FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 (PC) Review

By Athanasios 28.12.2015

Review for FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 on PC

Polish developer SoftPlanet is one amongst the thousands of companies that specialises in publishing/developing generic freeware and shareware budget titles - something that, on most occasions, translates to shovelware. Surprisingly enough, FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 is not such a product. While, undoubtedly, not an EA Sports triple-A production, it's fine-tuned as much as could be hoped, and, even better, it manages to deliver the thrill of the game as best as possible. The fact that it leans more on the realm of simulation, however, will probably put off many a gamer, but is that its only problem?

From the "built for engine-tweaking junkies" Grand Turismo 6, to the ultimate couch party Mario Kart 8, most racing video games are pretty much the same, with the ones that deviate from the standard formula usually being those that, #1: tend to be more simulation-heavy, and, #2: deal with a less popular form of racing, such as motorcycle speedway. While FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 isn't a pure simulation game, it's anti-casual to the bone - something that will be evident to newcomers, whether they are experienced with motorcycle racers or not.

The opponent AI is merciless even on the lowest difficulty setting, but the challenge mostly lies in the intricacies of riding a speedway dirt bike, along with the very strict refereeing at hand, which expels anyone for falling down, touching a contestant more than needed, causing a collision, or touching the white tape a millisecond too soon. The available control modes are Simulation and Arcade, and yet, even with the latter one, handling the bike and trying not to fall or crush will give nightmares to many, but, luckily, the controls are just somewhat hard to learn, yet far - very far - from broken.

Even after getting comfortable with the bike, the unimpressive look of a speedway course may discourage most gamers, although they are actually a perfect example of how looks can be deceiving. All tracks are simple ovals with zero elevation, and with the only difference between them being their length, width, and type of dirt or gravel used. While in text all this might look like useless information, the physics here are quite realistic, making everything actually matter - and bear in mind a fascinating detail: the tracks actually change while racing on them, forcing the one holding the gamepad to try and adapt.

Screenshot for FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 on PC

Is FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 (boy, that's a mouthful) entertaining, though? Fortunately, the answer is: quite a lot. For starters, matches - or "heats" - last about 55 seconds, never letting the whole thing become an "Are we there yet?-kind of endurance trial. Furthermore, the action in these few moments can get quite intense; first, because of the aforementioned challenge, and second, due to the constant changing of positions - or the fact that it's quite easy to lose concentration on the very last bend, touch the border line while trying to powerslide as precisely as possible, and then get excluded from the round.

In conclusion: besides the fact that the difficulty isn't exactly everyone's cup of gasoline, this will put a big scary smile on genre aficionados, and those really into the sport will appreciate the level of attention that has been given, with everything from the outfits of the riders, the shouting crowd, and the distant stadium lights, to the "blinding" sun and the way the bikes fill the view with dust, managing to create quite an immersive experience - apart from the announcer, that is, whose job definition must be "start talking and never, ever dare to stop!"

Unfortunately, the one true flaw here might also be the worst thing that could happen to SoftPlanet's creation, and that is the lack of content. There's a single Season mode where points are gathered across 10+ events and where money can be acquired in order to buy - or repair - the tools of the trade, and then there's the self-explanatory Single Event and Single Heat modes, where further tracks can be unlocked by winning points… and that's it. Can the simple joy of playing erase that flaw? When everything can be experienced at least two times and in a very small amount of days, the answer simply becomes: no.

Screenshot for FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

For some, football is just a silly game where 22 men are chasing a ball, while for others it is the Queen of Sports. The same thing applies to motorcycle speedway, which may not be as popular as motocross, supercross, or superbike racing, but it's the most sensational pastime for its fans - apart from the umbrella girls, of course. In other words, those not really in the sport might find FIM Speedway Grand Prix 15 boring, forgettable, and even irritating due to its high level of challenge and attention to protocol. The real problem, though, is that, while it's a fine piece of software that will surely entertain speedway "connoisseurs" with its adrenaline-pumping heats and capturing of the stadium's mood, it is way too light on content to be considered something more than a great weekend rental.

Developer

SoftPlanet

Publisher

SoftPlanet

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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