Game Review Data
Game Title
F1 2002
ZOO Digital
1 - 2 Players. Battery Save.
Formula 1 Racing
Andrew Blanchard



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'F1 2002' marks yet another third party release from Electronic Arts, thanks to their long-term deal with Destination Software. You'd imagine that they'd at least pay out those few extra pennies for the 2003 license because as soon as this title hits the shelves, it already appears out of date. As with the FIFA series of football titles, this latest racer allows you to play as 'real' teams and drivers which should, for F1 fans in particular, make winning and loosing that much more satisfying and aggravating.

Screen Shots


As with almost every other genre, racing games seem to contain a handful of options which are apparently compulsory in order for them to even reach the selves of your local gaming outlet. 'F1 2002' sticks closely to these guidelines.

First up is the 'Quick Race' option, which allows you to sample all 17 available circuits in a three, five or ten lap race. This obviously allows you to practice your driving but you'll also have the opportunity to clock up some lap and circuit rankings.

'Season 2002' is the reason most people will purchase this game rather than similar titles and the word 'official' means you're in for a grueling series of races. This section challenges you to qualify for each circuit and then actually race it. Finishing positions are awarded with points dependent on actually doing well in the race and then it's onto the next circuit. The final option falls neatly between the 'Quick' and 'Season' as it allows you to choose which tracks you wish to race for your own mini tournament.

The multiplayer option allows you and a friend (providing they also have a copy of the game) to battle it out in some head to head races. As usual, this is the best way to indulge in some 'fair' racing as human opposition generally makes more mistakes than their computer controlled counterpart making for closer competition. All your saving is done via a driver profile, which you create before you start to race and which includes your name, driver and even which team you represent. This not only stores your points but also various statistics about your races such as fastest lap or finishing position. Whilst this is more information than most of us need to know, this is the official F1 racer so if you do go ahead and buy this as opposed to other racers on the market, there's a good chance you're pretty serious about racing anyway.


The control system is both simple and responsive and as you'll only ever be required to steer the car, accelerate or brake you can spend the rest of the time trying to judge those hairpin bends and nudging up another place past some unsuspecting driver. It's all arcade stuff really but if you require a little more of a challenge you can always switch over to manual gears option and change them via the shoulder buttons. The collision detection is well above average, so collide with a car on a high-speed corner and you'll spin out of control although if you connect with the rear of another car, you'll still simply be bumped back.


The game looks outstanding throughout with everything, from the cars and tracks to the initial presentation, of such a high standard that it's hard to criticize any visual element. Developer Magic Pockets have managed to capture the various elements of F1 that make it so exciting and push the whole experience into a tiny cart. What really separates this title, however, are the finer details such as lens flare as you're driving into the sun or the skid marks on the track whilst exiting a corner.

There is one disappointment though - pulling into the pits reveals no mechanics scurrying around your car but rather a simple slow down as you pass your garage and then it's back onto the track. It's only a minor niggle as most races don't require you to visit the pits anyway but it would have taken little time and effort to include some short animation or visual indication that at least something was being done to your car.

Sound & Music

Like the visuals, the audio is of an incredibly high standard and the initial theme music by Shin'en will blow you away. It immerses you in the world of F1 almost immediately and is exactly the sort of music that accompanies any televised racing event.

The sound effects are equally impressive with engines whirring and cars skidding throughout the races whilst the cars gears step down as soon as you lift your foot off the gas. There's no commentary but having recently watched a racing event, other than indicating who's in the lead, there's usually very little anyway. Basically, this is how sound should be utilized within a game and it's clear that as much care and consideration has been given to the audio as the visuals. Excellent stuff.

Final Comments

From the minute you start up F1 2002 there's absolutely no question that it's one of the best looking and sounding racers to hit the GBA. We've seen a fair few good-looking games in the past but with reasonably shallow game play. F1 2002 just happens to be really entertaining too. The cars are responsive and the tracks are challenging and with 17 of them you're likely to be racing for some time before you are even close to completing the game. If F1 is your thing then this is a game that you seriously need to consider adding to your collection.

@ EAGB Advance 2002. All rights reserved.