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Revisiting ancient racing games you once loved


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#1 messy

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 15:17

My parents recently turned up with a box full of old crap they’d found in my old bedroom back when I still lived at home (I moved out 11 years ago so it’s taken them a while!) and underneath all the dust were an N64, an Xbox, a PS2 and loads of cables, RF adapters, and games I’d forgotten all about. Unfortunately the PS2 didn’t survive, mainly because on my way from the car to the house I dropped it in the road, but the other two are in perfect working order and so I set about revisiting some old games to see how they stand up in 2021.

The good

Richard Burns Rally (Xbox)
Honestly, I’d forgotten all about this one. I know it’s still held up in some sim rally circles as the best of the genre even now and I’m amazed how well it stands up even now. The graphics are pretty decent - especially in HD on the Xbox360, and the stages are brilliant - Harwood Forest and the ‘Rally of Gateshead’ - that’s my area, I walk the dog round there, and even think I recognise some of the tracks which is pretty amazing for such an old game. Deceptively easy to control the car, but the second you make the tiniest error you’re stuck and have to ‘call for help’ (cut scene of a bunch of spectators righting your car!). I love the little touches like stewards jumping out of the way as you approach, can see why this has been so heavily modded to keep it alive because it nails the feel.


F1 World Grand Prix 2 (N64)
Ok so when you first turn this on you’ll have to ignore the fact it’s an absolute blurry mess - you can barely make out the car you’re driving let alone the ones around it which are just black blobs until you’re alongside them - stick with it for about half an hour and suddenly I find it starts to look bearable and actually the trackside detail, draw distance etc are very good especially compared to the old PlayStation games like F1’97 which are sharper but the scenery literally pops up ten yards ahead of you. I love the fact that you can turn on ‘98 events’ which basically means the race plays out around you exactly the way it really did, down to the lap AI drivers retire on, qualifying positions, even generally race position - although you feel like you’re not really ‘racing’ the AI, you’re in a big time trial while the pre-determined race takes place around you. Still, I found this surprisingly satisfying, just squint a bit.

F1 Career Challenge 99-02 (Xbox)
This is the one I’m most excited to have rediscovered, because it’s great. I didn’t actually like this at the time, I hated the over-sensitive, oversteering handling. I don’t think I realised as a kid that there were actually settings to tone that down…but the fact that you can race four whole seasons of F1 here, it’s actually quite good fun and still in 2021 looks pretty sharp and detailed and has a real feeling of speed….

The bad

Every single PlayStation game
My God, how bad do these look now? Blocky, terrible draw distance, pop up, primary colours, I was always more of a PS person than N64 at the time but I really don’t think these stand up well, even the ones I remember being quite good at the time. F1’97 is the biggest disappointment. You’re driving into a big sky-coloured void with trees and track popping up inches ahead of you. The handling etc are still quite decent, but I can’t look at it. I find the blurr-o-vision of the N64 so much more forgivable because the detail is there. Even TOCA2, which was my favourite racing game as a kid, I find pretty difficult because it’s just such a blocky mess.

Anyone else still play any of these? Generally speaking they’re not half as bad as I expected in this day and age.

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#2 Rumblestrip

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 16:49

I think the only sim/racer I went back to years later was GPL (which reminds me to go back and have another go...). That's not to say there aren't other games I still play from the far past, Champ Manager 01/02 is still an ongoing addiction.



#3 Afterburner

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 17:10

It’s funny you should mention this, because around this time of year I always get the music from shameless Mario Kart knockoff Mickey’s Speedway USA stuck in my head! I played it just last night and got my ass kicked by the bridge chicane on the Oregon track and the whole of the Colorado track, which must have been designed by a sadist.

I had the original F1 World Grand Prix on the N64 as well; I remember the majority of my enjoyment from that game came not from anything serious, but from my brother and I racing one another as the Gold Driver on Hockenheim with a manual gearbox and damage turned off. Something about the Gold Driver’s stats were bugged in such a way that you would continue accelerating at an astronomical rate if you stayed in 1st gear. We wouldn’t compete to see who could win, but to see who could get the highest top speed and subsequently the best 400 mph crash. :lol: Good times.

