Thursday, November 15, 2007

Virtual realities...

Have you ever been through a time when you were generally pre-occupied? Not something that you can lay your finger on, but still, just pre-occupied? Well, I was in one of those phases and I still am, I guess. But I’m still writing to celebrate God’s 11th gift to mankind.

Yes guys, the long wait is over… Need for Speed 11 – Pro Street will be launched today! Not that I’m rushing to the stores right now, but I’m still excited. Why? Because I trust EA - the developers of NFS. I’ve been hooked on to NFS and have played all their games released till date. Let me confess – I am a slave! And the only games I play are the NFS series.

By the time I could afford to buy one of these games, I was married. My wife was not exactly thrilled about my escapades in the NFS world. She used to draw parallels between my driving in the real and the virtual world. So, there were times, I used to sneak out to this place called Starbucks and race online. It didn’t discourage me a bit that I was beating 10-15 year olds in this game. Believe me – these guys can be mean when you make a mistake! When ‘Walker’ used to come online for a race, most racers started to chicken out. I kinda used to hold court and give free tips to budding online racers. I felt like a superhero… But like Superman, Batman, and all other superheroes, I had to keep this ‘Superhero’ identity a secret from the missus :)

But these were the Underground 1 and 2 series. Win races, challenge racers for outruns, earn money, pimp your ride… you were in car heaven!

Then, one day in Delhi, I bought NFS Most Wanted. I installed it on my notebook that had a 256 MB RAM, which meant that the game was forever in slo-mo. I was granted 30 minutes (max) a day to indulge in my dark (racing) fantasies. I guess the ladies will never understand the thrill and excitement of Most Wanted. The plot is simple! You drive into a city, you are picking up races and winning them, and then a local punk sabotages your ride and beats you. The rest of the game is spent trying to win your ride (and respect) back. To get your ride, you need to challenge the punk, who is No1 on the blacklist (that has 15 members). To challenge each member, you have to win some races, damage property, and engage the cops in pursuits, wreck cop cars, the works!

So, with the rationed 30 minutes a day and close to 20 hours on the days my wife was traveling, I finished the game and became the ‘Most Wanted’. I have been tempted to put that on my resume! The days I was alone at home, I used to hook it on to my sound system, crank up the volume, and soak in the sweet music! Dopey, our Lab initially was psyched, but got used to it. The maid used to me near tears! But I must also admit that I managed to do all this without pissing my wife off (or so I’d like to believe), and I even coaxed her to allow me some extra time. That will change if she came to know about the ‘crush’ I had on Mia, the animated character who guides you and watches your back in the game…

Later, when work kept us apart, she bought me a PlayStation. Yeah guys – A PLAYSTATION! Isn’t she cool or what? That keeps me pretty busy when I’m off work, and I rarely have time for anything else. Which is cool with me. And my friends too. NFS Carbon was nothing to write home about as far as the PlayStation version was concerned, and the system requirements for the PC platform are obscene. Same with ProStreet. Check it out:

OS: Windows XP/Vista (FAT16 and FAT32 File Systems are not supported by Digital Delivery)
Processor: 2.8GHz or faster (Windows Vista requires 3.0 GHz)
Memory: 512 MB RAM (Windows Vista requires 1 GB RAM)
Hard Drive: 8.1 GB (16 GB required for Digital Delivery)
DVD Drive: 8 SPEED (not required for Digital Delivery)
Video Card*: 128 MB with Pixel Shader 2.0 (AGP and PCIe only)
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatibleDirectX - Version 9.0cOnline
Multiplayer: 512 Kbps or faster; 2-8 Players
Input: Keyboard, Mouse
Optional: USB Steering Wheel / Dual Analogue Gamepad

*Supported chipsets: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 greater (GeForce MX series not supported); ATI Radeon 9500 or greater. Laptop versions of these chipsets may work but are not supported. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required.

I would have to be a millionaire if I want to play the PC version. And I’m ready to wait. In the meantime, I keep dreaming about the races and hoping that my system magically upgrades itself… In the meantime, if any of you can afford the system configuration, I say – Go for it! This time, the races are legal, the damages stay, and there are bucket loads of aftermarket accessories and upgrades available from real tuners!

And, till I get my hands on such a machine, I guess I’ll just have to ‘Keep Walking’.

P.S: I am eternally grateful to EA Games for NFS.


Nikhil said...

walker bhaiyya? dis is nick? i red ur post n thot it was gud. i stil play NFS sumtimes but i like counterstrike now. will you writa sumthing about that?

i'm in 1st year at badruka now. got a new bike also - apache. bye

The Walker said...

Hey Nick! Good to hear from you and that too after a long time, kid.

Are you still in touch with Al, Killer, Snake and the gang? And do you guys still Ash-Faq Ashfaq in your games? LOL

Keep the games going boy, and don't you ever make the mistake of growing up!

May the force be with you!

The Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

i had heard that videogames were even more addictive than sex and drugs for men.... you and a few others continually prove the theory...

P.S. its freaky...i wanted to call my dog dopey too cos he looked high all the time and cudn't walk straight when he was a puppy... but my dad wouldn't let me - Atleast someone got to use it :)

hope your wifey's bday party went well :)

The Walker said...

Right said Sue! Very few things can actually match the thrill, excitement, animal instinct, satistaction... that a good video game can give you. It's like a girlfriend who you miss every moment you are away, and you just can't stop thinking of... I can go on and on about this...

Well, Dopey's good name is Kurt Cobain. We raised him like a Bengali kid with a 'Good name' and a 'pet' (no pun intended) name. And for the same reasone - He was drop-dead gorgeous and spaced out like hell!

Yeah, we had a surprise party for the missus. Morpheus dropped in too :) Thanks for asking, kid.

Sue said...

kid ?? :S

The Walker said...

@ Sue: That's what age does to you kid. oops! I said that again :(

My bad...