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Tiff Needell Reviews Racing Titles – Video

The TV show Fifth Gear recently featured a segment in which Tiff Needell tried several current racing titles.

The TV show Fifth Gear recently featured a segment in which Tiff Needell tried several current racing titles.

Needell is an accomplished former racing driver, featuring more than ten Le Mans starts. In theory, the idea of having a real life racing drivers test racing titles for their accuracy is a neat one but the segment somewhat backfires due to a lack of direction.

First, Tiff criticizes Forza Motorsport 4 for a lack of realism and feedback, a view that’s understandable coming from a real life racing driver. However, he then goes ahead and pans iRacing for not being exciting enough while praising arcade racing titles, making the viewer wonder whether he was actually looking for a realistic experience or just a fun time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/floreacalinfotograf Florea Calin

    im afraid of what’s going to be said here in the comments on this one :))))

  • http://www.facebook.com/Klouczech Petr DoleΕΎal

    Really funny review

  • http://twitter.com/kr1nz kr1nz

    That review is very funny.
    1st thing – I think he didnt even tried to adjust the settings in the iRacing, and from what i see in the video, he just crashed and keep driving.
    2nd thing – The best sims weren’t even tested: nKPro, rFacor 2, GSC2012, pCars, and others. Ok, for pCars and rFactor 2 they can give the excuse that are beta’s.

    3rd thing – picking Dirt 3 and F1 and Crash Time as the winners? Seriously? Even that they didnt picked the best titles IMO… iRacing and SRW are way better when it comes to realism.

    Whatever, that just shows how they review things without doing a background research. Sometimes, when you want something, the only way to see if it is really good, is testing it.

  • Niels Heusinkveld

    That was painful to watch! Tiff, visit me to try some proper simming, my faith in you has to be restored… πŸ˜‰

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

      He did try proper sims in amongst it all. I thought iRacing was supposed to be the last word in authenticity…

      • Niels Heusinkveld

        I’m genuinely interested how he’d feel in a properly setup simulator with actual pedal and wheel forces, and a good day of practice.

        I’m a lot like Tiff if you forget the small difference that he actually drives / drove everything fast and scary for real, compared to me getting scared in a simulator…. πŸ™‚

        But how he clearly so deeply enjoys driving a car at and a bit beyond the limit.. That is pretty much the only reason I have my hobby, lame as it is in comparison, creating sim cars and then being in control at the limit. I would never have started doing physics work if existing sims or mods gave me this ”Tiff feeling”. πŸ™‚

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

        It was a “gut” reaction, certainly, which is why I thought it was more valid. If you watch it again, he was directly relating his real experience to the games/sims he was trying. Not scientific, granted, but insightful.

      • Anonymous

        I think gut reaction is a good portion of a review (first impressions are important), but not good as the entirity of the ‘review’. Just like if he would have reviewed a real car in under an hour, first impressions are only a small part of the story.

      • daz

        Relating his real experience?
        When was the last time Tiff Needell did rallying? Thought he was a road/circuit racer when he raced.

      • Anonymous

        He didn’t spend much time at all with iRacing. Via Twitter: “Sadly only had a short time on a couple of iRacing sites and neither really impressed … I’m sure there are better!!” We all know iRacing is not user friendly for a new user, and definitely has a large learning curve, but I think it says a lot about how much time and effort we should put into paying attention to this review if Tiff just gave it a cursory look and moved along. Just like you don’t review a car in one hour, a worthwhile game review can’t be done in an hour. In any case, iRacing has reached out to him to offer him a proper go, rather than him simply wrecking the Miata at Lime Rock. As a Brit, it has been mentioned he might be more at home at Oulton Park in one of the faster cars.

