Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
At last you can experience the thrills and the spills of Grand Prix motorbike racing — without leaving the comfort of your favourite armchair, you lazy dog! GP Rider's a one or two-player cart viewed from the usual racing game perspective of behind and slightly above the player. A split-screen gives the luxury of independent displays when racing against a friend.
Since you'll be speeding around tracks from all over the world in all sorts of weather conditions, it's advisable to modify your motorbike to suit each race. You always have the choice of manual or automatic gear boxes (high or low), while the Grand Prix option also offers a lean, medium or thirsty engine and wet or dry tires.
There are three playing modes in all: Arcade, Tournament and Grand Prix. Arcade is the simple 'pick up and play' game. Select a track and, six laps later, bask in glory or wallow in defeat.
Tournament mode takes more time and effort. You enter a championship and tackle up to 15 courses in countries such as Austria, Holland, Japan and Italy. Points are awarded for the top riders in each race and accumulated scores determine final placings.
When you and your bike are in perfect harmony, go for the full Grand Prix. It's similar to Tournament but all 15 tracks must be tackled. This massive challenge is eased by the added choice of engine, gears and tires. The options enable you to customise your bike so you're riding a real mean machine.
There's plenty here for hot motorbike racing fans, so strap on your helmet pull or your boots and get on ya bike.
Motorbike racing sims are rare on the Master System. If they're all as bad as this one, I can see why!
The graphics are pretty basic. Your rider's drawn well but crashes are rather feeble — I want buckled metal, bits dropping off, explosions! The sound's pathetic, too.
There's no background music, just the roar of the engine as your bike goes around in circles. I say 'roar' but it's more of a hum — your high-powered mean machine sounds like a lawnmower.
Now for the gameplay, and as you may have already guessed, I was not impressed. The tracks aren't gruelling, just tedious. If I wanted to ride aimlessly round and round, I'd sit on the turntable of my stereo.
Overall, GP Rider’s quite a poor effort, I'm afraid. The graphics are basic, the sound's diabolical and gameplay's seriously lacking. If you want to play a decent bike game, you're better off playing the relevant sections of Out Run Europa. Come on, Sega, you can turn out better games than this.
When it comes to reviewing games in SEGA MASTER FORCE, we try and give our honest opinion at all times. If a new game's similar to another, we'll compare and contrast to the two carts.
Here we have GP Rider and what do we have to compare it with? Flop all! That's right, there's a serious lack of MS racing games. If it's car action you're after, a handful of games are available. However, if cycles get your motor running — forget it.
GP Rider tries its best to be a high-speed, white-knuckle ride but it's about as thrilling as watching paint dry. Race along repetitive tracks, cope with unresponsive controls and try to pretend your movements are having an important affect on the races' results.
To Sega's credit, they've crammed as much into this 2 Meg cart as possible. It's presented in a similar way to the Mega Drive hit, Road Rash 2, but even with a neat split-screen two-player game, GP Rider falls flat.
The graphics are nothing to shout about, title music's average and playability leaves a lot to be desired. For speedy thrills and spills, you're better off on four wheels with Super Monaco Grand Prix 2.
A half-hearted effort. If you're after a two-wheel racer, try before buying