Review - IMSA Racing

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Review - IMSA Racing

Post by NikeX » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:14 am

It's 1996, IMSA game is shown to the people. No pixels, but texture correction which are filtered and tri-linear mip-mapped. Something you don't see on Playstation 1 or Sega Saturn. And, in this quality, not on N64. In fact, you've never seen so solid, vivid-plastic car models, when the camera comes close: The tires are round and they turn in the correct direction. Constant 30 frames per second, even with 10 cars on the track. My jaw tumbled when I saw the realtime presentation of the cars, tires, gears or rear spoilers. Great illuminating effects, readable words on car and parts. Even in the race itself. In 1996, 97 you would have thought: Am I watching a FMV?

First of all the game has it's flaws and glitches, it's not complete, because it never was completed. When choosing condition "Fog" for the Suzuka track and "race against the Phantom" (Ghost) texture is missing, the race does not start, the camere goes mad. That's the nature of it. But, the game is fun. And for a 2010 release it's still impressive, finally, to play this myth. There we go. Why IMSA? Ed Rotberg, the director of the game, said, that these cars are the most beautiful, and the tracks are the most interesting (Mardi Gras).


After the Studio 3DO logo comes a black and white FMV Intro later with colors, showing actual racing. When clicked away, it loads fast into the menue. Faster than WipEout for example. And the race itself loads in 5 - 6 sec. Although there is no in the race continue option. You have to quit and start again. IMSA Racing has 6 tracks to race on: The lap times range: From 00:40 Sec. (3DO Speedway / USA) to 2:00 (Suzuka Circuit / Japan). Normal, I think. Sadly, the pits are all closed. Otherwise you could have repaired your car. So, the damage is a visual thing with no impact I think.

3DO Speedway - this is an easy highspeed race track, lot's of fun, but be careful: The first and longest curve (which reminds me of the Sonc hill course in Daytona) is not so easy. You have to steere very careful to the left. My best position: 1st

Laguna Seca: Sunny, has curves which take you off the course. Some may look like highspeed, but end a very tight one. Has many advertising for companies, and 3DO - you can watch the beautiful textures of M2 here. Best position: 4th

Mard Gras: Many houses and objects, but still constant framerate. No pop up. Clever design. Some advertising is mirrored. Very tight curves. On this track is sometimes there is a start lights glitch in the beginning and also the rear mirror is sometimes missing. An enemy flipped my car on the roof in the 4th curve. You can feel the tension rising on this nice track. Best position: 3rd

Suzuka Circuit: Similar to Laguna Seca, but longer and easier, less brutal curves. Nice atmosphere, it's always evening with the sun. A fairry wheel to the left in the beginning. But be careful. Best position: 4th.

The Skidpad: Training course, always without the CPU or phantom. Very wide and long. Many pylons you can kick with your car. Has a garage where you can change your car, engine, and so on. But you can this also in the Pause screen. Goodies! -> easter egg behind the garage: Drive to the wall and a 2D shooting game starts, witch an IMSA car as a fighting jet.

3DO Speedway Psychedelia (bonus track / easter egg): I don't know how I achieved it. It's full of alien future textures and looks cool. I've lost it again. Have to find out how to get it.

When you win (you have to be #1!), a short winner FMV loads, with 3DO / Studio 3DO logos. When you loose, the FMV driver is angry leaves car and pit: "Might as well Call it a Day" - in black and white. When you quit the race a FMV shows breakdown vans and helpless drives.

You can choose from:

Against 9 CPU cars
Against the Phantom / Ghost
Against time

Laps reach from: 5,10,15,20 laps

Condition: Fog or Day, no Night - Fog makes an N64 out of the M2 ;) Looks interesting, but a night option would have been more interesting. But, it was never finished.

Mode: Arcade or Simulation. It's strange: Sometimes Simulation is easier then Arcade, it depends on your tires. But it's important to take the best tires for each course, read the description.

You can turn the damage of your car on and off. So more smoke leaves the car which looks unbelieveable good. Wow, never seen such effects 1995, 96, 97. Some parts broke on the front of the car, but nothing else.
You can change Musc and SFX volume. Normal. And turn the rear mirror, car map, track map on / off.

Some configs cause the M2 Player FZ-35 sometimes to restart. There are 9 enemy cars.

The range of cars:

Courage C41, Ferrari, Kudzu Mazda, Riley & Scott MKIII - all differ in dimensions. Engine: Ferrari V12 (2ltr), Mazda 3.0 Rotor Wankel (2ltr), Oldsmobile Aurora V8 (3ltr), Ford V8 (4ltr) - all differ in torgue and HP. The tires: Yokohama (lower traction), Firestone (neutral), GoodYear (spinout, Mardi Gras), Pirelli (neutral). Gears: Oval (speed) roadcourse gearing quick acceleration, or general gearing - neutral. And different rear spoilers.

The aritifical intelligence of the CPU drivers is interesting: Sometimes they are really badass: They target the rear of your car, they aim, you can see that in the rear mirror or replay. So your car flips off the track or against the next wall. Sometimes they act as a team from left and right. But I spotted them racing off the track into the green. Very funny. They speed down, when your car stands across the race track. You can block them a short time, but then they drive carefully aroung you. This is the time to go into reverse and smash them. Well, sometimes they slow down and you overtake them with (my max.) 205 mp/h. I wonder why? this happenes on the 3DO Speedway. The felt speed matches the shown mp/h, I think.

Sound: Typical 90ies. Blazing guitars, not too special. It's always in the loop. One radiostation means one track. You can choose from Pop, Rock, Techno, Grunge. But Techno doesn't sound like Techno. But, the game was never finished.
The motor sound when the car is standing or driving very slow sounds incredible: Dark, brutal, like the real think. Applause for the sound guys. When racing it becomes higher and less spectacular. But it's ok. When comparing to the motor sound of Crashn Burn which sounds like the drill of a dentist, you'll be happy to listen to IMSA. Minor soundglitches are there, of course: When drawing the streets with tirerubber, the sound goes longer then the action, and becomes higher.

I want that bonus track again!
Last edited by NikeX on Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:02 am

I'm actually dying of jealousy. I really am.

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Post by Trev » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:44 pm

Very nicely detailed review. I now have even more motivation to get an M2!
Most wanted - Eye of Typhoon, 3DO Magazines issues #14 & #15, Pro Stadium, Defcon 5

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Post by Edi (FZ2D) » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:32 pm

This game is M2? Did not know there were games already ready?
It's good to know. What games are available in M2 that way? :P

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