#4 messy

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 21:06

Have tried the original World GP too, oddly I think the graphics are actually less blurry than the sequel! I remember a Dreamcast version which included a safety car, but I really don’t remember those being as good.

One game I’d like to track down again actually is Grand Prix Challenge , which I think was a PS2 exclusive (may have been on the GameCube too) based on I think the 2002 season - I remember that being absolutely brilliant. Smooth as anything and really nice racing. The Sony games I don’t remember particularly fondly from that era. 2003 I remember being good, the others either buggy as hell or way too easy, or both.

Gutted I dropped the PS2 actually :(

#5 PayasYouRace

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 21:26

Using DOSBox I still occasionally fire up Papyrus' NASCAR Racing and Indycar Racing II. If anyone remembers Screamer, I also have that, downloaded from MyAbandonware.com and apart from the unstable USA track (which I think was always an issue no matter what version) it runs without issues on Windows 10. Plenty of arcade fun to be had there. That site is pretty good for anything DOS based, as their versions tend to run well.

 

I miss the Crammond Games, but they're harder to get to run on modern machines. GP2 holds a special place in my heart. There was also Sports Car GT, which was great fun, and because my sister bought a Britney Spears CD at the same time as I bought the game, I have a weird association with them.

 

For the consoles:

 

I used to regularly fire up F1 and F1 97 on my PS2 (the PS1 games being backwards compatible of course) to do some 90s hotlapping, when I visited my parents, but now all the old hardware is put away.

 

I never had an N64, but from what I've seen the F1 WGP games looked diabolical in terms of car models, sounds and track accuracy. I loved the visuals of the PS1 racing games, and with the F1 games, the only view worth playing from was the furthest chase cam, which made the pop-up irrelevant.

 

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I've got all nostalgic now for my old PS1 favourites. F1 97, ToCA 2, Grand Turismo 1 and 2, Colin McRae Rally*. Those would be my top 5 to return to, and perhaps it's worth digging them out next time I visit my parents'. Honorary mention for Driver 2, as a driving but not racing game.

 

Some great PS2 games, are in the collection too, but they don't quite have the same character.

 

*I had CMR2 as well, and while technically a better game, it seemed to lose some of the magic of the original. Plus, it didn't have the head to head, both cars on stage together, split screen mode of the original which my dad and I had so much fun with.



#6 messy

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 22:25

F1’97 was lovely - the handling, collision detection and racing were all spot on and I loved the way all the cars handled differently. You’d get engine failures too - those little puffs of blue smoke started coming out of the car but sometimes you could make the end anyway, you just didn’t know. And the commentary - Martin Brundle’s profound “you’re right there, Murray”.

But I’ll never forget the absolute horror when I first tried F1’98, what an absolute dog’s dinner of a game that was.

World Grand Prix had its issues - the car models were pretty basic, the physics were much wonkier than F1’97, the AI was on another planet, the cars all handled the same. But there’s something charming about them, particularly the love they lavished on making the races play out as they did in reality. And the challenge mode was brilliant.

#7 PayasYouRace

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Posted 31 October 2021 - 23:10

But I’ll never forget the absolute horror when I first tried F1’98, what an absolute dog’s dinner of a game that was.

 

 

My only memory of F1 98 was reading a magazine review of how bad it was, so I thought I'd better rent it to see for myself. Was going to rent it from the video library (remember those?) and the disc had been broken, literally snapped from the centre hole to the edge. Probably said it all.

 

I ended up renting Wipeout 3, which was one of the best things I ever did. For some reason I never bought it though.



#8 Peat

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 07:52

RBR is great, I agree. It's still very much alive, almost completely rebuilt by some Hungarian group and has some awesome addon cars/stages. However I find it too buggy and too much of a faff to run nowadays. 

PS F1 games - Yes, I remember going the Playstation route and thinking I had made a mistake when I saw the N64 F1 game. 



