Monday, June 27, 2011
Super Monaco GP on Genesis
Last weekend, I found a copy of Super Monaco GP for a whopping $3, which is a colossal steal. My Sega Genesis is very happy indeed. Super Monaco is easily the best series of racing games for the Genesis. The first game was released in 1990 and quickly became a beloved favorite. A sequel appeared in 1992 and featured the endorsement (and design assistance) by Ayrton Senna, and it's more refined and fine-tuned. However...it didn't have the swimsuit model. Teenage males pay attention to things like this.
Most racing video games from the 8/16-bit era age terribly, so I'm quite happy to see how Super Monaco GP retains all the skill and charm. It was a watershed title for home consoles, far closer to the simulations on the PC, while still retaining the immediacy of the arcades. In the world championship mode, you weren't really expected to win any races, but rank high enough to win the respect of rivals and teams. Only after joining the right teams would you have a car powerful enough to compete for the checkered flag.
The 16 racetracks are all based on the 1989 formula-1 season, another landmark for home video games.. Each course has its own feel, and at least one really difficult turn. Competing drivers are always breathing down your neck, and it's a constant fight just to hold your place. Graphics are actually quite sensational by 1990 Genesis standards. There's a lot of information on the screen, including that giant speedometer (very stylish). Your rear-view mirror is essential for heading off rival cars, and the main driver-seat view is terrific. I'm very impressed with the sense of speed in this game, and the smooth scrolling of road and objects. This was a game that proudly boasted it's "16-bit Power!"
This really is a perfect video game. I can't find a single credible fault with it. Yes, the passwords are hideous, but we somehow learned to cope back in the day. If you can find this game for five bucks or less, grab it immediately. You'll be amazed.