F 1 World Grand Prix

a game by Paradigm Entertainment
Genre: Racing
Platforms: Dreamcast, Nintendo 64Nintendo 64, GameBoy Color
Editor Rating: 7.9/10, based on 14 reviews, 16 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
Rate this game:
See also: Championship Games, Racing Games, Formula-1 Games, F-1 Games
F 1 World Grand Prix
F 1 World Grand Prix
F 1 World Grand Prix
F 1 World Grand Prix

The wait for a great N64 racing game is finally over!

It's about time. After being subjected to far more than their fair share of mediocre racers that offer all the thrills of a ride in a baby buggy (step forth MRC. Automobili Lamborghini! Cruis'n USA! Off-Road Challenge! GT 64!) N64 owners can finally take to the road without shame.

The game that at last allows N64 owners to cast dismissive waves at PlayStation racers is F-1 World Grand Prix, a 'realism is all' racing sim based on the 1997 Grand Prix season. F-1 World Grand Prix comes from publishers Video System and developers Paradigm, who between them inflicted the appalling Aero Fighters Assault upon the world, but don't let that put you off. This is Paradigm in simulation mode (which is after all their stock in trade) the Paradigm that created Pilotwings for Nintendo. They might not be able to create arcade games worth a damn, but send them away with a brief to simulate something and make it look fantastic, and their boffiny little heads will be positively throbbing with overworked neurons.

Steer Heart Attack

Make no mistake, this is a genuine simulation - if the most believable racing game you've played to date is Cruis'n USA, you should stay well away. F-1 is the kind of game that requires several days of play before it becomes second nature, almost the antithesis of Nintendo's usual 'pick up and play' policy. (Despite this, Nintendo itself will release F-1 in the UK - the game is due out here on 18 September.) The first time you play, even on the basic Rookie mode with all the in-game help turned on, you'll be lucky to get around the course.

As there is not any concession to casual gamers with the inclusion of an Arcade mode, it will take quite a while before players can consider themselves even vaguely proficient with the controls. F-1 uses an unusual steering method - as well as left and right as you'd expect, up and down on the analogue are also used. The further down you move the stick, the sharper the turn. Until you get used to the idea that the stick can never be left in the neutral position, you'll have a very hard time getting around corners.

Practice pays off. F-1 is by far the best racer on the N64, easily outdoing Top Gear Rally, the next best game. Although it's a very different kind of game to F-Zero X, it's equally good at involving you in the action - not least because you know who the drivers are and you can shout anti-German abuse at Michael Schumacher as he powers past you yet again.

The Wheel Deal

F-1 World Grand Prix Is one of the few racing games on the N64 to offer a control mode specially designed for use with steering wheels. Having a few knocking about the place, it was decided to test them out

We made a staggering discovery. Most of the wheels added a bit of fun to the proceedings, but didn't make much difference to the game play. All that changed when Interacts Ultra Racer 64 (reviewed in issue 11) was brought into play. The odd Dustbuster-shaped device got a good review back then, but when connected to F-1 WGP...

Put it this way - if you buy F-1, then it's worth buying an Ultra Racer just to use with it! The small, precise wheel gives absolutely perfect control over the car; no thrashing around, no pedals sliding across the floor, no fumbling with the analogue stick, lust the sight of your car nipping past -the competition and taking the chequered flag!

Williams, It Was Really Nothing

Visually, F-1is rarely short of stunning. If you watch Formula 1 of a Sunday, the courses are all instantly recognisable - it almost looks as though somebody was despatched with a camera around the world to take snaps of real trackside features to use as textures. Before each race, a flyby of the course fades in through orange filters like the opening shot of a Jerry Bruckheimer production. You half expect Kenny Loggins or somebody to strike up some synth-backed AOR guitar chords.