#9 Myrvold

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 13:44

F1’97 was lovely - the handling, collision detection and racing were all spot on and I loved the way all the cars handled differently. You’d get engine failures too - those little puffs of blue smoke started coming out of the car but sometimes you could make the end anyway, you just didn’t know. And the commentary - Martin Brundle’s profound “you’re right there, Murray”.

 

Not to mention: Rain? Ok, then the drivers have a completely different skill-level than in the dry! I never owned the game (did only try it when I visited someone with a PSOne. I'm a Nintendo-boy myself...), so I never got to check out how it would work with a dry qual and wet race or opposite. But that was the first time in my life I'd seen something like that! 



#10 messy

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 21:02

F1’97 in the rain was really fun - you could slide around everywhere, the grip was so reduced - but the AI also became way way easier, I remember winning at Monaco by like 5 laps in an Arrows. In World Grand Prix, there was little reduction in grip BUT the weather could change during the race - it could start dry, pour down then dry up at the end. I liked that. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

I remember thinking after the F1’98 debacle that F1’99 was such a brilliant return to form, but I gave it a go today and it felt so bad. The graphics are better, with decent draw distance, but the way your car teleports across to the other side of the track when you make the slightest contact with another car is pretty terrible, and the damage system where the car just starts pulling to the side. 2000 and 2001 on PS1 were just the same game repackaged, 2001 on the PS2 was pretty technically impressive but buggy as hell and in 2002 you were able to go about twice as quick as the AI down the straight which makes it feel pretty lame. It makes me realise that the Sony series really wasn’t as strong as I remembered. I’d say F1’97, F1 2003 and Championship Edition were good, the rest less so.

At the time I really didn’t like the EA games as much, but Championship Season 2000 and Career Challenge stand up way better than most of the others I think. There were so many F1 games in this era and they’re such a mixed bag, I’m really enjoying revisiting them.

#11 Hati

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 22:14

If anyone remembers Screamer,

I don't remember anymore if it was Screamer or Screamer 2 that I really liked.

 

At the moment I don't actively play any old driving game and when I visit some old game it probably will be Test Drive II which, in all honesty, isn't very good game by todays standards. But speaking of Geoff Grammonds games, Stunt Car Races is such a game that I could play again some day even if I don't have patience to spend another ten or twenty years to win both series again.



#12 PayasYouRace

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 07:28

F1’97 in the rain was really fun - you could slide around everywhere, the grip was so reduced - but the AI also became way way easier, I remember winning at Monaco by like 5 laps in an Arrows. In World Grand Prix, there was little reduction in grip BUT the weather could change during the race - it could start dry, pour down then dry up at the end. I liked that. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

 

The weather could change during a race in F1 97 too. The weather options were DRY, WET, RANDOM and VARIABLE.



#13 mmmcurry

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 08:25

. If anyone remembers Screamer,

 

I remember playing screamer Rally against a couple of mates at Uni with linked PCs. One mate was always pretty awful at racing games, but was somehow leading a race. I couldn't understand how he was beating me (arrogant maybe, but he was bad at them). After the race ended it turns out that he was racing in dry conditions during the day, the other mate was racing at night and I was racing at night in the snow, all on the same track! Not sure if the game was trying to alter the difficulty for us to give him a chance, or it just didn't make all the settings the same.

 

On a side note, the lad who was no good at racing games went on to program the car AI for Mirco Machines 5, never understood how he could do that when he couldn't race himself. On the plus side he brought a development X Box from work one weekend and we had a night playing an early build of Micro Machines.

 

Steve.



#14 lustigson

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 09:38

I vividly remember playing Microprose Grand Prix and and Grand Prix 2 which were both fabulous!

 

A few years later I played Grand Prix 4 but that got a bit too complicated for me.

 

I also loved TOCA Touring Cars 2.

 

Grand Prix Manager was OK.

 

All on PC, first with keyboard and later with steering wheel and pedals.

 

Oh, and all in the 1990s and possibly in 2000 or 2001, too.



#15 messy

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 20:55

TOCA 2 was amazing. I loved sliding the Formula Ford car around Silverstone from the cockpit view, manual gears. In 1998 that was basically driving game heaven.

