F-1 World Grand Prix (Nintendo 64, 1998) - The Nintendo 64's second Formula One racing title is a licensed simulation featuring 17 authentic venues, 22 real-world drivers, and 11 racing teams. Five game types are available in F-1 World Grand Prix: Exhibition, Grand Prix, Challenge, Time Trial, and Two-Player. Exhibition is a single race on a choice of courses, while Grand Prix follows the sport's 1997 season, complete with practice, qualifying, and warm-up sessions before each event. Challenge tests your driving skills in a series of themed scenarios in the following categories: offense, defense, and "trouble." Time Trial is a speed run through each course, with an optional ghost instructor available to show optimal racing lines. Finally, the two-player option features head-to-head racing against a friend from either a horizontal or vertical split-screen display. Tune your car in seven areas before each race and adjust such options as laps, damage, pit stops, flags, and weather.
Most console-based racing simulations are yawn-inducing efforts that prove to be a huge waste of time. F-1 World Grand Prix proves an exception to the rule. This is an intricate yet highly playable game, one that will please not only F-1 fans, but anyone seeking an N64 racer with long-term depth and replayability comparable to - if not quite the equal of - the PlayStation hit Gran Turismo. Let's start with what you get, which in a word, is a lot. F-1 offers 17 tracks, 22 drivers, five modes of play (including two-player split screen), and five different camera angles that substantially alter the gaming experience. If my math is correct, that means there are more than 18, 000 different combinations for you to explore. You could play this game from now until all F-1 cars run on solar power because the earth's supply of fossil fuels has been exhausted, and still not see everything the game has to offer. And that's before you factor in all the various ways you can tweak your car's performance. There are eight different adjustments (rear wing, brakes, tires, etc.), and each has a meaningful impact on your car's handling and performance characteristics. This sort of modification setup is nothing new, but F-1's system is among the most user-friendly we've seen. What's especially nice is that the game includes a number of pre-configured-se ttings packages, which allow you to easily modify your car without dealing with the individual parts, meaning you can spend less time in the shop and more time on the track. That's a good thing, because in F-1, the track is the place to be. Few console racing games - and certainly none on the N64 - can approach the realism of F-1's physics and handling models. Based on your input, turns are made, traction is lost, and accidents happen - all with unswerving (and occasionally unnerving) accuracy and consistency. There are no tricks here, no shortcuts to glory.... More Info
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