people are going to arcades, so arcade operators aren't spending money on new games. Raw Thrills decided to try porting Cruis'n Blast to Switch so they could keep revenue coming in.
- Jarvis is usually skeptical about home ports of arcade games, but he's impressed with the quality they've been able to get with the Switch port. He thinks it's a matter of "creator's pride" since the original development team is doing the port.
- He couldn't say much about the future of the series, but did express interest in a reboot of the original Cruis'n USA.
Post by Nester the Lark on Sept 20, 2021 10:15:19 GMT -5
So, I've been playing Cruis'n Blast for a good few days now, and I thought I would post some thoughts.
It's about what I expected, to be honest, and I certainly don't mean that in a negative way. Cruis'n has never been a deep racing experience; just good arcade junk food. Looking back at the original Cruis'n USA, it was very basic. Each sequel got progressively sillier, but Cruis'n Blast just goes all out and cranks the silliness up to eleven.
While the graphics still don't look quite as good as the arcade version, it's still very impressive from a technical standpoint. How many other ports to the Switch run at full resolution in both docked and undocked modes at 60 fps with so much busyness happening on screen, and still look this good? Bravo to Raw Thrills for their optimization efforts.
You can see a direct comparison between the Switch and arcade versions here:
While the original arcade game only had five tracks, the Switch boasts 29, but that's a little misleading. Even though there are some original track layouts, most of the tracks are mirrors or remixes of sections from other tracks. They do a pretty good job of hiding it, though, with the different themes and gimmicks. Most of it is superficial (you can't actually get shot down by UFOs, eaten by a dinosaur, fall into a ravine, etc.), but it does add to the experience. Comparisons to the game being more like a theme park ride are quite appropriate (and make sense considering what arcade games strive for these days).
I do have a few issues with the game. First, the tracks are very short. Most are one-to-two minutes, but some are even as short as 45 seconds. (Although there is virtually no down time. Every race is 100% action from start to finish.) Second, a proper options menu would be nice so that I could select control options or adjust the sound effects and music individually. Also, more camera options would be nice, as all of the positions are a bit too close to the ground and make it tricky to see what's down the road. Finally, it's been pointed out by other people, but an online mode would be welcome. Most of the tracks and vehicles in the game are obtained by unlocking them, but the overall experience is still pretty short. An online mode would address this to a degree. Eugene Jarvis has mentioned the possibility of patching in online play and leaderboards (among other content) if the game sells well, so fingers crossed.
Overall, I've been quite enjoying the game. Would I recommend it? Well, anyone can simply look at a gameplay video and know exactly what they would be getting into. Some recent indie games may provide deeper gameplay, but given that Cruis'n Blast is an actual arcade port, I think there's something special about playing the real thing.
Despite a lack of promotion, the game does seem to be finding its audience. I'm enjoying the generally positive critical response I've been seeing for it. While the original Cruis'n games were popular, critics tended to rip them apart. Blast is probably the best in the series so far, but I think maybe people are ready for more arcade-style racers that aren't Mario Kart.
Again, fingers crossed that the game sells well so that we can get the HD remasters of the original Cruis'n arcade games that Eugene Jarvis has been teasing.
Shrikeswind: Wait what am I celebrating about the excuse is that I had COVID for basically all of November. Wear your masks kids.
Dec 9, 2021 5:15:44 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: Anyways I'm back and I'm gonna get started on the Christmas thread soon. Any suggestions for this year?
Dec 9, 2021 5:16:22 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: Can't be an advent calendar of any sort, considering how late I am.
Dec 9, 2021 5:17:35 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: Yikes! Sorry to hear you had COVID, Shrikes. Hope you're doing better.
Dec 9, 2021 9:39:56 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Nice to see you here Shrikes, and sorry to hear about you having COVID-19. Speaking of Christmas, the holiday mood seems to be a bit better where I work compared to the last few years.
Dec 9, 2021 12:33:39 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: Still coughing my lungs up, but yeah, doing a lot better now that it's past tense.
Dec 9, 2021 12:36:32 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: Thread should be up tonight. I need to leave for an interview in a little over an hour and I hadn't even slept last night.
Dec 9, 2021 12:39:06 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: Sidebar, I never thought I'd see the day where staying up to ungodly hours was a sign of health. Covid be wild.
Dec 9, 2021 12:40:10 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Remember NinDB Top 25? My list would have been slightly different now, even if I keep the series composition: (24) Ys VIII → (18) Ys Origin; (9) Atelier Totori DX → (8) Atelier Firis DX.
Dec 17, 2021 14:08:09 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: I've got ideas for some posts I want to make. Now if only I could make time to actually write them...
Dec 21, 2021 9:33:15 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: Finally finished this year's Christmas thread. Hoo boy has this been a stressful month. Sorry for the delay. And for that matter, sorry for any dead links in the playlists. No time to actually fix it, I need to get to bed.
Dec 24, 2021 22:36:11 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: I'll see you guys later. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Dec 24, 2021 22:36:52 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! ^_^
Dec 25, 2021 10:21:25 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: It's new year in my time zone. Happy new year!
Dec 31, 2021 11:00:00 GMT -5
Spud: Happy New Year!
Dec 31, 2021 18:03:33 GMT -5
Shrikeswind: Happy New Year everyone! Technically it's still 2021 for me, but it won't be in 7 minutes.
Dec 31, 2021 23:53:21 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Finally finished Metroid Dread. It's an alright game.
Jan 2, 2022 16:34:05 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Random trivia time: in Super Mario Galaxy 1, it's possible to swim in lava. The reason is that the overlapping water allows the Ice Flower to make platforms. www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUmJLqo8kWg
Jan 11, 2022 9:32:18 GMT -5