Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mobile Race Cars (and some Dilemma Involved)

My recent mobile gaming venture seemed to center around racing-themed games lately. Everything came to a full circle as Real Racing 3's update featuring Koenigsegg One:1 and Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 came out which triggered my desire to return to the game, after one successful attempt at rooting my device just to enable the phone to store app data to the SD card, something I have envisioned by a mile at that time though with no time to execute it.

From that point on, what started as an effort to avoid cluttering my internal memory's lack of space turned out to be a profitable end, though not without facing a dilemma that I will explain later on. Furthermore, another big-name title also joins my collection list after a Google Play Store sale which had such a title available for free, while it had a price to pay normally.


The Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 special event, entitled "Unleash the Beast", had players completing the seven-day special event to obtain not only the Group A car but also the Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R, also known as "Hakosuka" (not pictured).
As soon as Real Racing 3 announced its addition of the Group A monster Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, it took me no time to jump in to the bandwagon once again, after walking out from the game after the Bathurst 1000 update in an attempt to save internal memory space. However, since discovering the ways of rooting the device and allowing the phone to store app data to the SD Card (FYI, the Redmi 1S has no ability to store app data to SD Card), the return was real. The process of rooting the device and downloading the appropriate app to enable the SD Card storage function went amazingly quick. Since then, farming measures were done in order to make sure I have all the R$ and gold coins required to complete the event, because it's been a worst-kept secret that special events in RR3 would require players to buy upgrades as they progress as days pass by, and they generally don't come cheap.

And such a day would come: the Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 special event, entitled "Unleash the Beast", which would have players not only win the Group A car but also its predecessor: the Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R, also known as "Hakosuka", with a base Performance Rating of 0.3 and relatively cheap upgrade prices too (aside from its unique shape, for me at least). The day started with Norm letting go of his three Group A Skylines of different liveries from his own garage: the #2 TAISAN livery (which I drove), the #23 ZEXEL livery, and the #23 livery also selectable by players for a price of gold coins. The journey began on Suzuka Circuit for two days before venturing to Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Melbourne, Bathurst, and finally back to Suzuka in a span of seven days.

The first day went straightforward and ended with me buying the basic R$ upgrades plus buying additional ones, ranging from R$ to GC, for the next couple of days. Between days, I made sure that I am close to the Recommended PR for the designated days, even going as far as spending for GC upgrades. Thankfully everything I collected from farming before the event did wonders and everything seemed smooth thanks to the adequate price of upgrades. At this point, only the fourth day on Brands Hatch got me, the very first goal to be precise, where I had to win the one-lap race without damaging my car or skidding. I failed this a couple of times due to skidding and finished 2nd once, but managed to make it at the third try. The key was avoiding the 5th placer's BMW running on the inside line of the first long right hander, going towards the outside line as I pass to gain speed on the first of the three rival R32s in front. The rest was manageable (if not easy), so did the fifth day.

The final two days however were where the "show" started to kick in. At the sixth day, I made two services and resorted to GC upgrades, in addition to the additional R$ ones. From goals 1 through 4, I took two tries for various reasons: driver errors, skidding, bad racing lines, and overconfidence in trying to complete the fourth goal (a Hunter that required me to lead by 360 yds / 329 m and win) with a red condition. The fifth goal of the day was the only one I can manage in one attempt thankfully, but I know they won't let me have the last laugh for the final day, which finally reflected on that day. Taking place on Suzuka, back to the first stop (I call bookends!). What was more unfortunate on this day was the fact that my device's lag played a part in my series of failure between goals, I can recall steering control not responding to the input at one point, having to force close the application as it happened (as it ruined my race). But in the end, all the rage due to such a lag was worth the car, and everything ended with me not only acquiring the car, but also the ZEXEL livery (which Magnus drove during the event). Meanwhile, Norm attempted to calm Magnus down after his nth loss, and I believe he would do it successfully, although I'm a bit skeptical seeing Magnus's behavior.

The R32 Group A in the unlockable ZEXEL livery going out from Eau Rouge in Spa. Fun Fact: This is the same livery that won the 1991 24 Hours of Spa race.
The car itself is fun to drive with all the grip level it has even with its moderately fast speed. With such a speed and grip, there's this immense confidence to take corners in Suzuka and Bathurst at a higher speed than normal, even more kick compared to the Supercars I've got months back if I had to take their braking abilities into account. I'd describe the car's performance as a faster variant of Antislider if I had to use a Turbo Sliders reference here.

