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F-1 World Grand Prix is a demanding race sim that puts you through your 300 kph paces on the most recognisable racetracks ever to grace an N64 game. Thorough familiarity with your car and careful planning for each race are vital if you don't want to spend your motoring career skidding through the infields of the world's most glamorous tracks.WGP's full Formula One license sports 22 drivers from 11 official teams, authentic cars and faithful recreations of 17 internationally celebrated tracks. Some of the most legendary names in motor sports are here, including Ferrari, McLaren, tracks such as Silver Stone, Monza and Monaco, as well as ace drivers Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Damon Hill.
No team or driver is perfect enough to clinch the pole every time, though: even the top-rated Williams team suffer from a mediocre pit crew.Developer Paradigm Entertainment built its reputation with military flight sims before co-developing Pilotwings 64 with Nintendo and teaming up with Video System on 1997's AeroFighters Assault, a jet-fighter sim built around an alien-invasion story line. With WGP, Paradigm and Video System have clearly mastered the fine art of balancing down-and-dirty realism with arcade action. The authenticity begins in the paddock, where you'll optimise your car for the track, race length and weather conditions.
Increasing your fuel supply reduces the need for pit stops, for example, but results in more sluggish acceleration.In sharp contrast to many racing games, you'll immediately notice that braking is a key tactic in WGP. When you're gutsy enough to choose a manual transmission, you'll learn -- probably the hard way -- that these precision cars have a low tolerance for ill-timed shifts. Out on the track at 400+ kph, the game shakes, rattles and zooms with a jaw-dropping realism. The developers maintain smooth visuals even with the impressive detail on the cars. Savvy drivers will glean key information from tiny details like the sparks thrown out when a car accelerates or downshifts.WGP offers three difficulty levels: Rookie, Professional and Champion - the last of which is very challenging.
At the advanced levels, rival AI increases dramatically and the control becomes even more realistic. The globe trotting Grand Prix mode takes place in 17 courses on four continents, beginning in Australia's palm-fringed Albert Park and ending at Spain's season-capping Grand Prix of Europe. In between you'll have to master the narrow chutes of Brazil's Interlagos, the long straightways of Canada's Montreal, the tortuous hairpins of Luxembourg's Nuerburgring and the treacherous shoulders of Japan's over-and-under Suzuka. Most challenging of all, perhaps, is Monaco's legendary Monte Carlo, a white-knuckle race that bucks and dives through the twisting streets of the seaside resort.Challenge Mode skips the preliminaries and drops you into the middle of a nail-biting scenario from the 1997 season.
In offence scenarios, your goal is to leapfrog the field as quickly as possible. You'll have to master your left, right and rear-view mirrors in Defence scenarios, in which your goal is to block cars trying to sneak past you. Most demanding of all are Trouble scenarios, in which you'll have to overcome engine problems, rain-slick tracks and other conditions that will make lesser drivers faint. If you do well on the 15 challenges, you'll open up a hidden Ultimate Challenge. With its myriad options and astounding attention to detail, F-1 World Grand Prix is one racing sim that grabs the solid-gold trophy.
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