Old School Review: F1 2000

I have a love/hate relationship with F1 games.  You see, I really enjoy F1 racing…I’ve even been to a few races myself years ago (Indianapolis and Montreal).  However, F1 games are generally difficult to master and take lots of time.  Recently, I picked up F1 2012 for the PS3 which is similar to Codemasters previous F1 titles (F1 2010 and F1 2011).  F1 2012 has some new gameplay modes like the “Season Challenge” mode which lets us gamers without hours upon hours to devote in a single sitting to advance in the game without being limited to the “Quick Race” option.  When I get deeper into the game, I’ll post a full review…

So, I’ve been playing all of my F1 games in quick sessions this past weekend as it was an exciting one for F1 fans in the USA.  The new “Circuit of the Americas” track in Texas had it’s first race ever AND it was an F1 race!  The track was slippery which made for some interesting practice and qualifying sessions.  After playing some quick races of recent F1 titles I own for the PS3/Xbox 360, I decided to go old school and pickup my copy of F1 2000 for the PS2 and I was pleasantly surprised…

Call me crazy, but this game still holds up!  The commentating and game screens bring us back to watching F1 back in the day when the Speed Channel was called Speedvision.  This title is still difficult to play and very basic compared to todays titles, but I think that’s why I like it so much.  Controls are limited to throttle, brake and gear changes without the need to worry about managing the KERS hybrid battery boost or the DRS adjustable wing.  I don’t have to change the fuel mixture for more or less power, or adjust the brake bias or tire selection for my next pit stop while I’m driving.  Hell, if I use the buttons rather than the joystick to control the throttle, it isn’t even pressure sensitive.  Again, I think that is why it’s fun to revisit.  Car setup can still be adjusted but this as well is more simple than in F1 games for the current generation consoles.  While driving, there are no full driving lines with braking and acceleration points to follow, but there are some corner-arrows to let you know if the next turn is fast or slow.  Without those modern distractions, I find that this game is easier to jump right into if I only have a short while to play.  The game runs smoothly overall, but moreso when in a solo qualifying session as there can be a bit of slowdown with a full field under certain conditions.  One small bit of the game I really liked was when you are involved in a large crash, the game camera (in a typical TV location) goes full-static.  The cars can be delicate, but you can adjust how much.  If you’re on full sim mode, one small bump of the wall can result in a wobbly wheel which means it’s back to the pits!

If you’re an F1 fan and you still have a PS2 or even an original PS3, you can find this game on ebay all day for under $10.00.  You an keep it as simple as you like with quick races OR go all in and try to take Jensen Button all the way in his rookie season.

Car setup screen

Wobbly wheel – cars can be delicate!

Replay graphics


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