Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing for Genesis (1993)

Original ad published in "KC Joe Montana" issue of Sega Force 
(1993, a supplement to EGM).
Press to view or download image in higher resolution. 

A vexing F1 game on Sega’s 16-bitter

Nigel Mansell was the best racing driver in the world when Gametek released Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing for Genesis in 1993. The sport itself had achieved massive popularity and the video game arena would see one after another list of products with some tie-in to the F1 to capitalise on this popularity.

This was the era of Mansell, but also of F1 greats Senna, Prost, Berger, Alesi, Hakkinen, Piquet and a very young Shumacher. “Il Leone” himself would achieve great popularity after fantastic races with brit outfit Williams, going to Ferrari and the coming back to Williams to win the 1992 World Championship. Mansell would then jump to the Indy Car World Series and win that championship on the very same year! To this day, he remains the only driver to complete such a record.

So you would except the Genesis game bearing his name to be as awesome as him. But that would be wrong, because the Genesis version of the game looked and sounded incredibly dated when it was released in 1993. Super Monaco GP (1990) it was not. Instead, gamers where presented with a third-person view of the car and what seem like impossibly hard difficulty levels.

Not so strangely, the Super NES version of Mansell Racing looks and sounds much better. It features a first-person driving mode, à la Monaco GP, that actually lets you handle the incredible sense of speed a F1 car produces.  

It’s very posible that now defunct company Gametek, famous for bringing games like Wheel of Fortune (1987) and Double Dare (1990) to the NES, considered Mansell a subpar product and completely eliminated their racing game screens from the ad you see here. It does have an awesome picture of Mansell’s car. This is without doubt the most aesthetic period in the history of F1 car design. They would later be modified to be narrower and lose the incredible “fat” presentation you see here.

Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing for Genesis print ad copy

Built for Speed.

Hold your engines and pour on the coal as you hit the track with the greatest name in World Championship racing. Nigel Mansell. You’re in control. You’ve got the machine. But can you handle it?  Try rough weather, a mean track and competition that won’t quit. Or, go for one-on-one pointers from Mansell and have the track all to yourself while you practice the moves of a master. Then, check in for the big one.  And, don’t forget your crash helmet.


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