Great, FREE Carmageddon clone Death Drive out - a must have!

Discussion in 'Games (Windows Phone)' started by Menneisyys, Nov 5, 2006.

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  1. Menneisyys

    Menneisyys Mobile Deity

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    Thanks to great German multiplatform mobile gaming site PocketGaming.de, which were first to report on the latest “made in Russia” game Death Drive, I've also given a try to the brand new, great Carmageddon / Destruction Derby / Twisted Metal / Death Rally clone, which has just been released for the Pocket PC. That is, unlike what the title suggests, it's not a "plain" Carmageddon clone - it's just that the title length is limited and had only place for one title. That is, it's pretty much like Handy Entertainment’s Dreamway and Garga Games’ Ganxta Race on the Pocket PC - but all in 3D, unlike these 2D games.

    The game uses the same Voxel technology used in, for example, the Comanche series, which, at its time (in 1992), was a real breakthrough on PC gaming with its (compared to alternative technologies) excellent speed and visuals. The speed advantage is present on the Pocket PC too - the game is pretty playable on, with today's standards, low-end Pocket PC's and has no problems on VGA devices either.

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    The homepage of Gajon Entertainment’s new game is here (BabelFish “translation” here; a related article & comments (Babelfish here) and thread (both in Russian) ).

    The company mostly develops for other platforms (most importantly, the PC and the PowerTV set-top box) and this is their first Pocket PC conversion. Despite this (and the fact that it’s free), it is a VERY mature product - actually, it's even better than MANY commercial Pocket PC games. This also applies to the English of the game – it’s all in English with no, say, Russian leftovers.

    Availability

    The direct download is here (original Gajon Entertainment page; may be slow to download) and here (very fast PocketGaming.de back-end).

    Installation

    Un-RAR (with, for example, WinRAR or the free (!) and highly recommended (its proprietary 7-zip compression is about 15% better than even the compression rate of RAR!) 7-zip) and copy the deathdrive_hires directory to your PDA. Execute DeathDrivePPC2003.exe inside to start the game.

    Compatibility

    It had no problems with my following Pocket PC’s:

    WM5 VGA Dell Axim x51v (A12)
    WM5 VGA HP iPAQ hx4700. Unfortunately, the D-Pad-based controls in the game can’t be redefined and the movement can’t be controlled by the stylus; therefore, on the hx4700, you’ll want to use an external Bluetooth gaming pad
    WM2003SE VGA Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720
    WM2003 QVGA HP iPAQ h2210 (it was clearly slower on it than on the first three devices)

    On my non-overclocked HTC Wizard, it was pretty slow. If you don’t plan to overclock, just disable the mirror, the engine sounds and the minimap in the Setup menu – then, it becomes pretty usable. With overclocking to 240 MHz, you don't need to do this - then, the game becomes pretty playable.

    While the game is advertised as PPC2k2-compatible, it isn’t (there’s no PPC2k2-compliant executable). This is certainly bad news for PPC2k2 users.

    Note that, up to now, I've received two reports of it not working on Samsung CPU-based models (HP iPAQ rx1950 , HTC TyTN etc) and haven't received any success stories on these CPU's. That is, you may too have problems with the game if you have a Samsung-based model.

    Gameplay

    Please read the above-linked Wiki pages to read all about it. It's a combination of the listed games

    My personal remarks: Much as the game, at first, seems to be rather boring for non-Carmageddon / Desctruction Derby etc.-fans (including me), taken into account all the game / tournament options, weapon upgrades and so on, it becomes pretty fun.

    Control

    Unfortunately, it can only be controlled with the D-Pad and, if present, a dedicated jog dial. Unfortunately, it doesn't support SmartSKey, the great "make your volume slider of previous-generation WM5-based HTC phones to a jog dial" hack either, which is bad news for example for HTC Universal / Wizard users.

    If you don't have a (dedicated) jog dial, you'll welcome the fact that the weapon key (the Action button, which can't be reassigned) is "sticky" and you'll end up having to re-press it few times.

    Note that while some state it can also be controlled with stylus (just like GeorallyEX or Handy Entertainment’s Dreamway and Garga Games’ Ganxta Race, this is definitely not the case.

    Visuals

    For a free game, I’d say it’s excellent. OK, there’s no 2700G support or VGA hi-resolution, but you can’t expect much of a FREE game, can you? ;) (Note that many state it's hi-res on VGA devices. This is not the case.)

    The game uses (right-handed) landscape orientation; this can’t be changed (bad news for users of devices with bad landscape polarization or left-handedness).

    Sounds & music

    As far as in-game sounds are concerned: for a free game, they’re excellent. Probably the biggest problem is the engine sound: there are only two engine sounds for “slow” and “fast” speed; this can be pretty misleading when you don’t pay attention to the speedometer. Fortunately, it can be disabled in the Options menu.

    Unfortunately, there’s no in-game / menu music.

    Verdict

    This game has set a new standard for freeware Pocket PC games and is a must. Go get it!

    UPDATE (11/06/2006): some updates to the article; a link to the PocketPlayers.de review published in the meantime.
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Has Bad Feeling About This Super Moderator

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    Downloading, will try it if I have time... too bad Death Drive isn't compatible with the LifeDrive. :)
     
  3. Menneisyys

    Menneisyys Mobile Deity

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    Updated version posted
     
  4. Menneisyys

    Menneisyys Mobile Deity

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    UPDATE (11/17/2006): Jim Karpen’s related article may also be of interest.

    Many users have reported (see for example this, this, this and this) it wouldn’t switch to next tracks in Tournament mode and/or wouldn’t add money to the account.

    Some people (see for example this) say you must install it to the main memory to fix this problem.

    I’ve thoroughly tested the tournament mode on my x51v in three cases (game copied to the root of the built-in storage of the device, the root of the SD card and a subdirectory on the card); all three worked OK with me.

    However, if you do encounter problems like the above, try copying the game to the main storage of your PPC to see whether it helps.
     
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