F1 Race Stars Xbox 360 User Reviews
There are some terrific racing games on the Xbox 360, F1 2012 being one of them. Then there is F1 Race Stars, which takes a completely different approach to the racing game genre. Instead of having just another racing game that is mostly simulation, this one is more of an arcade version of Formula 1. In fact, it has more in common with Mario Karts than with Formula One.
When you play the game for the first time, you would be forgiven for thinking you were playing Mario Kart on your Nintendo, if you had one. The only difference is that the small cars look like miniature versions of F1 cars, and you can play as any of the drivers of the 2012 Formula One World Championship.
While the environment can look and feel very silly, even childish, there is actually a lot in the game that adheres to the F1 experience. The cars do not drag like they would in an arcade game, instead they are hard to drive and they have to be driven in the same way as F1 cars. It is important to be very careful how you turn the car and how you use the brakes and accelerator.
The damage system is also fantastic, and this is what really sets the game apart. While it can be enjoyed by anyone, even if they are not F1 fans, it does stay true to the sport and those die hard fans of the real thing will not be disappointed. In fact F1 fans may enjoy it for the comical game it is supposed to be.
The drivers' heads, recognizable as real drivers from the 2012 season, are visible outside the cars and appear incredibly large in perspective, so the drivers' bodies appear jammed into the framework of the machines. The surroundings of each track are imaginatively and humorously designed, almost like a disney fantasy world.
There are plenty of different tracks and there is a lot of fun to be had. Some of the things that happen in F1, such as pit stops are here, but some of the track features are not. F1 does not have loop the loops, speed bumps or short cuts. Kinetic Energy Recovery System, KERS, and Drag Reduction Systems, DRES, from F1 motors feature as well. The game is just a lot of fun and it is very easy to get into. There are no serious championship modes or anything of that sort, it is a basic racer, although there is a multiplayer mode which can be used both for split screen and online playing. Friends can get together to have a good time.
F1 Race Stars game will never satisfy those who want the perfect F1 experience. What it does is take a sport that sometimes takes itself too seriously and employs advanced technology, and makes it fun for all.
F1 Race Stars is a racing simulator game which seems to be aimed mostly towards Mario Kart fans, or at those who enjoyed playing such releases as Cars 2 the Video Game, rather than your typical racing car games such as Forza and Gran Turismo. Some may also get the impression that because it is a cartoon based game that it is geared towards the younger generation, but they would be wrong in this assumption.
The variety of tracks are vastly different to each other, and you may find yourself flying through mines, or over uneven surfaces, and each track seems to be as crazy as the last one. During your driving you must get off to a good start by picking up the power ups, as failing to do this may leave you mid position or worst still back at the rear in last position at the start. Various power ups also effect how the game is played, for instance, a driver might obtain a power up that gives him teleportation abilities, enabling him to reach pole position. Or another power up may enable the safety car that in turn slows the racer down. You also have various obstacles and goodies on the track, such as water spouts or paving slabs which boost the driver's speed. Good old fashioned, sound driving skills are a must if you are to grab all the goodies and rush down the hidden tracks during the more frantic levels.
Some of the tracks are also very well designed having twists and turns, jumps and track loops which make it hard to position the car centrally whilst traveling upside down. The characters are modeled on the leading F1 drivers, except that they are in a cartoon style in fitting with the game style and overall layout.
Due to the gameplay style associated with this game, no levels are the same, due to the power ups effecting the overall state of play, in some cases drastically affecting the game in both good and bad ways depending on the power up obtained, either by you or one of your opponents. Adopting this approach enables replay ability because the same level, should you choose to replay a level, is always different to that of the last, due to the way in which the power ups and characters interacts with each other during this mode of play. That and the numerous obstacles which end up on various tracks where a simple shunt by an opponent for example can throw your positioning into chaos always make for different situations.
The sound quality is superb and the details on the many characters are well designed, and the online gameplay will allow users to race other F1 Race Star fans. In conclusion this racing game has been heavily influenced by previous titles but in this case I think they have done them justice in both appearance and game playability.