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Superstars V8 Racing

Moby ID: 46611
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Description official descriptions

Superstars V8 Racing is a licensed racing game based on the Italian touring car Superstars International Series. The game features the usual playing modes: quick races, individual race weekends (training, qualifying and the race) and a whole season with ten courses. Additionally there are twenty challenges where the player needs to solve tasks in pre-defined situations, e.g. checkpoint races or winning a duel.

Before every race the player has extensive possibilities to tune their car but of course there are also pre-defined setups for impatient players. Beginners can rely on four difficulty levels and four driving aids.

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Credits (PlayStation 3 version)

134 People (114 developers, 20 thanks) · View all

Production Manager
Operations Manager
Project Supervisors
Senior Producer
Assistant Producer
Data & Content Manager
Data & Content Management
Lead Game Designer
Game Designers
Physics Design
Additional Design
Head of Development
Lead Game Programmer
Game Programmers
[ full credits ]



Average score: 64% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 1 reviews)

A B-class car in an A-class race.

The Good
I know nothing about the Superstars International series nor have I had any prior experience with the developer Milestone's previous games. I went into Superstars V8 Racing purely as a fan of games where you have to brake before turning. In equal parts the game surprised and frustrated me.

I have a little tell I look for when I play a racing game for the first time: How loud the music is in relation to the engine sounds. In a serious driving simulator like Gran Turismo 5 the engine sounds drone out the music at default settings. In games that are barely about the driving at all, like Test Drive Unlimited 2 the music blares over the sounds of the car. Superstars has no music. When you're on the track all you have is the sound of your car (and occasionally the rain).

Superstars is dead serious about its license, and this comes across in a number of ways. First of all you don't pick out a car, you pick a driver (one of 19 actual drivers from the 2008 season) who already has a car and team. The game has no upgrades or currency system or even anything to unlock aside from cosmetic items in the garage. Most races in the game also start with two different free-run sessions on the track, so that the player is able to tweak their car's settings for the specific track. I've never seen any other racing game that has put that much emphasis on preparing for an individual race.

While cars can't be personalized, they can be tuned in all the expected ways. Brake balance, gear ratios, and anything else on a car you'd want to tinker with can be modified. The nine different cars in the game all perform very differently as well, so it would be wrong to write the game off as a one-make race simulator just because the cars are all of the same class.

For me the stand out stars of the game are its tracks. They are gorgeously rendered, and while the game does not include every Superstars International track, they did include 10 very interesting tracks, some of them fairly uncommon. Autodromo Nazionale Monza will probably be the most familiar to general racing fans, and it's just as easy to cheat the speed traps in Superstars as it is in GT5. I would love to see tracks like Kyalami show up in other games.

The Bad
For reasons I can not begin to imagine racing games, as a genre, seem to have an inherent flaw these days: terrible UI. This is a problem that transcends platforms, countries, and developers. Across the board all racing games have bad UI, and Superstars is no different. Every time you open the menu the game must access your save data, check it, and then save it. This takes between 9 and 12 seconds, and can not be disabled or turned off. To complete a single championship race, assuming you skip all the free run sessions and perform no tuning on your car, you must go through this five separate times. If you're in free run mode you must additionally access and save the ghost data, bumping this auto-saving time to around 20 seconds. I wish the game had an option I could select to confirm that I am an adult, and I can be trusted to save my own game.

The subject of ghosts brings me to another point: I don't think Milestone really wanted to make a racing game. The point of a ghost in a racing game is to show you how well, or poorly, you took a particular turn, and to help you to find the minute changes you should make to shave time off your lap. In Superstars the ghost fades out of view as soon as you get near it, making it completely worthless. The toggle-able racing line is just wrong, and the braking indicators frequently lie (seriously, who the hell is going to break on turn ten at Kyalami?). The "Legends" mode, something halfway between a training and a challenge mode, is a joke to complete with perfect scores. Taking the music issue into consideration I can only come to the conclusion that Milestone deliberately chose to sabotage every aspect of their game that is not exactly realistic.

While I did say that the game had no music during races, that is not completely true. The game does play music over race intros and replays. Specifically, it plays death metal. Yes. Death Metal. Seriously. I don't know if this was added to try and make the game appeal to an American audience, but it makes replays unwatchable and only succeeded in making me skip to the race start as fast as possible.

My final problem with Superstars, and this is an unfortunately common problem with racing games, is the boring driver AI. For a game that forces you to pick an actual driver, not just a car, the game makes no effort to personalize the AI of your adversaries. Every driver in the game performs the same way on every track. I've watched some actual Superstars International races since playing the game, and the real sport is much more interesting to watch. The game plays out like a slower NASCAR with more right turns.

The Bottom Line
I paid $2.50 for Superstars and I certainly felt I got my money's worth. The track selection was fresh and the car physics, if a little arcadey, felt good. If I had paid anything more than a fire sale price for the game, however, then its many short comings and missteps would have soured my opinion of it. The game is something that can be enjoyed between major releases, but does not have the chops to overtake with any of its competition.

PlayStation 3 · by Lain Crowley (6629) · 2011


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Patrick Bregger.

Additional contributors: Starbuck the Third, Victor Vance.

Game added May 19, 2010. Last modified June 8, 2023.