      • Niels Heusinkveld

        It is exactly what Tiff seems to enjoy in real life, that you can’t do naturally in simulators, which has been the topic of many heated forum discussions that lead to nowhere (except a few banns..).. iRacing seems no different, I would really love to see if Tiff, without cameras and commercial nonsense would get to grips with my setup and end up having a decent feel at the limit. I know its possible, but that’s with youngsters driving in real single seaters.. πŸ™‚

      • Anonymous

        Honestly, I don’t think he’s looking for a sim, he’s looking for a fun game that’s believable enough not to kill his immersion. Which is totally fine.

        Also, looking at his driving, he’s probably looking for one he can turn off damage in, which is probably partly why he didn’t like iRacing driving around with his steering wheel at 90 degrees πŸ˜‰

      • http://www.facebook.com/joeri.marcelis Joeri Marcelis

        I’m not sure about his iRacing “test”. they show footage of him driving a badly damaged pontiac (or was it an mx5? not sure), and he says it’s boring and not realistic… then goes on in a high power Simraceway car and says that’s more fun. it’s a little biased…

    • http://www.facebook.com/nicolas.grignon Nicolas Grignon

      Sad and pityful… is Tiff on the payroll for Codemasters? Too bad we can’t expect a bit more seriousness from a real driver… there is so much more good titles to review: pCARS, Raceroom Teaser, rfactor2, game stock cars, Netkar pro, Asseto Corsa…

  • Anonymous

    At least someone who sharing my opinion that iRacing lacks immersion, truly not exciting enough, bad sense of speed, bad sense of “driving on the edge”…

    • http://twitter.com/kr1nz kr1nz

      Same person that rated F1, Dirt 3 and Crash Time as realistic games.Ok, they are fun, but realistic? He isn’t even using the right FOV, how would he expect a good sense of speed.

      • Anonymous

        I didn’t said that arcade racing games are realistic, or that iRacing is not realistic. I think that iRacing is the most realistic sim out there, but lacks immersion and good sense of speed, I played it for 3 months in every FOV combination. Sometimes the best physics is not enough when you don’t have a bit of rush of adrenaline when driving, like in some other sims.

      • Anonymous

        Did you try Motion Cockpit View? The little head bobble goes a long way to helping the sensation of speed.

      • Anonymous

        Yes I tried it, nad I was very happy when they introduced the line in cfg file to disable it!!! I hate that awful head wobble, ruins the sensation of grip completely.

      • Anonymous

        I found it was customizable enough that I could turn the wobble down enough that it gave me just the mild motion I wanted.

        Did you use the plugin, or the built in ‘lock head to horizon’ stuff?

      • Anonymous

        Sorry, I used only default iRacing head physics. I heard for that plugin, bu never tried it because I’m not a fan of any head physics in any sim, loving only fixed view.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

        Again, would you please tell us your professional motor racing credentials, so we can compare them to Mr Needell’s!

      • http://twitter.com/kr1nz kr1nz

        FOV is pretty much science, since the right value is made with math calculation. I don’t think that I need to be F.Alonso to know that a right FOV offers a better sense of speed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.modderkolk Wesley Modderkolk

    What a idiot. I cannot express my feelings about it enough in a post. iRacing isnt realistic enough? It is that I know he was a racing driver, else I would have even accepted him saying this. But this is just stupid, he requires realism, but none of the games in the top 3 do even come close to realism.

    I would like to warn anyone who has yet to watch the vid; DONT WATCH IT.

    I want to rage, but somehow I dont and accept it that it is just Fifth Gear, a show that constantly mocks Top Gear for not being serious, but yet they try to make jokes all the time themselves, which arent funny at all.

    Tiff Needell has just put himself, Fifth Gear, All the game developers, and all the gamers of the games shown here to absolute shame.

    This vid shows how seriously Fifth Gear should be taken and how ridiculously stupid it is.

