|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Torus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: DEC. 18, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
You can steer with either the face buttons or the DS' touch control system. The stylus controls the virtual steering wheel on the bottom screen. It takes some time to get used to, but it's fairly accurate, if a bit on the floaty side. I found the D-pad to be the most comfortable. The control system couldn't be easier. Use the A button for acceleration and the B button to break.
During pit stops, you'll play mini-games to get the crew to refuel your vehicle and change your tires. In order to refuel, you'll play a mini-game using the DS' touch control system, most notably the stylus. In short order, you have to unscrew your gas cap, put it to the side, pick up the fuel hose and try to fill up your vehicle without spilling too much gas. If you spill too much, you run the risk of setting it ablaze and will have to use the fire extinguisher.
The controls all synch together nice and simple, but that simplicity is also part of the game's undoing. Aside from the missions, mini-games, unlockables, playable legend racers, and unique vehicles, it's still racing around the same old track. It takes about one to two hours for the novelty to wear off, but it does wear off. Until that time, it really feels like an interesting and fun game. But be warned, it won't hold your interest for long. It's hoped that the voluminous challenges will distract you from the repetitious gameplay. The four-player ad hoc wireless mode may extend your replay value if you're totally hooked on this game, but it's not much different than the single-player mode. In fact, due to the lack of challenges, it's pretty one dimensional.
Mechanically the game is sound in both single and multiplayer modes. The graphics are really fine and display a smooth framerate that makes the 3D environments flow. There is a decent sense of speed, but after a couple of hours I was longing to kick it into a higher gear. That just never happens.
Indianapolis 500 Legends is not for everyone. Although it's an arcade racer that virtually anyone can pick up and play, the excitement of driving around the same old track, year after year, wears off in a few hours. Even if you're a hardcore race fan, the lack of a complex control scheme forces me to suggest this as a rental. Beginners might get the most out of it, and may even extract tons of replay value from the multiplayer mode, but they would have to play against three other similarly skilled racers. For the rest of us, keep in mind that this is a one-track game.
CCC Senior Writer