Published on July 9th, 2012 | by Nichomaxwell0
F-1 G.U.S. # 7: Redline F-1 Racer //NOTICE: Must have Epileptic Fingers to Play
Year: 1992 // System: SNES/Super Famicom // Publisher: Absolute Entertainment // Developer: Genki // Genre: Racing
>>>I wonder: Do people in Japan have faster tactile reflexes in general? The game play in this particular racer reminds me of whiplash!
Anyway, Redline F-1 Racer, titled Aguri Suzuki F-1 Super Driving in Japan, pits you against a field of Formula One racers for the championship in yet another attempt to capitalize on the auto sport’s astonishing popularity in the early to mid nineties by using a flagship driver, in this case Aguri Suzuki, from Footwork Racing. Redline made its way to American audiences with an average number of setups and racing modes. You could practice on tracks in your free time or go for gold in the Grand Prix. Your setup options were pretty decent: You could customize your tires, wing height, brakes, front-end, etc… Color scheme options were somewhat disappointing as you could only have three car skins to choose from, but at least you had options. In the case of car color, that is more than what Satoru and Mansell’s racing games had to offer.
I am finding that the hind-view perspective does the best job in simulating the Formula One experience as opposed to top-down game play. Redline‘s hind-view gives you appropriate perspective and does an excellent job at conveying speed.
But, maybe, juuuust maybe, it conveys that speed a little too well. Every time you launch down a straightaway you will bull-rush a corner with extremely little warning. The turn indication arrows will flash overhead (aw, God, they’re back?!) a mere split-second before you have time to react. If you have memorized track patterns and/or possess the reaction time of a tabby, then you have got this. But try and follow through like it’s any other racing game and you will fly off the track in a flash. In other words, those annoying turn signals do nothing to help you out, and you are blind as a bat. Oh, you think your map will help you? Sure, take your eyes off your moving vehicle for just a moment! I dare you!
I am not one to complain about speed or rapid pacing, but Redline F-1 Racer in fact moves way too quickly. Perhaps if you give it a few playthroughs, you can notch the patterns and wing your way through the sharp, winding bends. If you are to ever adapt to the pace, then you will find that you can edge your way through each track without utilizing the brake very often.
If you take on Redline with little virtual racing finesse, then you are in for a shock. The lightning transitions from straightaways to corners definitely interrupted any chance the game had at a steady flow, and with other smoother Formula One simulators on the SNES, the player, be it a casual fan or hardcore follower of the sport, was certainly better off looking towards F-1 World Grand Prix and Super F-1 Hero in 1992.
Challenge: 5/10: Game modes were acceptable, and if you kept at it, there is no doubt you could keep up with the AI and win the championship with ease. But the corners that popped out at you and forced you to chew grass, unless you struck like ninja, were unbearable.
Handling: 6/10: Pacing was too fast even if the controls were quick to pick up, and the race car turned and braked rather well.
Innovation: 6/10: Redline was certainly not as deep as some of the other options due to its limited choice between Free Run and Championship; however, car setup choices were acceptable, and you could at least change your vehicular shell, even if you only had three options to work with…
Core Experience: 5/10: There were noticeable track differences in both design and detail, as well as various conditions such as the use of rain (since it apparently goes with F1 much like how wine goes with cheese). BUT the turns that surprised you out of nowhere could have been handled graphically by making them easier to see or putting up those turn signals much earlier (as much as I hate to see them).
OVERALL: 5.5/Iffy: The movement that demanded players to react in the nick of time crossed the line between lifelike simulation and entertaining virtual racer. I see where Redline was going with this faster approach, but through not preparing the aesthetics to deal with such a quick-footed game, the formula just didn’t work out.