Top Gear – Punching It Down The Blacktop

This is it. The race of your life. Head to head. Nose to nose. Flag to flag for the championship of the world. And only your best friend – or your worst enemy – stands in your way as you chase each other around 32 fiendishly tricky racetracks scattered from Paris to Rio.

Then there was the SNES trilogy known as “Top Gear” (or “Top Racer” as it was known as in Japan). The sequels after the first TG became more advanced as far as options for races, cars, designs, and required “money” to purchase parts and accessories won from high pole places in a race. The original Top Gear is valued for the fact that it was simplistic in nature: chose your name, chose your transmission (auto or manual), and chose your controller layout, and a car, and just race!

You each choose your car carefully for speed. handling and power. Grab the controls, and punch it down the blacktop. This is awesome splitscreen racing at its best, and it takes all your skill, courage and splitsecond timing to stay on the road, day after day, night after night, past roadblocks, barriers and pitstops. So gear up. Get your motor running. And go for the nitro. There’s only room in the winner’s circle for one!

Graphics:

The graphics in this game do their job well a neat opening screen is followed by a well laid out options screen which includes an impressive (by SNES standards) digitized photo behind the text. In the game itself the graphics are pretty good and the cars themselves are well drawn. One effect in top gear I have never seen anywhere else is the way that during some races day changes to night and vice versa which improves or worsens your visibility.

Also back drops are unique to each track, you can see the leaning tower of Pisa in Pisa, the Eiffel tower in Paris etc. The pit lane is also well animated and the speedometer, timer.Are intuitively laid out so you can glance at them quickly without crashing. I also liked the little speech bubbles coming out of the side of the car whenever you crash into another car or use a nitro. For example if you get caught in a group of cars and you keep banging into them the driver will say something like ‘get outta my way’ or ‘are you blind’.

The Controls:

The controls are in a word faultless. you have 4 control options including a left handed option where you hold the SNES pad upside down. Maneuvering your car is simplicity itself as is cornering. overtaking on high speed corners is no problem as you can go full speed round the outside or take a small speed drop and pass on the inside.The brake and nitro buttons are easy to reach requiring just a roll of the thumb to reach. In manual gears mode a simple tap of the R or L buttons will take you up or down a gear.

Music and Sound FX:

I have to say I think Top Gear has the best music in any of the earlier racing games. The title song is a classic (It is also the ending music for lotus1 on the genesis) and the in game tracks are also perfect and always seem perfect for whatever track you are on, high notes seem to coincide with sharp turns and generally the music has a rhythm that manages to get the adrenaline going as you are tearing round hairpin bends. The sound effects of the car (skidding, engine noise etc.) are also perfectly recaptured.

Gameplay:

Top Gear’s Strong point is its thrilling gameplay. The fact that its permanently split screen (like Mario Kart) will always have you competing against another “human” player is it’s trump card. If you are playing in one player mode the second players car is controlled by the SNES and it will have to refuel just like you. In two player mode player 2 will control this car. In each race there are 20 cars and your position on the starting grid is determined by your finishing position in the previous race e.g) if you finished 1st you begin the next race in 20th, 2nd = 19th and so forth.

When you finish first on any given track in a country, you earn 20 points, 2nd place earns 15 points, 3rd place earns 12, 4th place earns 10, and 5th place earns 8. That is the cut off point however, because if you do not finish a given track 5th place or better (out of 20 cars), you will not advance to the next track. In addition, you must finish at least 3rd or better on any given country or continent in order to advance to the next country.

There are 32 tracks over eight areas around the world: the United States, South America (mainly in Brazil, but oddly it includes one track in Mexico), Italy, Germany, Japan, France (including one track in Monaco), The United Kingdom, and Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark).

In addition, you can choose one of four cars, most of which contrast sharply from one another. The white car is best for fuel consumption but on average it clocks the lowest speed, while the red car is the fastest on average but drinks gasoline like water. The blue and purple cars share a similar speed and gas usage rate, but the blue car handles more soundly around turns then the purple car does.

There are big differences between each car and playing the game with a different car makes each play feel like a different game as depending on your car you could have a very manueverable machine or something that handles like a brick on wheels. (when driving the blue or red car it becomes much more difficult to overtake and avoid objects). Or you could have a vehicle that needs to be refuelled once, twice or not at all on a particular track.

