It's rare for me to look games up before sitting down to review them. But seeing as I had a long download in front of me, I decided to look up Superstars V8 Racing. It turns out that this recently released PlayStation 3 game was originally released in Europe a year and a half ago. And while the original version came on a disc, American race fans are forced to download this surprisingly old game. Needless to say, this doesn't bode well for the quality of O-Games' "brand new" realistic car simulator.
It turns out I had reason to worry, because Superstars V8 Racing is another average entry in the already crowded simulation racing genre. It offers few compelling game modes and a ghost town of an online component. Even more baffling is the timing of the release, just a month before the release of Gran Turismo 5.
Superstars V8 Racing is about as bare bones as a racing game can get. At the start we're given the ability to choose from a list of real world race courses and licensed cars. Unfortunately that's all you get to do. There is no story mode. You don't earn money to buy new cars or impress fans. None of the usual single-player trappings you expect from a racing game is found in this import. This game hopes that simply jumping into a quick race will be enough to keep players satisfied.
To be fair, this game does offer players more than just a quick race option. This game offers both a tutorial mode and a plain vanilla championship mode, a mode that has players racing a bunch of courses in order to win points. The most curious mode was the Race Weekend, which forces players to take each course seriously. It starts with a couple of practice runs, followed by a qualifying race and then the big show. It's in this mode where things feel the most fleshed out. With more of an incentive to play the race weekend, we might actually have a fun game on our hands.
The final mode is the ambiguously named Superstars License mode. This is the mode where the developers ran out of ideas and started to shoehorn in every challenging idea they could think of. Here you try to beat specific times and complete other mundane missions. There are twenty of these levels, none rising to the level of being noteworthy.
The game does offer players the ability to tinker around with each car's specifics. It's not on par with other simulation racing games, but Superstars V8 Racing does offer drivers the ability to modify the transmissions, suspensions, gear ratios, brake power settings, spoiler angles, and electronic driving aids like the Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.
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