Game Review - by Jeremiah Pratt
Ah racing fans everywhere loathe for the Sim that will beat all Sims. Today's battle stands in the area of Formula 1 Racing. The challenger waits patiently in its corner (Formula 1 98); is it ready for the champ (a sim that actually simulates)?
Formula 1 98 is structured around distinct racing styles. An Arcade mode and a technically precise Grand Prix mode. Within Arcade mode there is the choice of a straightforward arcade style race or a time limit. Within the Grand Prix mode there is the choice of a Grand Prix race or a complete Championship across all 16 circuits of the 1998 season. There is also a Challenge race mode, which has an arcade feel to start with, but becomes more sim like.
Please don't be surprised this game is graphic wonder. And looks very pretty, many improvements were made over the cars and scenery. Although sometimes there are some visual tearing in front of you, which is really no big deal. Though more details on the cars do make them look slightly cartoonish. The improvement in scenery is evident in the trees, signs, and dirt. Plus you'll be treated by some lens flares and weather effects.
The Sound Effects are neither bad nor good. You can state that the engines sound like scooters or that even the crashing and screeching sounds cool. Though the commentary does seem to leave something to be said, like the timing of the comments is occasionally a little late. Although the regulars are back with more sayings. For example if you steer off the road at a hard turn, you might hear something like "watch out for turn #3…" The musical track is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You'll be treated to some nifty tunes at the menu, and more during the race.
Something must be said for the lack of gameplay. Unfortunately for an F1 Sim the car doesn't seem to handle appropriately. Please remind the developers to pass physics class before applying game controls. The cars tend to powerslide and oversteer horrendously. Ok last time I checked F1 Cars where capable of turning on a dime at above 70mph. Therefore eliminating powerslide and actually turn. Here you must slow down to under 30miles to avoid chalking up allot of dirt, you may even get the feeling that the car has a mind of it's own. Despite obvious physic problems you can tweak the car to your hearts content. One quick note, the dual analog controllers add much better control in the game.
The game is not that bad. We would like to see more than good music and graphics. There are plenty of features to keep you happy. If only one could correct the physics of the cars, we would have an indecisive winner.