Track Review – Elephant Gorge

Elephant Gorge

First Impression

You’ve heard of the Big Brother Program, right? It’s a project at TMX where authors can tutor each other in a Little Brother/Big Brother system: The Little Brother builds a track with the help and advice from the Big Brother.

Elephant Gorge is a track which has come out of this project, where the LB was Lionhead, and the BB was MrA. And hey, despite having MrA as his tutor, I actually think Lionhead has managed to make a really good track here! (And yes, that was a poor pay-back attempt at MrA for calling me a girl at TMX 😛 ).

Anyway, to be serious, this looks like a a really good Desert track, with especially some cool off-road parts, but I don’t think it’s a top track. We’ll see…

Track design

The design of Elephant Gorge is really good. There are some quite nice normal turns and a few cool jumps, but above all, some great off-road sections. The track as such isn’t really anything special, but the off-road parts make it stand out a bit, and I also like the fact that there’s a re-use part towards the end. Nice parts which requires skill to get past perfectly, yet not too hard for the average player. This would probably make for a good online track.

There’s one place I have to complain about though. At one point, when going through a tunnel, the level is raised a bit, and the car, going at the right speed, jumps into the tunnel roof (or checkpoint sign in this case, as the following tunnel piece after the raise is a checkpoint). Not good guys (read: MrA).

But in general, the design is very good 😀

Rating: 8.0

Scenery

To make a perfect scenery in the Desert environment you should either try to over-use blocks to provide a crowded feeling, or keep it simple yet more realistic (if “realistic” is even allowed to be used in TM related articles). Lionhead went for the latter, and it looks quite good. Nice details, yet not over-used. However, it doesn’t bring anything really new or special, which is a requirement in order to get a really good score.

Rating: 8.0

MediaTracker

Intro: No intro (!)

In-game: Nothing (but not needed, so it doesn’t matter that much).

Outro: The outro is very good. Nice angles showing the race and no over-use of special effects, which is good. However, at times the cameras tend to change a lot, causing a rather bumpy outro.

Overall, I can’t rate the MT work of this track above average, as there’s not intro, which should count for quite a lot of the score. The fact that there’s no in-game MT work doesn’t matter too much as it really isn’t needed. What brings the rating up is the outro, but it isn’t perfect… therefore, quite a poor rating here!

Rating: 3.5

Originality

The overall design of the track isn’t really that original, but the cool off-road sections do bring a bit of a unique touch to the track. But of course, this is far from enough for a great rating.

Rating: 4.5

Fun Factor

Elephant Gorge is in fact a very fun track to play. There are some tricky, but not extremely difficult sections which make the track last a bit longer. The overall design makes it worth a few rounds, and online I think this could be a really good track. I found it to be a really fun track to play!

Rating: 8.0

Summary

Nice design and especially some good off-road parts. Good scenery, and an original touch with the general design. However, the track still scores below average on originality, as there isn’t anything special enough to bring the ratings up. Additionally, the lack of an intro and a slightly flawed outro makes the MT work far from what it could (and should) be.

This is a track which brings divided feelings. A great driving experience but with a lot of flaws. The results: a good track which probably deserves a higher rating than it gets, if only some of the most obvious flaws would be repaired. But when it comes to entertaining tracks, perhaps next time Lionhead should be the Big Brother and MrA the Little Brother 😉

Final Rating: 7.0 (good)

DISCUSSION:

Does a track need an intro to be a good track? How much should the MT work, and the intro in particular, affect the overall rating? Speak your mind by commenting this post!

***

Notes:

– Ratings range from 1 (bad) to 10 (perfect). 5 is average.

Your help is always needed! If you are interested in writing track reviews for the TMU Blog, you may apply by dropping an e-mail to Jozii@pp.inet.fi.

– If you want to have your own track reviewed, you can sign your track up for a fee of 250 coppers. Simply send an in-game message to “Jozii” with the coppers and the name of the track (which must have been uploaded at the United Exchange first).

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3 Responses to Track Review – Elephant Gorge

  1. T_Z_ says:

    Nice review Jozii, the joke against MrA, at first I thought you were serious, by looking at some of his ratings from the TMX lists 😛

    I think the intro isn’t very important though if you want to rate the MT you have to see the MT so the rating is fair 😉

  2. Jozii says:

    LoL, that wasn’t my intention, but now that you say it, there seems to be a relation xD

  3. MrA says:

    Nice review!

    Amusing too :p

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