If the excitement of the real Formula 1 season has worn off already as you slip into a pattern of watching the start, being mildly disappointed there wasn’t a pile-up then turning it off after half an hour when they’ve all settled into their final positions for the rest of the race, then maybe you can dust off the Wii instead.
That’s nearly £7 cheaper than the next best price!
It’s slightly out of date now as the game came out late last year, but seeing as all the cars seem to handle the same, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
Wii gamers are pretty starved of decent racers (Mario Kart aside), and racing fans could certainly do worse than this effort from Sumo Digital and Codemasters. The whole race weekend experience is here if you want. Multiple practice and qualifying laps are all present along with a massive amount of tuning options. The only issue here is if you decide to go through all the qualifying there’s a good chance you’ll be sick of the sight of that track by the time you get to the actual race. Thankfully you can skip it all, at the cost of a low starting grid position.
The racing itself is supported by a decent range of handling options to make the game as easy or challenging as you want. The racing rules can be altered to decide how much punishment you’ll incur for hitting other drivers and racing conditions such as tire wear, refuelling, random component failure, damage, weather and flagging are all optional too. There’s also a useful option of a racing line to follow.
F1 2009 supports a variety of control setups. The Wiimote on its own (or slotted into the wheel) uses similar controls to Mario Kart. It’s just too sensitive to be honest, with only long gentle corners providing any cool moments and most problems arising when you’re trying to straighten out after a quick manoeuvre and instead fish-tailing across the track trying to find your centre again.
You can opt for the Wiimote and nunchuk option, steering with the analogue stick and accelerating with the awkwardly placed underside B button (hint: flip the Wiimote over and use your thumb on it). Gamecube pads aren’t an option (boo!), but you can use your Virtual Console controller if you don’t mind having to use the shoulder buttons to accelerate and break. For those hardcore Wii racer fans out there you’ll be happy to know the game supports the Logitech wheel too (really, you bought a proper wheel for the Wii?).
There are 75 challenges available that you’ll probably enjoy more than the season mode and there’s a two player split-screen option for multiplayer too. Ultimately F1 2009 is an entertaining racer if you take the time adapt to the controls and wean yourself off the driving aids. It serves as a nice warm-up for the main event of the next Formula 1 game on the PS3 and 360 but maybe not something for the Wii’s usual casual-gamer market.
Thanks to andywedge at HotUkDeals for the find.