Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano

aka: SCAR: Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo
Moby ID: 17840
Windows Specs
Buy on PlayStation 2
$5.81 used, $11.84 new on eBay
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Description official description

The prestigious Alfa Romeo brand's cars feature in this racing game. There are several real tracks such as Hockenheim and Laguna Seca, as well as the chance to race in scenic Italian locations such as the Tuscanny hills and the Naples coastline. You can play Instant Action mode, in which you unlock these tracks one by one with indestructible cars, and Dynasty Mode, where you aim to build a more realistic career.

What sets the game apart from the crowd is its approach to driver abilities in Dynasty Mode. When setting a driver up, his abilities are split into skill areas such as reflexes and pressure-handling, with points assigned to these.

Further skills such as Heart, Intimidation and Recovery can be developed to improve either car or driver. AI cars have the same features applied to them race by race.

The driver's heartbeat is a featured sound effect, and in pressure situations it can be heard above all other sounds. One available skill is the Tiger Effect, which allows you to rewind the game to avoid dangerous situations as they are about to happen. Its length and efficiency are 2 of the skills which can be improved.

Spellings

  • S.C.A.R.赛车 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • SCAR: Спортивная Команда Альфа Ромео - Russian spelling

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Screenshots

Credits (Windows version)

143 People (102 developers, 41 thanks) · View all

President
Executive Producer
Producer
Car and AI Tuning
Game Concept and Design
Additional Game Design
Lead Programmer
3D Engine Programming
AI & Physics
Menu & UI Programming
RPG System Programming
Sound Programming
Setup Programming
Lead Artist
3D/2D Artists
Car Models
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 60% (based on 26 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 32 ratings with 1 reviews)

Only the classic Alfas rule!

The Good
I can't really imagine of anyone who's a true car lover, not to have a special place for an Alfa Romeo car model in his/her heart. Simply put, the Italian firm's cars are very well known for their finesse, sporty character and unique design; traditions that they maintain well through many years of the company's history. Such a model for me is the GTAm and it's road-legal twin: the Giulia 2000GT Velocce. The first one is featured in this game and to be honest that was 99% why I bought this game :)

After Ford, Mercedes, Chevrolet (Corvette) it is Alfa Romeo’s turn to immortalize their cars on digital code! What we have in our hands is an Alfa Romeo simulator wannabe. Wannabe, because the developers designed the game to be a more fun and arcade-like rendition, rather than a true and accurate simulation of the Italian firm’s models.

The aces of the pack are a mediocre selection of Alfa Romeo models for the player to unlock and enjoy driving, including the Nuvola prototype, the Giuglia, the Alfa Romeo 75, the 156, the SZ and some classic beasts among other models. Included are also some real circuits, others are city streets and Italian country roads. All of the tracks are circuit like designs, meaning that you have to complete all the laps in order to win races. There’s no point A to point B sprint races.

The car modeling is exquisite and very well done, all the cars look authentic and detailed. The rest of the graphics are equally good, but don’t expect any jaw drops from the scenery here.

The cars handle fairly ok, kept to satisfactory levels for front wheel drive models as well as for 4 wheelers, whereas in my opinion the rear wheel drive cars are more fun in this game and it brings out the drifting soul of these cars. By this I mean that the virtual drifters should try this game, especially try the GTAm on a city circuit! You’ll thank me for it as you’ll be doing the Milan track’s Squares sideways! Unlocking the GTAm really was like completing the game for myself as after experiencing it's drive I didn't want to drive anything else for a long time. It was so much fun getting this beast sideways and power sliding along the long right curve in the Riviera track, that it can surely be regarded as the highlight of the game, period!

It's a same the GTAm is featured only in 2 or 3 races in the Dynasty mode, but once unlocked you can play with it in any single event you fancy, provided that you have unlocked some tracks too.

Another good aspect of the game is it’s replays! I was trying to push the cars more to the limit just for the sake of an exciting replay! And it did pay in the end!

