Backlog Quest II: Day 25 – Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends – Needs more testing

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Dear Journal,

Today I got to drive some of the most iconic cars in Ferrari’s history.

Sadly it was mostly downhill after that.  Truth be told, up front right now, Ferrari Racing Legends shook me off pretty quickly and I didn’t complete the game’s story mode. It has a really solid idea behind it, but awkward controls and a very step difficulty curve will keep most casual racing game fans at an arm’s length.

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The game starts with you competing to be the next Ferrari test driver (and a little “ahh” moment comes to gamers who suddenly get the full title).  To do so you must place in an almost complete race in Ferrari’s first car. The fact that the game takes you back this far and isn’t just about driving the more modern cars is awesome; the fact that you start off almost half way through a race is just weird.

This first race is pretty much do or die for most gamers who pick up Ferrari Racing Legends.  Either you’ll get the controls or you won’t. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite a racing sim or an arcade racer; Ferrari Racing Legends kind of straddles the area in between and doesn’t really do either side justice. It doesn’t have the fun, sort of carefree driving experience you get with an arcade racer where you can just gun it down the track. That said, the controls are so imprecise that it lacks the realistic experience you would expect from a racing sim. Nowhere is this more evident than in the turns, where more often than not you have to practically come to a stop to not wipeout.

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I actually nailed the first level after my second attempt as I started to get a better feel for the turns and the handling, but what little bit of progress I thought I made went out the window with the second level. After trying roughly ten or so times to meet the necessary time to beat the level I already knew that even if I did I wouldn’t be playing Ferrari Racing Legends much longer.  It just isn’t my type of racing game, and it isn’t fun enough to draw me into it despite that.

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In the end I spent very little time with Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends and I’m not very sorry about that fact. This game has an audience, of that I have no doubt. Somewhere there are racing game fanatatics that want controls that take a lot of time to master, courses that offer a significant challenge and will also have far more appreciation for the Ferrari heritage on display here; I’m just not one of them and I’m betting most gamers aren’t either. This is one of those games I know that my score will enrage a few diehard fans and get mild shrugs of agreement from others; but it is tough to apply a review score to a game that you didn’t enjoy but you know damn well others might.

Tomorrow I take on one of my lowest rated games on CBR in a different format when I play Thor: God of Thunder for NDS.

Final Rating: 5.7/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: Can’t say for sure but I imagine it’s a time sink.
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: $16.99
Current Price: $20.53 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: If you really just want to try it, $9.99. If you’re an avid racing game fan maybe $14.99 range.
Why you should buy it: Great idea and if you have the patience to master it, probably fun.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Difficulty curve will shake off most gamers almost immediately.

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

Check out all the Backlog Quest II journal entries!

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.