Approximate Release Date: April 20, 1993
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft
There’s much about Battle Grand Prix that is disappointing.
Most immediately noticeable is its similarities to Cyber Spin. The two games are more or less completely interchangeable. Sure, Battle Grand Prix has a modern aesthetic instead of futuristic, and features a brake button instead of a boost, but that’s kind of it. There are the usual exhibition and career modes here, but there’s also a two-player multiplayer mode.
The existence of multiplayer means the screen is always split vertically in Battle Grand Prix. I’ve said many times before how I hate it when racing games do this, but I understand why it was done. If developers want to make a game work in multiplayer, designing a game around fullscreen and splitscreen pretty much doubles the amount of work in many areas. Given that you’re mostly playing by using the warning signs to know when a turn is coming up, it’s not unplayable but it’s very claustrophobic.
One feature that might attract gear heads is the ability to alter your cars before each race. You can adjust things like downforce and suspension and really fine tune how the car will handle for the upcoming race. I’m not a car person, so figuring out exactly what a hard or soft tire did was beyond me. I also didn’t notice difference when I just randomly messed with things. I assume Battle Grand Prix actually models this stuff and it’s not a trick!
Battle Grand Prix isn’t a bad game, especially if you want to tune cars or have a multiplayer experience. But if you want a relaxed solo racing experience you should choose Cyber Spin every time.
Tomorrow: Claymates is the first of a weird number of Super Nintendo games obsessed with clay.