Reviewed: November 14, 2008
Released: August 26, 2008
Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli is the Ferrari drivers dream come to the small screen handheld with plenty of tracks for a fairly decent racing sim. While the game does a good job in some respects a great game is just beyond reach with this Nintendo DS version of the Ferrari titled game.
While you have a decent variety of cars and a few good tracks this game boils down to racing with really tiny screens, but it works pretty good. Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli needs to get its name changed to something more pronounceable but it does have the official seal of approval from Ferrari right on the back.
Ferrari Challenge has a few varieties to how racing can be done but it all boils down to being able to get behind the drivers wheel and hug those corners on the small screen of the Nintendo DS. Ferrari Challenge does pretty good with driving but could have been better as the game is just not as exciting as the bigger consoles can make it.
The tutorial is a better idea with points earned by how well you brake, make corners and overtake others and deductions for crashing and off track driving but this is only during the tutorial. You get advancement and unlock more tracks and cars by winning races as well as winning cards but the card thing is a waste of time.
When you win these cards they have race cars on them with stats and you can play a game of card war with other players and compare your races with theirs with the better racecar and stats winning. This is merely a bragging right among friends with the game and really nothing else so we have the core game of racing on the small handheld, which is about average for a racing sim.
The graphics are average with a real curvy track and things looking about how you would expect on the smaller screen but looking good overall. Colors are decent but the track while driving is kind of blocky when going around turns and this gives you a fairly bad idea of how fast to take corners.
The world you see is about average with very little detail but some things look better than others like overhead girders and bridge work looking fairly good. Other things like car damage was completely left out and the actual surfaces like concrete of the track looks pretty good while the off road gravel looks more like balls of cheese coming out from your tires than gravel.
The sky is a decent looking backdrop that does move with your driving so they did an overall good job with all the various parts of the onscreen world but not the lower screen with the speedometer and map. The lower screen with your map, speedometer and car positions could have been better laid out with a little better position for your map and not your speedometer.
It is more important in my opinion to see the map and upcoming turns as well as positioning than the speed but you have the map at the lower part of the screen with your gauges closer to the middle bar of the Nintendo DS between the screens. This means you have further to move your eyes to see the map and those upcoming turns as well as other cars positions.
Sound is pretty good with somewhat realistic sounding engine noises but squealing tires and crashing bending metal is kind of a disappointment. They of course had little choice and had to keep the sound as low key as possible and it does sound pretty god the Nintendo DS.
You have the basic unlock system where you win races and unlock other tracks but that about does it for the racing sim game. There are no engine options or tire changes to have slicker or stickier tires so you are on a very even footing with the AI or other players.
Each race after the tutorial is a simple race against the clock with the same car types and everything else the same except the color and car number. The tutorial is the most exciting thing here but for those dedicated race fans you may enjoy this some.
Ferrari Challenge does have some good tracks and a wide variety of layouts so you do get a good variety for racing others but without being able to customize your cars at all there is not much here. Once you have completed the tracks available racing against others is about all you’ll have and that will probably pale quickly.
With how difficult the game is to judge corners and the lack of realistic racing like the consoles, Ferrari Challenge is not a really great game; merely a decent one. Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli might be a better game to rent and not purchase just to see how well you like it.