    • gt3rsr

      I think you shouldn’t take it too seriously. Tiff is one of the best UK automotive TV hosts / reviewers (together with Chris Harris and few others) – certainly much better than the three Top Gear clowns. And by calling him an ‘idiot’, I think you’ve shown who the real ‘idiot’ here is…

      • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

        Easy now. He’s as entitled to his opinion as you are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

      He was commenting on driving feel primarily. I concede that his choice of number two destroyed the credibility somewhat, but here’s a guy who has ACTUALLY DRIVEN almost every kind of race car and, crucially, F1. Maybe Codemasters does a better job than many give it credit for.

    • http://profiles.google.com/trainor.doug Doug Trainor

      If I got to do all the driving Tiff does in real cars at real tracks… at and over the limit… I suppose simulations would be relatively boring. I can see someone like him preferring arcade titles just to have some fun— after all, what we do in sims he does/has done in real life and does it frequently. Who needs iRacing when you work for Fifth Gear as one of their top two test drivers?

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexandru.zaharia.50 Alexandru Zaharia

    He was clearly told to make publicity for these popular games and companies ( Codemasters). As an “old” racing driver, he also did not take these games seriosly, not even the Iracing,

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

      Let me ask you this. What are your professional motor racing credentials, so we can compare them to Mr Needell’s!

    • Luciano Saraiva

      Thats my impression too. My credentials are the same as yours: cogito ergo sum. I mean: “method” < metodus < meta odus < logic steps in a path that leads to some target ^^

  • http://www.facebook.com/1KennyJay Kenny Jay

    Wow, Tiff just destroyed every geeks wet dream. Haha, you silly boys will now try to tell the opposite and call Tiff an idiot who has no idea of what is right and what is wrong… πŸ˜› Can’t wait.

  • Juhan Voolaid

    To be last in this guy’s list is a compliment πŸ™‚

  • david187

    Who cares non of them are real. At the end of the day there just games and someone’s interpretation of how driving a car should be. At the end of the day how many of us here have drove a rally car or f1 at full chat or any car for that matter ?? For the record I’m enjoying pcars at the min. These games will always be mocked and judged how they personally feel to each individual πŸ™‚

  • http://twitter.com/franzbri Frans Brink

    You shouldnt drink and drive, Tiff.

  • Anonymous

    A couple of things are worth pointing out with this video as it applies to allot of what we see with sim game promotion with real race drivers.

    1) They were likely paid to do those specific games

    2) They had to edit the piece together and make it look “good for tv” in a rush

    3) Compared to real driving even the best of the best is absurd to someone that races real cars , a Pro driver would treat a driving simulator in a similar way to how they treat something like the “reaction wall” simply as a training tool to refine a few select skills, not as a device to emulate real world racing.

    If you are a real world driver like tiff the aspects of Gforces the sounds and everything else will be so ingrained that when you remove that it becomes so abstract and absurd that its very hard for them to objectively compare a sim to real life. To someone that has driven real cars for a long time something like i-racing will likely seem much like GTR5 because both are for the most part a million miles away from the real activity, despite some aspects being close.

    You also have the issue that FFB and the wheel movements in driving simulators are themselves abstract to what he will have leaned from real cars. For example a driving simulator sends some G force information into the wheel so we can feel what the car is doing in a game , but what you get from a real car is totally different as you get that feel through your bum.

    It is only really possible to evaluate which sim is more or less realistic once you have learned and understood which aspects are abstract and even then you could only say for example , X sim has a better tire model. Y sim has better graphics , Z sim has better vehchal dynamics on the limit.

    Sim racing will never be like real racing ( not for at least 60-200 years) interims of raw experience , but it will always be valid as an activity in itself and you can already have fantastic competitive races and you can already develop skills from sim racing that directly translate to real racing.

    It is a shame that he did not have a go with a proper servo motor It would be interesting to have Tiff sit down with someone like Niels Heusinkveld or kunos dev team and have a proper disscusion and proper evaluation of software. But that would not make for a good 7 min slot on tv for your average tv viewer.

