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Dec. 17 2006
Formula One 06 - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
8/8/2006SonySonyStudio Liverpool
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating

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Graphics are pretty sharp.
Racing has certainly been one of the most successful genres on Sonyís portable console. It should be little surprise then that the latest game in the yearly updated Formula One series has been ported to PSP and released about the same time as the PS2 version. We picked it up and gave it a go just to write this review for you Ė now donít you feel special?!

Formula One 06 comes with all the drivers/cars/courses etc. from this years season. So fans can pick their favourite driver and take on the best in the world, with their favourite car and pit team. The included modes are fairly standard to racing games, with the main content found in the career mode. This allows players to undergo 5, 18-race seasons, but before racing youíll have to trial for a few teams, impress them and get an offer to join up. Little touches like this, and the included email system, make F1 06 feel like more than a racing game and are great inclusions.

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Button is coming 15th.
Besides the career mode, there is the usual Quick Play, allowing players to pick up the PSP and compete in a single race, as well as a Full Racing Weekend mode, allowing players to do a single race, but with all the qualifying and practice before it. Also included is the World Championship, where players can take on the best racers in a single season, and the Time Trial mode, allowing players to set their best time. Time Trial mode also allows you to use the classic cars you unlock via Career mode. All in al there is something here for every fan of the genre, and plenty to keep you busy for hours upon hours!

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Replays are pretty solid.
For those who arenít really much into racing, but for one reason or another give this a go, well youíve been accounted for also. The game comes with a massive amount of aids that can all be turned on or off individually, meaning that the learning curve for F1 06 is as steep or gradual as you want. All the aids are quite well done, though the steering aid is a little questionable. Racing veterans should definitely make turning these off their first task when booting up the game for the first time.

There actually isnít too much to complain about with this release. The most prominent thing I noticed was that load times are quite lengthy, and you will have to wait over a minute to even get to the main title screen. After this they are more bearable, but still not the best. Also bitterly disappointing is the lack of multi-player in the title. One would have expected this to be a major selling point, but as with the PS2 game it seems to have been dropped.

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Coming up to a hairpin.
Other than that, my only issue is that the game seems very inconsistent regarding difficulty. When starting the career mode you have to impress a team (as mentioned earlier) by completing a few laps in a certain time. These times require a bit of work to get at first, but then the actual races are a lot easier on the default difficulty. It seems a bit odd.

Graphically, Formula One 06 is a decent package. Cars look quite nice, as do tracks, however the latter is a bit sparse with detail. In-game, the speed is quite nice, and it all runs nicely on the PSP, though occasionally when crashing there is a slight pause, but hopefully you wont have to deal with that very often. 5 different camera views are available, allowing the player to see as much or little of the car as they want. On that, the in-race HUD is nicely designed, and shows all you need to know without using any more of the screen than it has to. F1 06 is a nice looking release, and while it isnít perhaps on par with a few of the top racing games on the system, it is among some of the nicer looking PSP games.

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On the last lap.
One impressive feature of this game is the fact that, included with this release, there is commentary performed by the actual TV commentators, Martin Brundle and James Allen. However, as usual, commentary is fairly average, and often the lines seem out of place or awkward, still their occasional line adds an extra dimension of authenticity and realism to the experience. Music is fairly bland, but it is in the background and does its job. Sound effects are fairly nice, though nothing memorable. Actually that sums up the audio in general Ė itís nice, but nothing memorable.

So who should bother with Formula One 06? Well, those who like racing should. Those who follow the series every year should. If you just want a single racing game to play from time to time, this also fits the bill. Overall itís a fairly flexible game with a decent amount of quality content. A solid release that will almost definitely get overlooked.

Review By: Michael Hutchesson

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
GRAPHICSLooks nice enough. Not the top racing game out, but a nice release. Slight pauses sometimes when crashing.
SOUNDNothing too flash. Commentary, while often awkward, is a nice touch.
GAMEPLAYGood racing title with plenty of modes. Lack of multiplayer is a big disappointment.
VALUEThereís a lot of content there that should keep you busy for quite a while!
OVERALLA solid racing title that should suit anyone with any remote interest in the sport.

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