The sound-front is kept to a satisfactory level but nothing too spectacular regarding the car engine sounds. Musically there are some good lounge tracks that play over the replay videos and main menu, adding something to the whole package.

Now, the basic concept behind the game is that instead of upgrading the car the player gets upgraded as a racing pilot. Therefore, as the game progresses you get more accelerations skills, better handling skills, better health skills, etc. Also psychology and pressure so play a role on this game. For example tailing opponents puts psychological pressure on them and depending on their nerves state sooner or later they get exhausted and tend to do mistakes which generally work in your advantage.

The Bad
The major flaw of this game is the actual selection of models. When buying this game and knowing the great racing history of the firm, I was expecting to see many historical and classic Alfa Romeo beasts. Instead of that, there's a full parade of the firm's modern boring junk (thank you Alfa Romeo marketing department!) and few classic models. What's more? The modern models, drive horribly as well, where the real fun is in the classic models. So I guess the message here is: we used to make real cars, now we just make them boring! Good looking yes, but they didn't give me any excitement in driving them in the game, with the exception of a few racing versions of the modern models. Furthermore, in the beginning the game focuses in the modern models and when you race in Dynasty mode you have to sustain all the frustration of competing a large number of races with boring models, in order to unlock some exciting wheels.

What's more? There's no hint of history and documentation on any model! I mean what kind of brand targeted product is this?? I remember the Need for Speed Porsche unleashed, where they had all these nice videos and stuff about the development of the Porsche models and their racing history! That was a successful product! It really persuaded you to want to buy a real Porsche, regardless if you could afford one or not! But SCAR is a definite "Don't buy a modern Alfa Romeo! Look how horribly and boring they drive!" kind of product. As for the documentation, if video was too much, they could really put a simple info page for every model, it wouldn't cost anything more than 4-6 hours of research and since they had Alfa Romeo's blessings, all the information was there ready for them to type it.

No matter how hard you crash the only things which appear to be destroyed are the headlamps, the rear lights, some cracks on the window panels and maybe some minor dents on the body. Other than these the cars seem always in a perfect condition. A reason for that may be that Alfa Romeo company would not like to have their models to presented badly to the public. As if their boring driving behavior is a good appearance...

The tiger effect which is supposed to rewind the action is a real miss and didn't worked for me at all, as many of the other driver physics enhancements. I mean, what is the point of tailing an opponent for quite some time just to put pressure on him when the only thing you want to do is overtake them? Perhaps the only time when this is useful is when the guy in the front is the leader of the pack. Still, I found it a rather frustrating aspect.

One more frustrating aspect of the game is the slow navigation of the game menus. You have to wait a few seconds before the page's elements complete their splash animation cycle in order to proceed. And while talking about the game's menus, this one has a bit too many in my opinion.

As for the opponents AI, they won't respect any rule, they get in front of you and they knock you out whenever they can. This is especially dangerous when you race in models with difficult handling. The only solution here is to clear every opponent and take the lead as early as you can.

The Bottom Line
Unfortunately that effort misses the spot. Especially the Alfa Romeo fans will be a bit disappointed with this one, as many of the classic models you always wanted to drive are not here, yet some of them are.

As for me I got lucky with this one, I wanted the GTAm and got plenty of fun with it, plus a couple of other models. other than that, the rest of the game seems like a totally useless marketing driven mindless effort to me, and once I've unlocked a few models that drew my interest I never bothered to complete the dynasty campaign.

In my opinion it would make a genre successful release if it was focused on the great racing history of the company, rather than boast their modern every day use models... and how bad these handle!!! Take it for getting the older models sideways, or their modern racing and DTM and BTCC models into clean racing lines, it still pack some good hours of fun!

Windows · by SifouNaS (1309) · 2007

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by mark77.

PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Kabushi, sgtcook.

Game added May 25, 2005. Last modified December 12, 2023.