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Au Revoir, Speed Limits: GTI Club+ Reviewed


                                                                               There will be air. Lots of it.

While the multicore processors in today’s now-gen consoles have the power to accurately model real-world physics, this wasn’t always the case. Ten years ago, racing games were built upon simplistic, and often exaggerated, rule sets. Players would apply a few basic skills to outrace the competition, practice until proficient, and then emerge victorious. It is interesting to note that while early attempts at simulation such as Porsche Challenge haven’t aged gracefully, more arcade-like diversions such as Motor Toon Grand Prix and Re-Volt still hold entertainment value.

So when we heard that Konami was releasing GTI Club+ as a downloadable title for the PS3, we were filled with eager anticipation. However, after a few hours of play, we can’t help but feel slightly disappointed by the title. Sure, the title is an enhanced port of the 1996 arcade game, complete with remixed music and a handful of additional options. But some of the de facto gameplay mechanics of a dozen years ago seem dreadfully outdated in an age of Burnout Paradise and Midnight Club Los Angeles.


                                               No, officer- I’ve never been to Amsterdam. Why do you ask?

Unlike most racers that literally stay grounded, GTI Club+ sends players hurting through the air at regular intervals. While this could have been the basis for a captivating play mechanic, the game’s narrow walls remove any sense of danger or experimentation. On the easiest level, one track contains a steep, rollercoaster-like drop. Veer too far off the left side, and you’ll bounce off an invisible wall. With the game’s emphasis on airtime and thin streets, play initially feels clumsy and unpolished. Gradually, the player will master the title’s racing lines, and subsequently, it’s quirks.

While there was speculation of the game having a single track to race on, this information is not entirely correct. GTI Club+ offers players a single city, with multiple levels of difficulty. More challenging races offer an increased number of junctions, testing players familiarity with the track layout. Ultimately, the game’s challenge is about consistently lowering your lap times; players who obsess over racing lines will likely find the greatest value in the title.


                                    This summer travel Air France. Or just stay home with your Playstation 3.

GTI Club+ received a respectable graphical overhaul in its absence; the game’s cars and environments look sufficiently detailed and exquisitely colored. The game’s setting along the French Rivera, with its green palms, azure skies, and inviting waters is a beauty to behold. The game should be locked at 60 fps, but drops the intermittent frame around busy corners.

Unlike the racing games of yesteryear, GTI Club+ completely omits an option for split-screen multiplay. Instead, the developers have added 8 player online racing, team-play, and an amusing game variation called bomb-tag, where players transit an explosive charge to adjacent foes. Players with a Playstation Eye can record a number of still images for online play, while masochists can enjoy Sixaxis steering.

Overall, GTI Club+ is an amazingly faithful port of a twelve year old arcade racer. Many fans that have trained on contemporary racing games might be perplexed by this offering; the game’s old school sensibilities may be lost on them. Others, who relish shaving microseconds off lap times, or long for a time when racers were delightfully simple, will find merit in this title.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

33 comments

  1. Did this come out before or after…

    DAYTOOOONNNNA?

  2. Is this out? I never heard of it.

  3. What about the old Test Drive series? Thats was early sim! I had it on the Amiga.

  4. Looks good for a DLC game.

  5. It’s half the price of Wipeout HD, but is it half as good?

  6. Yep, came out last week or the week before.

  7. What the hell does Au Revoir mean?

  8. Pretty sure, no.

  9. French for goodbye.

    How much is the game? You left that out.

  10. A 12 year old racing game that no one has ever heard of?

    WHY just WHY?

  11. Blue Elf Needs Food

    $10

  12. Looks like the game has insane air from the pics. No Japanese or American cars?

  13. Foreign language titles? C’mon you should have to have a college degree to enjoy this site.

    Not that i won’t get one, but I’m 15.

  14. Cars look very good. Is it me or does GTA5 Prologue not feature realistic racing? GRID seems realer to me.

  15. Great draw distance in that bottom pic.

  16. It it ever drops to $5 I’ll probably pick it up. $10 is a bit too much .

  17. Good review.

  18. Great sky textures.

  19. It’s about $5 too much.

  20. I might have to give this a try.

  21. I’m into old school racing every once in a while.

  22. Hows the sense of speed?

  23. I remember the car engine sounds being more louder in the arcade version.

  24. I hear there some DLC coming for this.

  25. I honest don’t remember the arcade game.

  26. Au Revoir ten francs.

  27. How much did Microsoft give you to review the game so low?

  28. Someone sitting a bit too close to their TV set.

  29. Wow, those cars do catch a lot of air!

  30. One million MS points.

  31. I might have to pick this up.

  32. like the game has insane air from the pics. No Japanese or American cars?vintage crystal chandelier