GT 64 (N64) Review
Presentation/Graphics : 55
The race courses are mundane at best. Whether you use a cockpit view or a behind the car view, you gain the impression that you are playing a 32-bit game and that the course scenery is a paltry fabrication--an impression promoted by problems with draw-in and pop-up. There is very little of intrinsic interest to see. Nor does the representation of weather (which boils down to overcast or sunny) add anything.
Presentation/Audio : 40
Interface : 80
The controller is equally simple to use. The c buttons control camera angles and rear view (there is no rear view mirror, a major omission). It is up to you to remember to insert the rumble pack in prior to a race (not that it seems to make much of a difference in the game's overall sensation of simulating a racing experience).
Players can save time trial performances and car set-ups as well as circuits in progress.
Gameplay : 60
There are three basic course settings (generically named Japan, U.S.A., and Europe); each track has a long and a short course version, and winning a circuit unlocks mirrored versions of each track. Both the USA and Japan tracks are located in urban areas (an oceanfront city in the former case, "Tokyo" in the latter), and feature straightaways; the Europe track winds its way through countryside, towns, and mountain tunnels. It should come as no surprise to discover that the European courses demand the most in driving ability. However, in all cases those demands are not excessive, for the cars simply bounce off side barriers, fences, and walls, sometimes with little effect on speed. Only in the 24-lap versions is the impact of damage and wear evident (and thus pit stops are of importance). Players qualify in a grid of eight competitors either by engaging in a three-lap qualifying run or a warm-up followed by a single lap. Then it's off to the races with rolling starts. On the whole, the computer cars maintain their rank order, so the game devolves into an exercise in passing and sometimes being passed, in which one's ability to power-slide is crucial. There's little in the way of jostling for position and CPU-controlled cars rarely get in trouble (unless you force them off the road for a moment); poor collision detection renders even this destruction-derby strategy of dubious value, for I have seen cars pass through each other. A capable player should have no trouble winning circuits on the easy and medium difficulty setting, for poor scores on both European courses are countered by high finishes on the other four tracks. The victory celebration is rather anemic, consisting in part of game credits, and there are no cumulative records for circuit performance.
The two-player mode is not terribly interesting, although at least you can now share your consternation about the game with a friend. The time attack offers some more amusement, but not much.
Difficulty : 55
Overall : 60