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F1 Challenge 99-02 Review - PC

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Speed, money, women and excitement are what the formula one industry runs on. Superstardom is just another positive in a box already filled with appeal. Who doesn't want to drive a fast car and get paid multi-million dollars for doing so? That is the career of a formula one driver and what a career it is. So shift into gear and wait for the green light as we look at EA's grand finale of formula one titles, F1 Challenge 99-02.


After losing the official Formula One licensing to Sony from the start of this seasons racing, Electronic Arts I believe went for the clever move of planting all of their four seasons of FIA licensing into the one game. Featuring drivers back from the season of 1999 when Mika Hakkinen narrowly beat a once competitive Eddie Irvine for the world championship crown, or the more modern setup of last years season where Michael Schumacher ran away with it and Ferrari went one, two with Rubens Barrichello finishing second in the championship. This surely is an exciting prospect for any Formula One fan to be able to go back in time and race against former greats who don't appear in the modern times of F1 racing like Mika Hakkinen and also allow you to join racing teams that are no longer.

Pick up and play gaming is becoming a regular thing to see these days in the world of gaming, it gives off a good feeling for a gamer to be able to sit down and get with the program straight away and that is no different in the racing genre. Unfortunately to all of those gamers F1 Challenge 99-02 is not one of those titles - it's challenging, frustrating and possibly even hard. As is the realism of the game that you can't take corners at high flying speeds or just go the acceleration pedal flat chat and expect to just zip straight down the track. Welcome to reality, proudly brought to you by EA.

This is one of the first times I've really considered buying a steering wheel, which is how bad the keyboard feels playing this game. It is just far too confined and gives no sense of feeling to the game at all. With such a sensitive formula one car at your control it's not an easy machine to master with the old keyboard. The cars already are super-sensitive and you can really lose control if you take a corner too quickly or even just put your foot on the accelerator too quickly and you'll just spin out. Without drive assistance, controlled cornering and other support that the computer can offer it just doesn't give any enjoyment when all you're doing is pressing down the accelerator and turning at ridiculous speeds around corners. Sometimes it feels like you're walking instead of supposedly being in one of the fastest vehicles available.

My advice to you is ... (continued next page)