It’s beautiful in its simplicity, isn’t it? In 2000, a company called Agetec published a PlayStation game simply titled Racing as part of its budget A1 Games label. It’s absolutely as terrible as you’d expect, but the utter lack of any defining qualities whatsoever has endeared it to me for years.
I imagine its title screen in my mind’s eye — with a blurry Porsche 993 that may or may not be present in the game and the name superimposed in Times New Roman font — and I giggle. Sometimes even in public!
Here’s the cover:
Is there a Lancer Evo V in Racing? Hell if I know. Actually, I have no clue how how many cars Racing has, because I told myself I wouldn’t play the game for more than five minutes and waste any more of my coworkers’ time than was absolutely necessary. (To the editor reading this: I’m sorry.) I was able to drive only the “Novice” car, the lone option available to you when you start playing the game. It’s very slow and looks like this:
That’s not a 911, nor is it an Evo. Initially it seems there are only two tracks: “Short” and “Long.” But a brief perusal of the “Tutorial” (which is really just a bunch of basic instructions) reveals an exciting secret third locale: Mirror. I haven’t gotten that far yet.
The tutorial is chock full of useful information, like that it’s a good idea to shift up when the tachometer “indicates RPM of around 700.” I guess this principle applies to all of the cars.
This is what Short looks like:
And this is what Long looks like:
You end up spinning a lot in this game, despite its colorful, cartoony vibe. Here’s what happens when you finish:
The A1 Games label was slapped on a variety of budget titles that initially launched in Japan under the Simple series. In Japan, this game was called Simple 1500 Series Volume 13: The Race. That cover is actually sort of badass, in a cryptic way.
Looking at the imitation Porsche with a little more clarity, those headlights look like they might be 996 fried eggs on a 993! Fascinating.
The rest of A1's output includes hits like Billiards, Snowboarding, Tennis and Shooter Space Shot. They must have been really feeling themselves with that last one.