Super Monaco GP review - Sega Megadrive

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If you've ever wanted the chance to drive a Formula I car in a Grand Prix, here's your chance in this stunning conversion of the super Sega racing coin-op.

Not only does Super Monaco GP include a completely faithful conversion of the arcade game, there's an option that lets you challenge other top drivers in a complete Grand Prix season - but more of that later.

If you choose the arcade mode, you're given the choice of three cars - auto, 3-speed and 7-speed, which increase in power but are more difficult to drive respectively.

Once that's done it's time to race a qualifying lap - the faster you do it, the better your grid position. The race itself is set over three laps, and you've simply got to stay ahead of the opposition to keep in the race. There's a position limit on-screen, and if you fall below that at any time, the race ends. If you're one of the first three across the finishing line, you get the chance to race again in wet conditions!

The World Circuit mode gives you the chance to race against other drivers over an entire Grand Prix season. All the world's most famous courses are included, and you've got to race around them all and out-perform other drivers to win the Grand Prix at the end of the season.

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" Racing a Formula I car is a dream for all the MEAN MACHINES team (Jaz has a Formula III car, the lucky so-and-so), and this game lets us relieve our urges. I am amazed at this game every time I load it, the graphics are so good. Luckily, it doesn't stop at just being visually resplendent: the playability is incredible, and the sprite update has to be seen to be believed. Atmosphere is what makes this so special, and the sweat really starts to pour as you view three cars approaching in you rear-view mirror - will you be able to keep them at bay? Easily the best racing game on any console, this game combines excitement and quality in a fun, cuddly package! "

" Racing games don't come any faster or slicker than this. The arcade mode is missing some of the big roadside features like the buildings that appeared in the coin-op, but it doesn't really matter since they're unnecessary to the actual game. The action is amazingly fast, and the 3D is both smooth and completely convincing. The World Circuit option adds massive lasting appeal, with a full season to race and other drivers to challenge - and even if you win the Grand Prix, you can return to the game to see if you can break all your lap records. Super Monaco GP is an utterly superb racing game which is a must for your collection - start saving now and you should be able to afford it when it's released at the end of January. "


Overall Score93%

Retrospective comments


This was one of the first titles I played on the Megadrive and words cannot describe how impressive it appeared all those years ago. As one of my relatives commented when they saw it moving: "There's simply nothing like it". Before Monaco, most racing games were third-person affairs. The effect of being inside the cockpit helped increase the sense of realism and speed.

The career mode was also a neat (and for the time, original) introduction, and extended the lifespan of the game considerably. Shame all the drivers were made up, but they were based on real-life F1 racers and it's fairly easy to recognise them.

A must-have racer for the Megadrive that was never really bettered! Excellent stuff.

Laurie - 18 Jun 2008, 10:19 GMT

Placing a 20 or 30p piece in the Super Monaco GP coin-op resulted in a driving game of previously unparalled immersion in the gameplay. The mayhem and claustraphobia of the Monte Carlo weekend was somehow recreated by the superb sound, first person perspective and overarching buildings and colourful roadside objects. Although Jazza believed that these were not important to the game, I think that the lack of roadside objects (the Monaco circuit instead represented by a digitised image on the horizon) and rather tinny sound effects detract enormously from the game. The arcade mode is relatively easy to win when compared to the season mode, which offers a very difficult challenge, particularly in the early stages with an underpowered car. Overall, I believe the game was overrated at 93%, when compared to Super Hang On on the Megadrive for example or, indeed, when compared to alternative car racing games available on other systems at the time--Stunt Car Racer on the C64 would have cost you £30 less which was a lot of money in those days.

hoolak - 02 Dec 2008, 13:09 GMT

"Keep it up!". This game was ace.

Dan - 19 Feb 2009, 14:15 GMT

'Fraid I agree with Laurie, SMGP didn't do that much for me. Yes, it was good fun and had something fresh that redifined racing games to a certain degree, but boy it got old quick. It just didn't feel like there was enough of a game in there! Nice bird on the title screen tho, enuff for a 12 year old to get excited about anyway ;)

MParallel - 13 Jan 2010, 00:11 GMT

One of only a few games I owned in my MD days (games were a fortune for a 12 year old). I loved this game. I remember I couldn't wait for SMGPII, so went for this one instead. Oh so many hours of great fun. I didn't know about the coin-up machine back then, so I didn't know anything about things missing. I loved the graphics, specially a couple of those (what appears to be) digitized ones.

The career mode was top notch. And hard. Like Laurie says, in the first couple of races it's hard to gain any points. I also hated it when I wanted to challenge another driver, but instead I was challenged for the pink slip of mine, arrgh!
After a while you get the hang and eventually end up in one of the top cars (which drive much faster and corner much more easily!!).
Then you become the world champ. Wow, a second season.
Oh and I remember. You are in the top car called "Madonna" (fake McLaren I guess) and you are challenged by a new character not in season one.
I can still remember his challenger comment "Your days are gone!".
And indeed, nomatter how close you get to him, he instantly jumps foward. He will win race one and 2 and you loose your car.
After a few times, you understand the trick. Don't challenge him! Challenge the 2nd to best car. You will win races again. But don't challenge the new top driver. It's impossible to win.

Ha yes, it was all good fun. Wow 1992 seems so long ago...Oh wait, it's been nearly 20 years!

marky - 10 Dec 2012, 03:10 GMT

ok i maybe put in more hours on this game than any other like others have mentioned the career mode was outstanding puts codemasters efforts to shame

Mean Machines Issue 3 - December 1990
Driving Game Sega Megadrive
Buy today!

Mega Game

Super Monaco GP

Super Monaco GP

Super Monaco GP

Super Monaco GP

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