#403 Ferrari F355 Challenge

Posted: 17th December 2012 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

202nd played so far

Genre: Driving
Platform: Arcade/Dreamcast
Year of Release: 1999
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega

So a few months ago (at the time you read this, that is), we went to Disneyland Paris. A nice diversion that turned out to be an amazing time off. The stories about that are for another time, but one thing we found is that they have a lot of arcades there.

We checked, of course, out of curiousity mostly, and mostly didn’t find much. Until, that is, we exited Star Tours and (OMG) saw a surprising Ferrari F355 Challenge game! We, of course, immediately got our tokens and (after waiting for the five year old Italian girl to get out), sat down to play it. For most of it we did so being observed by that same five year old girl. I like to think we converted one.

Our Thoughts

I’ll be honest – we probably could have played this slightly more, but Disney was just too distracting (SPACE MOUNTAIN AT 11 PM YO!). At the same time, while I don’t want to say all driving games are the same, they do have many things in common.

So let’s look at the differences. First, like Sega Rally Championship, you are in the car. This time, this is displayed with three screens and a slightly more immersive surrounding, which is quite cool (which is as close to feeling that you are in an actual car that has ever really been done… motion controls included). There’s an optional gear change and steering wheel that pushes back. There’s also a few nice helpful buttons – ABS can be enabled or disabled with a push on a button. It’s quite nice and cool, something we’ve seen in arcades before, but it feels a bit better executed here.

The game’s quite difficult to play and complete, where you’re expected to finish races within a very tight time limit that we couldn’t afford to achieve in the time and money limitations we had. One helpful money waster is the tutorial mode. Rather than having opponents to race against, you get an empty track with the ideal route marked out. A good way to practice (a token at a time, each one priced at €2).

Still, the quality of the simulation is quite good, feeling accurate (I did feel like I was driving again, which was slightly unnerving), but the helper options helped a lot with that. Worth a try for that… just not to go to France for.

A year after the arcade release this saw an acclaimed release on the Dreamcast (the then the PS2 two years after that).. so we could have actually made it easier on ourselves but we wanted to play the original.

Final Thoughts

One reason we were overjoyed to find this game was that it means that there are only 1-2 games that we absolutely have to play in an arcade setting due to specialist arcade cabinets. This may not seem like a big deal really but it really does now mean that there is only one that we have a possible chance of never finding… DAMN YOU NOKIA!

Still, as part of the Peter 50 it is nice to cross off a few more of these difficult games like how we did with Steel Batallion and Beatmania in the last batch. So if any reader knows of a decent pub containing a Golden Tee Live machine is…?