|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Data Design Inc.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Like so many titles for the Wii, Classic British Motor Racing has great potential. The thought of racing classic European cars just like those you see in Hollywood movies is definitely appealing. But again, like so many titles for the Wii, this title just doesn't follow through. Classic British Motor Racing suffers from poor control, meager visuals, and just doesn't deliver the type of high-octane thrills that would be appropriate for the exciting and unique world of British racing.
One of the biggest outright flaws that are immediately visible in Classic British Motor Racing is the absolute lack of any variance in gameplay. There are only three modes in the game, and they are all basically the same. There's a single race mode, time trial, and challenge mode. Single race is essentially free play mode, and allows you to select any car and track you've unlocked, and then race against either five A.I. opponents or one human with four other A.I. opponents. Time Trial mode is exactly what you would expect, and lets you master different time records using the various cars and tracks available to you. The final mode, Championship mode, is the closest thing this game has to a linear experience, and it has different tournaments to compete in. Each tournament consists of several tracks, and success will result in unlocking the majority of your unlockable cars and tracks. The only saving grace results when you unlock new modes through going through these different modes. But unfortunately, these modes also tread on familiar territory and offer nothing truly exciting.
In addition to unlocking different modes of play, you'll also be able to unlock different tracks and cars. There's about twenty different tracks and about the same number of cars to unlock as well. Most of the cars that you will unlock will be of the golden era of British racing, and feature classics like the Triumph Spitfire and the Austin Mini Cooper. Each car that you unlock will come with three pre-loaded paint jobs that you can switch out to suit your stylistic preference. And while the selection of cars is somewhat dynamic, the real tragedy here is that every car essentially handles the same. Generally in modern automotive games, you strive to earn the best car so that you can tackle harder courses. Not so in Classic British Motor Racing. Unlocking different cars in this series only serves to satisfy car aficionados who appreciate the ability to use the coolest classic British cars in a game setting. And this is not a bad thing for that select crowd. But it is a bad thing for those who crave a deeper racing experience.
The unlocked tracks are also an aesthetic gain more than anything. Although you'll unlock different locales from areas all over Great Britain, from Scotland to Wales, all of these areas look remarkably the same. A green/ grey color palate, a few rocks, and a few clouds, and you have a one-size-fits-all track that only requires the smallest modification to transform into a different track. Of course, they're all not completely the same, and you might see some distinguishing landmarks across the tracks, but on the whole, the similarity between the different tracks outweighs the differences