    ……..
    F1 racer please get off your horse and unban my “GamerMuscle” account unlike your F1 racer account it has mostly positive feedback. Obviously I’d rather post under that account than this one , you do realise disqus is used by thousands of websites and it stays logged in?

    stop being a troll.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

      iRacing, as one example, puts a great deal of store in pro driver endorsement, so even the sim racing industry seeks the opinion of those who can walk as well as talk. They are not alone, of course..

      I’d also remind you that every F1 team uses complex simulation to prepare for races. If the experience had no value, they would not invest money in it.

      • Anonymous

        As I said in my comment , Driving simulators are still valid as a tool to train for certain aspects of racing. The lack of feel and the focus on certain aspects in some ways make driving simulators harder than real life , and certainly allow drivers to refine specific aspects of racing.

        But its still does not come close to the experience of driving a real car and is very abstract from the real activity.

    • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

      If you really wanted me to sort out your account, which I would have been glad to do, you would surely have asked me nicely. This will get you nowhere.
      I asked you to pick one and you didn’t get back to me, so I banned the one you didn’t use in your next posts. Simples.

      And if I did unban your GamerMuscle account then this one gets banned instead. You’re not having both on here.

      • Anonymous

        Your welcome to ban the JW account if you want to force one account on the site.

        Next time I’d recommend giving it at least a day before dancing around with the ban hammer.

      • http://racingrenders.com/ F1Racer

        I gave you time to respond. You later made further posts under your JW account after I asked you to pick one and you failed to respond to me. You must have been notified of my reply so there was no excuse really. It took me banning your other account to get your attention.
        I will switch your accounts over now and remind you that only one is allowed.

    • Anonymous

      argh, can ya stop using allot for the wrong usage, it’s ” a lot” you want.

      • Anonymous

        Ha sorry , I always miss that πŸ˜›

    • http://profiles.google.com/trainor.doug Doug Trainor

      I like your post… especially point 4. One thing I disagree on… I highly doubt they were paid to do reviews. That isn’t how it works. Rather, I think some regular gamer on staff picked out the titles for Tiff to drive. I doubt the person who picked them was a sim racer so he or she thought they were getting a good cross section of games. Which they did, just not the best possible group of sims but a good group of driving games that most of Fifth Gear’s viewers can really relate to.
      In the end, Tiff tested them like a gamer, not for realism, physics or FFB.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t imagine what you guys would say when Mr. Clarkson do the review πŸ˜€

    • Anonymous

      Clarkson would say that no game gives you the fear that racing a real car does. In that case, every racing game is exactly the same.

      Although, maybe simraceway/ISI would fair well here after what Tiff said in that little video, but how much of that is down to the simgear? – most of it, really.

      There is no actual summary here to all this. It’s just a bit of fun that Tiff has been asked to do by his producers.

    • http://twitter.com/HM1988 Henry M

      Clarkson did an interesting comparison many years ago between GT4 and a real NSX around laguna Seca, it was 10 times better than this, and he put some effort to do a “decent” lap on GT4…
      Tiff is great but, this comparison looked pretty bad, far to many games and not a clear objective, also I think he didn’t had a good guidance on how to setup and understand the games,

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1477214774 Alexander Prus

    My contribution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

    Tiff Needell is an extraordinarily accomplished racing driver – ex-F1, Le Mans and a renowned, “on the ragged edge” test driver of the most exotic sports cars. He has driven them all to the limit. For armchair simracers to criticize him is, in my view, symptomatic of the staggering arrogance, or should that be ignorance?, that frequently soils this hobby.

    What better than to ask someone such as Tiff for his professional opinion? Yes the choice of sims could have been wider, but his views were illuminating, to say the least.

    His opinon of iRacing pretty much confirms my own and will no doubt get that bunch of tiresome fanboys on their soapboxes faster than you can say “that’ll be another $25 for another laser-scanned track”.

