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Formula One 99
Score: 86%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Psygnosis
Developer: Studio 33
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Racing (Simulation)

Graphics & Sound:
The graphics in Formula One 99 are pretty good. The F1 cars and tracks are realistic looking; some of the tracks are quite nice, indeed. As for the sound effects, they are very realistic, from the engines' roars and whines, to your pit crew chewing you out when you mess up. Formula One 99 has several views to choose from, including third-person outside view, a bumper camera view, and a cockpit view.

Gameplay:
Formula One 99 is fun. If you like F1 car racing games, this is a good choice. Many times, Americans find the strict rules of European racing classes to be too limited to enjoy a true simulation. Psygnosis' Formula One 99 is less strict than the average F1 racer, focusing on the unique aspects of F1 racing, such as F1 car dynamics, the specific F1 types of tracks, along with a good use of the pits and strategic passing. There are far fewer penalties called in Formula One 99 than in other F1 simulation games. Altogether, this game is a good choice, especially if you like the idea of playing a Formula One racing game, but find previous offerings to be too 'picky' when it comes to rules and penalties.

Difficulty:
F1 racing is not your everyday street racing. F1 race cars are built to go fast... and brake fast. Formula One racing requires more consideration of the minute details of strategy to come out on top. This takes a bit of learning to get used to. At first, even experienced racing genre gamers may find it difficult to stay on the track. There are multiple difficulty settings to make things easier, though. You can set the opponent A.I. difficulty, choose how much (if any) assisted steering and braking you want to use... and choose from a slew of race teams, each with their own cars and drivers with unique dynamics. Anyone curious about Formula racing should check out Formula One 99 first.

Game Mechanics:
Formula One 99 is a nice 'introduction to Formula One racing. It makes Formula racing seem easier than it is, but keeps the fun factor high. In particular, I found the gravel traps much easier to exit than in other F1 games. Also, you can cut a lot of corners before receiving any penalties. This is a welcomed change to the strict, overly enforced penalties of other F1 games. While this may be less realistic, it allows a gamer to have fun. It seems that sometimes other developers choose 'simulation' over 'fun.' Psygnosis (finally) brings a fun Formula Racing game home.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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