A.S.O.DB (version 126.96.36.199)
So im sitting here and playing this database right. Its an okay one. People would probably regard it as the best database right now that isnt PCM.Daily and PCM-Spains Plus Package. Some would probably say its better.
So the first thing you notice when you have downloaded it is that you get an installer! Thats right, you dont have to manually extract things and put them into the right folders. One up on the Plus Package already. There is also a AaB-erns cache emptier if you cant be bothered to clear your cache manually.
So lets look at some featurs:
(they claims there's) 100% perfection with rider photos
238 faces for the riders in 3D
34 new track riders + a new Velodrome (the Olympic Laoshan Velodrome by the user Jacky Durand)
17 new stages
Two new teams added (and no Team Ergomo!)
The Astana "bug" fixed
+ some more interesting things
And guess what? You need to download the DB seperately from the rest of the pack. Its like buying some pretty expensive toys, then standing with your screaming kid in the parking lot and then F***, batteries not f***** included.
So you open the game itself, and bam! New background. And its not even something Contador or Sastre. The only problem with it is that its very hard to read the text to shows up when you have your cursor over a point in the main menu. But you should know what those buttons do anyway.
Lets just head straight for the career mode. Im happy to report that despite having added 19 managerphotos (a feature im not sure why Cyanide programmed such a feature back in its days), they have most gracefully allowed the generic blank face to stay. Thats something.
There is some nice new graphics in the management mode. New flags (which are an issue of taste, but i like them), a new marker for National Championships in the calendar bar at the bottom of the screen (after a year of having it, i still dont know what to call it actually) and new pictures for staffmembers. One bigger thing is the rider pictures though. They have watermarked them all by writing ASODB on the sides of them. An annoyance. A big one.
Now, one last thing before we attempt to play the Australian championship and Tour Down Under: Free agents. A good list of free agents is a must. Not having any free agents that are capable of making a crappy continental team win races are like going on a date and then having your date spit on your face five minutes in. Ill summarize the free agents in five words: Riccó, Gusev, Petacchi, Sella, Boom. ... And Mario Cipolilini. But it isnt fair to mention him in the same sentence as Petacchi. Especially when Mario is still capable of being a good continental leadout man.
The road to Tour Down Under is often regarded as being longer than the road to Beijing. At least if you make or review databases.
Having a peek at the top stats is where my faith in this is starting to shake. First of all Contador and Sastre are both having 82 MO, 82 RES, 78 FTR. And then Sastre got 76 TT. You can see this database is made by a danish person. The same goes as you crawl further down the list of climbers. Evans, Menchov 81 MO. Frank Schleck, Valverde and Kohl 80 MO, seven different riders (including Andy Schleck and Klöden) sharing 79 MO and then half the DB having 78 MO. And thrown in for realism, or maybe just kicks and giggles: Stjin Devolder being better than Christophe Moreau on every single area of cycling. Speaking of Devolder, i know he won Ronde van Vlaanderen, but giving him 80 COB still seems hugely excessive.
Anyway, Tour Down Under. The benchmark of any serious database. Simming a few stages then playing a few saw Stuart O'Grady win all the stages and general classification. Guess i should stop using pre-season training camps (conveniently, if you are going to criticise this review, you can of course claim that my review was flawed or corrupted or something like that). Either way, making O'Grady win everything isnt hard even on hard.
If your name is Ferrucio Lamborghini, you need to start making velodromes (with guns on, for Rod Stewart)
Okay, i've saved the least interesting for last. Because admit it, how much time can i spend on the quality of the stats without starting a huge flamewar?
The Velodrome is fine. Perhaps more on that another day.
But the stats... Its an equal database. You cant really comment on the stats when its all 8's. There are some custom graphics here too. But nothing too important other than the Velodrome itself.
Its not bad at all. Its par with the Plus Package. But if all those extras can tip the scales over into A.S.O.DB's advantage and you can survive with the stats, or at least edit them yourself, im tempted to recommend you this database. Im serious, this is not bad at all. And ive run out of words. So im guessing were ending here. Join us next millenia as i mock some crappy database. Or the Vietnamese football squad.