Image of the article titled Circuit Superstars Is Charming, Old School Isometric Racing Fun

Picture: Original fire games

Top-to-bottom runners are experiencing some kind of renaissance lately, between last year’s independent darling The art of rallying and Rush Rally Origins, which goes for a more realistic interpretation of the isometric style. I admit that the perspective from above has never been my favorite way to play racing games, so I tend to stay away from the sub-genre. But the original fire is Circuit Superstars, which left Early Access on Tuesday, took hold in my heart in a way that none of his contemporaries have yet.

Circuit Superstars is available now on Xbox and To smoke for $ 20. Full Disclosure: Square Enix, the game’s publisher, sent me a code over the weekend. It’s a very simple concept – a downhill racer with elegantly simple but not too sweet visuals, made up of 12 vehicles / disciplines and 19 courses, covering specially designed circuits and rallycross venues. The bread and butter solo mode, Grand Prix, is a Mario kart-Style affair composed of championships in four races. Online and offline multiplayer is also present, and the game even includes real-time fuel consumption and tire wear if you want a more serious endurance experience from your charming independent racer.

Image of the article titled Circuit Superstars Is Charming, Old School Isometric Racing Fun

Screenshot: Original fire games

One of the things I found particularly shocking The art of rallying was the juxtaposition between its calming visuals and its incredibly steep learning curve. In this game, the momentum of weight transfer is essential to ride on that edge of grip and manage oversteer. It’s nice to do it right, but it’s so easy to go wrong. The fact that the corners that lie ahead are never obvious given the isometric perspective doesn’t help make that balance easy to find. In all honesty I have found The art of rallying more difficult to compete with than the most punitive simulation racers.

Circuit Superstars is a much more accommodating affair, as the physics are responsive enough that you can make those instantaneous changes of direction that are necessary when you first start playing and you are bewildered by the inability to see an approaching turn. Still, the game can test you in other ways. The AI ​​is fast – I’ve only been able to win races on the second easiest Pro-Am difficulty so far – and the endurance racing elements add a bit of strategy to the mix. He’s also not afraid to penalize you for abusing the track limits or gaining an advantage in a crash, like a real sim.

Screenshot: Original fire games

There is a Top speed– a themed time trial event going on right now, with the famous test track and a leaderboard filled with names from the motorsport and racing games community, including Lando Norris, Charlie Martin, and Jimmy Broadbent. And this is possibly the toughest circuit in the game, due to the proximity of those tire walls at all times and the narrowness of some corners, like Hammerhead.

Image of the article titled Circuit Superstars Is Charming, Old School Isometric Racing Fun

Screenshot: Original fire games

So Circuit Superstars exists in this weird space to be indulgent, but not as much as you might think for a cutesy runner, while still looking absolutely charming. The art style here isn’t revolutionary – it doesn’t stray so far from the low-poly aesthetic of contemporaries like Hunting on the horizon, for example. But there are aspects that I love, like the shimmering surface of the lakes surrounding the track, the long shadows cast by the landscape and the patches of asphalt that glow when the sun hits them. only law. Oh, and the pit crew are changing tires quickly and that’s maybe the cutest thing I’ve seen in any video game all year.

Circuit Superstars is like a comfortable motorsport diorama, endearing enough that I put aside my philosophical issues with isometric racers and find myself in rock-solid battles with AI. If you fancy some old-fashioned racing fun that’s easy to learn and hard to master, this is worth a try.


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