The cars themselves are loaded with detail, right down to suspension struts, bits of ironmongry in the engine bay and the driver's head bobbing about in the cockpit. There are several viewpoints to choose from - the easiest to use is the 'behind the car' option, but the cockpit view is very impressive, one of the best in any videogame. All that's washed out by the glare. Although there's some minor depth fogging, it's barely noticeable, and on some tracks it's almost totally absent. While it's a very different use of the N64's graphical power to Banjo-Kazooie, it's just as impressive.

Murray Mint

Audio effects are just as cool. The engine roar is just like you'd hear while watching a real Grand Prix and to avoid monotony, samples from actual races are mixed into the background to give the effect of cars passing on other parts of the course.

Schumy Does Monaco

In a 64 Magazine exclusive, we've got top driver Michael Schumacher to talk you around Monaco, the most famous Grand Prix circuit of all.

At least, he said he was Michael Schumacher. It could just be somebody doing a funny voice, of course.

Some Phrases:

  1. Start Line: "Ach! I am down in ze rankings. But zis is only ze demonstration, ozervise I be in pole und kick ze arse, ya?"
  2. Sainte Devote: "Ze first comer, und a svine it is. Too fast, und I vill be in ze run-off area. At ze start zis is very crowded, so be careful, ya?"
  3. Casino: "Ze ozer drivers spend zelr money in der casino, but not I, nein. I haf to replace mein robot parts, ya? Ha! Joke!"
  4. Loews: "Zis comer is most tricky - It doubles back und must be taken at der very low speed. Hit ze barriers und you are out, ya?"
  5. Du Portier: "Zis turn before ze tunnel ist eine ozer slow vun, but mit der magnificent view of der Mediterranean, ya?"
  6. Tunnel: "Schnell! Ze tunnel ist der only high-speed part of ze circuit. Good for ze overtaking, but narrow - vatch ze sides, ya?"
  7. Chicane: "Achtung! Ze chicane ist eine pain. Ach, zat rhymes! Ze speed und gears must be right down to get through, ya?"
  8. La Rascasse: "Zis series of tight turns ist eine nightmare, ya? Only ze best can go through mach schnell. Zat means me, ya?"
  9. Start/Finish Straight: "Zis is mein favourite part of ze track - for here is vhere I alvays vin! Ha! For you, Damon, ze race is over! Ya?"

F-1 also crams in a lot of speech. Although it's not as though you've got Murray Walker gabbling on hysterically and Martin Brundle quietly correcting him, the voice of the Scottish bloke in the pits is surprisingly informative. Every time the lead changes, someone retires or a driver ahead of you ducks into the pits, you get a report on events. If someone's about to overtake, you get a frantic message that so-and-so "is right behind you!" The last game that used speech this well was Lylat Wars, and in F-1 it's actually informative.

As far as presentation goes, F-1 can barely be faulted. The official Formula 1 licence makes everything as authentic- I looking as possible, and, Jacques Villeneuve aside, all the 1997 drivers are in the game, driving as they actually do. I Schumacher, of course, rarely makes a I mistake, while mobile chicane Ukyo Katayama is most often found chugging away near the back of the pack.

One very smart feature is '97 Events', I which if selected takes drivers off the track at the same point as their real-life I counterparts did in the actual race. You I know that Berger's going to spin off on lap 28? Stick with him and he'll drop out right when he should.

Just Buy It, Okay?

F-1 is a game that should make certain I publishers deeply ashamed of the cack I they've been foisting upon us. If Paradigm can squeeze in 17 real-world I tracks with extreme accuracy, no pop- I up, minimal fogging, high speed, realistic cars, proper driver behaviour and speech by the gallon, why are we still putting up with garbage like GT 64?

F-1's faults are few, but they are there. A couple of tracks have a noticeably slower frame rate in certain areas (being real courses, Paradigm couldn't just alter them to take out the complex bits), and why isn't there a rundown of the drivers' and constructors' championships after each race? For that matter, where's the spraying M6et after a podium finish? In fact, where's the podium?