#16 chdphd

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 22:15

I liked Burnout 2 and 3 on my PS2. 

 

The sense of speed was pretty good and the driving was totally arcadey but great fun.

 

The crash mode was fun since it was like a puzzle.

 


Edited by chdphd, 02 November 2021 - 22:15.


#17 Aaaarrgghh

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 14:32

Concerning F1 '97 being easy in the rain, I played the original PS1 F1 (1995) when I visited my parents earlier this year. It too became very easy in the rain, but turning the tyre wear on actually made that experience a whole lot more interesting, as your tyres went off quite drastically (I think it was scaled wear and I was driving 10 % races, so that might be why) towards the end of the race, so you had to be really careful when accelerating out of turns during the last few laps. The game was still a blast though, the familiar ache in my right thumb soon made itself known and my parents were of course overjoyed to hear the familiar PS1 engine sounds.

 

 

I don't really buy new games anymore or play very much, so the only racing game I still play on occasion is Grand Prix Legends. I will admit that I was tempted to buy one of the newer titles to try the My Team mode, but I have not done so thus far.


Edited by Aaaarrgghh, 04 November 2021 - 14:32.


#18 Alfisti

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 16:37

Indycar Racing II and F197, everythign else was pretty crap. Gran Turismo had it's joys but that wa smore about collecting cars. The current Gran Turismo Sport is absolute genius, has it's faults but an amazing online experience. 



#19 Hati

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 19:56

If you liked Rally Trophy and have Wreckfest you apparently are in luck.



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#20 messy

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Posted 04 November 2021 - 21:27

I’ve really changed my mind about F1’97 now I can see past the pop-up. Switching to the high chase cam really helps.

The whole thing is just so lovely to drive. The cars handle so well - and differently from each other, even in the current games I’m damned if I can really feel any difference between them - the Benetton handles so nicely, the Williams is so quick when you work out how to drive it, the McLaren quick but breaks down constantly. The races just feel convincing - you can run around inching tenths of a second closer to the car in front feeling like you’re in a proper race. Which other racing game from that era really feels so ‘right’? Certainly not it’s sequel.

For a 24 year old game it’s great. I think generally it took the leap in tech to PS2 to make for convincing F1 sims on console, but F1’97 is very impressive considering how long ago it came out.

#21 messy

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Posted 07 November 2021 - 21:47

The PS2 F1 games actually aren’t much good are they? The Studio Liverpool ones have terrible, twitchy handling and the EA ones have terrible physics and are just really unrealistic. I’d remembered them being much better. I take back what I said about Career Challenge too - I can’t see past the awful handling and AI anymore, it’s just stupid. You can’t even make it round the first corner without being taken out by an AI car that’s stopped dead for no reason. And the handling is probably the worst out of all of the games.

I remembered the PS2 era as being really good for F1 games but they suck.

#22 Beggysmalls

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Posted 11 November 2021 - 23:44

I’ve really changed my mind about F1’97 now I can see past the pop-up. Switching to the high chase cam really helps.

The whole thing is just so lovely to drive. The cars handle so well - and differently from each other, even in the current games I’m damned if I can really feel any difference between them - the Benetton handles so nicely, the Williams is so quick when you work out how to drive it, the McLaren quick but breaks down constantly. The races just feel convincing - you can run around inching tenths of a second closer to the car in front feeling like you’re in a proper race. Which other racing game from that era really feels so ‘right’? Certainly not it’s sequel.

For a 24 year old game it’s great. I think generally it took the leap in tech to PS2 to make for convincing F1 sims on console, but F1’97 is very impressive considering how long ago it came out.


F1 97 was the first game i ever purchased. I remember burning many hours on it as 11 year old although some of my racing techniques were questionable. I used yo use the real roads around albert park which led to some crazy fast lap times. Ironically these are very much like the track changes that have just occured so i was 25 years ahead of my time.

