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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: O-Games
Developed By: Milestone
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-2 (2-12 online)
Rated: E for Everyone
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Price: $19.99 (PlayStation Network)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

November 16, 2010 - The racing genre has been heating up with competition as 2010 is coming to a close. With the likes of F1 2010, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit already released and Gran Turismo 5 releasing on November 24th, some would wonder why bother picking up a title that’s not part of an established brand. While Superstars V8 Racing doesn’t possess the racing pedigrees that the other franchises do, it more than makes up with solid gameplay and a genuine racing experience. That’s thanks in part to developer Milestone which has worked on the racing titles for the past seven years and includes the likes of MotoGP, Superbike World Championship (SBK) and FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). So without further adue, here is our review of Superstars V8 Racing.

While there are lots of racing games out focusing on the racing genre, very few of them provide true simulation-style racing. This factor alone is the reason why Superstars V8 Racing has very few competitors on the market. Making this game even more appealing is that it’s available via the PlayStation Network for the low price of $19.99. The price point might be looked upon as a sad attempt to get more people to buy the game, however the fact of the matter is that you are provided a rich racing experience at a more affordable price. You’ll have the ability to race cars from global brands like BMW, Audi and Jaguars to name a few. These vehicles are officially licensed from the ‘Superstar’ Touring Car series, which is a championship involving high-powered V8 racers that can output in excess of 450 horsepower.

For the price of $19.99, you would think the developer would skimp on gameplay features and options, which is far from the true with Superstars V8 Racing. Once you fire up the game and access the main menu, you can easily see there’s a wealth of content to explore. Under the Single-Player option there’s a ‘Training’ mode which allows you to pick any car, and driver, any track and any weather conditions for you to race on until your hearts content. This mode also lets you race a ghost version of your fastest lap on the track, allowing you to compete against yourself to better their driving. The ‘Quick Race’ mode is very similar to the ‘Training’ mode except you are now one of 19 drivers racing on the selected track. This mode actually is better suited for learning the ropes as it you racing against competition that won’t hesitate to box you in, put you into the dirt or cause you to spin-out.

With the ‘Race Weekend’ mode, you are given a chance to experience a whole weekend of racing. This mode is broken down into four intervals, which are easily skippable if you choose to do so. The first intervals; Free Practice 1, gives you 30 minutes to set configure your car and test it out on the given track. You can test, configure, test again and so on for the full time allowed, or quick and move on to the second interval; Free Practice 2. Free Practice 2 allows you try out the track once more, just in case there are a few modifications you want to make to your car. Once you are all ready to go, the third Interval; Qualifying Practice, gives you another 30 minutes to set the fastest time possible on the track. By doing so, you place in a better position come time for the race. Once again you have the option to use the entire 30 minutes or quite out once you feel you have the best time possible. The last interval; Race, lets you go at it with 18 other drivers on the track to see who the best is. Depending on the time you set in the Qualifying Practice, you will either be at the back of the pack or #1.

‘Championship’ mode is an expanded version of ‘Race Weekend’, which will have you go through the same routine for ten different races. Depending on what position you finish in for each race, you are given a certain amount of points. At the end of ten races, whoever has the highest score wins the championship. The final single-player mode to talk about is ‘Superstar Licenses’ which is reminiscent of a similar mode from Gran Turismo series. There are a total of 20 challenges that will test your racing skills in every conceivable manner. With each challenge you complete, you will unlock a new one. You can easily see that there is a lot of fun to be had with Superstars V8 Racing.

From a visual standpoint developer Milestone did an impressive job creating a realistic environment for you to race on. Whether you are going at 40mph or 140mps, the surrounding landscape is rich and vivid. Time and effort was put into making sure this racing experience is a defining factor of what the PS3 console is capable of. The car models are very detailed, even offering up vehicle damage if you run into a wall, barrier or another vehicle (damage setting must be turned on). As far as in-game soundtrack is concerned, there really isn’t one. When in a race, the only sounds you hear are from the car engines revving up and down, cars spinning out, hitting walls and barrier… all the sound effects you expect to hear in an actual race. For the most part, all the cars sound very realistic though I can’t vouch for a BMW M3 seeing as I never been in one.

While Superstars V8 Challenge would have been a solid experience without a multiplayer mode, Milestone made sure to include to expand on the experience brought by the title. When taking to online races, you will compete against 11 other drivers (12 in total) on one of the 10 tracks included in the game. The online multiplayer is limited only to ‘Quick Race’ style matchups; however you are able to fully customize the racing experience. If you are setting up the matchup, you are able decide whether to have collisions and damage turned on, how many players can play, what difficulty level for any AI-controlled drivers to compete at, etc. Being able to customize the race to via these options adds variety to the experience, though it can and will get old real fast. There is the inclusion of a Leaderboards system to see who are the fastest cats out there; whether local or on a global scale. For those trophy collectors out there, this is one of those rare PSN downloadable games that feature a Platinum trophy.

For a newly released racing game at the price point of $19.99, I was pleasantly surprised with the wealth of content and solid gameplay mechanics Milestone incorporated into the game. After investing 15 hours into the game; both online and off, I’m still finding loads of stuff to do in Superstars V8 Racing. If you are a gamer that’s all about the experience and not the “special effects”, you need to fire up your PS3 console, log into the PlayStation Network and download Superstars V8 Racing. Who knows, it might net you a free copy of Gran Turismo 5.


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