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Three Games With Terrible Driving Sections

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A hand punching through glass, perhaps after experiencing one of these driving segments
Photo: Pxfuel via CC

The wide and wonderful world of video games is no stranger to cars, as we’ve written about many times on The News Wheel. Some of these games go all-in on vehicle customization, some go for over-the-top crash physics, and some of them are Enviro-Bear 2000. There is, though, a forgotten sub-genre of video game racing, that being absolutely, reprehensibly terrible driving minigames in titles that aren’t about driving.

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Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Demolition Derby

The entire Ty the Tasmanian Tiger series is one of the most underrated of its time and holds a special, highly nostalgic place in my heart. However, for as much as I adore all three games, the third and final one is home to one of the worst racing minigames I’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing.

The situation is this: you need to race and beat your old mentor in order to convince him to re-join your organization. Simple, right? Wrong. See, the poorly communicated objective is actually to destroy all the other racers’ karts, which is easier said than done. Add in floaty controls, a map that throws sharp curves at you with no warning, and a drift function that usually sends you careening into a wall, and you’ve got a recipe for rage.

Sly Cooper: At the Dog Track

Yet another perfect example of why racing should be reserved for, you know, racing games, this race is the reason that I quit playing Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus — a game that, up to that point, I had been thoroughly enjoying. You’re tasked with taking control of Murray, a derpy anthropomorphic hippo, in the single least enjoyable course of all time. The controls are floppy at best, its easy to get stuck on pieces of the environment, and — my favorite part — you need to win in order to progress through the story. It’s the kind of experience that makes you want to act like a petulant kid and chuck your controller across the room.

Watch Dogs: Pretty much all of it

This one isn’t a racing minigame, per se. Actually, driving around a fictionalized version of Chicago is one of the main mechanics. However, the driving physics are so unforgivably egregious that it almost makes the game impossible to play. Turning nearly always results in an overcorrection that sends you spinning out of control — often into oncoming traffic — braking frequently just won’t work, and the roads all feel like they’re made of ice. In short, it’s a nightmare.

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It seems like the frequency of god-awful racing minigames has gone way down in the last few years, and the world is a better place for it. Here’s hoping that they don’t make a resurgence any time soon.