    His choice of number two was a bit of a fun throwaway. Dirt 3 has a lot going for it, so fair enough, it was his number 1 out of a limited choice.

    His rating of Simraceway is actually a reverse complement to ISI, of course.

    The ludicrous notion that this man isn’t qualified to comment authoritatively on a racing sim is perhaps the daftest thing I heard all year.

    • Anonymous

      I think if he spent more than a ‘short time’, there wouldn’t be an issue. Nothing against his experience, but this ‘review’ is really just a ‘first impression’, which quite honestly iRacing doesn’t do well (especially on the rookie content which is a bit dated compared to the latest tracks).

  • jswarthoff

    damn I thought the isle of man bit was a bit rubbish but the gaming reviews were even worse, fifth seems te dumbed down…oh well,,,

  • MatzeLoCal

    What makes me really wonder is how short the iRacing part was and that he did not say anything about iRacing. All he said was that it was not “real enough” for him.

  • Mrslfrsl

    maybe he judged just by the graphics πŸ˜‰

  • http://www.facebook.com/scala.giovanni Giovanni Scala

    I see a lack of seriousness here πŸ™

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.sehested Kenneth Sehested Pedersen

    In your FACE…… Iracing. πŸ˜€
    But he didnt try Rf2 πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    SIMRACEWAY MORE REALISTIC THAN IRACING HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAA LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    IRACING FAIL.

    shame Assetto Corsa wasn’t ready for this feature.

    Although to be fair to iracing, i bet NONE of it was set up properly at all. I think iracing sucks, both in physics, graphics, gameplay, everything – but it is CERTAINLY better than simraceway. Lol.
    WHy are these features always 100% total fail.

    I bet it was some young junior tv producer they asked to set everything up and who didnt have a clue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/simbilodeau Simon Bilodeau

    Well he certainly made me want to try Crash Time: I loved the old NFS and I didn’t know such a thing existed. Plus, I just bought a 360 controller PC USB receiver.

    No need to get mad; he certainly spent much less than 1 hour on each game and might well have missed important parts of how to make them fun – like turning off the assists or messing around with Force Feedback settings.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately I don’t think Crash Time it has a proper in car view and the baulk of the game is just shallow and boring.

      I used to love games like mid town madness , it also had fairly solid physics especially for the time and the multi player gave mid town madness fantastic replayablity.

      I’m still waiting for a decent arcade game that has solid physics and fun game modes.

      The last really solid arcade games were probably split second and the older burnout games .

  • david187

    Tiff is a great driver no question but would you play sims if you had his job ??? No niether would I hence his reactions to games

  • David Wright

    The most interesting thing to me was that he felt the Ferrari in Forza was too hard to drive compared to the real thing. A lesson that sims should not be about being difficult to drive?

    • Anonymous

      1) when a game is not a real sim, like forza, they are actually harder to drive for a seasoned sim racer because the physics is so off you just sit their thinking “wtf is this stupid car doing”. You have to learn games like that, not drive.

      2) Tiff put literally no time into this piece at all, can’t you tell? It was aimed at fat blokes watching the TV, not anyone who want to learn anything or be informed. So if you watch this and think what he had to say was useful to anyone, you are being a bit silly…

    • C4

      Interesting point, yes. I think for certain car/track combinations that’s a given. But I wouldn’t conclude that from the video.

      Ferrari also use lots of technology to make their cars controllable in every condition. Even if Forza car specs / performance is accurate, those aren’t simulated sufficiently.

      Control itself in some of the other games obviously is no problem, since you get away with everything. IMHO that’s the part that should be the lesson from feedback of drivers like him, sims should offer the same amount of control in all conditions as the real counterpart.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone else get the feeling when he looks for ‘realism’, he’s doing so in the same way as NFS:Shift? Shame he didn’t spend more time giving the titles more thorough testing, but that doesn’t seem to be the intent of the piece. What gives you the most fun as quickly as possible? In that case, Dirt isn’t a bad choice at all.