This is just nitpicking, though. If you're prepared to invest the time needed to learn how to handle the cars, F-1 World Grand Prix is an absolutely essential buy for anyone who's ever fancied themselves as a budding world champion. You don't need a PlayStation to play a great racing game any more.

2nd rating opinion

Finally a decent terrestrial' racing game for the N64! F-1 is easily the best Formula 1 game currently available for any console and gives most of the top-end PC titles a run for their money! If you're a Formula 1 fan, then you can't afford to miss out on this game. Everything about it just cries 'buy me!' So get out there now and do it!

Download F 1 World Grand Prix

Dreamcast Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Nintendo 64 Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

GBC Download

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Beautiful isn't the word. Video System has done an incredible job with the graphics on F1 World Grand Prix; the level of detail in the cars and the tracks is simply stunning, just check out the screenshots. It looks great doesn't it? When you see it with all the weather effects switched on, it has the same visual quality as Sega's NFL 2K. If you go straight to the benchmark course for Fi games, Monaco, you are treated to one of the most realistic racing environments ever produced in a simulation. Let's hope that the team can ensure the frame-rate does justice to the visuals--the demo version of the game we've played suffers from some severe slowdown. All is not lost though...as we go to press the game is still a month away from completion.

So...yet another racing game for the Dreamcast. What does this one offer that others don't? Well, for a start it's a full-on simulation of the 1998 Formula One season. What's that? The 1998 season? No, we're not entirely sure why that is either...especially seeing as the 1999 season is now over. Apparently the team wanted to be able to simulate all of the events that happened throughout the season to make things as realistic as possible. So if you want to see some ridiculous Constructors Championship politics in action, and Eddie Irvine getting screwed by Ferrari at the end of the season after Schumacher broke his leg, you'll have to wait until next year's inevitable release. Kudos to Video System for wanting the maximum level of realism...but it does seem a bit odd racing with what feels to be the wrong drivers in the wrong teams. This doesn't detract from the overall experience though. Imagine the Psygnosis Fi games on PlayStation, only dummied down a little bit, without Murray Walker's desperately enthusiastic commentary (oddly, the version we played only had some seriously condescending pit-radio chatter and no commentary at all), and with some seriously funky drum and bass music which you'll no doubt want to switch off. It's certainly a better 'serious' racer than Sega's Flag-to-Flag--so real gearheads might want to check this out while they wait for Sega GT.

People say:

8

Before you notice anything else about this, it has to be said that the graphics are really quite wonderful. They're certainly a step up from any Fi games that you might have seen before--and they whiz by so smoothly that you really get a keen impression of speed. As far as features go, it has everything you'd expect, although I was surprised to see the '98 season as the game's focus rather than the '99. If you follow the sport though, it'll seem a bit odd racing with all the 'wrong' drivers in the wrong teams. Speaking of drivers, they're all present and correct--with the exception of Jacques Villeneuve, who's obviously such hot-sh*t that his license comes with a higher price tag for Sega. Oh well, we can live without him. It's nice to see that you can turn all of the '98 season events on too...if you crank all the settings up and race for long enough, drivers will wipe out where they really did during the season, and pit events will occur just as we saw on TV. It's all very impressive stuff...but it's not without some problems. My biggest worry is the fact that the controls are so damn sensitive. You have to be super gentle with the analog stick...almost tweaking and caressing it rather than yanking it back and forth. It takes some getting used to. Look at it this way, it'll make you a more considerate lover as a bonus side effect.

7

I'm a bit disappointed in the way F-1 WGP turned out. I thought we were in store for not only the prettiest F-1 sim ever, but the most accurate as well. Two things are holding it back, overly sensitive steering and imprecise handling. As John said, the analog control is way too touchy to work well, I agree with that. I also think these cars handle like they're on a swindle rather than on rails like they should be. Certainly not a bad game but it could be better.

