☆ The A To Z Of Atari - H is For ☆ #Retrogaming #GamersUnite

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H is for..........

Hard Drivin'

For me Hard Drivin was that Tough As Hard Nails driving game that I always wasted 50p on as I generally didn’t last longer than a minute on the game.

The arcade cab was always alluring to me as the steering wheel would turn on its own as though it was possessed........

Once you place your money into this beast of a cabinet you are invited to test drive a high powered sports car. This takes place on stunt courses or speed courses. The game itself was pretty revolutionary as it was one of the first driving games to feature a 3D polygon environment.

Did You Know?
“Development of Hard Drivin’ began in 1988 however, the release was delayed due to a claim that no one would buy an arcade cabinet for $10,000 after The Last Starfighter arcade game was cancelled for the same reason. Eventually it was agreed that 10k was reasonable for an arcade machine of this type and went on to officially sell 3318 cabinets when released”

Hard Drivin' was eventually released in February 1989 around the time when arcade driving games were mainly reppin’ 2D sprites with such legendary games as Pole Position and OutRun.

Hard Drivin' was the second arcade racing game to use 3D polygons, after the Namco motor racing game Winning Run.

Did You Know?
“There are fifteen variations of the arcade cabinet! There are eleven cockpit style cabinets and four compact cabinets. These also includeBritish, German and Japanese versions!”

The game featured memorable features such as loop the loops on certain tracks and was also notorious for its realistic gear changes which saw you operating a gear stick and a clutch pedal. This made it possible to stall the car!

If you were good enough you got to race the “Phantom Photon.” In the toughest challenge of the game.

Did You Know?
"It is possible to cheat and beat the Phantom Photon by racing the wrong way round the course.....”

Did You Know?
“Hard Drivin’ was also one of the first arcade games to allow for more than three initials on the high-score board”

It also features a realistic manual transmission mode (including a clutch pedal and the possibility of stalling the car should one mis-shift) and force feedback steering wheel, in which the driver would have to properly operate the car as they would in real life.

Another cool feature that was a first was the ability to view an instant replay upon your very own demise in the game this kind of spectacular action replay carnage must have laid some kind of foundation down for the Burnout games as it led to gamers wanted to crash in spectacular fashion in order to watch it back.

There were two released sequels to this Atari classic:

Race Drivin' (1990) – 
Which kinda flopped as it was seen as just another racing game with not so great choppy scrolling.
Hard Drivin' II - Drive Harder (1991) (Atari ST, Commodore Amiga) – 
Which sort of sank without a trace.

Nowadays I think I might stand a better chance of doing well with my 50p as I might not constantly stall the car, so next time I spy a Hard Drivin’ cab I’m going pay it back for all the hard times it gave me over the years.

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