Same goes to the Hakosuka, but slower, which I can't say much. Though the car kinda reminds me of the day where I did the Gauntlet the first time (with a prize of Porsche Carrera S) with the classic 911 Targa as one of the cars, and as an extra bonus point:

Yup! I can make a Bosozoku out of this car! The design is kinda inspired by Hot Wheels' Mad Manga car, especially with the candy coloring and the right wheels, plus lower ride height because it's a Bosozoku car for God's sake! It's nice to see Firemonkeys adding a car that has a wide possibility to make a relatable design out of it albeit slow. I would wish that they add the classic NSX and Supra to accompany the Group A car, while I'm not too sure which cars should accompany the Hakosuka in the future.

In the end, I'm doing the same thing again for the upcoming Mazda 787B special event, seeing that the upgrades for this car would be more costly than the R32 already is.


And boy did I return at a right time! I've got more race cars than I expected in this update! Three Formula E cars, the Aston Martin GTE, and the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, not to mention two different Lamborghinis of the road-going Gallardo and the GT3-spec Gallardo. That's six race cars and a road car in total, all acquired by different methods.

The Formula E cars were acquired for free during a limited time in the update, said to be a means to the Formula E time trial which is now currently happening, and paired with 50% off on upgrades. I failed at getting the SRT-01E in its special event, so reuniting with this car felt so good, especially for the fact that it is already packed with upgrades and also allowed me to explore the bonus events dedicated to the Formula E cars. But that definitely holds the key for the current Formula E special time trial event.

Aston Martin Vantage GTE, the car I've been longing to get...
The next is a set of race cars built for endurance racing, specifically Le Mans. The first being the Aston Martin GTE, a car I was longing to get after missing the special event due to me using a custom ROM which made it unusable for Real Racing 3, although I attempted this event via mobile emulator on my laptop (only made it to the second stage) and a modded APK installed. I'm thanking the game's Flashback Events for making this happen for me. In case you missed it, the Flashback Events allow you to play past special events from previous updates. In this update, there were three events made available: The 500 (Aston Martin GTE), Lions of Leipzig (Porsche 918 Weissach Package), and Ride the Storm (Lamborghini Huracán).

Playing The 500 again with (thankfully) the car already packed with basic R$ upgrades in a proper way, it was a blast to drive this GTE car while donning one of the best original liveries in RR3 (probably the best outright). But, there lies a twist during one of the ninth day's goals. Here, players had to create a custom livery with a freely-available number vinyl included and complete one "parade" lap. I somehow came up with a plain red color with the number 06 on it and kinda stick to it for "storyline reasons" even after the event ended. There's a reason why I did this livery:

"Ahh, a vision I relish, Team Ahmed triumphant atop the podium!" -Ahmed

Actually, the livery is a reference to Grand Tour Racing's Team Ahmed, in which its design is based on the team's Sports car. Ahmed himself is actually a perfect reference material. Although I might suspect that he isn't from Egypt, scaling pyramids, bartering in Cairo Market, or doing off-roads through archaeological digs in favor of his love of luxury sports cars, let's just say the GTR Team Ahmed is revived by the other Ahmed albeit in a different form.

A fun fact though: The 500 is actually an inspiration for my project The 360 I posted while back, which is a Turbo Sliders offshoot of the event with an addition of LMP1s and LMP2s from the F1 Speed League pack.

Third Limited Time Series was a charm for me.
Next one is the GT-R LM NISMO, the new LMP1 car on the block in last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The car has a very unique style and drivetrain, being a front-engined, front wheel drive LMP1, but in the race itself it suffered from myriad of troubles that none of the cars were classified, and it ended even worse when its program was shut down. Despite being way worse that what constitutes as a, should I say, "dreckitude", I respect the car for defying the LMP1 norm, and one limited time series later it became mine.

