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Juiced - Modifications Xbox Preview

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| Racing in Gaming | Posted: May 24, 2004 4:00 am

Over 7.2 Trillion Combinations Gives Gamers The Ultimate In Unique Self Expression Modifications

In Juiced the racing is all about car modification, and the starting line is the raw material: the stock cars - all 47 of them. You have a selection ranging from family compacts right up to powerful US super cars and exotic, high performance imports. The cars are split over eight different classes and to start with, you only have a basic vehicle, but thanks to the number of custom options featured in Juiced, it won't remain that way for long..

Second-hand bargains are available to purchase as well as new models. This decision is important as you start off with very little money. At the bottom of the pile is the scrap yard, where every car is cheap but in need of major attention. This is the choice for those who want to build a car which can reflect their attitude and style the most. Next up is the auto dealer's back-yard where good bargains can be had. The best cars are available in the showroom, but come at a rather hefty price. It's also the only area of the game where the upper echelon of car models can be found.

Balancing your cash reserves is important, but so is earning the respect of the other crews. With that in mind, what you do to your car and how your drive will determine your standing in Angel City. As you play, you may have to sell cars in order to progress. Ultimately you'll want to own a collection of the best cars in each street racing class. Add to this cars set up specifically for the stunt oriented 'Cruise' mode and you could end up owning dozens of different vehicles. That alone will be enough to earn you massive respect from other crews.

Juiced will feature a highly sophisticated physics engine based on state-of-the-art simulation techniques. The Juiced engine models the changing friction on each wheel in detail, and allows for detailed customization of performance and handling. The developers have gone to a deep level of realism and each individual car is set up with the correct centre of gravity, steering geometry, suspension layout, brake setup, bhp, torque, tire properties, wind resistance and gear ratios. No two cars are exactly the same, and there are well over a thousand different combinations of basic set-up parameters. That's all before you've even considered modifications. There are approximately 7.2 trillion styling combinations to play with, and this number increases even more when you factor in performance enhancements available to the cars.

Performance parts which can be modified include brakes, air intakes, engine management systems, exhaust systems, gearbox ratios, suspension, nitrous, turbo systems and more. Juiced gives you a unique way to check the results of your spending. When you first buy the car, take it to the rolling road and check your torque, brake horsepower and theoretical top speed (rolling roads cannot calculate for wind resistance and road conditions). Once you have made some modifications, take it back to the rolling road and compare the results. One of the most visible changes in the performance curve comes when you add a turbo system. At certain RPM (revolutions per minute), you'll see a marked jump in the data as the turbo power kicks in. On the road, you will quickly notice the improvement over a normally aspirated engine.

Perhaps the quickest and biggest bang for your buck is to add a nitrous oxide system to your car. This gives a phenomenal increases in torque, which means greater acceleration but no big increase in the cars top speed. Nitrous lasts just seconds, but it may just give you the edge and get you noticed in the lower ranks of street racers.  Beware, because without other performance mods your repair bills are likely to skyrocket.

Winning in Juiced isn't just a matter of boosting performance. You have to make sure you balance the handling to ensure that you maintain the advantage under all driving conditions. With a car that accelerates faster and reaches higher speeds, braking becomes more difficult. While an upgraded engine will allow you to take corners faster, upgraded brakes and suspension enable you to hold the driving line. Better tyres will help cope with loss of traction due to changing weather conditions, which are not just included for eye candy. Juiced features dynamic surface conditions: if it rains, the amount of water is determined by the level of downpour and this in turns affects the cars traction during racing.

On the styling front, new wheels, lower suspension and a fresh coat of paint are a good start. Depending on your choices, you won't have to spend too much cash to start getting noticed by other crews. Next up is body kits, and this is where the bills start mounting. In Juiced, cosmetic combinations alone offer a staggering amount of possibilities, which means that the chances of meeting anyone with an absolutely identical vehicle are more than one in 7.2 trillion. Of course, the more you spend on your car the more it costs to repair when you have an accident so finances are need for not only the entry fee but repair bills as well.

Body kits are not entirely cosmetic. Adding an air dam, side skirts and spoiler will affect drag and down force on the car. This is a trade off for acceleration and speed, but gives you better grip on the road. It's therefore unwise to start making drastic styling changes before your performance and handling is sorted out.

Overspending can you lead to selling your car to start all over again. That's where Juiced differs from most games in the genre,if your get reckless, you pay for your mistakes but you are able to develop your own strategies for getting out of trouble.

Juiced looks like it will cater for those looking to completely customize their cars in a street racing simulation. Look for more on Juiced soon and the final game in September 2004.

 

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