7

There's a lot to like about F-1 World GP: the graphics are among some of the best for a Formula One racer, the frame-rate is good even when you're nestled in the pack, the controls (despite what the others think) are tight and responsive, and the breakbeat soundtrack is interesting enough to warrant independent listening. Too bad the Al likes to ram you from behind, or that the two-player mode strikes me as an afterthought to an otherwise decent racer.

7

Pm a complete novice when it comes to Formula One racing. Never seen it on TV and never played any of the previous games. So when it came down to playing this, I quickly found that F-1 is not about only holding down accelerate. After getting used to the style of racing, I could sit back and enjoy the speed afforded by some of the straightaways. The music, an ambient overture of techno beats, fits the racing action well. Another decent DC racer.

It's about time. After being subjected to far more than their fair share of mediocre racers that offer all the thrills of a ride in a baby buggy (step forth MRO. Automobili Lamborghini'. Cruis'n USA! Off-Road Challenge! GT 64!) N64 owners can finally take to the road without shame.

The game that at last allows N64 owners to cast dismissive waves at PlayStation racers is F-1World Grand Prix, a 'realism is all' racing sim based on the 1997 Grand Prix season. F-1World Grand Prix comes from publishers Video System and developers Paradigm, who between them inflicted the appalling Aero Fighters Assault upon the world, but don't let that put you off. This is Paradigm in simulation mode (which is after all their stock in trade) the Paradigm that created Pilotwings for Nintendo. They might not be able to create arcade games worth a damn, but send them away with a brief to simulate something and make it look fantastic, and their boffiny little heads will be positively throbbing with overworked neurons.

Steer Heart Attack

Make no mistake, this is a genuine simulation - if the most believable racing game you've played to date is Cruis'n USA, you should stay well away. F-1is the kind of game that requires several days of play before it becomes second nature, almost the antithesis of Nintendo's usual 'pick up and play' policy. (Despite this, Nintendo itself will release F-1in the UK - the game is due out here on 18 September.) The first time you play, even on the basic Rookie mode with all the in-game help turned on, you'll be lucky to get around the course.

As there is not any concession to casual gamers with the inclusion of an Arcade mode, it will take quite a while before players can consider themselves even vaguely proficient with the controls. F-1uses an unusual steering method - as well as left and right as you'd expect, up and down on the analogue are also used. The further down you move the stick, the sharper the turn. Until you get used to the idea that the stick can never be left in the neutral position, you'll have a very hard time getting around corners.

Practice pays off. F-1 is by far the best racer on the N64, easily outdoing Top Gear Rally, the next best game.

Although it's a very different kind of game to F-Zero X, it's equally good at involving you in the action - not least because you know who the drivers are and you can shout anti-German abuse at Michael Schumacher as he powers past you yet again.

Williams, It Was Really Nothing

Visually, F-1 is rarely short of stunning. If you watch Formula 1 of a Sunday, the courses are all instantly recognisable -it almost looks as though somebody was despatched with a camera around the world to take snaps of real trackside features to use as textures. Before each race, a flyby of the course fades in through orange filters like the opening shot of a Jerry Bruckheimer production.

You half expect Kenny Loggins or somebody to strike up some synth-backed AOR guitar chords. The cars themselves are loaded with detail, right down to suspension struts, bits of ironmongry in the engine bay and the driver's head bobbing about in the cockpit. There are several viewpoints to choose from - the easiest to use is the 'behind the car' option, but the cockpit view is very impressive, one of the best in any videogame. All that's missing are the dead flies squished onto the driver's helmet!

Lighting effects are used to increase realism. There's the obligatory lens flare, but this time it's very subtle, which somehow makes it more effective. Drive toward the sun, and everything ahead becomes a silhouette as colours are washed out by the glare. Although there's some minor depth fogging, it's barely noticeable, and on some tracks it's almost totally absent. While it's a very different use of the N64's graphical power to Banjo-Kazooie, it's just as impressive.

