The Prancing Horse arrives in Real Racing 3
Without a doubt, the most-requested marque in Real Racing 3 has to be Ferrari. Over the course of last year I have seen scores, if not hundreds of posts on FireMonkeys and other forums, begging for Ferrari to be added to the game.
Naturally, the addition of a marque to the game requires an intricate mating dance in which information, money and data changes hands before permission is finally given. For a prestige marque like Ferrari, this dance is a particularly intricate one.
Well, it’s finally happened; the legendary Italian marque has been added to the impressive roster of cars currently available in the game, bringing the total to 74.
The new offerings include the Ferrari FF, 45B Italia and F12Berlinetta. In addition, Lexus has added the IS 350 F Sport (2014), which is an almost insignificant addition — an afterthought when compared to the three Italian offerings.
The new Ferrari — apparently the plural of “Ferrari” is “Ferrari” (who knew?) — are raced in two new series. The first of these, Ferrari Faceoff — or “Ferrari Tear-Your-Face-Off”, as I call it — is a career series. Curiously, it is found right at the end, after Zenith. This is odd, since the Ferrari offerings are not really in the same class as the Bugatti Veyron, Agera R, etc. In my opinion it should have been inserted earlier in the series, perhaps around the “Lexus LFA Showcase Series”, after the appearance of the last Lamborghinis (or should that be “Lamborghini”?), which are their closest competition.
The second event — Battle Italia — is an optional series. It is also rather unusual in that it pits the three new arrivals against two of the Lamborghini(s) that have been in the game since Day One.
There is also a new track — Circuit de Catalunya, in Spain. Like the Dubai Autodrome, it is a collection of tracks of varying length and complexity. Like Dubai, it is kind of irritating, but at least there are no twilight races (and a little less sand).
There is also a new type of Event: Ghost Challenges. It is an evolution of Time Trials, in which the player can challenge any other player on the Time Trial ladder.
Another new feature is “Meet The Crew”. This motley bunch consists of “The Manager”, who will double the payout of the next race, “The Agent”, who will similarly double the fame earned in the next race, and “The Mechanic”, who will magically erase the damage caused by the next race.
But these bonuses only work if you win the next race. The crew can be hired for one gold piece each, but if you win enough races, they will work their magic for free.
Another welcome change is that the Monkeys increased the payouts: My “Reference Race” (Classic American Muscle, ’68 Dodge Challenger Indy Speedway Endurance, 50 miles) yielded R$29990 and 5990 fame in 1.3 and 1.3.5; in 1.4 it was increased to R$41960 and 7980 fame — a substantial increase, and much appreciated.
The only fly in the ointment was that a change was made to Time Trials such that invalidated the result if if all four wheels left the track. This was an annoyance, but an understandable one. The result has become the bane of my existence.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about this version is that three new the Ferrari are really not that impressive. The first two (FF and Italia) are under-performing, and only the third has performance that could grudgingly be called “impressive”. But all three cars are skittish and skiddy; the defining thought that kept popping into my mind when taking one around a track was a Douglas Adams/Zaphod Beeblebrox quote: “Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow”. Racing the F12Berlinetta against its closest Lamborghini opposite number — the Aventadora — highlighted the difference. The Lambo was a joy to drive; fast yet forgiving, with plenty of warning when Bad Things Were About To Happen. The Ferrari, however, lost grip far too easily, and when if did so, the “departure from controlled flight” was quite vicious.
Perhaps FireMonkeys did not model the cars correctly, but assuming that they did a good job — the models would have to have been approved by Modena, after all — the new additions were disappointing and not that impressive.
The Ban Hammer strikes again
The Endurance Race that I mentioned earlier is, of course, the same race that I mentioned in my review of V1.3.5. The bad news is that apparently the large payouts from those long Endurance Races was apparently enough to trigger a week-long automatically-generated ban. What is incredibly irritating is that there is no appeal mechanism against this ban. Given that I had not actually done anything that might be considered as cheating I decided that if I was going to be labeled a cheat I might as well be one, so I got a friend to “bless” my profile, by adding a few thousand gold coins. I didn’t ask for any R$ — I could earn that honestly enough. I asked for about 4k; to my surprise he added 57k. That should be far more than I will ever need…
Naturally, that triggered another week-long ban, but at this point I really don’t care. In fact, I still haven’t been back on-line, even though the ban expired a week ago, and I don’t have any plans to go online anytime soon.
Onwards to 1.5!