I have enjoyed this game ever since the first demo came out on it. It is a great action packed GT Sports Car game that allows you to race on 12 different Road Courses with over 40 different type cars to choose from. This game was developed by ISI and sold by Electronic Arts companies. There are some that debate if this is a true SIM game or not, but I feel if the game isn't, it is very very close to being a true SIM game. When the full version of the game first came out, many were disappointed with the way the cars handled on the track(too easy) and there was no damage created on the cars. Now with the recent great update patches for the game, you can make the cars feel realistic and cause some visual damage to the cars. If you enjoy Sports Car GT series races, then this game is for you.
The game installed very easy on my system with no problems getting it to run. I am running the game on a 450 MHz Pentium 2, Voodoo 2 3DFX video card, SBLIVE sound card, 64 Meg of RAM, Microsoft Sidewinder FF wheel controller, and displaying the game on a 100" by 100" projection screen. All I need now is the wind in my face and the feel of the G forces of the cars. It does require Direct X capability on your computer and if you have a 3D accelerator card is a plus also.
Starting up the game
When the game first starts up, it gives a nice little video clip on GT sports cars and then goes into a couple of startup menus below. The first menu allows you to select the video mode you want to run in(3DFX, D3D, and software) and gives the stats of your machine. The second menu that it goes to allows you to select one of three different modes. They are Quick Race, Career Mode, and Multiplayer Mode.
Quick race mode allows you to basically select the track and GT car, and then adjust the parameters of how you want to run the race. You can run the races either by time or laps and select how many cars you want to run against(same class or mixed).
Career Mode goes farther into real racing where you start out with a certain type of GT car and you buy and sell parts and lay out your race strategies. As you get better and win races, you get more money to buy more parts and get new cars.
Multiplayer mode means what it says and the game only give TCP/IP or IP/X network type connections. There is no modem play or split screen modes in this game.
Quick Race Mode
Once up in the main menu of the Quick Race mode there are pop up buttons at the bottom of the screen. They allow you to go to get into the game options, race settings, or garage settings. The manual that comes with the game explains in detail how each setting works in the game.
The Race Setting Menus allow the player to select what car they want to drive, the track to drive on, and all the general race options before you go to the track to race. Some tracks that you select have the option for night and wet track racing. The race options include racing in a time limit or by laps, how difficult you want the AI to race against, tire wear options, and speed compensation options on the AI cars in how they race against each other.
The Game options Menus provides the main control of the game. It provides the controller setup, sound settings, graphics detail, replay menu, and a miscellaneous settings menu. These are pretty much straight forward on what each function does and are explained in the manual. The controller menu does provide for Force Feedback controllers now.
The Garage Settings Menu provides all the race setting parameters needed to adjust the cars for each particular track. They provide settings for tires, aerodynamics, suspension, drive train, and other misc car settings. You need to be somewhat knowledgeable on car physics to understand how to setup a car correctly for a race. There are web sites that may have setups for you to try out or tweak to your driving styles.
Picture - Garage Settings Menu - tires menu shown
I haven't gotten into this mode yet because of lack of people to race against, so I don't have any feedback on how well it works at this time for this game. The multiplayer mode allows the player to do only network play and either on a local lan or over the internet. As I said before, there is no modem play in this mode.
Picture - Multiplayer Mode, first Main Menu
The replay mode is just like working a VCR where it gives you forward, stop, fast forward and reverse, and goto beginning and end. It allows you to select a car to watch, and three different views to choose from. In the replay options menu above in the review, you need to turn on the replay option for replays to get recorded. It records practices and races. I think on my system with 64 Meg of RAM, it allows me about 5 minutes of replay time recorded. The replays are complete race laps, not cut or jump ahead slices like in MGPR2.
Picture - Replay screen
This mode of operation allows the player to start out with one or two cars and work your way to the top gaining points and money to by and sell parts and cars. Each race that you are successful in you get more money to buy new cars and beat your opponents. I have done a little bit in the mode, but mostly I go to the quick race mode race the tracks. This part of the game makes you work at starting out with little and finally gaining top ranking and skill levels in the game with very fast cars. The menus are season, buy vehicle, sell vehicle, buy parts, and schedule.
Picture - Career mode Menu - showing season menu
SCGT Cheats - Yes, cheats for SIM game
because the SCGT game does not give all the tracks and cars right away, the game does have cheats incorporated for the quick race mode to apply cheats to get all the tracks, cars, and credits for the game. 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 someone's saved game parameters.
Force Feedback in game
The SCGT game allows for full force feed control within the game. The force feedback is turned on by selecting one of the options within the controller option menu. With force feedback turned on, you can feel the bumps on the track, the curbs, bumping of the cars, and into any walls that you come in contact with. It makes the game more exciting, semi-realistic, and gets you right into all the action of the game. If you don't have force feedback, I recommend you try it sometime. You may never want to go back to your old controller.
Patches and Updates for the SCGT Game
If you are really into SCGT racing game, I suggest you get these following three patches or updates for the game. These great patches and utilities can be gotten from the following web site: http://www.gtinsider.com.
Upgrade 1.551 from ISI - this upgrade takes care of some of the bugs and gives more enhancements to the game.
Realistic Damage patch - Mark found a way to modify and turn on realistic damage to the GT cars. As he says in his notes, parts will not fly off the car, but you will see bent fenders, etc. You will need upgrade 1.551 installed first.
Advanced SCGT settings utility - This allows the user to make the game more realistic by choosing certain parameters within the utility. It makes the car handle more realistic, and the grass slicker, etc. This is a great utility and works in both versions of the game.
Sound patches - There are also some great sound patches on the site if you do not like the stock sounds that come with the game.
Car cockpits - Others around the internet have created some great car cockpits for others to patch into their game.
If you are going to use the first three updates, install them in this order. First install the upgrade 1.551, next the Realistic damage patch, and then set the advanced SCGT settings.
Overall Game Play(also see reviews in section 1)
I have mentioned this in my full review in the first section above, but here is a short description again on the game play. I find the graphics outstanding in this game with the cars and tracks very well detailed. The only flaw I still see is the night driving where the lights are not very bright to see where you are going on some tracks even thought they do have track lights. There are sometimes little hesitations in the game, but are few and far between. The AI cars are great to race against in my opinion. Some say they are too easy, which might be for them. By using the realistic utility in previous section, makes the game even more challenging.
As long as you don't have some of the cheats turned on, the parameters set to realistic in the options menus, and the difficulty set to your level of racing, this is a great game to race.
Images of SCGT game