I pulled it out a couple of years ago before i sold my ps1 and it was still a heap off fun, walker and brundles commentry was super fun. Also the cheats were cool with the secret reverse adelaide track and the 1950s style silverstone track and cars

#23 messy

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Posted 13 November 2021 - 20:23

F1’97 is still so good. It’s amazing how well it stands up still today.

Actually, TOCA2 looks pretty good running on a PS2 with the jagged bit smoothed out a little too.

Talking of TOCA, I’ve been playing the three TOCA Race Driver games. They’re brilliant. I mean, completely patchy as hell with the rally stages in particular being horrendous and the story modes being tedious and outdated as hell (Ryan McKane’s leering over the grid girls, WTF) but when they’re good (the fully licensed DTM in all three games especially) they’re superb, and they have this charm because they spread themselves so far and wide - rallycross, touring cars, trucks, ovals….it does what Project CARS 2 did but without feeling so clinical and soulless.

#24 Alfisti

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 17:24

Project Cars 2? More bugs than an australian BBQ. Hellishly bad. 



#25 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 18:16

GP2 by Crammond was the business

NFS underground 2

Sega GT 2002

#26 thefinalapex

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Posted 15 November 2021 - 23:06

Messy, F1 challenge 99-02 on pc is a completely different game then console. Much much better.

#27 mmmcurry

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 08:55

Project Cars 2? More bugs than an australian BBQ. Hellishly bad. 

 

I found it unplayable on the PS4 when it first came out.

 

Steve.



#28 messy

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 09:37

Project Cars 2? More bugs than an australian BBQ. Hellishly bad. 

 

They were ironed out in time, I think it's generally a pretty good one as far as console games go.

 

Project CARS 3 is the one I'd deem hellishly bad.

 

I never realised F1 Challenge 99-02 on PC was a completely different game, but it's just as well because the console version sucks. The handling is terrible and the AI even worse. Races are a mess. I found it fun for like half an hour then on second, third, fourth plays realised that it was still just as dreadful as I remembered. And it's a shame - EA's early PS2 efforts - F1 Championship Season 2000 and F1 2001 - were pretty good for their time and probably on balance better than the Sony efforts. 


Edited by messy, 16 November 2021 - 09:39.


#29 mmmcurry

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 10:04

I'm looking forwards to a bit of quiet time when I'm in the new house, then I can dig out my Amiga 1200 (with it's massive 120Mb HD) and have a nostalgia evening. Off the top of my head I think I've still got:

 

F1GP - Frame rate might not stand up these days

Skid Marks

ATR

Roadkill

Stunt Car Racer

 

I don't think I've got any of the classics like Outrun, Lotus Turbo Challenge, Chase HQ or Supercars as I had those on the Atari ST.

 

Steve.



#30 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 10:17

I spent way too many hours playing TOCA & TOCA2… loved them to bits. They look awful nowadays, but I thought they were so realistic back then. Had the same experience playing ‘Driver’ on the PlayStation, but had a go on it recently and it’s bloody terrible. But back then I thought it was super real physics.

#31 Beggysmalls

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 11:17

I found it unplayable on the PS4 when it first came out.

Steve.



The bugs were really bad early days but the last version is quite good. The ai is rather frustrating tho and the online community has certainly died down

#32 Hati

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 15:45

 

F1GP - Frame rate might not stand up these days

 

I think that in simulator type games the digital joystick may be bigger problem although frame rates were quite sluggish. Faster Amiga ran the game faster but joystick was still digital. You could make excellent driving game with digital joystick, as Stunt Car Races showed, but analog stick was big advantage for PC (in addition to much more power).



#33 mmmcurry

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 16:45

I think that in simulator type games the digital joystick may be bigger problem although frame rates were quite sluggish. Faster Amiga ran the game faster but joystick was still digital. You could make excellent driving game with digital joystick, as Stunt Car Races showed, but analog stick was big advantage for PC (in addition to much more power).

 

I seem to remember F1GP had some steering assist to help with the digital joystick, it certainly used to help line itself up between the last chicane and the stadium section of Hockenheim.

 

Steve.



