Monday, 13 June 2011

I want to be Jenson Button, sort of.

Isn't Jenson Button just swell?

Watching Button win the Canadian Grand Prix last Sunday, taking out Hamilton and Alonso in the process, was something I really enjoyed.

I like going fast in cars.

So heavy is my right foot that I now choose to drive around in an underpowered diesel. The idea being to take away the daily temptation to drive quickly.

It was advice I heeded from the Police after accruing 11 penalty points on my license some years ago.

That typed, I do still like to take the opportunity for controlled maverick driving when I can.

So, when representatives of Disney Pixar asked me if I'd like to take part in a day promoting the upcoming release of the Cars 2 video game, I said quickly said oui.

The event itself was held at Northampton International Raceway, where the premise was that we were trying to recreate moves in real-life that are present in the game.

This involved three main exercises. Drifting, Slalom and – my favourite – mastering the reverse J-turn.

They were all great fun, but reversing a car at speed then performing a 180ยบ turn to continue off driving in the same direction is totally awesome. And proper cool.

Check it out.

Apparently it is considered a military manoeuvre. The idea that if you are ambushed from the front and sides, you can always go backwards, and this technique enables the quickest possible getaway.

I have considered trying it out of my parking spot at Tescos. It's a good job I do most of my grocery shopping on line.

The first Cars film is not my favourite Pixar creation, I have even had a pop in the past at how it ended, but it is still a kids' movie I enjoyed watching, and therefore its sequel is something I wanted to learn more about.

Cars 2 sees Lighting McQueen, together with his side-kick Mater, head overseas to enter the World Grand Prix. They then find themselves embroiled in an international espionage plot.

The video game, whilst encompassing locations used in the movie, is actually set after its conclusion. You choose a character and enrol at C.H.R.O.M.E (Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage) a spy school where you can hone your spy and driving skills, whilst competing with others in that process too.

I was a smidge concerned about these very cute characters now having heavy artillery upgrades, that it wouldn't sit comfortably with the general innocence of Disney Pixar stars. However, the missiles, rockets and bombs give the game a similar feel to that of Mario Kart, rather than anything more sinister.

But that's where the comparison ends, this game has so much more going on. The cars are not static, they are as their film counterparts, proper characters. Each of the 25 you can select move in their own particular way, as well as having specific dialogue and relationships with different characters in the game.

They have also considered the multi-player aspect in great detail. All areas of the game are playable by four players from a single console, which means that there is no dull waiting around for gamers, and it also leads to friends enjoying the game together in the same room, rather than playing against faceless folks of the interweb.

The Cars 2 video game is out on the 22nd of July in all the major gaming formats, and I've been promised a couple of copies to give away, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

But in the meantime take a look at this Jenson Button wannabe.

What a plonker. He looks like he's about to be fired out of a cannon.