Murray Mint

Audio effects are just as cool. The engine roar is just like you'd hear while watching a real Grand Prix and to avoid monotony, samples from actual races are mixed into the background to give the effect of cars passing on other parts of the course.

F-1 also crams in a lot of speech. Although it's not as though you've got Murray Walker gabbling on hysterically and Martin Brundle quietly correcting him, the voice of the Scottish bloke in the pits is surprisingly informative. Every time the lead changes, someone retires or a driver ahead of you ducks into the pits, you get a report on events. If someone's about to overtake, you get a frantic message that so-and-so "is right behind you!" The last game that used speech this well was Lylat Wars, and in F-1 it's actually informative.

As far as presentation goes, F-1can barely be faulted. The official Formula 1 license makes everything as authentic-looking as possible, and, )acques Villeneuve aside, all the 1997 drivers are in the game, driving as they actually do. Schumacher, of course, rarely makes a mistake, while mobile chicane Ukyo Katayama is most often found chugging away near the back of the pack.

One very smart feature is '97 Events', which if selected takes drivers off the track at the same point as their real-life counterparts did in the actual race. You know that Berger's going to spin off on lap 28? Stick with him and he'll drop out right when he should.

Just Buy It, Okay?

F-1 is a game that should make certain publishers deeply ashamed of the crack they've been foisting upon us. If Paradigm can squeeze in 17 real-world tracks with extreme accuracy, no popup, minimal fogging, high speed, realistic cars, proper driver behavior and speech by the gallon, why are we still putting up with garbage like GT 64?

F-1's faults are few, but they are there. A couple of tracks have a noticeably slower frame rate in certain areas (being real courses, Paradigm couldn't just alter them to take out the complex bits), and why isn't there a rundown of the drivers' and constructors' championships after each race? For that matter, where's the spraying Moet after a podium finish? In fact, where's the podium?

This is just nitpicking, though. If you're prepared to invest the time needed to learn how to handle the cars, F-1 World Grand Prix is an absolutely essential buy for anyone who's ever fancied themselves as a budding world champion. You don't need a PlayStation to play a great racing game anymore.

Co-created by Video System and Pilotwings 64 developer Paradigm, F-1 World Grand Prix--as you'd expect--packs realism to spare. The design team visited each of the game's 17 tracks to map out their every detail (including track logos and billboards), as well as paid special attention to capturing the physics of F-1 racing.

But one of the game's cooler features is its Story Mode. Here, players are put in varying situations that were previously encountered by real-world drivers. For instance, one scenario places you near the race's end, in a car with worn-out tires on a rain-slicked track. You decide whether to hit the pit and replace your tires (like the real driver did) or press on and see if you can win the race without losing your wheels. There are 15 of these historical scenarios in all, which are divided into three categories: Offense, Defense and Trouble.

In addition to the Story Mode, players can choose to race in the 1997 Grand Prix season against 27 other drivers (everything that happened in the real season is modeled here). Or they can choose single race exhibitions, time trials or two-player split-screen racing.

The graphics in F-1 World Grand Prix are impressive. Grass adheres to your tires if you slide off the road, and you'll see wear build up on track portions that bear the most traffic. Races take place in varying weather, beneath sunny, cloudy and rainy skies.

Getting about as far away from the cutesy Diddy Kong Racing mold as possible, Paradigm Entertainment's World Grand Prix seems squarely aimed at the hardcore racing sim fan.

This F1-style racer strives for realism in several ways including a unique Story Mode which allows you to race the '97 GP season. To really bring it home, several of the actual events that took place that year have been included in the game. As for depth, 17 true-life F-i tracks (Hockenheim, Silverstone, Monte Carlo, etc.) have been re-created as well as 11 teams, 27 drivers and their cars.

