Grid Autosport Review: Pedal to the Metal

grid-autosport-headerWhile they started as a bit more of a racing sim company, Codemasters transition to the pseudo-sim (not a hardcore racing sim but far from a simple arcade racer) has come with massive critical acclaim. The launch of the Dirt series from the Colin McRae Rally franchise and the transition of the sim TOCA Race Driver series to Grid were met with praise from critics and gamers alike.

Then 2012 happened. Someone at Codemasters went a little crazy and decided that more arcade-style racing games were what Codies needed to get to the next level. The result was Dirt: Showdown, F1 Race Stars and Grid 2 all being released in quick succession. The pseudo-sim gameplay had been replaced with arcadey minigames, shallow gameplay, and a disregard for proper racing and the laws of physics, respectively.

While the F1 franchise motored on, the rest of Codemasters’ IP floundered without a direction. The company’s move from sim to arcade was backfiring with critics and fans. So Codies did something rare for the games industry: They listened to their fans. The gamers who were fed up with the direction of Codemasters would get their way with the latest iteration of the Grid franchise. Getting away from the arcade/floaty driving style of Grid 2, Grid Autosport would be a return to the more sim style of racing that Grid and the Race Driver franchises were known for.

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F1 Power Rankings: Hungarian Grand Prix

If ever there was a time for Lewis Hamilton to turn around his qualifying form, it would be this weekend. That’s because the Formula One World Championship is going to the Hungaroring where the passing is non-existent. I think that I’m well on record as hating this track and race. They must spend a lot on sanctioning fees because there are so many better places for F1 to go.

Anyway, in motorsports, the winner is the first past the post after the designated race distance. Barring an error or mechanical failure, the winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix will be the first car on the starting grid. This weekend’s race is on Saturday.

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Wednesday Link-Off: Dollars and Sense

samantha-hoopes-maxim14-04Sunday’s link-off was mostly about current events in Canada. Today, it’s the latest developments in Ukraine. You’d think that someone would try to be very apologetic about accidentally shooting down a civilian airplane but I guess that’s not how it works in Russia. It’s starting to look like things in Ukraine might once again get worse before it gets better.

First, let’s start this post with Samantha Hoopes.

The more Putin tightens his grip on Ukraine, it seems that more money is slipping through his fingers. Russian billionaires are worried about making money in an increasingly isolated Russia. (Bloomberg)

In other economic news, if the American economy is to grow, business have to start spending rather than saving. Apparently lowering taxes isn’t encouraging them to do so. (The Upshot)

The FCC wants to open up broadband to be available as a public-owned utility for municipalities to run themselves. It would be a great way to get around net neutrality by offering competition so no ISPs could hose customers. The Republicans are opposed to it, obviously. (Vox)

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IndyCar – Toronto Indy: Double the Trouble

indycar-2014-toronto-conway-victory-laneIt was a little bit wet but it was a lotta bit wild on the streets of Exhibition Place for the annual Toronto Indy. This year’s doubleheader was compressed to a one day show with two points races after a Saturday afternoon rainout. It was a long day for the drivers and teams but a hell of a show for the fans who saw a spectacular performance in the morning and a shootout to the end in the afternoon as Sebastian Bourdais and Mike Conway scored the wins in Canada.

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F1 German Grand Prix: Home Town Heroes

f1-2014-germany-rosberg-podiumIt may have been a poorly attended race and the slowest dry weather F1 race at Hockenheim but that didn’t mean that the home fans didn’t go home happy. Despite the various controversies during the run up to the race, it was still home country driver Nico Rosberg who sent the fans home happy by dominating the German Grand Prix.

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Sunday Link-Off: Breaking Conservative

chrissy-teigen-espys14-01The start of the week wasn’t particularly interesting from a news standpoint but it got a bit too interesting by the end of the week. While you’ve probably just been keeping up with some of the major international stories, we have some links about the political goings on in Canada among other interesting links.

Anyway, it’s time to get the post started. Let’s start with the only noteworthy thing from the ESPYs. That would be Chrissy Teigen.

Contrary to what the Conservative Party would have you believe, most Canadians think that current marijuana laws are too harsh. In fact, the government’s own polling shows that. (Metro)

Speaking of Conservative Party battles, they’re blaming of their battles with the Supreme Court on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Damned rights getting in the way of oppressing people. (Canada.com)

NBC News pulled their top Middle East reporter out of Gaza after he reported about Israeli forces killing four Palestinian boys earlier this week. Given American networks’ reputations for pre-Israel coverage, it didn’t go over well. (The Intercept)

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Entertainment Link-Off: Nobody Understands the Cloud

lizzy caplanThis weekend at the box office, it’s The Purge: Anarchy taking on Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz in Sex Tape. While the former is getting mixed results among critics, it looks like the latter is not sexy enough to draw out some good laughs. Speaking of sexy stuff, perhaps you could just simply stay home and catch the return of Master of Sex featuring Lizzy Caplan. 

After the jump, a reveal of cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy, some news on Planet of the Apes, look for an Arrow/Flash crossover this season, watch Conan and Dave Franco try Tinder and Stephen Colbert takes on John Stewart to determine who is the bigger Star Wars fan. Continue reading

Can A New MOBA Compete in an Oversaturated Genre?

lol-vs-dota-mobas-collide-by-vitor-aizenThe International might be taking place right now and it is the biggest eSports tournament in history but it’s far from alone in the MOBA genre. While it’s big, Dota 2 only boasts 9 million monthly players to League of Legends’ 67 million people playing each month. While they’re two of the most popular games in the world, they’re far from the only MOBAs on the block.

Alongside League and Dota is an ever-expanding group of competitors in the MOBA sector. In the last year or so alone, we’ve seen alphas, betas and full releases of Smite, Dawngate, Heroes of the Storm, Infinite Crisis, Dead Island: Epidemic and more. That’s not included the recently announced MOBAs from Gearbox, Crytek and CD Projekt.

With so many MOBAs entering the market against dominating category leaders, do any of these new entries stand a chance and what, if anything, can they do to compete?

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F1 Power Rankings: German Grand Prix

After Lewis Hamilton got a bit of home track advantage at the British Grand Prix and cashed in with a win, the battle of the Mercedes teammates goes to Nico’s other home track. With both drivers scoring wins at their home races (Nico in Monaco and Lewis in Britain), the pattern would hold that Rosberg would win the German Grand Prix.

However, the Formula One Power Rankings likes to buck the trend. That includes the Mercedes teammates winning pattern.

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Wednesday Link-Off: The World (Cup) is Not Enough

irina-shayk-twinset14-07World Cup month is finally over and the whole world can move on so we can forget about the billions of dollars wasted by the Brazilian government… Well, that’s until we talk about the billions of dollars wasted by the Brazilian government on the 2016 Summer Olympics. And just wait until we have to deal with the Qatar World Cup of 2022.

Anyway, there’s a lot more to today’s links than the World Cup. But let’s keep with a quasi-soccer theme with Irina Shayk.

Canadian government staffers have been deleting Canadian government staffers from Wikipedia. Gee, what are they hiding and who are they hiding it for? (Vice)

The FCC has been so inundated with comments about the future of net neutrality that it’s repeatedly crashed their website and forced them to extend the comment period. (PC Magazine)

NASA thinks that we’ll find other life in the universe inside the next 20 years. That would be pretty cool. (CBS)

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