The SCGT is a great game but is sort of between a full Simulator version and an Arcade type game. It is missing a few items to make it a good simulator which will be explained later on. The game allows you to run on 16 realistic tracks(some in reverse), with 15 AI cars running in each race. The races are Grand Prix starts and can run laps or timed races. Graphics are very well done and more details of all of these later on in review.
Installation and what comes with game
The installation went well and no problems running the game or any lockups so far. The install, if you load everything, will take 310 Meg of memory on your hard disk. The manual that comes with the game is a very brief operations manual. There is nothing on the history of tracks, drivers, etc. Even with the full install, you need the CD to bring up the game until a crack is found to run without it. The game comes with an option to load replays of each track to see how it is driven.
System running SCGT
I am running this game with a Pentium 450 P2, Monster 3D voodoo2 card, 64 meg of internal RAM, SBLIVE sound card, using TSW controller, and viewing the game with a 100"by 100" projection screen. I dont have force feedback controller so I dont know how well that works with this game, but it does have the option in the game. It also has resolution settings for graphics display.
The game initially comes up in the first menu that allows you to select what type of graphics card you have. It has software, D3D, and 3dfx. No rendition native drivers in this game. Once selected, there is a music/video clip and then we go to the next menu to select a new driver to run in the game. You enter your driver name and then select one of three modes, quick race, career mode, or multiplayer. So far i have just been doing the quick race. Once selected, click on OK and we are now into the main menu of the game.
I am not going to get into allot of detail of how each menu works cause the manual does a very good job of this. The main categories are Race parameters, Garage parmeters, and main options. I will mention what will make the cars seem more realistic while racing. In the Race parameters there is a menu called Race options. If you select the fuel and tire wear to "x1", the vehicle compensation to "none", and then adjust the AI strength bar to match your driving ability, The car will feel somewhat realistic, and the different class of cars if running mixed, will run at there designated speeds. If compensation is turned on, the cars no matter what class will run the same speeds. By bumping up the tire wear option, causes the car to be less prown to skidding and sliding. With the default settings of the cars, I have the AI strength bar set just under the midway point to match the other GTQ cars with my GTQ car. This setting will vary, depending on you skills. So far they are very challenging. I do find that a certain section of each track I have raced on, i am somewhat faster then they are.
The track detail and car detail are very good in this game. I compare it to NFS3 or Viper type games. The only detail I dont like is cockpit only because it doesnt look realistic and is the same no matter what car you drive. With graphics out to max, I find little hesitations here in there and racing nearby any AI cars. What I do is turn the graphics for track detail and texture to "high" and leave the vehicle detail to "max". With my computer the game runs much smoother. Another thing I wish it had was control over more individual graphics parameters incase one was more sensitive than the others, like drawing the track texture. The cars may look a little out of proportion in certain views but the detail is great.
There are 16 tracks if all are enabled to be selected in the game. What they want you to do in this game is earn points, buy and sell cars, and by winning races, you earn the right to get more tracks. If not, you can use the cheats below and get all the tracks, its up to you what you want to do. What I did is set up two drivers, one to run career to earn points and other to run all the tracks. Anyway, with the all the tracks selected, there are several reverse of the same tracks, Atlanta, Sardian, and Mosport. Donington has a short and long version, and there are 2 sebring tracks. All the tracks are very fast and raceable. There are three conditions to race the tracks which are day, night, and wet. Only a few allow all three combinations. The rest only allow one or two. Dont know why you cant run any track under wet conditions.
They say on the box there are 50 different cars, but in reality there are 15-20 unique cars and the rest are just different paint jobs of similar cars. The cars I feel are very well detailed and fun to drive. Racing with each car you get a different feel for each car. Some say that the cars don't handle realistic, and would like it like GPL. If you like it that way, soon there will be a patch on another web site that will give you that more realistic feel to the cars. There are three views that you can race in, cockpit, behind the car, and TV view. The third one is if you are having the computer drive the car during a race. Night driving still I cannot see my headlights in the cockpit view, but the night tracks are lighted somewhat well enough to race. Have not done the wet tracks yet(ought to be interesting).
Racing with the AI cars is allot of fun. You can bump and go side to side with them through the turns. They are aggressive but will relinguish their position if you have the turn. They seem to race with each other very well also. I need to do more racing with them to find their weaknesses. Only thing I have seen so far(mentioned before) they seem to be a little slow in certain sections of the tracks. AI cars will bump others and cause spin outs. I have flipped the car and done a barrel role a couple times, so it is possible to go airborn with SCGT.
Races can be up to 9999 laps or 4,320 minutes and can race with up to 15 cars in a race. There is no way to save a race at this time so if you have allot of energy to run 9999 laps, good luck. <hehe>
The pits again are automated, but it is a little better setup than the other games. A change menu comes down and you can set what you like to change and then hit return, and the pit crew does it and you leave the pits. You take control just before leaving the pits. One unique thing is, if you get tired, you can have the computer drive for you. I am not sure how you tell the car to come back in. Maybe only when it is low on fuel i or an incident happens.
Not going into any detail on this but there are adequate garage settings in this game to tweak your car. Categories are tires, aerodynamics, suspension, drive train, and other(fuel, brake balance, and weight distribution). Each type of car has its own default settings and can be tweaked.
The sound when driving in the car cockpit view seems to have more emphasis on the tire sounds being louder than the engine sounds. Outside the car, you can hear the engine quite well. Dont know exactly what each car is supposed to sound like or how accurate it is, but each car has a different unique engine sound. There will probably be sound patches in the future to take care of accuracys. The game has music, but I always turn that off.
Replays are very similar to other games. You can capture up to 20 minutes of race time. It shows the whole race, not just clips. Probably depends on your memory how much you can capture. There are three views like when you are racing, down on the track, behind the car, and TV view. You can view any car in the race and has a VCR like controller to scan the replays.
Multiplayer stinks in this game. The only option we have right now is TCP/IP. There is no modem play. In there notes, they even say there is no network play, use at your own risk. Dont know if they mean local lan playing. Was hoping to modem race a friend nearby with this game, but not now. Dont know anyone right now that i can try TCP/IP to see how it works. There is no way to save the results for after each race that i can see, so dont know how this will work with leagues. Only thing that is saved is replays and only up to 20 minutes worth.
Yes, there are cheats in this game. They allow you to get all the tracks, cars, all the credits, and a couple of others which not sure what they do. What you need to do is once into the main game menu after selecting the driver to operate the game, on any menu initially just type the word "isi-cheeseman". There is no particular place cheats have to be typed on the screen. This will now enable or allow you to type in the other cheat codes. if you type the word correctly, you will see a little pop down menu at the top left of the screen for a couple of seconds indicating cheats are enabled. The cheats are as follows so far:
One thing I have noticed so far with the cheats is typing "isi-tbone" while in the quick race mode does not give me all the cars. I got the rest of the cars from someones saved game parameters.
Thats about it for this review. I hope this gives you a feel of what the game can do. I feel it is a very good game to race the realistic road courses the GT series cars run on, but it is lacking in the multiplayer arena (until I see how well TCP/IP is) and for league play. Maybe there will be patches to fix this, maybe not.