Bugbear’s Next Car Game: Still On The Way, But Getting There Is Half The Fun…

Yes indeed, Bugbear Entertainment’s Next Car Game STILL needs a proper title, but that’s not stopping it from becoming a big favorite among pretty much anyone who’s gotten the chance to try out one of the many tech demos or preview builds. The developer is still taking pre-orders for the game (which is also coming to Steam) and even offering up Kickstarter-like bonuses to those who spend a bit more loot such as getting their names in the game or allowing a set number of users to design their own custom rides for all to use. One of the coolest things anyone can grab of (if they have the money to buy and space to use it) is Fanatec’s SPECTACULAR selection of racing game seats, wheels, shifters and such that make any driving or racing game an even more realistic experience. As you can see in that video above, The setup Bugbear is using (which includes Fantec’s Universal Hub) is quite modular, allowing many steering wheel variants to be used.

Now, the only thing the game needs is a proper console version, although the original crowdfunding drive fell short of that goal. My hope is that the PC version does well enough and gets enough attention that at least ONE of the big three companies sees that as a chance to get a great destruction derby racer back on the market for their systems. Granted, both Sony and Microsoft have marquee racers and may pass on this one (and too bad for them if they do!), but Nintendo hasn’t had a GOOD first-party realistic racer for ages (although Need For Speed Most Wanted U is hands-down the best racer with actual licensed cars in YEARS on a Nintendo platform), so a big fat pipe dream is seeing them wise up and at least look into sending Bugbear a few dev kits so they can either port thew game over or come up with something new and just as fun on that hardware. Granted, that’s a slim chance, but hey – one can only hope, right?

Next Car Game Update: Some Truly Smashing Alpha Gameplay…

 
Of course, I knew the team at Bugbear was going to be going all out with this new demolition racer and for pre-alpha footage, this is really impressive. Yes, that car is purposely indestructible and YES, it’s that way to show off the game’s physics and all those lovely bits flying around when stuff is struck. Anyway, the game’s Kickstarter has 16 days to go and still needs a lot of pledges to make that $350,000 target, so if you’ve got a few spare bucks you need to unload and want to support a fine developer who loves making crazy racing experiences, give a little and get a lot back, I say. Hell, I want this to succeed only so the team can maybe make another Glimmerati game for a few platforms…

Bugbear Dips Into Its Vaults And Brings Back Some Crashing Memories…

So, the fine folks at Bugbear Entertainment are running a Kickstarter campaign for its tentatively titled Next Car Game and like some other creators out there, has reached into its vaults and unearthed an ancient prototype of some interest to people like me who LOVE to see works in progress no matter how ancient and half-playable. Some of you will recognize this build as what eventually ended up as the fun demolition derby racer FlatOut, still one of the more thrilling physics experiments to dive back into if you still have a copy in your own game library.

Granted, this download will ONLY confuse people who think it’s what or close to what the new game will look like while people like me who absolutely groove on early builds from any era will be getting all giddy and grinny as we play through the bits that can be played with a nostalgic glow around our heads. But it’s all good in the end, as Bugbear is just sharing their love of making racing games that’s been a core part of their history since they got started. Here’s some early fun with car damage testing from the new game:

I guess it’s good I’m walking distance from home, as I’m not getting into a car after watching that! Anyway, go check out that free old demo build above and absolutely toss them a few dollars if you want to see what and how that much newer game they’re working on will get you glued to a monitor (and hopefully one day, new console!)…

Bugbear Wants Their Next Car Game to Be Your New Car Game…

… even after you’ve gone and smashed that car into scrap metal. That’s right, folks – check out that video above and if you’re felling all warm and fuzzy inside about what you see, you know what to do. Get in on that pre-order action over at the official site, and bring along a few friends while you’re at it as hey, if you want to smash into someone with that virtual ride, it may as well be someone you know, correct? Oh, and “Next Car Game” is a tentative title – you can’t get more generic than that, so let’s hope Bugbear is saving up that title reveal and makes it a great one.

Bugbear Entertainment Has Been Some Busy Bees. You’ll Want A Seat Belt For This One.

