Ferrari Challenge Review
- Posted September 18th, 2008 at 11:25 EDT by Eric Blattberg
- 12 Comments
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Ferrari Challenge is made for the fanatic Ferrari fan. If you fit that description, this game is undoubtedly for you. If not, give it a rent before you make a decision.
- Maintains realism without forgetting the fun
- Well-tuned vehicle handling
- Surprisingly solid visuals
- Lack of vehicle diversity
- Uninspired soundtrack
- Long load times
Have you ever owned a Ferrari? Well, neither have I. Since you clearly can’t afford to spend $217,310 on a brand new 2008 Ferrari F430 (and if you can, why are you reading this review instead of driving your awesome car?), should you pick up a $60 video game instead?
Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli is the latest racing title from UK-based developer Eutechnyx. This racing simulator is based around the real-life motorsport series named -- you guessed it -- Ferrari Challenge. The three official championships in the United States, Italy, and Europe represent the three primary seasons that you can compete in, though there’s an arcade mode (which consists of four races) and a quick race mode if you don’t have the patience to with an entire challenge season. Other options include time trial, practice, and endurance. The tutorial, which is both enjoyable and informative, also deserves mention. Finally, there’s a neat little minigame where you battle an opponent using challenge cars featuring Ferrari facts, though it’ll only captivate you for a few minutes.
But I digress, because it’s all about the driving, and Ferrari Challenge can compete with the likes of Gran Turismo on this front. The vehicle handling was tuned by Brazilian racecar driver Bruno Senna, and it feels spot on. Whether you drive in automatic with all assists and the dynamic racing line turned on, or head the manual route and forgo any outside aid, cars handle realistically. There’s also a decent customization feature that lets you adjust elements of your ride like ride height, spring stiffness, wheel alignment and so on. The most essential fact, however, is that they’re a blast to whip around the game’s 16 tracks. That also holds true in the online arena, where the matches -- if you can find one in the sparsely populated lobby -- are lag-free despite the worldwide play.
All isn’t perfect, however. On one hand, you start with the Ferrari F430, so you’ll be enjoying a sweet ride from the moment you boot up the game. On the other hand, you start with a Ferrari F430 -- it sounds redundant, but let me explain. The F430 is a beast, and as such, you have little incentive to unlock the other 50+ cars on offer. Even when you do, they’re all Ferraris, thus there’s little diversity between them. Yes, this is a Ferrari-focused title, so some may call this an unfair criticism, but unless you’re an absolute Ferrari nut, you’ll wish you could hop in a Nissan GT-R or a C6 Corvette after a couple of hours of quality time with your Ferraris. This is where comprehensive simulators, like the aforementioned Gran Turismo, have the edge.
On a positive note, Ferrari Challenge is surprisingly pretty. It won’t win any awards for graphical achievement, but in motion, the game’s crisp, 1080p visuals look great. Eutechnyx nailed the sense of speed, thanks in part to the game’s solid framerate. The weather effect -- yes, singular -- is stellar; in fact, it’s probably the best rain ever implemented in a video game. The cars are highly-detailed both outside and in, as evidenced by the cockpit view (which isn’t practical from a gameplay perspective, due to the camera’s distance from the windshield). All is not flawless, though. Environments are average at best, and I only realized there was a damage system when I saw the option to toggle it on and off.
On the audio front, Ferrari Challenge is a mixed bag. The meaty engine sounds and epic main menu music are on one side of the spectrum, while the bland, uninspired racing soundtrack -- with one particular song that infuriates me -- lies on the other.
There are a few last things to note. The game doesn’t feature an install, so those with small hard drives need not worry, but as a consequence, the game is graced with some fairly hefty load times. Also, I encountered a bug where my controller literally stopped functioning in quick race mode. It wasn’t a problem with the controller, because it functioned fine in the menu and all the other modes. This my be an issue limited to my copy of the game, ... (continued on next page)
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- 6:47am EDT - September 18th, 2008
Fair review, might pick this game up once the price drops.
- 7:11am EDT - September 18th, 2008
fair review ,, r u kidding ..... i hate this game !!
- 8:12am EDT - September 18th, 2008
i knew this game would sux all car games thats based on one car company all ways sux it never fails. its like every body have the same car and going the same speed.
- 9:44am EDT - September 18th, 2008
then it is down to driver skill<
- 10:38am EDT - September 18th, 2008
"Have you ever owned a Ferrari? Well, neither have I. Since you clearly can’t afford to spend $217,310 on a brand new 2008 Ferrari F430"
- 10:40am EDT - September 18th, 2008
This game shines with a G25 steering wheel, the AI is much better than in GT5P. A patch was released today, which included trophy support and custom in-game music. This game will also be one of the most well supported games with DLC, already a new track and cars are on the way(Enzo). The in-car view engine sounds are some of the best you'll ever hear.
- 11:11am EDT - September 18th, 2008
i think its funny how he wrote that online is lag free but also mentions there was like no one there... hmmm maybe thats why. lol couldnt care less about this game I can drive ferraris in gt5p along with other makes and models.
- 12:07pm EDT - September 18th, 2008
I enjoy playing this, when all cars are equal it trully shows your skill. The AI is challenging, which is cool, they just don't stay in one line and let you pass, they try to defend their position.
- 3:42pm EDT - September 18th, 2008
Deadpool ATTACK!!. I played for awhile(rent) and its not easy. The gameplay, ai, gfx and sound are pretty awesome (by sound i mean sfx not music). Also as carbon said it's a really well supported game of high quality and suprised the crap out of me, as i thought it would be meh. THe g25 does increase the awesome value btw.
- 4:27am EDT - September 19th, 2008
I give the game a 8.5 personally. I think its a very solid game and a lot more fun then the dated and boring GT5P.
- 6:06am EDT - September 19th, 2008
Not into Ferraris besides,GT5 Prologue is enough simulator action for me.
- 6:46am EDT - August 5th, 2009
This IMO is quite a good game, one thing you have to keep in mind is that after hitting the PS button and going into the in-game menu you have to release the "X" button and slam back on to get the car going, overwise it will not respond to any controls.
I think you guys are right about the Ferrari aspect, that unless your a Ferrari NUT that after a while you will want to go in a Skyline, Aston or even a mini! Anything but a freaking Ferrari, does get repetative, but then again which racing game doesn't?
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