I don’t really go in for vehicles in SL; I don’t live on the mainland, and private islands and estates don’t always look too kindly upon vehicles bouncing across them; plus, at the end of the day, the most convenient way of getting around SL over long or short distances is to teleport.
However, *years* ago, a friend (*waves to Itico*) took me for a spin on a wonderful little ATV-like vehicle that had me instantly hooked – I had to have one myself (and funnily enough, everyone I’ve ever introduced it to has invariably gone out and bought one). Even today, there are times when I cannot help but pull it out of inventory and go off for some silly fun.
I’m talking about the KR “Fishers’ Menace” Neuspa by Karsten Rutledge (of Greedy, Greedy fame), and I’m not sure there is a vehicle that is quite equal to it in terms of fun and cuteness anywhere in SL (and yes, I’m biased!).
The Neuspa is a truly an amazing piece of SL creativity that brings together form and function in a little vehicle that packs-in a huge amount of features and which really is a lot of fun. Resembling a sleek ATV, all curves and aerodynamics, it is a “go anywhere” vehicle – literally.
The range of options that come with the Neuspa are phenomenal, with over 100 button-driven menu options that allow to you to define just about everything about the vehicle, including: colour scheme (select a colour for the entire vehicle, or selected parts, the colour of the air jets, etc.), performance (gearbox options, acceleration, braking, turning radius, traction control, wheelies, etc), driver & passenger options (and set your own profiles), enable / disable a range of effects (engine sounds, dust kicked-up by the wheels, wake effects when on water, etc) – to list everything here would take the rest of this article… You can even set it to Group (based on your active tag) and rez copies for friends to scoot around on with you – or you can give a close friend (or two) a ride on the back!
The performance options are especially useful: find yourself encountering lag that in impacting on things like steering and acceleration to compensate for issues (such as finding your’s accelerating and hitting things before you have time to turn).
Lag notwithstanding, the Neuspa’s performance is pretty amazing – so much so that there is even a warning on the menu about using the “turbo” option:
WARNING: turbo in upper gears is EXTREMELY FAST and nearly impossible to control, not recommended for normal use.
So you have been warned! 🙂
That said, driving the Neuspa is simplicity itself – although mastering it takes time and you’ll likely need to fiddle with the various drive options to find the balance that best suits you. To start (assuming it is in Drive mode), simply jump on – if you have sound on, you’ll hear the engine start-up – movement is via the arrow / WASD keys, but be prepared to pull a wheelie or two. Braking or slowing the vehicle will have the brake lights working automatically, and steering includes a nice animation of turning the handlebars as well as the front wheels.
The performance options probably make this an ideal little vehicle for those into racing, as you can adjust a lot as mentioned above and generally fine-tune the Neuspa to suit the sim / track you’re on. When off-road, there is almost no terrain the Neuspa cannot handle, and getting airborne with it can be exhilarating.
Linden water isn’t an issue for the Neuspa; providing the vehicle is set to its “automatic” drive mode, simply drive into the water and watch the wheels rotate up to form floats that work with the streamlined hull, allowing you to skim across the water as fast as any jet ski – and with just as much manoeuvrability. When you reach the shore, the wheels fold back down and the Neuspa reverts to 4×4 mode.
Nor is the Neuspa restricted to land and water – this is SL after all. Using the menu, you can toggle the vehicle’s mode to “air”. The will rotate the wheels once more and you’ll start hovering, use PAGE UP to increase your altitude and you can fly the Neuspa almost anywhere.
One thing to be wary of, however, is when crossing a sim boundary. Whether on land or sea or in the air, the Neuspa can shift. A consequence of this is, hit a sim boundary too hard and you can find yourself sitting in the middle of next week at 0,0,0 very quickly and often entirely sans Neuspa. However, the vehicle’s accessories include a crash helmet, should you feel you need some protection against sim-bouncing :).
Whether on your own or with a friend or two, the Neuspa can be a lot of fun, especially on land and/or water. When you’ve finished scooting around, there are even a couple of “relaxed” poses to go with it. And if you do feel the need to be protected wherever you go, there is even an “urban warfare” version, complete with a range of missile options and a retractable launcher!
- Product name: “K.R. Engineering Neuspa 4×4 Standard (Karoastoff)” and “K.R. Engineering Neuspa 4×4 Urban Warfare (Karoastoff)”
- Permissions: COPY
- Price: Standard model: L$1250; urban warfare version (with missiles): L$1550.
- Available from: K.R. Engineering in-world.