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Koop's Top 42 Races - (1) Hong Kong 5

Coming in at #1... HONG KONG 5!!!

HK 5 introduces a new, extreme world to Sports cars. This high-speed affair is raced in the sunset, featuring a twisty, breathtaking track of sudden encounters and thrilling opponents. From narrow dirt tracks to dangerous ramps, Hong Kong 5 represents the superiority of GTR 98 at its highest level.

HK 5's track design is a massive improvement from HK 4, in fact, it progressed from worst to best. Indeed, in my opinion, the first four HK levels really feature the worst designed track in the game. Slow, short, and tame. In Level 5, the unlocked route headlines a tight, tricky, sandy road, with streams of water surrounding the region. Let's not forget the secret fireball found under the devious bridge, or the major, "optional" Ramp towards the end of the lap. But the track design would have been unacceptable, if it weren't for the Sports Car's increased top speed. This expeditious upgrade guarantees us one hell of a ride.

In Grand Tour Racing 98, AI opponents are often programmed specific roles during the race. While this aspect isn't as significant as compared to track design, we all know that the "deeper" the AI, the better. Hong Kong 5 provides us with unpredictable AI, excellent difficulty choice, and solid tiers between strong and weak. We can go even further and more complicated. HomeTracker Roles, Accuracy, and Agility (aka Turning Speed) all contribute greatly in HK 5's AI department, as well as the chaotic mess of cars in the beginning.

The opponent strength in HK 5 is exquisite, because it programs AI Lumiere & Roberts to be top contenders (after having them languish badly in Level 1 & 2). In my opinion, in very advanced levels, the race leader must be a "strong" race leader; so in this situation; AI Xu. However, there should be one or two stronger opponents behind, who are readily able to take over first place. In this case, the Lumiere Brothers (Lumiere & Roberts) are the programmed show-stealers. (For Rally cars, I call them the Roberts Bros, because Roberts is stronger.) HK 5 (and Scot 4!) exceed my expectations for opponent strength choice.

If it weren't for its possible gameplay styles and/or challenges, this level would not be played unceasingly. In HK 5, both Out & Carcass Zones are accessible in a variety of places; therefore, a Semi or Mixed Rampage is the favorite in this quick, three-lap chase. A Rampage is possible especially on the small bridge, or at the wide ramp (which may or may not be deadly). The sandy road allows a bottleneck blockage to be attempted; everyone's favorite. With AI opponents forcefully being pushed around and blocked off, they often risk jumping over the fences, and this strategic blockage buys much time for the arrival of AI Ivanov: the notorious Underdog. Thankfully, HK 5 provides both a Rampage & Underdog Challenge, and surprisingly, a 3 Lap Magic has its presence to be completed. A Blitz can also bring loads of fun to this level. These performances usually turn out to be unexpected, as they are based on both skill and luck.

Hong Kong 5 is my favorite level for countless reasons. It is fast-paced, well-designed, and unpredictable. There are many challenges we may attempt to make it funner, and its Level 5 difficulty is very manageable. HK 5 is a remarkable example of GTR 98 as a whole; deep AIs being one case, and insane glitches (Ramp and AI Morgen) being another (and more!). Hong Kong 5 is ranked #1 because it is perfect.

Thanks for reading / following Koop's Top 42 Races. I hope I didn't disappoint you.

1 Hong Kong 5
2 Scotland 4 3 Switzerland 6
4 Scotland 5 5 Easter Island 2 6 Moscow 2
7 Easter Island 4 8 Egypt 6 9 Moscow 5 10 Switzerland 4
11 Scotland 6 12 Egypt 5 13 Moscow 7 14 Moscow 6
15 Easter Island 5 16 Egypt 4 17 Easter Island 7 18 Hong Kong 6
19 Scotland 3 20 Scotland 2 21 Egypt 2 22 Egypt 3
23 Easter Island 6 24 Hong Kong 7 25 Switzerland 7 26 Switzerland 1
27 Egypt 7 28 Moscow 1 29 Moscow 4 30 Moscow 3
31 Switzerland 5 32 Hong Kong 4 33 Hong Kong 1 34 Switzerland 2
35 Scotland 7 36 Scotland 1 37 Easter Island 1 38 Switzerland 3
39 Egypt 1 40 Easter Island 3 41 Hong Kong 2 42 Hong Kong 3
HongKong5 Lumiere Sports 01

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