#34 H0R

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Posted 16 November 2021 - 17:01

I bought my first PC in 1989. Of course I had to have a racing game. Enter Accolade Grand Prix Circuit, a true gem.  :rotfl: Mind you, of course I didn't have a fancy and expensive 16-colour display but a humble green monochrome monitor.

 

 

Went through GP2, GP3 and some Ubisoft games before I finally got addicted to GPL. And this hasn't been beaten in my books by any other sim in the last 23 years.



#35 messy

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Posted 17 November 2021 - 13:28

I've gone even further back now to the first ever F1 game I played, Formula One on the PlayStation. And actually, like F1'97, if you stick the camera to the highest chase view, use the 'smoothing' option on the PS2 and go in with low expectations it's not bad. I'd forgot how similar to F1'97 it is actually, 97 is an evolution of it really. It's pretty challenging, but the difference in difficulty between qualifying and race is annoying. On 'hard' level you're like 8 seconds a lap off pole in a Sauber, but in the race you're able to fight quite nicely. If you drop it to 'medium', qualifying is more reasonable but the races too easy. 

 

What really impresses me is the way that (same as later games - F1'99?) if in real life there was a sub driver in the car on that race, they appear in game too. So you get Gabriele Tarquini!

 

Also then booted up F1'98 having remembered what a mess that was. And it's not as completely worthless as I remembered, but still pretty horrid. 



#36 Nemo1965

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 08:25

Gp4. I’ve got Assetto Corsa, which is ofcourse so much better. But Gp4 just has something je ne sait qua.

Edited by Nemo1965, 21 November 2021 - 08:26.


#37 messy

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 12:36

The more I go back over them, the more I feel like the PS2 was THE classic era for racing games. 

 

The F1 series - Sony/EA/randoms like GP Challenge - so much variety

The Evolution Studios WRC games were really good from the third one onwards

The NAMCO MotoGP games - back long before Milestone got their hands on the licence...quite arcadey, very Japanese, lovely physics.

Gran Turismo 3 and 4, arguably the best two in the series?

TOCA Race Driver 2 and 3 doing what Project CARS did more recently with more charm.

Codemaster's Indycar Series games, the Dreamcast port of Le Mans 24 Hours

One-offs like TT Superbikes and that Polyphony 'Gran Turismo on two wheels' one that I haven't got round to yet

 

I don't think I ever gave the PS2 credit at the time, I hated that it flattened the Dreamcast despite being worse graphically.


Edited by messy, 08 December 2021 - 12:37.


#38 Myrvold

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 14:34

The more I go back over them, the more I feel like the PS2 was THE classic era for racing games. 

 

The F1 series - Sony/EA/randoms like GP Challenge - so much variety

The Evolution Studios WRC games were really good from the third one onwards

The NAMCO MotoGP games - back long before Milestone got their hands on the licence...quite arcadey, very Japanese, lovely physics.

Gran Turismo 3 and 4, arguably the best two in the series?

TOCA Race Driver 2 and 3 doing what Project CARS did more recently with more charm.

Codemaster's Indycar Series games, the Dreamcast port of Le Mans 24 Hours

One-offs like TT Superbikes and that Polyphony 'Gran Turismo on two wheels' one that I haven't got round to yet

 

I don't think I ever gave the PS2 credit at the time, I hated that it flattened the Dreamcast despite being worse graphically.

 

Add in the EA NASCAR series, which went from just normal season-racing, to start your own team, and the mid 00's games where you started in the 4th tier, and worked your way up, buying into teams, hiring drivers to drive the races you couldn't (if two races clashed, you had to choose which to race). The introduction of "Total Team Control" was also quite good.

Granted, it stalled there, and it seemed like every game afterwards was basically the same, just with updated rosters. But up until then. Wowzers.



#39 messy

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 20:33

I’ve never tried those but ironically was looking at them on Amazon today on my break at work. Which one would you recommend? I never played a single NASCAR game between NASCAR 2000 on the PlayStation and Inside Line on the PS3. I was looking at 09 but saw that the PS2 version was completely different (and possibly better) than on PS3.

Edited by messy, 08 December 2021 - 20:36.


