By now, the 6 semifinalists have uploaded more or less final versions of their tracks, some of them after starting over several times.
Let’s talk briefly about the three “duels” that will happen after tonight’s closure of submissions…
Duel #1: Coast
The combatants are Mr.A and raxor. Both of them have built rather technical coastal tracks, with many twists and turns. Both tracks feature coastal ride, with raxor’s track having one nasty coastal turn without protective fence, so let’s go for some swim! Both of the tracks also contain at least one tricky off-road part, raxor once again being the more evil one, as his off-road section is preceeded with a yellow booster. Mr.A, on the other hand, decided to put an unforgiving stunt just before finish — I think many people will learn to hate treehuggers after crashing into those nasty plants in the middle of that stunt.
Duel #2: Island
Dakkon and Dengel are the two duelists here. Dengel has built a technical track with some “pixel-perfect” jumps, while Dakkon has gone insane with high speed adrenaline jumping experience. Unfortunately, dengel is reworking his track heavily as I’m writing this, so there’s not much I can speak about here now. Dakkon’s track is definitely cool once you memorize the route by heart, but surprisingly, all CP-respawning works, so while my wife wasn’t able to make it through, I’d say it’s easier than the original Island-E from the United Race campaign.
Duel #3: Bay
Fasten your seatbelts, guys, this is gonna be tough… the “miracle kid” Phil83, who was unknown before this compo and now is one of the favourites of the contest, vs. PappyChampy (btw, I really hate the nick, as the middle 2 syllables of it are a rude word in my language ).
Both guys managed to find out original (“innovative”) things to do with the Bay tiles. Pappy has a cool 90-degree banked jump through a CP, while Phil sends you through a gap between bridge-support pillars, to name just one from each track. Both tracks vary very well between tech and speed sections, and checkpoints are distributed reasonably well so that CP-respawn does not put you 30 seconds back. In Pappy’s track, one CP respawn requires you to take an alternate route — I’m curious whether Nadeo will object against this or not. What is even more interesting is that both tracks employ Water-bounce, but while Phil’s track has the water bounce as mandatory, Pappy allows you to ride around it (might be interesting to test if it’s not faster to go around…)
All in all, the five tracks (excluding Dengel’s one, which is under reconstruction right now) are top quality and Nadeo will definitely make many enemies when they decide which of the track gets butchered.