D1 Grand Prix review

  • Drift culture authenticity
  • Pimped out customizations
  • Loads of cars
  • Maddening difficulty
  • Insult-spewing commentators
  • No practice mode

Drift videogame racing just isn’t like the "normal" kind. Don't believe us? Then simply play D1 Grand Prix. It will take everything you have learned in a lifetime of gaming vehicular competition, crumple it up, throw it on the ground, and stomp it into an unrecognizable pulp - laughing all the while. Heck, it might even insult your momma until you get your act together on the track.

The concept of drifting is all the rage in Japan, and is evidently gaining a bit of traction (pun intended) in the States. Finishing first? Not important. Maintaining "control"? Bah, that's for losers. What really matters in D1 is somehow bobbing and weaving like you're about to roll your sweet ride into a triple lutz (without actually doing so).

The trouble begins as soon as the racing starts. Learning to handle the tricked-out beasts you’re placed in is a chore that some gamers will find too tough to manage, since these rollicking behemoths are built for slipping and sliding. Anything less than long, tire-destroying, smoke-belching skids is considered abject failure – and it’s an exercise in frustration to maneuver the cars properly.

As you're flying around the tracks, there's a running commentary from three jerks whose idea of a good time is to consistently degrade your non-skills. To add insult to anger, words like "Idiot" and "Stupid" - no exaggeration - pop up on the screen when you don't pull off drifts the way the game thinks you should.

If you manage to get better, the vitriol will subside, but it takes strength (not to mention some blood pressure medication) to refrain from screaming profanities until that happens.

At least fans of the genre will be duly impressed by D1's authenticity, ranging from the amount of real cars in the game to the available paint, tire, and other assorted customization options. There's also a healthy selection of Grand Prix seasons to choose from (2001 through 2005) and a bunch of real-life pro drivers that serve as the opponents.

Each event in a competition is made up of two parts - solo and head-to-head. Solo comes first, as you'll need to prove your manhood on your own, scoring enough drift points in a small section of track to qualify for the second round. If you're good enough to rank in, you'll compete in fierce two-part mano-a-mano drifting competitions, once from the lead and next in a trailing spot.

Chances are that your average Joe Racer won’t be able to make heads or tails of D1, as mastering the punishing controls may lead to insane rage. If you're a drift aficionado who’s not concerned about destroying any skills built up over the years learning standard automobile-gaming fare, it may be up your alley. However, it takes is a lot of patience and a desire to forget everything you know about accelerators, brakes, clutches, and a lifetime of training. This one’s strictly for the hardcore fanbase – Ricky Bobby need not apply.

More Info

Release date: Aug 08 2006 - PS2 (US)
Aug 08 2006 - PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Racing
Published by: Mastiff
Developed by: Yuke's Media Creations
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes


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