    • http://twitter.com/Michael_42 Michael

      No I think the guy has raced as a professional racing driver for many years (perhaps most famous in the UK for t-boning Nigel Mansell during a touring car race when the latter had finished F1 and was popping up in touring cars and indie cars) and he has also ridden a plethora of fast cars to extreme week in / week out on a TV show (which, at least for most of the stuff I’ve seen he often pairs with Jason Plato from contemporary touring car fame)

      So he knows how to drive and what a car is and does.

      I think when he looks for realism he looks at how the cars in game behave in response to his control inputs and what feedback he gets from the game and compares that with how cars (sometimes the same one) respond in real life to his control inputs. It’s not really rocket science is it? Albeit it doesn’t sound like he had a lot of time with each game, but equally he had some reasonably good equipment by the looks of it.

      As such he didn’t seem to rate iracing’s realism which is obviously going to cause a lot of butt hurt if only because that’s pretty much the only thing it has going for it, the delusion that it’s realistic.

      Ultimately, I get the impression he picked 3 games that he thought were fun to play based upon other criteria (graphics, audio and things like immersion and you know, fun)

      I think it’s true to say that codemasters have produced polished games and, if you have the belief, as he did, that iracing et al are not realistic, it doesn’t really matter that F1 2012 and Dirt 3 aren’t realistic either.

      If he’d picked a game based on realism I imagine he’d have said “None of them – buy a racing car or nip to a go-kart track”

      Which, I believe, really reflects the buying public’s opinion too.

      Many sim racers have decided their games don’t sell because somehow their difficulty level or realism puts off people, but I think the truth is, none of these games are remotely close to creating a realistic driving experience and, mostly, the games that tend to kid their audience they are realistic fall down in sales numbers because the developers do not put enough effort into making fun, high quality polished products.

      That’s something I think those authors should consider.

      I suppose it remains to be seen what the newer crop of racing games from developers like pcars and simbin’s f2p title will be like and how successful they’ll be.

      But I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that Ben Collins input into pcars wasn’t entirely similar, and that he didn’t think the starting point was realistic either. Although it remains to be seen what, if anything, pcars can do about it. The problem often is, it’s simply not possible to do and whichever hired hand the developer has (e.g collins or davidson) starts to accept the inevitable limitations and caveats and ends up singing the praises. They start off as reasonably independent voices and wind up part of the project, then we try the game and think “Davidson thought this was good? Sheesh”

  • http://derekspearedesigns.com/ Derek Speare

    All Wreckers in iRacing will now receive a complementary copy of Crash Time 4 πŸ˜›

  • GT_Dave

    Im a racer who has raced a Mazda Miara & a star Mazda car as well as some USAC midgets & FF2000 & completely disagree with Tiff’s assesment that iRacing is not realistic enough.

    When I was planning to move from the Miata to the Star Mazda I actually used iracing to get some idea of what to expect as I had heard it was a very realistic sim. I played it on a friends full motion rig, anyway once I actually got to drive the Star Mazda I was surprised at how close it felt to drive when compared to iracing.
    Also went to drive some of the other vehicles & all of them felt real good & i did have fun racing against friends online, a fair few of who are also racers in various categories going all the way upto Indycar.

    Tiff’s entitled to his opinion, however there are a hell of a lot of current racing drivers who race the cars in iracing & in real life who would strongly disagree with him views on it.

    Im no iracing fanboy or anything, Just giving a fair opinion based off my own experience.

  • Anonymous

    I think he was looking for a balance of authenticity and fun with believable handling, not necessarily %100 realistic physics. Today’s racing games and sims are having an identity crisis. They’re not great games or great sims.