Also acceleration varies which is crucial when you’re starting off or just after a bad crash or pit stop.the nitro power also varies from car to car also which affects the duration and overall speed boost. Also max speed comes into play also some cars ‘hold’ speed better than others and do not seem to slow down as much after a nitro boost or a steep hill.

When your low on fuel you have to pit stop to do this simply steer into the pit lane and when your fuel level is sufficient drive out again. Pit stops require tactics as pitting early in the race will give you more time to catch up. If you do run out of fuel it does not mean you are out of the race as your car drifts forward for a while and if another car hits the back of you will start moving again.

Because of this its possible to do a whole lap with out fuel until you either manage to finish or reach the pits. Although more than likely you will lose a lot of positions waiting to get hit or stop in a lane where no other cars even goes. In 2 player mode you can just get the other guy to give you a push though.

The tracks are all well designed and on the longer courses it is possible to have many different tactics about when to refuel or nitro. Some tracks like the black forest are true to life as this track is full of steep hills just like the real place. The speed in Top Gear is phenomenal, it is not un-playably fast but it’s devastatingly quick and smooth when compared to the likes of F-Zero and Mario Kart which are sluggish and seem slow in comparison.

Challenge Factor:

Top Gear has three difficulty levels the higher levels make the computer cars faster and more aggressive and also add more obstacles to the course. Although completing the game is not too difficult you should try to finish first in every race, as any loser can finish fifth. also you should try and beat the course record which is shown on the pre-race screen.

As well as that you should attempt to complete the game with every car like in the red car you can not afford to crash and you can hit speeds of around 240 mph if you are good. The red car also guzzles fuel like there is no tomorrow but goes a lot faster than the blue and the white car. To sum up the white car is for beginners, the blue and purple cars for intermediary players, while the red is for the pros.

Final Thoughts:

Top Gear does not hold a lot of weight in the history of racing games because it does not have the super deluxe choices, features, and add ons like it’s sequels did, or other games that would follow it on other systems. And that is a shame, because not only is Top Gear simplicity in its most compelling form as far as strictly racing goes, but it also paved the way for other games to copy the system it implemented and make it even better, solely from a gameplay stand point.

If you have an SNES and want to re-live a glorious Pre-whacked out racing Era of games, Top Gear would be one of those you will want to get your hands on. The experience will give you arguably be one of the best racing games ever in your collection.

4 Advantages of a Gasoline Powered Car

Although there has been a sharp increase in the availability of hybrid and electric cars, gasoline powered cars still dominate the automobile market. Despite the continuous price increases on gas these vehicles has retained its advantages.

The four advantages of these vehicles are revealed below.

1. Accessible Source of Fuel

Gasoline powered cars can be refilled everywhere. You can easily find a gas station even on the country side and rural areas. Their services are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

In addition to this, these gas stations also offer other services such as change oil, car wash, and tire check up. There are also gas stations that sell vehicle parts.

2. Lower Maintenance Costs

Gas fueled cars require lower maintenance costs. Spare parts and replacement kits are readily available on car service centers. There are also slightly used parts sold at lower prices. Surplus parts are used as replacements for the broken ones. Instead of buying expensive brand new parts, you can use the slightly used as replacements.

3. Accessible Car Accessories Shops

Since gas-powered cars were around for several decades, there are a lot of shops that sell car accessories. They attend to car owner’s needs in upgrading and enhancing their vehicles. Some of the offered in these shops are fashionable seat covers, cool steering wheels, and car audio systems.

4. Accessible Service Centers

Just like gas stations, service centers that repair defective cars are almost everywhere. Technicians and experts attend to the needed repairs of the car. Car engine check-ups, troubleshooting, and car upgrades are also performed here.

Services offered in service centers are not only for minor car repairs. Their staffs are also capable of doing complicated car works such as engine overhauling, under chassis repairs, and engine upgrades.

