Championship Sprint

When I was a wee nipper of fifteen – oh no, that can’t be right, that’s nearly twenty years ago, no that’s not right – I went to Blackpool with my parents and a friend. I don’t know what my parents did, but my friend and I descended on the arcades to spend all our hard earned cash. For weeks leading up to the trip I’d been reading about a game called Super Sprint. With its steering wheel and awesome looking top-down view, it was the game I most wanted to play. In the whole world. Ever. And I did, and it was awesome and clearly the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So, it’s absolutely brilliant that Sony have seen fit to bring a later version of this game, in the shape of Championship Sprint, to the PS3 via the PlayStation Store. As the memories returned during my first go, I remembered why I loved the game so much. It was just amazing fun, whizzing round that track, and ok the steering wheel is missed, but collecting the spanners and upgrading the car is still as wonderful.

You compete against three other cars – online too, if that’s your bag – racing around full-screen tracks containing hazards such as oil slicks and tornadoes. Some of the track-defining walls occasionally open up as a shortcut, and deciding whether to take advantage is about the only strategy there is. You won’t be power-sliding round bends like in Skidmarks either, because the handling is too limited for that. Initially it’s fun, but you’ll soon realise that’s more about rose-tinted nostalgia than anything else.

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At £1.99, it’s clear that SOE weren’t going to be bringing this old arcade classic up-to-date. Once you’ve raced round a couple of tracks the whole thing gets, aptly enough, old. There’s no depth, no structure, no – no anything of note to keep you coming back.

Championship Sprint is Championship Sprint. I’d like to say more, but I’m not going to because it doesn’t deserve it.

But, we do.

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