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#40 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 21:30

That was an age of maturity for 3D racing games, so it's no surprise that many remain very playable to this day. Personally I prefer the charm of the PS1 era games.



#41 Myrvold

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Posted 09 December 2021 - 04:05

I’ve never tried those but ironically was looking at them on Amazon today on my break at work. Which one would you recommend? I never played a single NASCAR game between NASCAR 2000 on the PlayStation and Inside Line on the PS3. I was looking at 09 but saw that the PS2 version was completely different (and possibly better) than on PS3.

 

Hmm, 06 or 07. Both games are pretty much the same. 07 may be a bit faster paced as a game, but they're basically the same. After 07 I feel like they gradually fell off the licensing-train and had a gradual decrease in licensed drivers. The 09 game didn't even have car-badges.

All games does have some car badge/shape trickery and some missing drivers. 2008 isn't any better than 07. It has new hud, and the Car of Tomorrow. But I never got properly into it. They also removed the team-control aspect of it. Yes, it wasn't realistic that you could jump between cars in your team during the race, but it really did give a more "team owner" feel.

 

Basically, it comes down to which drivers you feel you "must" have in a game, these are missing:

 

NASCAR 06: Dave Blaney, Robby Gordon, Bobby Hamilton jr, Bill Elliot and Mike Wallace.
NASCAR 07: Carl Edwards, Ken Schrader and Clint Bowyer.

 

For me 07 is "worse" in that respect, due to Carl Edwards. Clint Bowyer did appear in NASCAR 07, but only in the Nationwide/Busch series. There is obviously loads of drivers missing in the lower series. Basically every driver with #100 or higher is fake.
NASCAR 06 also had more alternate car liveries IIRC, which made the races feel a bit different when the AI's suddenly had different paint schemes.

 

They all look pretty bad though. They didn't look great graphically back then, and they certainly haven't aged well either. I still play some of them now and then. I like the career-part :)


Edited by Myrvold, 09 December 2021 - 04:10.


#42 messy

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 12:14

Thanks for the recommendation - have ordered 06 for pennies from Amazon. NASCAR games have always been hugely hit or miss for me, the recent Heat games being maybe the only reasonably good ones I can think of - but I never played the EA games. I think the high number of fantasy drivers put me off. 


Edited by messy, 10 December 2021 - 12:14.


#43 PayasYouRace

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 12:23

I’m trying to remember which PS2 NASCAR game I had. It had 5 classes, Whelens, trucks, Nationwide, Cup and Car of Tomorrow Cup, so I guess it was the season when they raced both at different times of the year.

I remember it had basically enough real Cup drivers to fill a grid, and I know I got it soon after when Montoya moved across from F1. It had a feature which let you give team orders to your teammates, which I remember being really fun as most tracks were quite easy to drive (NASCAR Racing 4 is certainly wasn’t).

My main memories of the game were unlocking some really cool fictional road courses and the country music songs playing over the menus, which I believe you could even customise the playlist for.

#44 LucaP

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 18:35

Edit

Edited by LucaP, 10 December 2021 - 18:36.


#45 Myrvold

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Posted 18 December 2021 - 17:05

I’m trying to remember which PS2 NASCAR game I had. It had 5 classes, Whelens, trucks, Nationwide, Cup and Car of Tomorrow Cup, so I guess it was the season when they raced both at different times of the year.

I remember it had basically enough real Cup drivers to fill a grid, and I know I got it soon after when Montoya moved across from F1. It had a feature which let you give team orders to your teammates, which I remember being really fun as most tracks were quite easy to drive (NASCAR Racing 4 is certainly wasn’t).

My main memories of the game were unlocking some really cool fictional road courses and the country music songs playing over the menus, which I believe you could even customise the playlist for.

 

NASCAR 08.



#46 Myrvold

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Posted 18 December 2021 - 17:07

Thanks for the recommendation - have ordered 06 for pennies from Amazon. NASCAR games have always been hugely hit or miss for me, the recent Heat games being maybe the only reasonably good ones I can think of - but I never played the EA games. I think the high number of fantasy drivers put me off. 

