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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Super Monaco GP Series

John B. Marine | 5:22 PM | |
SEGA's Super Monaco GP series is a cult classic to many gamers. The series consists of three titles- one arcade title and two Sega Genesis/Megadrive titles. This is *officially* my 250th post to "John's Race Space!" So for Post 250, I will be sure to share a post about the Super Monaco GP series. Wow... 250. I had to do something to enhance the appeal of this blog and to keep it fresh and with life. Thanks to all of you for support! You're welcome, world.

Super Monaco GP Series

Let me tell you folks about Super Monaco GP.

Super Monaco GP
^ from: (YouTube) - Get ready for formula racing action only SEGA can provide.

Anyone who follows Formula 1 racing knows that one of the premier events every season is the Monaco Grand Prix. This competitive race on the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo has been a Formula 1 fixture for decades. While the name of the game highlights on Monaco, Super Monaco GP features a fictitious Monte Carlo. You are racing a course INSPIRED by the Monaco Grand Prix rather than any kind of accurate representation of Monaco. Outside of the arcade version of Super Monaco GP, home versions of the game let you race on various tracks from around the world- including a more proper Monte Carlo course! The teams and drivers are fictional, but a lot of them are mostly parodies of actual teams and actual drivers. The first Super Monaco GP for home garnered a sequel in 1993, featuring and marketing Aryton Senna. In fact, the sequel's full name is Aryton Senna's Super Monaco GP 2. The game features his likeness as well as commentary from Aryton Senna in describing the different courses in the game. The style of racing is more along the lines of Formula 1, but none of the games in this series are licensed by the Federacion International d' Automobile (FIA) or by the Formula One Administration Limited. Only Super Monaco GP II has had any sort of licensing, as that game was carefully supervised under Ayrton Senna.

Before racing this game, you will be given three transmission options. Each transmission type offers varying levels of performance. You can choose the automatic transmission offering the weakest level of performance. There is a four-speed manual feature that offers medium-level performance. And finally, there is a seven-speed manual offering the greatest performance.

Now that you have some briefing on Super Monaco GP, it is time I feature all the games for you.

Super Monaco GP (Arcade, 1989).

The first of the Super Monaco GP games was the 1989 arcade racing game "Super Monaco GP." Though you race in Monte Carlo, you are not racing the authentic and legendary streets of Monte Carlo. In fact, you race on two different configurations of a fictional Monte Carlo. The one you first race is a shortened version of the course to set up your qualifying of the event. You then race on the Grand Prix course. If you manage to clear the first race around this course, you will be invited to race a second event on the same course. Only this time, it is a race around this course under wet/rainy conditions.

What impresses me about the arcade version of "Super Monaco GP" is its graphics. SEGA was really one of the very best at graphical and technological details. This is especially true in their arcade games. Super Monaco GP was a very impressive looking arcade game. It may seem cluttered, but the action was smooth and consistent.

When racing in "Super Monaco GP," the most important thing to remember is that you must stay above a certain race position for the game to continue. Clear the checkpoints in a certain position as the race progresses. The position limit will be higher and higher the longer you race. Make sure to stay above the position limit for your race to continue. If you cross a checkpoint in a position below the Position Limit, you must retire from the race, and the game will be over.

Here is a video sample of the arcade version of "Super Monaco GP." Check it out:

^ "Super Monaco GP - Arcade gameplay HQ by"

Super Monaco GP (Genesis/Megadrive, 1990).

Unlike the arcade version, the home version of "Super Monaco GP" features many more race courses as well as a deep World Championship mode. The Genesis/Megadrive version of "Super Monaco GP" also allows you to race a home version of the arcade version. This game will keep you busy granted you have a Sega Genesis. Don't expect to race the graphical masterpiece that was the arcade version, though. The same challenge of the arcade game can still be had in this package.

In the World Championship mode, you begin to race for a team called Minarae (which I will assume is a parody of Minardi). You can choose to name a driver as a rival of yours if you choose to have a rival. You can go against one of the drivers from other teams to serve as your Rival. Do all you can to try to be better than your rival when you race in this game. I am told you get to race for bigger and better teams once you start doing better in World Championship mode and once you start beating Rivals you specify. Very unique concept to say the least.

This video is a sample of "Super Monaco GP." Remember this is the home version of the game:

^ "Super Monaco GP: World Championship - Round 1 (Sega Genesis)"

Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II (1992).

The late great Ayrton Senna was featured in the sequel to "Super Monaco GP." Released in 1992, Senna was still in his prime as very few could touch him in the Formula 1 World Championship. Gone are the Super Monaco GP mode and the Super Monaco GP track. Instead, there is a new Senna GP along with the World Championship. Ayrton Senna offers up some advice on how to take on each of the Grand Prix courses.

The Senna GP takes you into what seems like three individual courses for you to take on. Try to place as high as possible to get the best results. When you do the World Championship, you can now choose between Beginner and Master modes. Beginner simply takes you on this world tour of racing. Master has you taking on certain drivers as Rivals. For the most part, this game seems like the same game as the previous Super Monaco GP with with a little more polish.

As anyone who knows of Formula 1 may know, this game is surreal in the sense that this game features the track where Ayrton Senna was killed- the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. That was the race weekend where Ayrton Senna was killed along with Roland Ratzenberger before the San Marino GP. Here is a video that gives you a look at "Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II." This is really the best I could find in a brief video:

^ "Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II (SEGA Mega Drive)"

Bonus Video!

To show that there are those who try to have some fun with the Genesis/Megadrive version of Super Monaco GP, someone made a mod for EA Sports' F1 Challenge featuring teams from the Genesis/Megadrive version of Super Monaco GP. I am including this video for fun and education. Check it out:

^ "[F1 Challenge] Super Monaco GP (MOD)"

So what do you think about this mod?

Now that you have some perspective, let me close this one on a proper note.

Super Monaco GP: Final Thoughts

Super Monaco GP was a series that offered a unique Formula 1-type racing experience while not having any proper licensing. The fact that a number of people still remember and love the series even years down the road means this is a title that is still regarded and loved even today. Maybe Super Monaco GP didn't have the sort of staying power like future titles such as Daytona USA. The way people have still praised Super Monaco GP makes this a rather underrated SEGA series. If you ever get to play or see any of the Super Monaco GP titles, check it out to enjoy the incredible formula racing action this series has provided.

It has been a pleasure for you to enjoy my blog post (if you did). Subscribe and Follow for more from yours truly on a variety of racing games. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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