The GT-R LM NISMO Limited Time Series was my third LTS to date: the first being a Koenigsegg REGERA which I failed due to lack of gold coins for upgrading (although I painted the car to make it look like Ridge Racer's Soldat Crinale with the distinct numbering "13") and the second being the Audi R8 Spyder which I already owned after completing the Speedrush TV special event a long time ago. The car itself is fast and grippy, a miles improvement from the R32 Group A, or should I say Antislider on steroids. Kinda reminds me of the REGERA LTS but less devil and more Le Mans. The even on the other hand was challenging, although I had to farm gold coins from series completions and level ups just to afford all the upgrades to reach the final PR level of 95.4, and let me tell you I haven't unlocked the Endurance Kings series yet, the home of the Le Mans 10-lappers which are slated as two of the most-paying events in RR3. It's glad that everything paid dividends eventually, and now not only I have my first ever LMP1 car, but I get to access Endurance Champions, a series featuring 2015 LMP1 cars (minus Toyota, grrr) with Le Mans races with long laps and big payouts! Best of all, certain tiers are loosely based on the first four races of the World Endurance Championship calendar.

Finally, the last race car I've got during the update was the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3, a race-tuned, GT3 version of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, acquired by completing the fifth day of Ride The Storm event, while the road-going version was awarded upon completion of the third day. Unlike other cars however, you don't acquire the car just yet though you'll be given a 50% off discount price for buying the car. The price tag is R$ 326,000, so completing the mentioned day would mean that you'll have a chance to afford a car that gives a bang for the buck, especially with affordable upgrades. Haven't got into driving this however, as I am busy with other events and series, but I'll make sure I'll be going hands-on with this car.

The Ride The Storm special event is a seven-day event where players compete for the Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4, situated in the prestigious week-long Viva la V10 festival touring around Western Europe, and has players compete against other V10 cars throughout the event, including the Porsche Carrera GT, Dodge Viper SRT, and Lexus LFA, among others. The major challenge in this event was crossing the line at a designated speed, requiring you to brake hard to not go too far away from reaching the speed limit as you cross the line, which occurred three times during this event. While I managed to complete six days with ease, the seventh day was utterly hard as I couldn't catch up with the awfully-fast opponent cars, even with the R$ upgrade. From that point, I had to bin my chance to get the Huracán, and not to mention that, during that final day, I was at my cousin's loft, and I didn't have time to nail the event.


The last progress before saying goodbye to Mini Legend for an indefinite amount of time, for gameplay reasons.
Despite I was able to enable my phone the ability to store app data to the SD Card, I had to uninstall the game due to it being somehow unplayable for a reason. To be exact, the point where it was unplayable was when accessing certain menus or events led to the app being force closed, even worse was that the problem still persists even after activating my phone's Performance Mode, closing background apps, and re-installing the app. For this very reason, I finally bid Mini Legend a goodbye, although I managed to play this one on my mobile emulator (but I kinda throw it under the bus now since the emulation is slow) and eventually managed to get an event body after attempts with facepalm-worthy drop rate for the body before leaving it for good.

The moment the game force closes every time I access certain menus, especially when the game attempts to load body icons, I felt like the game no longer works well on my phone. I was surprised because in previous versions this problem doesn't happen before, even I used to race for event body parts. Such a shame because, now that Time Trial races award Event Keys, with occasional rewards given by the game, I could do such a thing endlessly until my keys run out that is.

However, with Mini Legend gone, comes a better replacement: Motorsport Manager. This is one of the big-name titles in the racing genre, particularly the racing manager one, based on the successful PC version of the same name. I downloaded this game while it was on sale on Google Play Store where it was available for free, normally it would cost IDR 33,000 (roughly below USD 2.50) if I'm not mistaken. I find it quite fun to play with and it's without internet connection so there's no need to worry if you're offline except you want to do some in-game purchase there.

Currently I'm playing at the third tier series of Formula Asia. For storyline reasons, I am inclined to have my teams to compete around Asian grounds, having won the Australian championship in the previous tier by a means of placement consistency. My team wasn't a good bunch at the beginning, but as the series progressed, I spent on developments on various areas and started to perform well by the second half of the season, even managed to win several races. Unfortunately this didn't do so much in the Asian championship as I am currently the championship's backmarker, having to place at the lowest positions in the first race and ended up not fulfilling sponsor's expectations, but I had facility upgrades running to allow more developments to take place, and perhaps I would turn to the driver I managed via the youth development program, having to replace one of the drivers at one point sadly. God knows when I will touch this game again at one point.

Well, that's quite a long post there. So much story to tell, so many cars to cover. I didn't even think that it'd be this long, because all I want to tell was how I got these race cars on RR3, as well as what kind of decisions I made outside the game. Other than that, I hope I could get that Group C car...