These are the advantages of the gas-powered car. To cope up with the increasing gas prices, car manufacturers try to create fuel-efficient cars. As a matter of fact, the latest car models are now equipped with gadgets that reduces the fuel consumption. In addition to this, latest cars are built with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The Purpose of Induction Kits

Before understanding the purpose of induction kits it would be necessary to know about the working and reason behind the presence of air filter in the car. Your car, for movement require fuel of course but the mere presence of fuel does not do the trick alone as many other ingredients are necessary to move your car which includes besides fuel, air and some sparks.

That’s right now understanding the phenomenon of moving the car is that your car intakes air containing oxygen, pushes that air into the piston area of the engine and then there’s a drizzle of fuel droplets which is combusted with the spark created by the car batteries. When fuel droplets come in the contact of a flare caused by the battery and in the presence of oxygen it causes explosion which causes the piston to move and eventually the whole car(imagine hundreds of these explosions happening per second).

Now keeping in mind the above phenomenon and the pre-requisites to move a car we can guess that without the presence of air/oxygen it would be difficult to move a conventional car and more the quality of the air i. e the more the oxygen in the air the better will be the performance of the car. This is what air filters do they intake oxygen and send it to the piston part of the engine. So if a car has an air filter with larger diameter the air filter will be able to intake more oxygen. So it is advised to keep your air filter clean in order to increase your horse power.

Now coming to the purpose of the induction kits. The idea behind introducing induction kit instead of air filter and air box is that induction kit intakes more cool air than these two without any extra effort thus allowing more oxygen because cool air contains more oxygen than warm air. This does not mean that air filter and air box are not fit for their purpose but as the time passes they become full of dust and therefore less efficient.

A normal induction kit has a cone shaped filter and necessary brackets and pipework to fit into the specific car. Good quality induction kits last for a longer time than the air filters because they can be easily washed, oiled and cleaned thus enhancing their life span. One more change which is eventually brought by the introduction of induction kit is that it makes a roaring sound thus giving car a more sporty image.

So I reckon if you are a car enthusiast and looking forward to modify your car you should try these kits. Specific induction kits are available in the market for many of their respective cars but problem occurs when the model of your car is not listed so in this case you will have to buy universal kits which can fit into numbers of other vehicles after some alteration in the brackets and pipe works.

Essential Chainsaw Accessories

Owning a chainsaw simplifies large yard projects. Having all the right chainsaw accessories will keep your saw working optimally, and ensure your safety with each use. From bars to safety gear, a guide to all of your chainsaw needs can help when shopping for parts.

Chainsaw Bars and Chains

The guide bar is a long, rounded bar made from wear-resistant alloy steel. The bar has edged slots to guide the car across the surface that it cuts. They come in 16-36 inch lengths depending on the duty of the saw.

The cutting chain resembles that of a bicycle chain. It each segment holds small teeth called cutters. They are extremely sharp and should never be handled without gloves.

Cutting chains offer varying pitches and gauges. Filing of the depth gauges is essential to operating the saw. They guide the cutters as far as how deep they cut.

Chainsaw sharpening and filing accessories

Sharpening and filing accessories are essential for maintaining the life of your saw. Sharpening your chainsaw on a regular bases will provide the best cuts and prevent injury.

Purchasing a clam-shelled filing kit is a great investment. It offers everything you need for your chainsaw sharpening needs:

  • File handles
  • Files guides
  • Round files
  • Flat files for depth

You will also want a depth gauge guide for when you file your gauge. Filing a gauge is easy and should be done every third or fourth sharpening.

Safety chainsaw accessories

Proper safety should always come first when using a chainsaw. Buying the essential safety accessories will help you avoid serious accidents. Items you should consider buying for safety include:

  • Helmet system or safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Gloves
  • Body gear

If you choose not to purchase body gear, it is important to wear fitted clothing while working with a chainsaw.

Other chainsaw accessories

A well-maintained chainsaw can last a lifetime. In order to keep your chainsaw running, you may need to periodically replace parts. These parts include:

  • Sprockets
  • Clutch
  • Air filter
  • Muffler

Always read your chainsaw operations manual for specific requirements for accessories. Your operations manual also explains how to replace chainsaw parts. Never repair or replace chainsaw parts without wearing safety gear. Always make sure that you use the proper parts for your chainsaw model.

If you follow these tips, your chainsaw will not only be more efficient and safe, but will give you many years of trouble-free operation for all your projects.