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The Title That Got Away From This (Formula) One
F-1 World Grand Prix (GB)
Member Name: scream4bruce
F-1 World Grand Prix (GB)
Date: 11/02/07, updated on 27/03/07 (117 review reads)
Advantages: The challenge mode, battery backup, car damage, link-up?
Disadvantages: Slowdown, inferior challenge mode
Please note that my review and rating does not take into account the multiplayer aspect of this game.
Given the attention to detail of the motorsport you can be prepared to throw realism out of the window when it comes to Formula One games for the earlier handheld consoles. However, F-1 World Grand Prix, based on the N64 version of the game*, does not lack ambition with its four game modes and battery backup allowing for 3 seperate files to be saved along with the match race records.
All the courses, teams and drivers of 1998 have been represented here**. Understandably as a 2D game during play you cannot drive backwards or off the track, and the ascends and descends of a course have not been put across. There is no seperate route to the pit stop as well, instead you turn into the corresponding side as would be indicated. Yes the game does require you to setup the car, but it is complete with recommended settings.
Despite only 2 skill settings for the appropriate modes the game does provides a challenge. Weather conditions have been implemented, but only the background can somewhat provides clues as to which circuit it is you are actually racing on. Also, if damage is switched on it doesn't appear on the car but crucially it affects how the cars drive. Driving I feel is straightforward, the way I take corners is to let go of the accelerator and tap the brakes when necessary so as to avoid locking them. Other cars do retire here so be careful not to bump into them!
When the other cars are behind you they are careful not to drive into you as they sniff around for that slipstream before slipping past as you speed through Spoon on the Suzuka circuit, or elsewhere! There is no visible racing line which I can accept because I do not expect the A.I. to be so advanced as it means I cannot see where their cars will be placed. This makes it trickiest to overtake during the corners. However, the problem with this game is when there are 2 other cars on screen (not something you see enough of in the actual event nowadays!) there is drastic slowdown.
What was well neat in the N64 version was the challenge mode which consisted of taking control in situations modeled on the actual races throughout that year. In comparison I did find these dull as the ones here involved taking over or keeping at bay one other car over a series of turns. The sound in this game is okay, but once past the music it's something I keep at a low volume so I can get a feel for the car shifting gears. F-1 World Grand Prix is a game with good intentions, but as a racing game it finds itself fighting it out near the back of the pack.
* There is a similarly titled game, F1 World Grand Prix (note the lack of hyphen makes all the difference) available for the Dreamcast, PlayStation and PC. I've played the PlayStation version which I thought was awful (2/5). Take care when dealing with the F1 game naming circus.
** Jacques Villeneuve does not appear on a number of games around that time including this one because of his contract with the FOCA then.
Summary: F-1 World Grand Prix for Game Boy Color
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