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Indianapolis 500 Legends review

How great can a racing game with only one track really be?


  • Cheap
  • Steering isn't half bad
  • Pit stop management


  • Suicidal opponents
  • All Indy
  • all the time
  • Plays like a cheap game

We have to hand it to the developers of Indianapolis 500 Legends:they've got balls. Does Electronic Arts, the largest game publisher in the world, have the nerve to make a Madden football game with only the Dallas Cowboys? Of course not. Does Nintendo,a company whose corporate philosophy is apparently, "Screw you. We'll do what we want."have the stones tocraft a new Tetristhat usesonly one shape of block? No they do not. Yet,the scrappy upstarts in charge of this historically-inspired racing game thought it would be perfectly fine to make a racing game that contained only a single track - and an oval one, at that. Then, they limited the vehicles you could race to those that heated up the asphalt between 1961 and 1971. That, dear friends, is chutzpah. Or, it's a cheaply-made budget game. Hey, look at that price!

Granted, if any one track can handle the load, it's the Indianapolis Raceway. And the developers havetried to make things interesting. Alongside the expected Classic Race mode (1-2 players, 10-200 laps), there's a cleverMission Mode thatbasically givesyou specific tasks in small chunks. Unfortunately, the missions aren't too creative, and typically involve remaining undamaged for a certain time, passing X number of cars within a time limit, or just completing a time trial. This is based in reality, so it's not like you'll be using missiles to burst water balloons ortrying to seehow manyvelociraptors you can drag behind you on a chain.

Even worse,many of the missions are quite a bit tougher than they should be because your fellow drivers all seem to be studying to become kamikaze pilots. They'll consistently slam right into you, swoop in front of your car, or even just drift lazily sideways into you, locking their wheels in with yours so neither of you can accelerate properly.

For time trials and races in which you need to avoid damage, this is especially brutal and infuriating because it frequently forces you to completely ignore the proper racing line and just try like hell to avoid everyone else on the track. We know the expression "rubbin' is racin'", but that's a NASCAR saying - these are open wheel cars.Even a singleslight touch could catapult the driver to the moon, ass-first. Shouldn't thesejalopy jockeyshave at least a smallsense of self-preservation?

All that wide open space, and this dill-rod decides he needs to cut in front of us RIGHT NOW! So much for that time trial...

The controls are the typical, "tilt to steer" affair most Wii racing games have, and whether it's because they're finely tuned or because the track is a giant oval we couldn't say, but they seem to work okay. There's damage modeling in some modes, toggle-able assists for those who can't steer or brake, and a nice little slipstream effect when you draft well enough to use another car as a windbreak.

There are also three minigames that take place in the pit area and have you waggling the Wii controller in different directions: changing tires, refueling, and putting out the occasional fuel fireafter your awkward swirling of the Wii-mote (to remove the fuel cap) spills enough fuel to ignite.

That's really about all there is to it. You've got one track, a small assortment of vehicles, stupid opponents, an antique setting, and little variety. Unless you're a historian of racing, better leave this one in the garage.

More info

DescriptionIt might actually be more fun when your car breaks down in this racing game, as players will be able to frantically rush through minigames, using their stylus to dump gasoline into their cars and even change their tires. Manual labor is always better in videogame form.
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)