May 14, 2009

Video Games: Round Two!

Championship Horse Trainer

I couldn't find a description for this through Google and I lost the box for it (the disc is in a plastic sleeve) oh well.

I got this for $3.99 or so at one of those "liquidation" stores. I'll say it was a pretty good deal. The graphics sometimes get buggered up, which occasionally lead to funny results -- for example, one time when the character was supposed to be galloping the horse in the little paddock, the horse was missing underneath her and she was just sliding along! Another time, I accidentally went through the fence surrounding the boarding farm and got stuck and had to reload.

First off, when you start a new game, you get to pick your character/game mode/difficulty/etc etc. Their eyes scare me!

You start out with about $9,500, and you can pick between two farms to buy your first horse from. After you pick out your first horse, you have three boarding farms -- however, only the first one is available until you win a few races.

When training or in races, it's a good idea to use your whip liberally (the right control key), which would seriously piss off the characters in Thoroughbred and have them whine to boycott the game's publisher.

(Note: this screen shot was taken from a game I had in progress already. So I'm on the fanciest boarding farm.)

However, if you whip your horse too much, he'll throw you. Strangely enough, he never throws you in the races. And after he tramples you, you just get right back up like nothing happened.

Another weird aspect that if you're not riding your horse and he's not resting or eating or anything, he's off loose....wearing a saddle and a bridle. Um, isn't that a bit dangerous?

To get good results in the races, you should train every day. Although the skills are incredibly slow to increase. Oh, and make sure your horse is happy. He can be an incredibly picky eater, and only like to rest in certain areas.

If you win enough races, the boarding farm manager may pay you money to breed to one of his mares. Keep an eye on the pregnancy in the barn -- and when the colt becomes available for sale, buy it! It's almost always better than the father.

When you're talking to various characters in the games (for tips and things), there's a bit of broken English. For example, the vet often says, "Oh! Look the time!" (or something along those lines) when she's leaving. And for some reason, when you're interacting with your horse, "Stroke" came out as "Stress." Which makes it sound not very nice.

It's also cute that when you interact with your horse and make it happy, he sometimes does a little dance:


Molly said...

This sounds like a less-good version of the DOS game Quarter Pole. Though you didn't ride the horses in that. It was more about strategy than anything else - which I guess it had to be, since, you know, DOS. Not the best graphics ever.

Aimee said...

If you go to Home of the Underdogs, there's actually a few horseracing games there. I should see if I can grab any to review.