April 26, 2008

NEPOC Spring Cleaning

NEPOC (New England Protege Owners Club - Though it's become more of just a New England Mazda Club) held a great car wash meet over at Bazooka Joe's (Mark) place over in West Bridgewater. All detailing, cleaning, and an install or two. Got to finally meet the great Altspace! He was getting his brand new Mazdaspeed shocks installed when I arrived. For lunch, grabbed some BBQ, curtesy of Mark, and stuffed our faces.

All pictures, thanks to Josh, are here.

April 20, 2008

Gran Turismo 5: Prolouge

Picked up a copy of Gran Turismo 5: Prolouge the other day and wanted to give my two cents on the game. Been playing it just about every night with Oleg and my younger cousin. Bottom line? It's a good game - for a while.

Sadly, there is only so much you can do before it gets old. 6 (or 8? I forget) tracks only, with certain events that you have to use certain cars for or you'll just never win...But to get those cars you have to redo old events to build up money, 20 times in a row, which becomes old. Some of the events as well, you can literally only do if you're either a pro at the controller (no mistakes...ever) or you have the ultra accurate GT steering wheel. So career mode really has it's ups and downs. Some are fun, some are hard fun, and some are just stupid to bother trying (aggervating too).

Graphics? Out of this world. Bought an RX-8 and on the idle screens when waiting to choose what mode you want to play, it looks real. Not just amazing, or really cool, it looks REAL (playing on a 42' 1080P HDTV). But insane graphics can't make a game, and I think we all know that.

Physics? They are as real as always, but with a simulation mode (arcade "real" like) and a professional mode (real as it gets). Simulation mode really helps in tights spots and when learning the game. It's a lot harder to spin out, or mess up in general. Professional mode, slightest thing you do wrong, you're going to pay and pay hard. A lot of time and patience if you really want to play in that mode.

Online Play? Garbage. Enough said. Every room almost ALWAYS lags. People will fly through you, crash into a wall, then teleport way ahead of you like nothing, then crash into you, and send you flying while they still drive... At the start of the race by the way. That became old, very fast.

The cars? As always the cars are amazing. Even though you only get something like 60 cars, some tuned for you and some not, it just still doesn't cut it. Not the selection department, but the fact you cannot tune any of them. Now, you can "quick tune" (unlocked when you get to S rank in career mode) and lower the cars weight, change dampening, gear ratios, increase power, etc. Thats great...But it's NOT Gran Turismo! I miss blowing money on insane exhausts, getting wheels that match my car, lowering the car and actually seeing it lowered, etc. Now granted, I understand this is like a "demo" of GT5, but they could have at least had a few wheels and some settings ALONG with quick tune, don't you agree?

All in all, the game is a solid GOOD. You can play with some REAL looking cars with SOME decent events on some nice, but few tracks. If you're big into online play (like me) then wait for the real deal, because this lacks heavily.

Install Meet With BBQ

First big meet I've been to! Today we had a huge event over in Watertown, MA at Sean's (WarCrunk) Mobil garage. It was a BBQ/spring meet with installations of just about anything. We got to meet a lot of people from the Mazda 6 crew, as well as local RX-8 Club members. Not too much else to say except that we got a special guest star, the grand Charles Ray Hill!

One of the popular forum vendors from RX-8 Club, who is also the owner of Black Halo Racing! Got to chat with him for a long while and be informed of his awesome upcoming products. I even got to take a ride in his street ported RX-8, which sounded a lot more aggressive then just some 8 with an exhaust.

Really not too much else other then it was great meeting the people, hanging out with Ray, and a lot of installs. Pictures are here, but unfortunately, they were taken with not so great quality.

April 7, 2008

PIAA Silicon Wipers

Expensive as hell (for wipers at least), but man these are the greatest wipers known to man. $40 for both sides (10 driver - 7 passenger). So they advertise that not only do they bead the water well, but when you wipe, it's completely clear (seen here). I can 100% stand by that as these things clear my windshield of anything that lands on it. The water beads perfectly, so when it wipes, it completely clears off the water. It is always clear after each wipe, the beading never stops, and most of all... I've never heard a squeal or whine from these. Not once. I will update this post with a date for when I hear my first squeak (Yes I'll remember) but so far... These things are just superior in terms of wiping.

April 1, 2008

Best Motoring International - The Evo Strikes Back

Another oldie but goodie movie from Best Motoring! Similar to the previous review (the 350 Shock), the main portion is all about the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. Going through various track testings and reviews from the various drivers, they then do a battle between a stock GSR edition, a stock RS edition, and a raced out edition from Puma (yes the shoe company). After all this, they top it off with a nice Evolution versus STI big battle!

After, in the small section of Hot version, they had a great my car challenge followed by Touge Showdown. The cars were all in the 200 HP class, but still great to watch and again, ideas for a nice balanced car. I'd say my favorite part is the small section in which a few owners of car tuning companies are interviewed as well as Keichi Tsuchiya on what they feel a great street tuned car is or should be.

More and more ideas for tuning enthusiasts is the way I see it.