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F1 Race Stars Aims To Scratch Your Mario Kart Itch On Wii U This Christmas

Posted by Damien McFerran

Cartoon racer is exclusive to the eShop in Europe and North America

Codemasters has revealed that F1 Race Stars: Powered Up Edition will be racing onto the Wii U eShop this December in both Europe and North America.

The title was announced many months ago and was assumed to be getting a retail release, but it then mysteriously dropped off the radar everywhere except Japan, where it hit stores shelves in June. However, Codemasters has confirmed today that the game is still coming to the Wii U in the west, and will be exclusive to the eShop.

Based on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions which launched in 2012, F1 Race Stars contains super-deformed representations of famous drivers such as Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and current world champion Sebastian Vettel, who last weekend secured his fourth driver's title at just 26 years of age. The game itself is based on the 2012 F1 season, so it's not as up-to-date as some might like (Michael Schumacher is still driving for Mercedes, for example).

15 circuits are promised, and Wii U owners can look forward to exclusive new features such as racing as your Mii and using the GamePad as a steering wheel. You can also use the controller's screen as a map or enjoy the game entirely on the pad via off-TV play. Although the game is based on real-life sporting personalities, the gameplay is very much like Mario Kart, with weapons, speed boosts and fantasy tracks to drive around.

We've had to wait quite a while for this game to arrive on Nintendo's console in the west, but the new Wii U elements could make it a worthwhile purchase. Will you be revving your engine when release day arrives, especially now that Mario Kart 8 is coming the wrong side of Christmas? Let us know by posting a comment below.

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User Comments (33)

GazPlant

#1

GazPlant said:

So this is what, 2 years out of date by Xmas? Is it even worth releasing now?

mike_intv

#2

mike_intv said:

Two big questions are cost and file size?
For $20 (USD), I might give the North American version a go. Of course, it appears that i am going to have to buy that hard drive soon.

Nico07

#3

Nico07 said:

This is I'm sure not anything like Mario Kart, but depending on the price I may just pick it up. I've played through most of Most Wanted U and perhaps this could hold me over until Mario Kart 8 is out (April 25th according to UK retailer). I can't wait!

Pachterkid

#4

Pachterkid said:

I scratched my Mario Kart 8 itch by buying a PS3 this last summer along with ModNation Racers. In fact, Sony has been the cure to the majority of my gaming itches lately (RPG = Tales of Xillia, tired of waiting for Bayonetta 2 = DmC, Need for Speed: Most Wanted U constantly freezing = Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, etc.)

The Wii U sucks and is going to be destroyed by the PS4 and Xbox One. The Wii U is the worst system that I have ever owned in 22 years of gaming.

Neogaard

#5

Neogaard said:

@Pachterkid so did you scratch by playing Sonic Allstars R-T for Wii U?
Damn good game, just wish there would be loads of people playing it online.

WiiLovePeace

#7

WiiLovePeace said:

I'm somewhat interested in this game, depending on price & if it has online multiplayer or not. Though I'll probably just stick with Sonic Racing Transformed.

Edit: Just found out it doesn't have online multiplayer. Bummer, I'll pass then.

Chris77

#8

Chris77 said:

Good price and I'll take it. As close to an F1 racer as we'll get on the Wii U. High price and forget about it.

rjejr

#9

rjejr said:

"the gameplay is very much like Mario Kart, with weapons, speed boosts and fantasy tracks to drive around."

I played the demo on PS3 way back when. The thing that turned me off - and makes it very UNlike Mario - is that there is no drift mechanic. It's really weird playing a racing game that looks like a kart game but won't let you drift.

Here's the review from last year, hope it's ok I think he works here.

http://www.pushsquare.com/reviews/ps3/f1_race_stars

willobee

#11

willobee said:

@rjejr It is really weird at first, but instead of drifting it uses KERS on certain turns where you tap the gas to build up boost. It's a creative way to make a boost system using F1 concepts... seeing as those cars don't really spend much time drifting.

rjejr

#12

rjejr said:

@willobee - Thanks for the info. I figured they didn't put drift in there b/c it was an F1 game, but it looks like a kart game, and I spent a lot of time in the demo trying to drift, and it drove me crazy that no matter how I drove or what buttons I pushed the car wouldn't drift (and I'm easily aggravated to begin with). So I just wanted to give people a head's up.

I'm sure I would have gotten used to it if need be, but Sonic meant I didn't have to. And LBP Karting.

SirMime

#14

SirMime said:

This is another one of those games I was really looking forward to trying months ago, but I just don't know if I'll get around to it now with the current back-log of games + the other releases in the next month or so. Think I've already got enough to last till Mario Kart 8 at the moment.

Shiryu

#15

Shiryu said:

...uh!? I wanted to buy this on physical media. Y_Y It's "Hokuto no Ken" all over again...

Samurai_Goroh

#18

Samurai_Goroh said:

This will have to compete with Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed on the wallets of many, which can already be found pretty cheap.
Anyone who wants an early fix of Mario Kart-ness, should really get All Stars, it's really good.

Dogpigfish

#20

Dogpigfish said:

Still playing Sonic Racing all stars transformed; great game. These seem to have a lot of life and they've been in hd longer than Mario Kart. I'll enjoy Mario kart, but this developer knows what their doing with sonic.

Mallard

#21

Mallard said:

Remember kids when you buy something with F1 in the title, bernie ecclestone gets money, and every time you give him money a kitten dies! the man is evil!

taffy

#23

taffy said:

Hmmm, maybe they're trying to recover losses what with F1 2013 selling only 160,000 units on the XBOX 360 and PS3 COMBINED!
Be as pumped as you want but I really think this next gen is going to see a shrink in market penetration. If these Dev's are so pumped then why are Titan Fall, Wolfenstien, AC 4, Watchdogs, Fifa, Madden, NBA, 2K14, Battlefield 4, Need for Speed Rivals and Destiny all coming out for both current AND next-gen.

brandonbwii

#24

brandonbwii said:

@everyone
That may have been a trollish statement by @pachterkid but there is some truth, well opinionated truth, to his rant. It's been forever since I played Wii U. I recently played Batman but that's not everyone's cup of tea. Only PS3 and 3DS are there to comfort me at the moment.

Daz-brum

#25

Daz-brum said:

I have the PS3 games and its not a bad racer but no where near as good as Mario Kart. I def will get this though as we need more games on the WiiU.

Link41x

#27

Link41x said:

Who cares about F1 Racing? Exclusive to the eShop in NA? That just killed any chance of sales for that game.

sinalefa

#28

sinalefa said:

@Pachterkid

So if you bought the wrong console for you, it is your fault. Don't blame it on Nintendo. I don't care about any PS4 game right now, so I would be dumb to buy a PS4 before any games I care about are released.

And since you are Pachterkid and Pachter is always wrong about Nintendo, then the Wii U will be successful.

ricklongo

#31

ricklongo said:

Definitely looking forward to this, especially since one of my favorite racing franchises (Micro Machines) was developed by Codemasters.

tudsworth

#33

tudsworth said:

@SirMime I feel the exact same way. Had this game released in January, like it was originally supposed to (in the UK, at least), or had it even released at any point during the games drought (after missing January, it was scheduled for June, and it went MIA after June), I would have actually considered purchasing this game.

As it stands, it's either gotta be a budget price for an F1 title that's nearly two seasons out of date, or no person in their right mind is even going to consider this game with Mario Kart mere months away. Still, I can see Codemasters citing it as a reason why their increasingly formulaic, increasingly unpopular, F1 titles are not coming to the Wii U (or, indeed, any Nintendo system) for years to come.

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