F1 Challenge '99 - '02
Score: 8.6 / 10
the ESRB ratings, there should be a FOTG rating, or Fans of the Genre
would go like this: “FP” for first-person shooter, “RTS”
for real-time strategy, and so on.
Each lettered rating would be accompanied by a number from 1 to
5, with 1 being playable by anyone with a passing interest in the genre
and 5 being for hardcore fans of the genre.
For example, if a game was rated “A-4” you know you’d be
playing an Action game that is geared towards people with a high
interest in the genre.
In the case of F1 Challenge ‘99 - ‘02 (F1C), it would be
given a FOTG rating of R-5 (or Racing-5).
R-5 rating means F1C won’t be for everyone, but those interested in
racing, and F1 in particular, will be in a little place called Racing
If you’re just getting into the genre, F1C can seem a little
overwhelming, particularly if you don’t have a steering wheel.
Playing a racing game with a keyboard or gamepad is like eating steaming hot Vichyssoise -- it’s just not the way it was intended. Driving an F1 vehicle requires a lot of precision and the only way to get it is via a good steering wheel. Although there are a myriad of helpful assists that make driving easier, you’ll still find yourself spinning all over the track if you don’t have the proper inputs. With all the assists
off, don’t even bother racing unless you
like watching your car splinter apart as you crunch into walls and
However, the hardcore racers will gobble it up, especially
because each car can be tailored to the track and your driving style.
The physics engine is very good at making the race feel “true to
crunch into walls and opponents. However, the hardcore racers will gobble it up, especially because each car can be tailored to the track and your driving style. The physics engine is very good at making the race feel “true to life”.
Graphics are about as shiny and polished as they can be, right down to the weather effects. There are minor touches
that could have been improved but you
won’t find yourself complaining about clipping problems.
There has been much said of the revamped sound of F1C -- namely,
that it’s super.
It is, especially if you have the hardware to really make it hum.
F1C spans 4 years of racing and is an EA game, you get loads of accurate
stats, modes of play (like Test Day and Championship), real tracks and
more than 30 real-life racers like Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf
However, don’t count on a four-season career mode -- this is
only on the Playstation 2 version.
AI is unlike anything else I’ve seen in a driving game.
Predictable AI opponents are a dime a dozen for racing games,
even with the sim titles of the genre.
At times in R1C it was hard to believe I was facing off against
computer controlled opponents.
They’ll drive around you if you wipe out and never seem to
react the same way twice to any given situation.
Making an AI faliable while ensuring they won’t make dumb
mistakes must have been a tricky balance but EA seems to have pulled it
fans, F1 Challenge ‘99 - ‘02 is a great addition to your library.
It has enough depth to keep you interested and the presentation
to make sure you don’t tire of it anytime soon.
(September 28, 2003)
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