CART WORLD SERIES
NTSC - US
- GAMEPLAY -
CART World Series offers PlayStation gamers the ability to climb into an indy car and race alongside Greg Moore, Brian Herta, Gil deFerran, Alex Zanardi, and a host of other CART drivers and their teams. There is a single race option as well as a full season option. The full season allows you to race ten of the oval, short track, street, and road courses of the CART series, keeping track of points standings the whole while. You can even add your own custom driver, choosing your team, chassis, engine, and tires. With 4 levels of difficulty, it is easy to jump right in and start racing with the pros. The sound of the engine whining, the hornet’s nest of other car engines, the roar of the crowd, the squeal of rubber, and the crashes all contribute to the feel of being in the race. Unfortunately, there is no real pit crew chatter over the radio. The only useful information you receive is notification of the last lap. On screen overlays show you speed, fuel remaining, and the standings of four cars, namely you and the other top three cars in the race. You can toggle the display to show the lap speed, lap time, or seconds off the lead. A quick click of a button will show you what is behind you, since there are no mirrors. This feature sounds useful, but really isn’t. The turns and traffic come up too quickly to spend any time staring at who is behind you. You can easily hear a car coming up behind you anyway. The game allows one to four players. Two players can play on one console and one television by using a split screen. They can also play over a playstation link, which requires two consoles and two televisions. For three and four players, the link is required, and one or both of the televisions will be split screen. This head-to-head feature lends very useful replay value to the game. The worst part of this game is the pitstop. Entering the pits invokes an automated sequenced whereby your car is parked and serviced without any action on your part. You are permitted to determine what is done to your car, including adjusting front and rear wings or changing tire compounds. Still, there is no help in telling you when you need to pit or how many laps you can pull on one tank of gas. As a result, there is none of the fun of planning pit stops or determining fuel windows.
- CONTROL -
One of the great features of this game is the completely customized control option. You are allowed to set whatever button you wish for each of the car controls, such as shifting up, down, rearview, gas, etc. The steering and braking are quite comfortable, but perhaps a little on the touchy side at high speeds. The game also offers several viewpoints to choose from. You can drive from a nose-of-the-car view, inside the cockpit, and three levels of elevation behind the car. These points of view can even be adjusted during the race. Another thoughtful option allows the player to elect the extent of the realism at the start of the race or race season. There are three levels of realism: arcade (no damage) arcade with damage (where damage is repaired after a small, time-consuming delay), and simulation (where damage is fully realistic). One hard crash in simulation mode will end your race. The player can even adjust the length of the races by specifying a percentage of the laps of each race or race season. If you really want to, you can run 100% of the laps. Upon starting each race, you have the option to set up your car for the track. You must adjust the angle of the front wing, rear wing, choose tires, and set up the gear ratio. You may have to tinker with it a bit to get it just right. The game allows you to practice and then quickly click back to the car setup screen for adjustment. It can take a while, but it is well worth the effort. The right set up can make you uncatchable.
- TRACKS -
There are 10 tracks available to race. During the race season, you will visit all of them. I think the game provides a good variety of ovals, street tracks, and road circuits. There is a bit of a learning curve the first time you start a new street or road track. But a few practice laps will quickly familiarize you with all of the odd turns and problem spots. Comparing the view of this game with the in-car view from televised races, I found the realism of the courses to be wonderful. There seems to be some random choice of weather which effects your visibility on the course. There are sunny days, partly cloudy days, and very cloudy days. I found the cloudy days to make the track a little too dark. Turning up the brightness on my set solved the problem. In general, the graphics are very smooth, with great detail on the cars. The road surface is a little grainy, and the scenery is not exactly breathtaking. Of course, you won’t have much time to be looking at the scenery anyway. The road signs, curves, and walls are clearly portrayed and do not present a problem.
- SUMMARY -
If you like auto racing and are a fan of the CART series, then this game is for you. It has all the drivers, tracks, and realism of a real CART race. The customized options, car setup, and head-to-head racing give this game great marks. Radio chatter and pit stops could have been more realistic and entertaining. All in all, this is a very good pure racing game.
Reviewed by Adam Melita
Memory Card: 1-2 Blocks
Supports: Analog Controller,
Learning Curve: Moderate
Difficulty: Easy - Difficult
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