  • Anonymous

    my thoughts are the same as most here. Us sim racers want details, and how testing was handled, and when someone like this does testing – a non-gamer who needs to be hand held by a pro, like Niels, who could explain in detail what sims aspire to do, how things are now, what they can’t do well, explain how he will lose all gforces so to look for feeling of how the cars lose grip from the wheel, and that the brain needs time to understand these, especially if you are a real racer who uses gforce to feel the cars more than any other sensation, and that wheel ffb includes forces not in real steering to give you extra feedback, and to use a properly setup wheel and triple screen setup, and proper pedals with a load cell (honestly, a real race driver would need this for any sim or lose a ton of feeling).

    Then as an old fiddy-duddy who has never used any sims before, he would need a few days to acclimatise… THEN i’ll respect his opinion. Until then, it was bad even for a fluff peice. Sorry Tiff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

    As I expected, I’ve been royally flamed for taking the position that many of you suffer from a case of the Emperors New Clothes when it comes to someone actually criticizing iRacing in particular. You’re entitled to what ever views you’d like to expres, as am I, of course, but to roundly condemn a top class pro race driver’s opinion really takes the biscuit.

    • http://twitter.com/WallyMasterson Wally Masterson

      James West summed it all up best above. Sim racing will always be far removed from reality, and it makes little sense to ask a real-life racing driver to assess a sim. It’s just too different. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

      The sim community should get over its obsession with feedback from real life drivers, in my opinion. We should merely aim to have a car that feels realistic to a sim racer – i.e. it has a “ragged edge” that you can find as opposed to being on rails, it bites but gives you some chance to recover, it suffers from mechanical wear and failures – but all in the context of “sim reality”.

      I have long argued that there’s no point in getting a Stig to critique the handling in a sim – get a Greger Huttu. But there’s no marketing points to be scored by doing that.

      • Anonymous

        That’s part of why I’m mostly interested in opinions from say Scott Speed or Shane Van Gisbergen, guys who race real cars and sim race relentlessly.

    • Anonymous

      Nothing really about whether Tiff is a good driver, entirely about whether he did a thorough review. Nobody says he has to like it, we just wish he spent more than an hour driving a damaged Miata around Lime Rock so he could have given a more informed opinion.

      There’s plenty not to like about iRacing, but giving up early is a very uncharacteristic trait for a racing driver. Honestly would love a more robust review than what we got from Tiff, positive or negative.

      I’m curious why you’re so desperate to point out that this particular review didn’t look kindly to iRacing. You seem like you’re simply looking for a reason to ‘hate’ on iRacing, rather than looking for the most informed or best review…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711429307 Chris Wright

        Not hating on iRacing, merely noting how defensive people get when it’s criticized in any way. Seems to me a lot of folks on here are scrambling to find ways of discrediting Needell so their favourite sim still comes out of it unscathed. The fact is that he should have been given expertly set up equipment by whoever organized this. We have no idea how well that was done, but I’d still say he was driving on equipment most sim racers can only dream of, it’s not as if he was given a game pad.

      • Anonymous

        I think you picked a terrible example for iRacing users being upset. If it had been an anywhere half serious review rather than him spending thirty minutes driving a Miata with a broken suspension (rather than one of the much more exciting cars) you might have a point in calling out the fanboys. As it is, it sounds like you’re defending a shoddy piece of TV.

        This was filler, that’s what I’m taking it as.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lafleche-David/558844155 Lafleche David

    boring

  • http://www.facebook.com/howiemotz Howard Motz

    They should have included “Grid”. It is great fun and gives you a much better immersive feel of the bumper to bumper racing experience.

  • Eric Zehnder

    My ideal sim review would include people like Tiff, The Stig, F1 drivers, BTCC, and maybe a prototype LMP driver. They would go into a room with various games all setup with the same wheel and rig but made sure that the monitor(s) and wheel have been properly setup to reflect what the game could do.

    As the reviewers are spending a good amount of time with each game, they are given tips by each game dev about what to look for, what track/car combos work well, and that if you take damage in iRacing (Tiff) you need to get it repaired. πŸ˜‰

    Of course, I’d also like unfiltered feedback rather than paid feedback but that’s not easy to come by and I can see why.

