Review by DandyQuackShot
A Great Indy Racing Game
Trumped by age and NASCAR, Indy Racing 2000 is a rare racing game for the Nintendo 64 that does a superb job in recreating the Indy racing experience. The Indy Racing League itself seems to fly under the radar with NASCAR taking over the summer racing season while only the Indy 500 gets the most of the spotlight. Even Danica Patrick has switched sides for the most part and moved over to NASCAR. Indy Racing 2000 covers the 1999 season races with the top drivers of that season and featuring the championship calendar with all of the major races.
Some of the first things you will notice that are wrong with Indy Racing 2000 are that you cannot crash your way out of a race or get disqualified. If you have ever been to an Indy race or watched one on tv before you will notice that when these cars wreck they virtually disintegrate. During the 1999 season this led to a very bad tragedy at the Visionaire 500 race at Charlotte. A crash stopped the entire race after a tire flew into the crowd killing a few people. Indy racing was effectlively ended at the Charlotte Motor Speedway after this incident but the infamous race is featured in this game as part of the season. Anyway when you crash in Indy Racing 2000, your car will be damaged but you will only lose speed and have to pit to get your car repaired.
The racing game play is very easy to get used to as the steering is easy to handle even at top speeds. The F-1's are designed to drive like go karts so taking turns is much easier than a NASCAR racer. In Indy races a lot of cars will get lapped a lot so you have to deal with many cars virtually sitting on the race track while you have to avoid running into the back of them. It is easy to catch up and the race length can be set as far up as 200 laps so you get a very realistic experience if you have the patience to run a realistic race.
Championships can be customized to short or normal lengths and you will race a regular season with the ability to practice a track, qualify, and race against a full field. You can also do a career mode in which you race small spint cars and work your way up to racing Indy cars and that is a very fun mode. A multiplayer mode allows you to race head to head with another player.
The graphics are not so shabby for a Nintendo 64 racing game. The race tracks are modeled after the real ones and the only the graphics do not capitalize on are the details such as the decals on the F-1's and other minor details. The music and sound are great. You have an announcer along with a spotter to tell you what is up ahead on the radio. If you were a fan of the arcade racing simulators, Indy Racing 2000 does a very good job of recreating the excitment of that era on the console. Various camera views work some fun magic on the experience as you can race in first person and use the C-buttons to catch some quick and neat side views while you are racing.
Final Recommendation 9/10
Indy Racing 2000 definitely takes the checkered flag as the best Indy racing game on the Nintendo 64. With the recreation of the actual tracks and drivers this is a game worth collecting even if you are not a big Indy racing fan.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Indy Racing 2000 (US, 05/30/00)
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