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Monaco GP
モナコ GP
(1979)







Monaco GP is what you'd call a milestone. It hit like a bomb when it was released in late 1979 - most people were still getting adjusted to games in colour, let alone anything this fast. The breathtaking pace, clever layout and smooth controls set a massive benchmark for the genre, causing hundreds of imitators to appear for years.
The game involves using a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, gear shift and 'jump' button to navigate your racing car up screen as fast as possible through busy roads, chicanes, bottlenecks and ravines.
The sheer pace and chaos of the game make for a phenomenally engrossing and almost hypnotising experience. Make no mistake: Monaco GP is a masterpiece of early 80s racing games.
Sadly, after being replaced by its successful follow-up Turbo (1981) the game faded into relative obscurity. The cabinet's oddball LCD score display made it impossible to emulate for years - it wouldn't be until 1997 that an accurate home version would appear, in the excellent Sega Ages 'Memorial Selection Vol.2' for the Sega Saturn.

SG-1000
The game was converted onto the SG-1000 in 1983 (above), but in rather drab form. The speed is still there, but with only one opponent car on-screen the chaotic feel of the arcade is lost. It does remain a perfectly decent home game by 1983 standards, and further proof of how pioneering the arcade was for its time.
Sega would again return to Monte Carlo in Super Monaco GP (1989), a loud and graphic-heavy tribute that would go on to make quite a name for itself on its own terms.
 

 
In 2003, Monaco GP was unexpectedly given a new lease of life in the form of a '3D Ages' remake for the Sega Ages 2500 series.
The budget-priced release includes a 'Classic' mode inspired by the original (slightly hampered by some erratic driving on behalf of the opponent cars) and a far more entertaining 'Original' mode - here the cars storm around closed circuits taking instant 45 and 90 turns, executed with the controller's shoulder buttons. Various item boxes are placed along the track, along with long trails of small golden stars - continuously collecting these will slowly increase the top speed of your car. The more of these stars you 'combo', the faster the game gets. It just keeps on getting faster, faster and faster, until... bang.
The game's simple presentation, breathtaking speed (reminiscent of F1 Circus), punk-funk soundtrack, multiple cars, tracks and power-ups make for an excellent 'retro' package - but then you have the excellent multi player mode.
If it's old-school 4P split-screen action that you're after, then the PS2 Monaco GP is an unsung gem. It's all here: dirty tricks, close-call cornering, precision overtaking... It's an excellent 4-player experience, reminiscent of a time when the concept of 'multi player gaming' involved a group of people having a good time, together in the same room.
 
 
 
 

 
Monaco GP
モナコ GP
SG-1000
DETAILS
Format SG-1000
Released 1983
Publisher Sega
Product ID G-1017
Size (cm) 13 x 18.3 x 2.5
Weight (kg) 0.12
PRICE
STATUS
The SG-1000 version of Monaco GP was a great laugh in its day.
Fast, furious and ruthlessly tough; one of the best SG-1000 games out there!

Large-size SG-1000 packaging, 40Kb cartridge, monochrome booklet.

Monaco GP
モナコ GP
SG-1000 MY CARD
DETAILS
Format SG-1000
Released 1985
Publisher Sega
Product ID C-17
Size (cm) 14 x 10 x 1.2
Weight (kg) 0.06
PRICE
STATUS
Re-issue of the SG-1000 Monaco GP for the 'Sega My Card' format.

Standard My Card packaging, 40KB card, monochrome booklet.

Memorial Selection Vol.2
メモリアルセレクション Vol.2
SEGA SATURN
DETAILS
Format Sega Saturn
Released 27 Nov 1997
Publisher Sega
Product ID GS-9163
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Second retrospective Sega Ages pack for the Sega Saturn. Includes:
- Monaco GP (1979)
- Samurai (1979)
- Star Jacker (1983)
- Sindbad Mystery (1983)
- Ninja Princess (1985)
- Doki Doki Penguin Land (1985)

CD case, Sega Saturn CD-ROM disc, colour booklet, spine card.

Monaco GP
モナコ GP
SEGA AGES 2500 SERIES Vol.2
DETAILS
Format PlayStation 2
Released 28 Aug 2003
Publisher Sega
Product ID SLPM-62364
Size (cm) 19 x 13.5 x 1.5
Weight (kg) 0.18
PRICE
STATUS
Surprisingly fun update of the arcade classic for the Sega Ages 2500 series, complete with an excellent 4-player 'Versus' game. Fast, mean, full of dirty tricks - this one's really worth a try.

PS2 case, PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM disc, 10-page colour booklet, 'Sega Ages 2500' file card.

 

'Monaco GP', 'SG-1000', 'Sega Saturn' and 'Sega' are registered trademarks of Sega Corporation
'PlayStation' and 'Sony' are registered trademarks of Sony Corporation
Monaco GP TM & © 1979 Sega All Rights Reserved
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