 

Tell me if you suddenly end up with the bug I got once in my 5-6 careers... No matter how good results I got, I always got fired from the Nationwide team. Of course, I was a big enough star that I just moved over to another top team, then got fired there, and could join the old team again, and so it went on. Only had that bug once though.



#47 messy

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Posted 18 December 2021 - 21:30

TOCA 2 on the PlayStation is probably my favourite racing game of all time, and so probably the one I really shouldn’t have gone back to. In 2021 the graphics are pretty dreadful, but the gameplay still kinda holds up - I mean I’ve put a fair few hours in, but I’d forgotten how hard the cars are to handle. The season starts at Thruxton and by default setting it’s really frustrating because (for some reason) the sixth gear is set too short so all the AI cars breeze past you, but if you lengthen it you magically gain about 10mph on the fastest track in the game. I remembered that trick from 1998, somehow. But the handling…trying to stop the rear end from stepping out around those long, flat right handers, ****ing hell. I’m quite impressed that my 13 year old self managed to handle it rather better than the 36 year old me can.

Actually find myself panicking mid corner because I think “aaarrrgh, it’s going to spin” and then tense up and inevitably spin pathetically across the grass. It’s quite annoying. But I don’t blame the game, it’s me who’s forgotten how to drive it.

#48 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 03 January 2022 - 06:52

All the PlayStation games don’t live up to the rose tinted memories of youth for me.

Aside from the racing ones, I played ‘Driver’ again recently and was shocked how awful it was, yet I remember it being ‘super realistic’ with amazing car physics. I know I’m getting older and the memories fade a bit, but jeez.

I remember playing F1 95 (i think) on a demo disc on the PlayStation.. think it was free on the front of PlayStation magazine. I played the absolute arse out of that demo! And then found F197 an absolute dream when I finally got it. Loved playing in-car view, and had a (very basic) steering wheel - which I think had Jordon Grand Prix branding on it. Amazing - many hours wasted.

And then my mate got F1 98… and let me borrow it one night. I gave it right back the next day - couldn’t believe how **** it was.

Loved 99 and the introduction of the safety car. And then around that time I got into the crammond games on PC. GP3 and GP4… spend a lot of time using modding to change liveries and add features and stuff. Great times. Also had a LAN cable connecting two PCs so me and Dad could play against each other. Great memories. Plenty trips back and forth to PC world with him to get refunds/swaps on steering wheels/pedals that kept breaking.

Good times.

#49 messy

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Posted 05 January 2022 - 18:48

It’s amazing how much developers squeezed out of the PS1 over the years….I find that the early games look terrible today but by the time you got to F1’99 you had much better, more solid visuals, longer draw distances, even an attempt at reflections on the cars. You compare F1’99 on the PlayStation with F1 World GP on the Dreamcast and the latter is a much sharper image but the detail is fairly similar and F1’99 runs smoothly while World GP has the most awful slowdown and stuttering. I’d forgotten how good F1’99 was - although it’s let down by the collision detection which just instantly bounces your car across the other side of the track at the slightest touch.

Actually, that F1 ‘99 - 00 - 01 trio on the PS1 were really much better than I remembered. They didn’t change that much, but they played well. Studio 33 were also responsible for the really underrated, forgotten Newman/Haas Racing which was kinda like F1’97 with Indycars. Only the two NHR cars were licensed, but the other drivers were included with approximations of the right liveries and the racing was fun.

I remembered that F1 2001 (the Sony one) on the PS2 felt like an amazing step forward at the time, but it was a right mess. The PS1 version was probably much better in reality even if it didn’t look as good and had a slightly more simple handling model.

#50 Myrvold

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Posted 06 January 2022 - 03:21

Studio 33 were also responsible for the really underrated, forgotten Newman/Haas Racing which was kinda like F1’97 with Indycars. Only the two NHR cars were licensed, but the other drivers were included with approximations of the right liveries and the racing was fun.

 

It was probably more like F1 (95) as it was built on that engine and not the F1 97 engine :)