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28 Jun 2023

REVIEW: Formula Retro Racing - World Tour on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
A few years ago Formula Retro Racing was released, and I reviewed it on Xbox, I called it the spiritual successor to Virtua Racing. Well fast forward to 2023 and we have a sequel called Formula Retro Racing - World Tour.

Let's take a look at the official blurb.

"Players can drive, drift and draft their way across 18 unique tracks, including Japan, London and Paris. Multiple gameplay modes provide hours upon hours of replayability, with corners to master and endless lap times to overcome through the online leaderboards. This expanded sequel also adds new vehicle types to the mix, each with their own distinctive feel and handling properties.

Low-poly models and assets now look crisper than ever before thanks to 4K visuals and 60fps performance. Every aspect of the game has been designed with performance in mind, ensuring a consistent feel as players dive headfirst into corners at breakneck speeds. It's retro gaming as players remember it, but with a modern twist.

Relive the glory days of sharing the settee with 4-player split-screen in Formula Retro Racing: World Tour's multiplayer mode. Players can take the clean driving line, draft behind competitors or take the chaotic route and push friends into the wall  - just remember, the only place that matters is first.

For those looking to add an additional dimension to their racing experience, Formula Retro Racing: World Tour is also fully playable in VR. Incredibly immersive, and not for the faint of heart, this mode allows players to experience the thrill of racing from the most authentic point of view, the cockpit."

Since I am playing this on a Nintendo Switch Lite, I have not been able to try out the VR mode!

At first you might not notice much difference between this and the previous game, the menu looks the same, the graphics are basically the same, but there are some differences, the main ones being new tracks and a new set of drift cars. Everything else is pretty much the same as the previous game.

I have to admit I tried the drift cars first, and they just felt a bit strange to play with. Feels like they may have been tacked on at the end just to add something different. I quickly went back to what I know best, that being the regular racing cars. 5 to chose from, from F1 style to Le Mans style. They all pretty much handle the same though, although there are slight differences in cornering and braking, but nothing that felt major. Once you choose your car, you can change its colour, and away you go.

Racing is very straight forward, no turbos or boosts, just basic racing, but keep an eye on your damage gauge, if not you might explode.

4 racing modes, Arcade, Grand Prix, Eliminator and Free Practice. 18 tracks in total.

The game plays just as well as the first game, it is good fun, the tracks look great in their low polygon style. The eliminator mode is still the most fun.

The only question that remains, is if this game has improved enough over the original for it to be worth purchasing.

The Good
Fun little arcade racing game, that could have come right out of the 1990s. The graphics are awesomely retro. The soundtrack is very 8bit which I like.

The Bad
The addition of the drift cars, although a nice idea, did not cut it for me, after a few goes using those cars, I had lost interest and went back to the regular racing cars. Since that is the main addition, it is slightly disappointing.

Drift cars but no drift mode? Car damage but no demolition mode?

First of all this game is 100% an improvement over the original, more tracks, more cars, leader boards, multiplayer grand prix events. But I am not sure it offers enough to make it a proper sequel, it feels more like an update, or DLC content than a seperate new game.

If you don't have the original, then this is worth a shot, it is a lot of fun, looks and plays great. If you do have the original though, I am not sure if this offers enough for you to buy it. 

I score Formula Retro Racing - World Tour on Nintendo Switch a safe 7/10. Just expected more after 2 years.

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