Formula One World Championship - Beyond The Limit


"Jump into the driver's seat and experience the rush of real Formula One action!  Pick from the top 13 racing teams, listen to your pit crew's advice and plot your course round 16 screeching international circuits.  Can you stand the pace of the race and claim the checkered flag?"

Game Information
Developer Sega Enterprises
Publisher Sega Enterprises
Copyright Date 1994
Players 1
Age Rating(s) None given
Save Type RAM
Cart Version No

Part Numbers
Game 4608
Front Cover 670-5645-50
Back Cover 670-5647-50
Manual 672-2083-50
Spine Card 670-5646-50
CD 1 670-5644-50
Bar Code 4 974365 646080

Thanks to Dominique Luder for the spine card image for Formula One World Championship - Beyond The Limit
Probably best described as Super Monaco GP's more serious brother, F1 WC - BTL is a racing game proudly brandishing its FIA licence and pitched firmly at the hardcore end of the market.  Once past the obligatory rock music and FMV intro, three game options are available.  Free run is exactly what you'd expect, pick a team and driver and set off around any of the available circuits.  Grand Prix mode is the full-blown affair, with a whole race weekend of test runs and qualifying available alongside the main event.  You can't just jump into a Williams and go though - a set of 10 laps around the "Sega Park" test circuit must be completed first, with your performance determining which teams will offer you a contract.  Once into the game proper, advice is given from the team manager and engineers as you move through the full race calendar trying to fulfil their expectations for qualifying times and finishing position.  Finally the "1993 Mode" drops you into the shoes of a real F1 driver and gives you a challenge for each of the 16 rounds of the 1993 series, such as overtake a rival by a certain lap or qualify faster than they do.

The settings screen is full of options to tweak the car to your liking (although your team engineers will do what they think is best to start with) with everything from tyre choice, downforce levels and steering speed up for adjustment.  It's a good job these are here, for as well as providing something for the more technically minded player, they allow you to make the car controllable.  Choosing the Williams car in "Free Run" mode was a shock and made me thankful for modern analogue controls - either the car is uncontrollable on straights, veering from left to right as you try to set up the line and throwing you across rather than around corners, or with the rack set a couple of notches down the car behaves in a straight line but corners like a shopping trolley.  For some reason the cars seem to handle better in the full GP mode, but that may just be down to the lower speed from the next-to-bottom team my abysmal qualifying lap allowed me to drive for.  Whilst there is a run-off area around the track (which you will visit) invisible walls prevent you from going totally off-road, but can also hem you in forcing you to restart.  Graphically F1 WC - BTL isn't earth shattering but the static screens have obviously had a lot of effort put into them, and there are plenty of nice touches like the maps on the track selection screen moving in 3d so you can see both the layout and elevation.  Trackside detail is a little flat and sparse but once you get going it's not enough to spoil the game, and even the FMV segments are of surprisingly good quality for a non-FMV game.  The high-pitched, whining sound of an F1 engine is difficult to reproduce accurately without it becoming annoying, and sadly Sega's best efforts here are pretty realistic, but may well have you turning the volume down.

If you want a quick arcade blast fire up Super Monaco GP from the Arcade Classics CD.  If you can learn tracks corner by corner and know what adjusting the brake bias does, then this one could keep you entertained for a long time.

This game was also known as "Beyond The Limit" in the U.S., but was given the subtitle "Heavenly Symphony" in Japan.