So you finished Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and you're still waiting…
How many people bought a Playstation 3 simply for Gran Turismo 5? All those racing wheels, pedals, and homemade plywood cockpits are gathering dust after this latest delay. If you've paid off your copy of GT5 and want some rubber to burn while you're patiently twiddling your thumbs for Polyphonic Digital's behemoth racer, Superstars V8 Racing is honking its horn impatiently at you.
[image1]Despite sounding like a racing circuit straight out of The Dukes of Hazzard, Superstars V8 Racing is actually a licensed European affair. The drivers are primarily Italian, as are the tracks. If you have no knowledge of this particular championship series, the names won't matter to you, but it won't detract from the adequate racing experience.
Very little changes when you fiddle with the driving control options, making "expert" driving mode mean absolutely nothing. Settings range from arcade to expert, but ultimately the controls feel the same regardless of your preferences. This is a big negative for simulation aficionados, though you can probably handle the expert controls and handling. Cars of all makes and manufacturers do little to differentiate themselves. Ultimately, if you do care about the license, the one-track handling across all cars will feel like such a waste.
Superstars V8 Racing does have a nice graphical engine under its hood despite a few missteps. For a downloadable game, damage modeling, textures, road effects, and lighting are surprisingly pretty. Slowing down around turns quickly undoes those nice visuals, though, with a melange of less than enticing textures. The AI drivers also make a huge mess in these turns meaning you either slam into your competitors or are far enough ahead of the pack that you don't have to worry about them at all.
[image2]While the game conveys a lot of speed, there are some immediate and glaring issues as soon as you slow down. Crowds are placed along straightaways, and for good reason. Stopping to see the sights will reveal that they look no better than Madden 64's crowds
You can choose your racer and car, your track, and your controls, but customization is minimal at best. Different modes are slim picking too. The only justification for the $20 price of this downloadable title is the graphics, and even those don't stand up to scrutiny. There's some racing-sim enjoyment to have here but not for the price.
At $20, you have to be a desperate PS3 owner or an extremely dedicated racing enthusiast to download Superstars V8 Racing. Gran Turismo 5 is right around the corner. You've waited this long. Why not a little longer?