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Indianapolis 500 Legends Review

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Developer: Torus Games Publisher: Destineer
Release Date: December 18, 2007 Also On: Nintendo DS

Hello and welcome to the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500. You are watching ABC. We are about to get underway here on a beautiful Memorial Day in the capital city of Indiana. Here we go. And they’re off! Wait, number 16 appears to be having engine problems. His car is not starting. Horrible news for this racer. And at turn one we have a crash! Tires are flying into the stands, cars are flipping over and… Oh no, we have a burst of flames in the grass. What a horrible start to today’s Indianapolis 500.

That is a summary of Indianapolis 500 Legends. This game fails to get started and when it does, it crashes and burns on turn one. Racing fans do not ask for much. Competent physics, eye-catching graphics, tight controls, adrenaline pumping speed and a fun multi-player experience. Indianapolis 500 Legends has none of that, except for the tight controls. How could the developers have failed to deliver on every key element of a racing game? Beats me, especially considering they had one track to replicate.

The basic idea behind this game is you can race in era-specific vehicles along the most famous track in the racing circuit. The Indianapolis 500 is the most famous racing event in history and continues to be to this day. Indianapolis 500 Legends is packed with history. It includes classic race cars, videos and so on. If you are a fan of the race then you will find yourself in heaven. Unfortunately, the game itself suffers from all of the ailments I outlined above and more. Props for the extra content, but this is a game, not a documentary on the Indianapolis 500.

For starters, there is no real sense of speed. This is a common complaint you will find in bad racing games. Using vehicles from various time periods, the developers of Indianapolis 500 Legends have a convenient excuse: cars did not go as fast in the 1960s and 70s (the time periods where you will spend the most of your time). This may be true, but I still can not tell the difference between 50 MPH and 100 MPH. That is a big downside in a racing game.

Let me be clear about the creativity score I gave this game. It is based on how the game controls. Usually this is not a factor in a creativity score, but since this is the Wii, it only makes sense. There is nothing overly innovative about an Indianapolis 500 racer. It has been done before countless times. Rarely do you see racing games with a single track and even rarer one that has little to no sound when you are racing. That said, this game controls nicely and could be a template for future racing games on the system. The controls are tight and responsive. Just what I want from a racing game. I have to give the developers credit for their work. Good job with the controls.

Lastly, let us look at graphics and sound. As far as sound goes, I hope you like the sound of engines. That is about all you will hear. There definitely is no EA Trax equivalent in budget racers. The graphics are actually worse than the sound. I heard stories of Wii games that have bad graphics. Far Cry Vengeance is one of them. It would be slightly unfair to compare Indianapolis 500 Legends to a Nintendo 64 game, yet it is pretty damn close. This could easily run on the Nintendo DS. There is no detail in the cars, the crowd or backgrounds. While other games perfect lighting, shadow and weather techniques, Indianapolis 500 Legends struggles to get down the basics.

Let me be clear: hardcore fans of the Indianapolis 500 may like this game. It is intended almost solely for them, anyway. Who else would be interested in racing around the same oval, except in different era automobiles? That said, fatal flaws are abundant in this game. The best I can say about Indianapolis 500 Legends is that it controls extremely well. I hope Mario Kart Wii is just as good in this department. That is where the comparisons to Mario Kart end. This is one of the worst racing games you will ever play.

Graphics: 1
Sound: 3
Gameplay: 4
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 3
Final: 3.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide