First Impressions: G.G Series: Drift Circuit

Drift on outta here

Nothing is perfect, not even the G.G. Series. We figured there had to be at least one dud in this assortment of budget-priced slices of arcade fun and this is definitely it. From the screenshots you'd think you're going to be playing a fun overhead racer like Moto Roader or Super Sprint – a notion reinforced by the fact that there's nine tracks included – but you'd be sadly mistaken.

There are three different race circuits of three tracks each, creatively titled Easy, Normal and Hard. You control one of five cars on the track, always starting in last place and attempting to work your way into first, lest your game end in failure. Regardless of difficulty you'll find that winning the race isn't that tough because your car is faster than all the rest with the actual challenge coming from navigating the bends in the tracks, but you can do it thanks to the ability to drift around corners, steadily overtaking other cars through the three laps of each race in the circuit.

The controls are pretty basic: Left and Right on the D-Pad steers your car, though given the camera orientation never changes this can be confusing after you turn a couple bends and are driving towards the bottom of the screen. B accelerates, Y brakes and double-tapping Left or Right causes your car to drift in that direction for as long as you hold the button.

Doesn't sound too bad, but there's a couple of things that temper the excitement, the first being the speed, as in there isn't any. It's like racing a golf cart against a bunch of Sunday drivers operating milk floats – your main obstacle to getting through a course will be an inability to focus due to boredom. This would be bad enough, but brushing against walls or touching other vehicles will practically stop you in your tracks. It's incredibly frustrating just overtaking another car, let alone drifting around a corner (which is necessary because you have the turning radius of a city bus otherwise), reducing the pacing of the game even more, if that's even possible.

After you've finished the three tracks, the circuit repeats, though why you'd want to keep playing is quite beyond us. More difficult circuits offer more convoluted courses with more bends, though the speed of the cars never changes. Given the fact that your opponents aren't any challenge, Drift Circuit ends up feeling more like a timed maze run than a racing game and probably would have been more successful were it to avoid the pretence of being one.