Magic Racing GP 2
January 26, 2012 4 Comments
Update: Magic Racing GP 2 is now 80 Microsoft Points.
Well, this was quite stupid of me. Three racing games recently hit Xbox Live Indie Games, so I said “Hey, I’ll do a racing theme week! Sure, I don’t normally play racing games, or at least ones that don’t involve throwing turtle shells at other drivers, but that’s the point of my site!” It seemed like a good idea, especially after I had such an easy time doing a review for Ocean Drive Challenge. The next game on the list was Magic Racing GP 2, which looked like little more than a glorified Super Sprint clone. How hard could it possibly be to write about?
Having spent the last hour cowering in the fetal position, mumbling to myself “I don’t understand this at all” I guess the answer is pretty fucking hard.
Magic Racing GP 2 does have gameplay similar to Super Sprint or Super Off Road, but that’s where any resemblance ends. The developers were aiming for a more authentic simulation feel, and their dedication to this is admirable. First things first, if you’re not a Formula One fan, you might as well stop reading this right now. I feel like a party crasher because I’m clearly not someone who should be playing this particular type of game. It would be like asking a Hindu for proper ways to cook a steak.
Focusing on gameplay, I found MRGP2 to control pretty much just like the arcade ports of Super Sprint or Super Off Road that I played on the Midway Treasures series. The thing is, I could never handle those games, and I couldn’t handle Magic Racing GP 2 either. At least at first. Even after putting thirty minutes into it, I was still crashing into barriers, cutting corners, and getting a speed penalty for driving too fast through the pit. I did have a breakthrough after about an hour of gameplay and could, more or less, keep my car on the track. At least when doing practice laps. In the game’s season mode, where you have to deal with other cars and weather conditions, the control constantly locked up on me, not in a glitchy way, but as if I had actually stalled the car. This is probably because I have no fucking clue what different types of tires do, or how to “use the weather” or various other idiosyncrasies that Formula One fans would know.
Magic Racing GP 2 is a F1 fan service that aims for the type of crowd that insists they would rather play Tecmo Bowl over the latest Madden entry. Gameplay is old school, yet the amount of modes is impressive and the level of customization offered is pretty intimidating. There are dozens of drivers to choose from, all based on real F1 stars. There is an option to edit their name, so Sebastian Vettel doesn’t have to be stuck with the more wanky moniker of “Sebastiano Vartel.” Every other aspect of F1 is present here as well, from well-known venues to the scoring system to the team system. Sure, you’ll want to change “Renalot” and “Mercides” to their proper names. Or you can do what I did and give them more catchy ones, like “Hippo Riders” and “Skid Marks.” There’s also 16-player online play, but I would guess that you’re more likely to see a Yeti figure skating with Jimmy Hoffa before you actually manage to get a full lineup of players together for it.
I can’t really tell you whether or not Magic Racing GP 2 is a good game. The best I can do is make the following observations. First, it’s not newbie friendly. The game assumes you know the ins and outs of Formula One, because there is little in the way of help or instructions for you. Second, the amount of ambition on display here is highly commendable. The fake versions of real drivers, real teams, and real tracks easily impressed my Formula One loving boyfriend, so it hits the right cord with the type of crowd it’s aiming for. Third, the game is playable, probably more so if you’re familiar and skilled at the classic racing titles that it builds off of. So if you’re into this sort of stuff, Magic Racing GP 2 is the game for you. If you’re not, for God’s sake do not buy this game. I have never been into car racing and I can’t see myself ever getting into it. Besides, if I want to watch cars driving really fast, all I have to do is hop over to Oakland and pull up a lawn chair to watch Formula 510, featuring the biggest stars in drug dealing hauling ass in their blinged out Cadillacs while the boys in blue give chase. Sponsored by Krispy Kreme.
240 Microsoft Points played Magic Racing GP 2 by Magic Studio while wearing a Magic Johnson jersey at Magic Mountain in the making of this review.