Following in the tyre tracks of Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve is the latest F1 star to get his name on a video game. Say hello to Speed Challenge for GameCube.
Developed under the watchful eye of the former world champion himself, Speed Challenge is designed to be one of the most true-to-life and intense racing experiences seen in a video game. But there's a fine balance between a simulator and an arcade racing game in this genre, and Speed Challenge delivers in both categories.
As a simulator, Villeneuve's experience as a real-life driver has proved invaluable to the finished product. In this case, all cars have been designed to the same specifications, leaving neither CPU nor human players with unfair advantages. You'll have to rely entirely on your own driving skills if you're to be the first to the chequered flag.
On the other hand, Speed Challenge's off-track racing is extremely good fun. This arcade style experience has its players racing through famous street locations such Paris, Montreal and London, all of which have actually been modelled around their real bricks and mortar counterparts. Flying down Paris' deadly Champs-Elysees at 300kph is an experience to behold. A dynamic crash engine also lets players witness hundreds of extreme racing accidents, some of which even rival those seen in Burnout.
Speed Challenge is a great all-round racing game. Whether you're a simulator fan or just looking for an arcade quickie, this one accommodates all.