Different types of cars to rac
AI does not use pit stops
With racing games, it is always about speed. Sometimes it's about having an arcade-like game with items and powerups to make the game more interesting. But for simulation type of games, its about speed and variety. A game does not always have to be super accurate, and it can be tough to mimic and ensure that cars act as they would in the real world. Brain Games, participating in Retro Remakes 2004 contest, decided they would take one particular racing game made for the MSX by Konami, and improve it as best as they can. The result is this remake of F1 Spirit, where you can play with a variety of different classes of car, from stock cars to rally cars to F1 vehicles. The game is an all-round superb remake of the original, with some updated music, and some extra features. But it is a challenging game that will test your wits, your reflexes and much more.
As you start the game, you have a variety of options to choose from, such as the single player mode or practice mode (should you choose to hone your skills before you tackle the career mode). Once you do decide to choose career mode, you set up your profile. After navigating a few more screens, where you can change your controls, options, and even your heads up display during the race, you are ready to start racing. Choose between Stock, Rally and F3 races, then choose whether you wish to play with a friend or by yourself, and you will be on your way. There are also three more types of vehicles you can receive via earning points in the races.
This particular remake is quite well done. Although the graphics have been improved a touch, with the bulk coming from the original game, there are added options that have been added to the game, such as zooming, different camera angles and more realism with the handling of the cars. These features have been added to improve on the original F1 Spirit, and most of the changes are welcome ones. There is even a high score table and an online scoring system put in place, with the ability to play with up to four people on a single computer screen.
The game is quite fun to play as you are racing along, and there is a high challenge for this particular game. Because of the skill of the computer opponents, they will not let you make many mistakes before you end up in the back of the pack. This is one area where some gamers may get frustrated with, as the computer opponents are tough, and once you try the F3 and even F1 modes, they are even tougher, as you have to balance speed, passing each computer opponent, and making sure not to crash and lose more time.
The addition of multiplayer by either playing on the same computer or playing over the internet is a great addition that gives this game further replay value. You can spend a long time playing with friends on different tracks. A nifty addition nevertheless.
The music in this remake is also quite good; there are different music tracks for each vehicle class and track, with most being upbeat and enjoyable to listen to as you are racing. I did not find it distracting either, as the music is just the perfect blend of getting you pumped up to race as fast as you can.
It was great to see that there are different types of cars to race, and each one handles differently. Stock cars are fast but handle quite nicely, while rally cars are not as fast as stock cars and require more attention along the dirt tracks you race with, while F3 cars are slow to take off and need to be mastered before you end up finishing in 1st place. The variety of vehicles is great to see, and for each one, you will have to learn to be proficient with it before you can earn some of the extra features in the game.
The big issue I had with this game was the aspect of the whole Pit Stop feature. Your car does lose gas and receives damage throughout a race, yet the computer cars do not seem to suffer the same features, and you never see them stopping to fill up their gas or repair their cars. This is an unfair feature, and in my opinion should have been scrapped entirely from the game, or simply program the AI vehicles to also have to make Pit Stops.
Overall, this is a fun racing game and there is quite a few features to see and try out, including the multiplayer mode. But the high challenge, tough computer opponents, and simply unfair pit stop feature make this a game that may be too much for some gamers. However, if you are looking for a racing game, check out F1 Spirit nevertheless and see what you think.
Review by: DeathDude
Safe for all ages
Windows or Linux