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F1 2009 Review

F1 2009 Review

Codemasters - If there was ever anyone better at creating racing games, I would like to hear it. With games such as GRiD, TOCA and DiRT, no other developer has or will be able to live up to the standards set by them in the world of racing games. Each game was brilliant in it's own right with almost every racing genre covered - except one. Personally, I had been waiting for an official Formula One game since the end of 2007. GRiD touched upon the F3000 discipline, but it simply didn't capture the spirit of true Formula 1. After being spoilt with the final Sony Computer Entertainment version back in 2006, the franchise had been left unused for 3 years, until now where none-other than the grandmaster racing developer took over the role of giving a rebirth to the series. So, will Codemasters be able to deliver the goods on one of the longest running racing series', or will it just... crash and burn?

I have always loved Formula 1. The brilliance of the driver talent and the suspense of watching your favourite driver fend of his noble position on the last few corners are all just part of action - and that's what I wanted from this. The ability to say, "That was an incredible race" and "I can't believe I missed out on that qualifying place!" throughout the entire game. It had moments, but nothing really stood out. There was the odd qualifying session that went down to the wire, but there was never the added drama of an extra exuberant commentator to add to the spectacle. Instead of there being a commentator you have your race co-ordinator and some snippets of commentary all done by the same guy. It nearly works, but not well enough for it to be used as a decent alternative. As well as that, confusion can arise when multiple dialogues are queuing up to be spewed out, one after another, like an over excited Ascot commentator.

AI has always been something to master in racing games but I always hate the fact that the computer opponents never fully accelerate on the straights - I mean come on, you are on a straight, put your foot down! Even on the harder difficulties this is still the case where you think the AI would be a lot tougher. Fair enough the game has to make up for the slower players on easier difficulties, but surely there is another way that isn't so obvious. It drains the fun out of overtaking. It's much more exhilarating to pass someone after a string of impressive manoeuvres and key presses of the KERS button, rather than gliding past them on a dead straight piece of track with no effort at all. Sadly, F1 2009 falters at the same hurdle and I can only hope to be blessed with better AI on the 2010 version of the game next season.

The actual handling of the cars is rather good indeed. The cars definitely feel different to the previous F1 titles, but not in such a way you have to change everything you do to get a blistering lap. As far as I know the car speeds are accurate to reality, meaning lap times are similar to those posted in real races. Car sounds are excellent, but playing aloud for extended periods may cause something known as 'Irritable Peers Syndrome' as friends may be forced to commit numerous blasphemous acts until the noises have subsided.

The graphics in the game are on par with all other PSP games of that nature but are nothing to franticly obsess about. The car details are good, as are the environments although the PSP can sometimes lag during races for a few frames at a time when many cars are on the screen at once. All these things may be good for a decent Formula One game, but it's the smaller more intuitive things that really make the game. Although in this case, there is nothing to fulfil those ideas.

One part of F1 2006 that I loved was the interactive pit stops. They gave you control in parts of the game that can be very boring. You would have to press buttons quickly to change certain parts on your car and to fill up your fuel to reduce your pit times. It made the game interesting; making it something you couldn't take your eyes off for a second. In this version, there's nothing. Sure, you can change your fuel strategy before the race, but that's all the interactivity you are going to get. I thought I would get a more improved version in this title, not a complete lack of.

Just to add to this, is the damage you can take to your car. It's extremely hard to knock off a wheel, a spoiler or anything else from your car for that matter. You have a take a serious amount of knocks to even create a scratch on it. Although there were massive amounts of lag in the SCEE version of the game when such a thing happened, it was brilliant to see parts flying all over the place. I genuinely felt sorry for the AI who blew an engine after 50 laps of the Silverstone circuit, but there is nothing like that in the new version. The damage and the idea that if you rear end the car in front too hard, your two front wheels will go in opposite directions, was one of the brilliant parts of the previous game. Without it, there is a severe lack of realism and tension - two things that are key for such a thrilling racing genre.

So, have the racing giants been able to live up to expectations? Not exactly, is probably the best way of putting it. The cars drive well, the graphics are good but that's not all racings about. The game I was looking forward to for a very long time is something of a medium sized disappointment. I hope and pray that 2010 is the year that Codemasters can bring the Formula 1 genre back from the forgotten, learning from their mistakes in the process.

7.50/10 7½

F1 2009 (Reviewed on PlayStation Portable)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

So, have the racing giants been able to live up to expectations? Not exactly, is probably the best way of putting it. The cars drive well, the graphics are good but that's not all racings about. The game I was looking forward to for a very long time is something of a medium sized disappointment. I hope and pray that 2010 is the year that Codemasters can bring the Formula 1 genre back from the forgotten, learning from their mistakes in the process.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
James Bralant

James Bralant

Staff Writer

James spends his time playing almost anything. Talents include: having a socially-awkward hair colour and getting far too angry after losing

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COMMENTS

{barnet1boy}ly-1428100754
{barnet1boy}ly-1428100754 - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015

i want to get this game do you no of any places i can get it for cheap :)

Reply
Nex-1428100754
Nex-1428100754 - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015

£15 at shopto seems to be the best around currently. [url]http://www.shopto.net/page.php?page=dettagli&codart=PSPFO06[/url]

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Angelfromabove
Angelfromabove - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015

A good review, better than i could have done. :D Thankyou for covering this for me just ran out of time!

Reply
TGK
TGK - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015 Author

No problem Angel. I had been waiting to play this game for some time. I just can't wait for the PC version this year. Dibs on the first issue to be sent out!

Reply
ExcessNeo
ExcessNeo - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015

Did someone forget to mention to Codemasters that the 2010 season starts soon? ;)

Reply
TGK
TGK - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015 Author

Did someone forget to mention to Codemasters that the 2010 season starts soon? ;)

They haven't released the game yet so they can make the cars as accurate as possible. It's not like a football game where you can make all the players and then switch their teams. You have to make entire new car models and car sprays :)

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ExcessNeo
ExcessNeo - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015

They haven't released the game yet so they can make the cars as accurate as possible. It's not like a football game where you can make all the players and then switch their teams. You have to make entire new car models and car sprays :)

Not exactly, graphically the change is minimal between seasons, it doesn't take a full season to make a car model for each team and texture, otherwise games like final fantasy XIII would take decades to make. Ofcourse the main issue is with getting the relevant data to make the cars go the speed they really do, thats the reason why I will probably never buy a F1 game as when I play it I want to play with the current drivers and cars not last seasons.

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TGK
TGK - 11:39pm, 3rd April 2015 Author

Not exactly, graphically the change is minimal between seasons, it doesn't take a full season to make a car model for each team and texture, otherwise games like final fantasy XIII would take decades to make. Ofcourse the main issue is with getting the relevant data to make the cars go the speed they really do, thats the reason why I will probably never buy a F1 game as when I play it I want to play with the current drivers and cars not last seasons.

2010 will be the first next-gen official formula 1 game ever. 2009 was only on the PSP and Wii, the car models change a lot in a year, the colours are different, the teams are different, the driver helmets are different, the way each car performs is different and that's why they are delaying it. They are making the game as true to life as possible. In the 2009 version, Brawn did well in the game, but if the game was out prior to the start of the season, they would be consistently at the bottom of the grid as they were seen as just some other random team starting F1 (forgetting the Honda connotations). At the start of the 2009 season Brawn were something like 500:1 to win the season, so you can see how much the game would have changed if the knowledge wasn't found out.

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