G1 Jockey Wii Review

June 2, 2010 by Simon Wigham  
Filed under Nintendo Wii, Reviews

The Wii control scheme has proven itself as a rather capable gun, wand, club, bat, sword and fist amongst other things. However, G1 Jockey Wii gives the control system something fresh to imitate, the reigns of a racehorse.

It has to be said that whilst the controls in G1 Jockey aren’t difficult, there is however a lot to remember for both control functions and game mechanics. The comprehensive tutorial does its best at easing you into the game, but there’s no doubting that there’s a learning curve here that needs to be overcome before you’re able to win a race and more importantly really enjoy playing it, because after all it‘s the taking Part that counts, and no that isn‘t to say we‘re rubbish at the game.

During a race you must manage your horses stamina, making sure not to tire the poor thing out too soon, secondly there’s the motivation to think about, which essentially is the horse’s desire to race. The higher it is the higher the acceleration, but the faster the stamina will decrease and the harder potential will be to gain, ah, yes, potential. This is basically stamina reserves for your horse for when its main supply runs dry and is gained by racing in that particular horses favourite racing style, which is yet something else to threaten to explode your head with.

Moving on to the controls. The Wii motion sensing once again proves itself as a flexible system, perhaps sucking you into the game to a degree that a standard pad and a plastic thing could never manage and here, emulating the control of a horse perfectly well.

The Nunchuk acts as the reigns of your horse, whilst the remote functions as your whip. It sounds simple enough, but when you realise that there are many actions, it soon becomes a challenge remembering them all and just exactly what does what. We imagine many people will revisit the tutorial multiple times during their time with the game, or is that just us being rubbish? Thankfully the games substantial story mode allows you to – whenever you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all – visit the rather wonderful tutorials for a lesson.

The story mode, sees you beginning as a rookie jockey and attempting to become a legend (with so much to remember, that‘s easier said than done!). Initially, you are only able to ride the horses that are offered to you by their trainers, but as the mode progresses and rider points (it’s sort of like money) begin to amass, you’re able to compete with rival jockeys for the reigns of a horse.

Before each race you‘re able to workout your horse. Perform well and your horse’s speed and stamina will see a handy increase, on the other hand if your performance is bad, both of these aspects of your horse will decrease.

Perhaps more satisfying is rearing a young horse of your own, learning it the ins and outs of racing ready for its hopefully explosive debut. You’re only able to train it so many times per month so you must make sure to make every session count. It’s compulsive stuff seeing your hard work pay off and producing a horse that runs like the wind.

There’s also a two player split screen mode, which is blessed with the presence of AI horses and offers plenty of fun, providing that both players know what they’re doing, in spite of this we do feel it would have benefited from a richer range of options.

Visually, it looks like a PS2 game, which is a worrying trend for Wii games at the moment (but to be fair it is a simple port of the PS2 G1 Jockey 4) and we do know that looks aren’t everything, but it is admittedly nice to have the whole package. On the good side the animation of the horses is pretty believable (if a little rigid and disappointing in comparison to Shadow of the Colossus’ eerily lifelike Agro) there’s no real glitches to speak of and the frame rate is butter smooth.

G1 Jockey Wii can be initially hard to love, but spending substantial time with it, will allow for you to learn its many intricacies, and providing it’s your sort of thing, you’ll learn to enjoy what is both a comprehensive horse racing simulation and a true rarity in gaming.

7/10

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