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F1 2011 (Vita) artwork

F1 2011 (Vita) review


"The Vita has by far the best handheld version of F1 2011, but it could have equalled the home console version with a little more lending to the systems strengths."



F1 2011 is a game of vastly mixed success. The console version quietly established itself as a brilliant simulation racer by being, well, a brilliant simulation racer. Following off the back of its success came the much-hyped 3DS version which was a poorly implemented parody of its older brother. Perhaps not wanting to ape either version the new Vita release happy takes up the middle ground in between.

Itís effortlessly the better handheld version and itís perhaps unfair to compare it direct with the original version housed on vastly superior hardware, but for all the things it does right, thereís niggles to pull it back down to earth. Compared to the dodgy 3DS port, it does the important things that version failed miserably at, like creating a sensation of speed, and not looking like a cartoonish caricature. Itís fair to say that itís one of the Vitaís better looking games thus far, which is all the more impressive looking at some of the visual treats Sonyís new system has been slowly slipping into the market.

But itís clear some cutbacks had to be made. The somewhat over-the-top victory celebrations have been left on the cutting room floor entirely, and it simply doesnít handle damage well at all. Crashing into barriers and other cars at the breakneck speeds the game helps create so well lacks any real feeling of impact. It also fails to make any real use of the Vitaís dual touch screens. I appreciate that it hasnít tried to implement abrasive and unnecessary gimmicks just for the sake of it, but after FIFA made such innovate use of the back screen for treading through passes and taking shots at the face of goal Ė could nothing similar be implemented for overtaking situations, spin recovery or recharging/activating KERS?

Where it does right itself is in including so many of the console features, like a perfect rendition of the career mode and even adding extras in like a mostly enjoyable challenge mode that can have you doing anything from taking on specific circumstances to more routine activities like pulling off a solitary overtake or navigating a difficult corner, but it feels like it could have done more. The Vita has by far the best handheld version of F1 2011, but it could have equalled the home console version with a little more lending to the systems strengths.

Rating: 7/10

Dr_Worm's avatar
Community review by Dr_Worm (March 14, 2012)

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While so much of the game remains the same as it ever was, itís no bad thing. Whatís the point in reinventing the wheel when you can instead buff it to a gleaming neon shine then have it whirl off at 220mph.

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