This is the second attempt by Eutechnyx at creating a great sim racer and with Ferrari Challenge sitting in the pit stop as a prequel they’ve large shoes to fill. At the same time, however, there’s something different regarding this game.
Unlike Ferrari Challenge it features an entirely new career mode which allows you to drive around all continents seeking racing points and with a certain number of such points you’ll unlock a new track or car. We’ve found this method of unlocking extremely pleasant and we’re in for a nice surprise to see what comes up next. Apart from unlocking new stuff and a few trophies there’s not a great deal to see here. And if you’re in arcade mode mood you can also take a crack at this! Here you’ll drive around three tracks whilst aiming at specific objectives like a finish in the top 3, and, after achieving this objective, you’ll proceed to the next level of difficulty. But sadly, there are annoying developers choices made here: firstly you can’t save between each attempt which means that when you have finished two tracks on the expert difficulty you’ll then have problems stopping without having to redo all three tracks! And for this reason this is our least favourite mode. We’re pleased to say, however, there’s more in SuperCar challenge. You can achieve a quick race, as well as time trail, or even paint your car and more besides! So, in short, you won’t get bored here.
And, as far as presentation is concerned, SuperCar challenge is top notch (top dog!) where graphics have made a step up since the previous challenge game. This time the colours are more natural and the frame rate is improved too. We know this is due to the fact that this game is a PS3 exclusive (whereas Ferrari challenge wasn’t) because the engine appears pretty much similar. The sound is fantastic also: the engine sound (or music if you like) is better than ever and reaches far above anything heard from a Polyphony Digital game. But there are options to consider: if you dislike the sound of a screaming V12 behind you then you’re given the choice to listen to your own MP3s in the background. And another thing: to fine tune the entire music v engine sound phenomenon you are given the option to tone down the engine noise plus ambient sounds as well. This is the way to go, Eutechnyx, so well done!
A1 and steering are essential ingredients of every racing game and luckily it is done right here. The computer is still able to block their lines but not as aggressively as in Ferrari Challenge. We actually liked the blocking A1 but suffice to say it’s really just perfect! In the past, for example, the computer would try to block you even if the speed difference is immense, yet this time round they still do it occasionally but not half as much. And driving with a controller and steering wheel work remarkably well! We’ve had a difficult time steering some of the cars with a controller due to the fact that some of these cars were very unstable as far as braking was concerned. Yet this is a plus, however, because the game should in fact be unforgiving with everything off, and, even better than this, the cars all drive rather differently in SuperCar Challenge. This effect is what guarantees this game a sim and a mightily good one at that!
And now comes the final chapter of this review in which we’ll discuss the issues. Although whilst we feel you can never have enough Ferraris - who could really argue with that? - a little more variation would have been welcomed. From the 44 cars from which you can choose you’ll discover that maybe 30 + are Ferraris. We won’t say this is a problem, however, because the Ferrari cars were already made for the prequel, so the question is why leave something out just for the sake of a bit more balancing? But more of a problem remain the menus. Whilst they’re slick and full of animation they maybe prove a little too much that renders the interface sluggish on occasions. When you have to wait for the car preview to load, for example, you can select the given car and proceed. Another problem we discovered was the inability of the system to recall or remember your driving aids at times. We have tried to remove the racing line yet it magically returned in some of the modes. But there’s nothing a short visit to the menu can’t fix! To end the issues we’d really love to witness a mixed car mode. Sometimes it’s fun to race against other types of supercars as well.
In conclusion SuperCar Challenge feels vastly different from its prequel. With good graphics and sound its presentation is very close to Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. You’ll find the driving utterly amazing with the cars all feeling different as in proper real life. At the same time, though, experience is limited with sluggish menus and a lack of variation in the car. The game can appear frustrating too especially with arcade mode. Ultimately, however, this game comes highly recommended for simulation fans or people who really like cars!
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