Outwardly, this one is similar to Psygnosis' F1 CE in appearance only with slightly larger cars and the trademark soft edges of an N64 game. Overall it looks quite a bit more detailed than the other N64 F1 game--Ubi Soft's Pole Position. Gameplay is still a bit loose on the version we played but it seemed to have that nonforgiving play reminiscent of...well, maybe it's in a class by itself in that category. Time will tell.

Despite the large number of options and features, setting up for race, at this time, is fast and easy. If Paradigm can continue the balance of realism and user-friendly controls and options then maybe, just maybe the N64 will finally have a good, realistic racing sim.

  • MANUFACTURER - Paradigm Ent.
  • THEME - Racing
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

If you're keeping track at home, this is the third time we've previewed this game. It's unusual but we feel this title is worthy of a gameplay update.

We already know this F-1 title is packed full of detail and interesting options like Story Mode and season racing, not to mention a load of real drivers, teams and their racing vehicles. But having played a near-final version recently we were quite impressed by the competent gameplay and decent frame-rate we witnessed. Not only do the cars handle well, they react realistically to bumps, spin-outs and the occasional drive across the lawn. All this and looking very good graphically! In addition, the hefty amount of car mods, weather options and general depth gives this game quite a sim mentality. And yes, we're ready for a serious racing sim on the system-sorry Diddy Kong. So it's safe to say the N64 finally has a realistic racing game to call its own. And while other N64 racing games have come and gone without much fanfare, we have high expectations for this one. Let's hope it's just the beginning of a whole landslide of great second-generation N64 racers to come.

  • Machine: Genesis;
  • Manufacturer: Tengen-Domark;

Buyer's Guide: An F-1 sim so intense you can almost smell the burning rubber. No game since Road Rash conveys the feeling of speed quite like this one. Pure and simple: Your car handles like a dream.

Driver's Ed: It's better to brake when approaching cars on tight turns, then pour on the juice and pass them in the straightaways. Rear-ending another competitor puts your car at a standstill.

Formula 1 simulation based on the 1997 season. Incredibly detailed and realistic, but complex; not for casual players.

The finest F1 sim in the world. Best played with a steering wheel.

The best F1 game on any format. No F1 fan can afford to be without it when it comes to re-enacting their favourite Grand Prix moments, but it's more than enough of a racing game for non F1 addicts as well. Schumacher need never win anything again.

If you're a fan of F1 then this is a game you can't be without. I'm np expert but after playing this for a few weeks I can hold my own in any Sunday afternoon post-race analysis.

On the French track (Magny Cours), you can take a shortcut to get into pole position. Start the race, and race as normal until you reach the first right-hand bend On the bend you can drive across the grass and over the hill.

Question: Is there anyway to get faster lap times in F1 World Grand Prix?

Answer: No easy way. I'm afraid - it really is a case of practice. Initially you should be starting off on the easiest setting with both braking and acceleration assist on. However, once you get the hang of taking the comers at the correct speeds, you should take off the braking assist at the earliest opportunity - this will enable you to brake far later at the corners than the CPU allows you to, which can improve your lap times dramatically. Apart from that general advice lap times will vary depending on which course you're racing on, how many laps you're doing and a hundred other variables The less laps you're doing, the lighter your fuel load and the faster your car Less down-force on your car will also increase your speed but this will come at the loss of stability and grip.

Question: So are there any cheats in the game?

Answer: You can access two hidden drivers - Silver and Gold metallic versions of the Williams driver. They're both faster than any of the other drivers but you can't use them in the Championship, only in the Time Trial and exhibition modes. Still, gravy's gravy, so here's the cheat.

Choose the second Williams driver (the one actually named Driver Williams). Edit his name to 'Driver Chromed' (for the Silver Driver) or 'Driver Pyrites' (for the Gold Driver). Make sure both names are spelt correctly or the cheat won't work.

Astonishingly realistic, visually stunning racing sim that really shows off the power of the N64. This is Formula One.

