August 9, 2001
CART Fury Racing Championship - Review
Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating Price
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The crashes are very spectacular.
When people think about game reviewers they seem to think its all glamour. That we get to play all the best games, often weeks or months prior to the game being available to the general public. That's definitely true. But for every great game there are twice as many games that you wish you didn't have to spend time playing. Unfortunately, Midway's CART Fury Racing Championship is one such title. Sure it's not horrific, but when you have Gran Turismo 3 sitting on your desk it's pretty hard to start playing a game like this for 5 hours or so to write a review.

CART Fury is yet another classic arcade styled racing game from Midway. There aren't very detailed graphics, the physics engine won't win any awards, but the game is fast, frantic, and at times fun. As the name suggests this game has a full license from the CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) which means you can play as your favourite drivers (Montoya, De Farrin). Actually controlling the cars is very simplistic and it won't be too long before you get the hang of it. The only difference between this and real racing is the inclusion of a boost which you receive for completing laps under the allotted time. It's a lot of fun and requires some precision in timing to stop going head first into a wall at the end of a straight. Also neat is the inclusion of a driver who will do almost anything to beat you, including putting you into a wall.

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Two-player mode is (moderately) fun.
There a lot of problems with the game however. The biggest is the games AI that seems to become more erratic as the game progresses. Sure it's great to see big crashes and cars flipping all over the track, but they happen too often to be realistic, and usually right in front of you causing you to try to avoid the cars and slamming into the nearest wall. The other problem is the catch-up which the computer controlled cars have. One moment they'll shoot past you at a blistering pace, even when you're using the boost, and then 30 seconds later you'll fly straight past them, while not using any boost. Another problem is the lack of difficulty in learning how to drive. After 5 minutes you'll have the driving down pat and will end up in first place in almost every race.

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It looks better when moving, sort of.
I'll start the graphics with the bad points. Firstly the texture quality is very poor. The road just looks like a slab of grey. Sadly the tracks look dull and boring with little visual spark to generate excitement in the game. Fortunately there are some strong points to the graphics too. Somehow the development team managed to get the game running at a solid 60fps, despite plenty of action, collisions and cars on track. The car designs are also neat, although lack the visual punch which is badly needed.

One of the most disappointing aspects of this game is the sound. The music sounds weak, the sound effects are laughable and the menu noises are grating on the ears. Whoever actually worked on the sound, and whoever approved it for the game deserve to take a holiday, permanently. For an officially sanctioned game this is a massive disappointment. Surely someone could have gone to a real race and recorded the sounds.

In summary CART Fury Championship Racing isn't exactly a bad game, it will just be a massive disappointment to anyone who buys it. The relative ease, the pathetic music and sound effects, the average graphics and just the lack of polish combine to make this a very sub-par Playstation 2 game. Fortunately, Midway's other titles look like a lot more promising then this. This is a definite rent before purchasing.

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