Classic British Motor Racing review

  • Cars you rarely see in games
  • That's it
  • No, really - that's all there is to like
  • Cars are slow and handle like crap
  • Ugly
  • Long loads

There are bad games, there are "so bad, it's kinda good" games, and then there are "Dear God, how did this shit even happen? Can this be legal?" games. The Wii version of Classic British Motor Racing - which appears to be a port of a budget PlayStation 2 game released in the UK in 2007 - lands squarely in that last category.  

You know you're in trouble when there's a typo on the friggin' box. Not a simple "too" instead of "to" or anything like that, mind you - no, the box for Classic British Motor Racing actually features the line "Wet and Wild Ride". This makes no sense whatsoever, of course - there are 13 cars in the game, but no watercraft - until you realize that the line is actually lifted from one of the publisher Bold's previous games, Kawasaki Jet Ski. Someone forgot to type in a new line when cutting and pasting the old layout for this new game's box. 

With that level of attention to detail, what could possibly go wrong with the game itself? Everything.

Where do we start? Okay, how about the fact that it takes a full minute to load up? What is this, 1986? Are we using tape drives again? Then, when it finally arrives, you're treated to graphics and sound pulled straight out of the early PlayStation 2 era. Well, that might be an exaggeration - the sound is more like a PSone game.

Then there's the fact that only two cars (each with a whopping three possible color schemes) are unlocked at the start. Then again, unless names like Healy 3000, TR2, TR3a, TR6, MG Midget and Riley RM mean something to you, the only one of these 13 vehicles you're going to recognize is the Mini Cooper anyhow, so screw it.

After all, it's not as if any of them handle like anything other than a brick-laden sled with its runners wrapped in bacon. The cars accelerate slowly and have a low maximum speed - even antique high-performance cars should be more fleet of foot than this - and the controls (tilt the remote to steer, press buttons for gas, brake, and e-brake) are sloppy and overly sensitive. Thus, once you get up to a respectible speed, steering or hand-brake powersliding are practically  non-options.

This crap-tacular arrangement is one of three reasons you'll probably find yourself playing the very first time trial over and over. The second reason is that there are six tracks in the game, but only one of them is unlocked at the game's start. So that's the one you get until you master it.

Did we mention the great view the camera gives you of whatever's coming up when you're rounding a curve? No? Good.

Which brings us to reason number three: that make take awhile. This game doesn't start with a simple track with gentle curves and maybe a dogleg here or there to ease you into things. It starts with a narrow-laned, wiggling mess of a track so filled with blind, oddly angled curves and 180s it makes the freaking Nürburgring look like a simple NASCAR oval. It's like a rally racing track without a guy telling up what's coming up.

Plus, the collision detection is ridiculous - even if you're almost parallel to whatever you bump, you almost never simply glance off of anything and keep going. Instead, you'll immeditately come to a complete stop and have to back up, as if  to unhook your bumper from some invisible hook that won't let it move forward. One slip, and you can forget about unlocking any of the other five tracks.

Modes? There are three: Time Trial, Single Race, and Challenge Cup (tournaments). There's also a two-player split screen if you want to find someone you actually hate, pretend they're your friend and make them play this road-kill all night. But if you ask us, that's too high a price to pay for the smiting of one's enemies. Take a cue from the movie Mallrats and just stink-palm them instead. Your hand will smell like crap, but you can wash that off. The moments of your life you lose playing this junkheap instead of a real game can never be regained.

More Info

Release date: Jan 02 2008 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Racing
Developed by: Data Design Interactive
ESRB Rating:


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