    Anyway, here’s dreaming.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mikec87 Mike Cantwell

    I watch this guy a lot, and he can steer a real car very well. But the choices of games……they could have done better.
    I have played games from the very first Indy 500 I bought on a 5 1/2 floppy (still have it) and progressed through ICR2, all the NASCAR series from Papy. He should try Grand Prix Legends at least. And GTR2, and rfactor and so on.
    F1 2011? Please. It is very average. He needs to spend more time in quality games for hours, not minutes.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder whether the CSR elite wheel was setup properly.

    I had serious issues with the standard CSR and its well
    known that the elite has some major firmware issues.

    I could not believe the comments! Forza not being realistic! But I did pick up on the issues with lack of
    feel and counter steer. With the correct
    version of firmware on my CSR and the correct wheel settings it does feel good,
    but poorly configured or with bad firmware you will get a complete lack of feel
    and just crash all the time as the car feels like its on ice.

    Its a real shame that Tiff decided to approach the review in
    this manner and perhaps it should have been a bit more involved. iRacing does seem very dull in some cars and
    it does take a certain amount of knowledge to get simulation racing working
    properly. Probably the best title on the
    market at the moment for authentic off-the-shelf road feel is Game Stock Car as
    they have built the title around RealFeel.

    What a missed opportunity, a real shame more time wasn’t
    taken to review the sim titles and an even bigger disappointment was the final
    recommendation of an arcade racer.

    I do think there is a clear message here through! New sim titles have to be more integrated with
    hardware to give us a better experience out of the box. On too many occasions I have come across titles
    that just don’t give you the best experience in their default setup and its
    normally down to sim racers to endlessly tune the settings. F1 2012 was terrible in default, rFactor 1 is
    a configuration nightmare, iRacing is dull with the slower cars, Race 07 is ok
    but not perfect, nkPro needed a lot of tuning, GT5 just felt dull and lifeless
    on my G25 wheel, this list could go on for ages. I think these titles should at minimum look
    at the most popular hardware and integrate default settings that work well and
    don’t need a complete overhaul before they feel reasonable.

    Anyway that is my rant over.
    Final comment – a real injustice to sim racing!

  • Anonymous

    I know a former rally-driver and I’ve given him tries on rFactor and iRacing. He was awful – so heavy on the pedals, poor on steering, could hardly stay on track.

    My conclusion was that sims are still really nothing like driving, and that we forget that once we get used to them. They’re quite different things to the real thing and it takes some good length of time to adjust.

    Absent the time to adjust, most any driver’s opinion on the underlying sim is worthless imo. As evidenced here in Tiff Needell’s views. IF we consider this a review of Needell’s ability to spot a decent sim, rather than it being his review of them, then we have evidence confirming my conclusions.

    I’d imagine the games with least depth would appeal the most in the short-term – whilst those requiring greater adjustment (and more particular skills) only come into their own in longer term — because there’s more reward mastering something more difficult, with more depth, more room for expression, style, etc. If he (or anyone) had to play the titles for 6 months, does anyone believe he’d still be going for Codies’ F1? I don’t.

    Anyway – what does it matter what he thinks? Does it change anyone else’s view? Does it prevent you enjoying your favourite? MAkes no difference to me……

    Oh, and he’s an irritating git. So who cares?

    Crashtime number 2? What”s the point? lol

  • Keiko

    seems like noone knows it’s a commercial

  • Charles Buckley

    Painful indeed! Race 07 was shown in the list of titles, surely that’s better than Dirt 3 and GT5 for handling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826423905 Oscar A. Lithgow

    A complete sell off……This video gave me cancer >(

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826423905 Oscar A. Lithgow

    Tiff seed: iRacing, not realistic enough!! W T F !!!

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