ST Format Review (Issue 21)
- MiSTer box running the Atari ST core – a 1MB STE running TOS 1.62 – you can replicate this with the Steem emulator.
- Automation 496, Fuzion 47, Medway Boys 110, Pompey Pirates 80, Superior 65.
- Speedlink USB Joystick or a mouse (recommend mouse)
Continuing with our racing game theme, we arrive at Super Monaco GP. For those unfamiliar, it’s a racing game, very much in the Outrun mould, but with F1 cars. It reviewed pretty well, scoring 89% in The One, 85% in Zero, 72% in ST Action and 71% in ST Format. While the score is solid enough, the written review of Super Monaco GP could best be summed up with one word – the word of the millennial, meh.
It praises the smooth graphics and observes the use of more than 16 colours while pointing out this isn’t shown on the screenshots (I couldn’t detect this when running personally – this may be a case of them taking press releases at face value), while observing correctly that joystick control is a nightmare. There are also complaints that the other cars can wreck you as much as they like while you can’t do the same to them. These are valid complaints, alongside a general narrative of “well it’s another racing game” in the review which hints at a reviewer tired of reviewing this crap.
Structurally the game is quite minimal with only 4 tracks, the final one being Monaco which you run dry and then wet. This doesn’t exactly scream longevity. You’re expected to qualify in the top 15 to progress, and then have to finish on the podium to proceed to the next race. The problem is that this is nigh-on impossible.
Where in most racing games like Outrun or Super Hang-On you can hit the scenery as much as you like and you’ll crash and just lose time, here it’s game over if you do it two or three times. Now this might not be so bad – I can go a good distance in Super Hang-On without hitting anything, but this is not a game as controllable as its contemporaries. Indeed, the controls are an unholy mess. The car lurches around like a drunken fool and the rolling road lurches into different directions instantly rather than smoothly as you’d expect, the corner suddenly being upon you rather than being something you see in the distance and ease into.
Graphics are.. well, they’re ok. Nowhere near Lotus levels, not as smooth, nor as pretty with even ST Format noting the loss of resolution as objects come closer to the camera. It’s nice to see liveries that resemble the cars of the era, a nice nostalgic touch these days, but in truth I’d rather play F1GP or if I must play a rolling road racer then I’d consider the Nigel Mansell game which was a bit more controllable.
What were they thinking? This game is an uncontrollable nightmare. Do not play this. Give it a very wide berth and play Lotus or F1GP instead.