Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II - Mega Drive
Firstly, I would like to point out that Dooyoo keep all the Mega Drive games filed under Amiga games so this review is in the correct place.
Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II is a single player Formula One racing game which was released on the Sega Mega Drive back in 1992. The game came as all Mega Drive games did in a box between Video and DVD size. The box contained an instruction manual and a 16 bit cartridge specifically for the Mega Drive. This game is also known as Super Monaco GP II featuring Ayrton Senna.
Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II was another of the games I received when I received my Sega Mega Drive for my 9th birthday, my family weren't too sure what kind of games I would like so they bought me a random mixture including this one.
When the game starts you are given the options of Free Practice, Senna GP and World Championship Racing. The free practice is as it sounds, a chance to race around the various tracks at your leisure with no other racers and no time limits, I used to enjoy this as a good way to practice my driving skills as quite honestly looking back, I really sucked at this game!
If you select the Senna GP you will be racing in just one race on one of a few tracks which you can choose. At the start of the race you will need to complete a kind of time trial lap, ideally you want to be as quick as you can in this lap as this will determine your starting position for the race. After the race you will be shown your lap times and overall position. I still find it really hard to finish in a decent position on this race, it makes no difference which track I race on, I can almost guarantee I will finish in 12th to 16th place out of 16 drivers including myself!
If you are better than me at this game you may want to take part in the World Championship Racing, in this mode you will take part in a number of races around the world based loosely on the Formula One tracks from the time the game was made. Like in the Senna GP you will first complete a lap to determine your starting position and then you must race the other drivers to finish hopefully somewhere within the top 3 out of a total of 16. If you can do this in most of the races then you will stand a chance of being World Champion. This title is achieved with a points system so depending on your finishing positions in the races you will be awarded with points, at the end of the championship the points are totalled up and the driver with the most is the Champion. Needless to say from my poor performance I have never come anywhere near being World Champion but I do enjoy trying.
The variety of Formula One cars in the game is minimal and really the only personalised choices you make are whether you want an automatic or manual gear box, my personal recommendation is automatic as it is easier to concentrate on the race.
While I found the races really hard to actually get a decent place in, the controls of the game are actually really easy with a button for the accelerator, one for the brake and the directional pad to control the direction of your car. I think the reason I rank so bad in the races is because I try to cut corners as I do in other racing games and forget that in this particular game it really slows the car down and the other drivers overtake. Acceleration is rather slow but once you are up to speed the rolling screen moves pretty quick and the races are of a reasonable speed.
The game is endorsed by Ayrton Senna, however the only time he really comes into the game, other than on the box and the title screens, is in between races loading and occasionally after a race where you will see a picture of him and a handy hint or tip about racing. Other than this he doesn't really come into it too much.
** Graphics and Sound **
The graphics in the game are basic but good. The rolling screen is relatively smooth, the scenery often has a squared effect to it as did most games at the time. The sound is really irritating and when I play it is often muted within seconds, I cannot stand to play the game while listening to the high pitch noise of the Formula One cars
** Price and Availability **
If you want to get your hands on this game you are best to look on eBay or visit your local vintage or specialist games shop where you should be able to pick up a copy for no more than a few pounds.
** My Experience and Opinion **
Although I really suck at this game I still actually enjoy playing it and as long as I can mute the sound I will quite happily sit for ages aimlessly racing around the free practice tracks or seeing how badly I can loose in the championship races. I would recommend it as I know it is mainly my driving that makes me unable to do very well in the game, but I think a gamer who is generally good at racing games would really enjoy playing this Mega Drive classic. I am however only rating it as 4 stars as that constant Formula One car noise really goes through me.
Thanks for reading :)