 

I’ve had a mad crush (pun intended) on Bugbear Entertainment and their games since I first got a debug demo for FlatOut on the original Xbox many years back and played it to death. I have almost all their other racers (yes, even Glimmerati for the Nokia N-Gage, which needs to remade for other platforms so more people can see how fun it is) and in general, all you need is one go at any of their games to see that these guys love making arcade style racing games that aren’t supercar showcases at all. They’re still around and have made some fine racers, but some were better than others and while each game was well worth playing, I felt it would be a nice thing to see the developer go back to its roots and do something that was fun and chaotic with a hefty amount of car damage making it a guaranteed smash with fans of this type of game. Hey, car puns are too easy to write – I’m holding back here just so I don’t go overboard, folks…
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Ridge Racer Unbounded Launch & Environment Trailers: Bugbear’s Worked It Hard So You Can, Too!

 

Looking super sharp and like a ton of fun in these videos, Namco Bandai’s not quite reboot but re-versioning of its classic arcade racing game should be in stores (and hopefully, in your hot little hands) as you read this. Will Bugbear’s expertise at racing games where stuff wrecks up quite well be accepted by the masses, or will even the awesome-looking City Editor fail to capture the attention of the jaded RR maniacs who ONLY want ONE type of game in their libraries? Suspense!

(But I’m guessing the former will win out amongst those with half a head full of common sense)…

 

Ridge Racer Unbounded’s City Editor Should Settle The Rumbles On The Street Down A Tad…

Hmmm. Here in the US, Namco Bandai seems to be tiptoeing on eggshells when it comes to hyping Bugbear’s upcoming game and that’s too bad. I’m gathering the jaded types that have been slamming them since the game was announced is flummoxing their PR team here as they try and get the good word out over the drone of haters who want nothing but the same old Ridge Racer with very few changes (or more of the same with a few modern tweaks).  I see it like this: when you have a developer that’s already done some excellent racing games working on a spin-off of a world famous franchise, you should be more than confident that the game coming is going to be worthy of the name. That said, this City Editor trailer from the UK should go a long way in quelling the stream of leaky gas fumes coming from some out there who just seem to have nothing good to say about a game they haven’t even played yet.  As I’ve said before, at the end of the day, it’s all about respect (and actually spending quality time with what you’re criticizing so much)…

The Ghoster, The Immortal & The Road Wolf Star In Ridge Racer Unbounded Update

Hmmm. That trio of names above sound like a bunch of Mad Max drivers (they must be personal friends of The Toecutter and Humongous). OK, I’m guilty of missing posting this trailer from about two weeks ago, but that’s because I was buried in Toy Fair stuff, so there (nyah!). Anyway, Bugbear’s hard work is paying off in my book, as the game is looking better each time I see it. Sure, it may not be the most original arcade-style racer out there. But if the parts that work as well as they’re supposed to all click into place, Namco Bandai is going to have quite a sleeper here…

Ridge Racer Unbounded Update: Behind the Game #1: “Deal With It!”

Namco Bandai rolls out the first in a series of “making of” videos about their upcoming racer set for a March release on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Hey, I didn’t name the trailer, although that’s exactly what I’d call it as there are still a bunch of overly vocal folks out there who’ve been ticked off about this one ever since it was announced. Anyway, It’s been pretty quiet on the RRU front since I played the very promising demo last year, so it’s great to see what’s been going on since. Check out what the  hard-working team at Bugbear has been up to and if you’re one of those die-hard classic RR fans still frothing at the mouth over the new game, you’ll also see that it’s not replacing your nostalgically sideways sliding fantasies at all…

Ridge Racer Unbounded Hands-On

Bugbear Entertainment has been hard at work on a much different Ridge Racer, but it’s clear than this new game isn’t being made to completely take the place of the more familiar franchise that’s been a key title for nearly every console it’s appeared on. Rather, Unbounded is a high-impact spin-off that takes the drift-crazy gameplay and fictional vehicles the series in famous for, adds in destructible elements and the ability to create your own courses and hits the ground running. I took a demo build for a spin at a Namco Bandai event about two weeks back and liked what I played quite a lot. There’s definitely a nod to Criterion Studios’ last few Burnout games (as well as Burnout-inspired titles such as Split Second) as well as Bugbear’s own FlatOut series. As Burnout has morphed into a top-down family fun arcade game with disco tunes blasting during crashes and FlatOut has been retired (for the time being), it looks as RRU will be the go-to game for crash fans when it’s released next year. Continue reading