People say:

8

If you've been complainin' about the N64's lack of a "real" racing sim (like I have), it's time to rest your jaws. F-1 WGP is the most detailed, graphically correct racing game to grace the N64 to date. Now the flipside - you really gotta like in-depth sims to appreciate the ins and outs of this one. Those interested in quick, arcade-style fun should look elsewhere because F-i WGP could take a long time to master. In fact, maybe too long. My frustration level peaked several times while trying to win some of the more demanding tracks. The most maddening thing? Watching the competition fly by after the slightest driving error on my part. Another odd thing is that the vehicles have a tendency to power-slide through corners. This is very uncharacteristic of an F-1 car, plus it kinda blows the sim image out the window. But then again, is that so bad? Those who've played Psygnosis' F-1 games can attest to the frustration that comes with ultra-correct cornering. After all, even realistic racing games should be fun at least on some level. On a different note, the frame-rate is a little slow, most likely due to the ambitious graphics. Vet in the end, even with its contradictory elements, F-1 WGP is still a fine game with a lot of solid features and replay appeal. It should be mentioned that 2P play is very cool, too.

7

F-1 World Grand Prix is an infinitely better F-1 racing sim than last year's F1 Pole Position. The controls are superb, the graphics are far superior, there are more options to choose from and overall, the gameplay is just much better. F-1 racing is another style of racing that I'm not a big fan of in the real world, but I have to say, WGP is definitely the best F-1-style game I've played. Be sure to check out the very cool Challenge Mode.

7

If you've ever wondered what an F-1 track looks like shrouded in mist...now's your chance. Despite this though, F-1 WGP looks absolutely gorgeous (rivaling 3D PC titles) and is probably in a pretty good position to boast the title of best N64 racing game. The dopey opponent Al won't win any awards, and the controls leave a little to be desired, but on the whole, this is a comprehensive and extremely competent racer.

7

Right out of the gate, F-1 WGP earns marks for fitting in the needs of racing simulation fans who own an N64. The game is definitely challenging, and offers two lengthy season modes that will take many hours to master. The controls aren't quite as smooth as I'd have liked and the frame-rate is a bit off as well, but all things considered F-1 is an enjoyable racer that fans of Formula 1 racing will definitely want to check out.

Easily overtaking the disappointing F1 Pole Position, F1 World Grand Prix takes the lead as the N64's best racing sim. Despite its impressive depth and realism, though, WGP demands such exact, precise driving that most gamers will abandon the race in frustration.

Yellow Flag

WGP rolls out of the pits with an exhaustive Formula 1 Simulation that includes 22 pro drivers, 17 real-life tracks, and season or exhibition action. In-depth car setups, two-player split-screen action, and tons of nuts-and-bolts options make WGP incredibly comprehensive. Realistic, responsive controls back up all that, but they demand racing expertise--make the smallest error, and you're out of the race for good.

In fact, that deeply realistic approach is WGP's biggest failing. The game neglects to provide enough aids for novices (is an Arcade mode too much to expect?), and all but the most hardcore racing fans will decide that math homework is far more fun--and far less vexing.

Under Caution

As far as graphics go, WGP outshines FI Pole Position with slick cars and tracks packed with cool details. The beauty's marred, however, by significant draw-in problems and a sluggish frame rate that displays little difference between 80 mph and 180 mph. Fortunately, the sounds make a strong showing with the classic shriek of FI engines and other excellent effects.

All told, you'll love WGP if you're one of the very, very few N64 gamers looking for an extremely challenging FI sim--or if you have the enormous patience required to master it. Everyone else should give WGP a wide berth.

ProTips:

  • Don't let a tire drift off the track during turns, or you'll quickly skid out.
  • To make light turns, finish your braking before you cut the wheel, then get back on the gas at the apex of the turn.
  • At Hockenheim, you can cheat your way to the front by cutting off-road and blasting straight through the S-turns.

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Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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