Tuesday, July 13, 2010

F1 Circus Special

Super CD-ROM

The requisite Super CD episode in a series that somehow survived multiple horrific chip efforts, F1 Circus Special carries on Nichibutsu’s racing-game philosophy of “full speed ahead, quality be damned.” Don’t get me wrong; I certainly don’t mean to understate the “full speed ahead” element. If anything, Circus Special is fast--so fast that the screen often ends up scrolling backwards to accommodate the blazing speed, which, of course, looks absolutely ridiculous. Navigating the speedways is an arduous affair, as you can see but small snippets of track at once, and the little arrows that pop up and flash incessantly do very little to prepare you for the tortuous twists to come. You can take practice tours of each course (and have no choice but to do so thanks to compulsory time trials), but it might not matter much come race time. Your computer-controlled opponents delight in crashing into you and one another, often creating spin-outs right off the bat and relegating you to a bottom-feeder ranking for the duration of the race.

So daunting is the task facing aspiring Schumachers here that seemingly minor feats like placing among the top six during a given race elicit "Rocky at the top of the steps"-type celebrations from the bums in your pit crew. Should you manage to do the unthinkable and actually win the whole damn event, the entire world will gather and rejoice.

In fact, one of the few readily apparent ways that this CD "smash" takes advantage of the medium to separate itself from its awful chip counterparts is by delivering numerous celebration/meeting screens.

To be fair, the track layouts and adorning landscape designs are more interesting here than in any other member of the PCE Circus series. This doesn't mean they're worthy incentive to actually try the game, but hey, better is better.

And indeed, thanks to the course designs and those goofy intermission stills (there are plenty of them, and I "enjoyed" seeing what kind of silly scene would pop up with each new achievement), Special is my favorite Circus episode. Keep in mind, however, that being the best of an extraordinarily bad lot doesn't merit true praise, and the "compliments" I've showered this CD "revamp" with should not be taken as indications that it's anything but a terrible racing game.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.