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Overall, Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge is a good effort by Kuju Entertainment and Xicat. It mixes a various gameplay modes into something rather cool. The game looks alright, and without including the audio quirks, sounds alright too. The game’s handling is very off and that will turn off quite a few people. If you can learn to live with the handling, you should rent the game and find out if it is for you.
The game has some very solid aspects, but the steering needs to be tweaked to mirror that on a high-performance vehicle. And considering that driving is at the core of a race game, Motor Trend Presents Lotus Challenge needs a little work under the hood to vie with the top titles in the genre. Graphically, and with the force feedback to allow players to feel the road, this game does hold its own quite well.
Lotus Challenge is a good, solid racer that is fun to play but has nothing that sets it apart from the competition. You'll enjoy it but I'm not sure for how long. The online thrills of Moto GP or Project Gotham Racing for just £19.99 are both better alternatives, but if you've played those games to death and want a racing fix before PGR2 comes out then this one will fill the gap nicely.
Irgendwie fragt man sich schon, warum die Entwickler so lange gebraucht haben, um Lotus Challenge auch für Xbox-Besitzer startklar zu machen. Die grafischen Verbesserungen bewegen sich in dem Rahmen, den man nach anderthalb Jahren erwartet hätte und wären in dieser Form wohl inzwischen auch auf der PS2 möglich gewesen. Auch die originelle Pad-Steuerung ist im Prinzip überflüssig, es sei denn, man kann sich kein Lenkrad leisten. Letztendlich besitzt Lotus Challenge bis auf die schicke Lotus-Lizenz und die unkonventionelle Testfahrer-Karriere quasi nichts, was andere Rennspiele nicht auch bieten und das was geboten wird, wirkt technisch und spielerisch einfach überholt. So mangelt es der Steuerung an Präzision, dem Spielfluss an Dynamik, dem Gameplay an Tiefgang und der Präsentation an Liebe. Zudem ist der karge Mehrspielermodus für heutige Maßstäbe ein Trauerspiel. Investiert Euer Geld also lieber in einen Racer ohne solche Mangelerscheinungen.
Many of you Lotus fans will rush out and buy this game within the drop of a hat no matter what any review says. That is what keeps you a die-hard fan of what you indulge on. If you are looking for a fast paced, live-for-the-moment, smash 'em up, have a good time, good racing simulator, don't get this one. Try out Burnout 2 Director's Cut. That will soothe your appetite for a sense of thrilling, illegal, racing. Overall it is a nice attempt by Kuju and Xicat, and it shows that there is some real potential if they ever released a second one. Definitely give this game a rental. Simulation racing fans, or anyone who likes Lotus should give this game a chance.
The shame of it is that Lotus Challenge's biggest flaws are what are most likely to alienate it from its target audience (i.e. racing game fans/Lotus nuts). As far as I know, Lotus cars are famous for their speed, excellent feedback, fun handling and stunning looks - and the game's unforgiving handling and less than gorgeous cars are what will immediately disappoint. I hope Kuju do another racing game with Xbox quality graphics and more predictable handling & physics, because if you give it a chance, there's some decent competitive racing in here, and you can see the potential for a really good racing game. Sadly it's only 'potential'.
Lotus Challenge is a lot of fun if you can get past its gritty exterior. Even though its press release claims that it has been tweaked for Xbox to include some arcade-like play, there's very little arcade-style racing to be found. Lotus Challenge is very deep and is worth every penny of its price if you take the time to get to know it.
XiCat put a good deal of effort into making this game unique on the Xbox and not a straight port of the other versions, but the game still feels as though it fell a bit short of what its full potential may have been. The Xbox version includes modified tracks, more cars, improved racing AI, and enhanced Stunt Challenges to give Xbox gamers a better reflection of the hardware the game is played on. Lotus Challenge is a racing game that gives you the chance to experience some of the world’s most acclaimed cars while fine tuning your driving abilities as both a racer and a performance driver. The balance of skill based gameplay and traditional racing makes Lotus Challenge a competitor in today’s generation of racers, but some of the game’s handling letdowns keeps it from pulling ahead of the pack.
Lotus enthusiasts are likely to buy this game no matter what, however those looking for more variety, or at least something more playable, will find improving their Project Gotham scores or fine tuning their car in Sega GT a much better endeavor.
On attendait plus qu'un simple portage d'un titre PS2 vieux de deux ans. Lotus Challenge est loin d'être « la simulation la plus pure » qu'on nous annonçait. La conduite n'est ni crédible ni motivante. Ce jeu génère l'ennui, rien d'autre.
So what do we have’ A game that doesn’t handle very well, has some serious graphical flaws (including a chunky framerate) and a soundtrack that while passable, isn't amazing. All in all, I’ll save any more tears and say that Lotus Challenge is not what I’d expect from an Xbox driving game, especially after playing Project Gotham, Sega GT 2002 and even Racing Evoluzione.
If you love the Lotus car line then you'll be drawn to Motor Trends Presents - Lotus Challenge. But if you're a gamer who loves Lotus cars you'll have to bite the bullet to express your love. Graphics and physics are far from amazing and can even be frustrating despite some innovative game play challenges. Xicat's website makes a variety of claims about Lotus Challenge, including "A realistic yet accessible driving model, tested and endorsed by the Lotus test drivers themselves." Ok, I'm sure they got some guys to endorse it. But in the current glut of sophisticated race car simulations, Lotus Challenge doesn't come close to beating the competition with the quality of game features it actually delivers.