F1 Pole Position 64
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|F1 Pole Position 64|
European edition box art
F1 Pole Position 64, released in Japan as Human Grand Prix: The New Generation, is a 1997 racing video game for the Nintendo 64 developed by Human Entertainment and published by them in Japan, but handled by Ubisoft for North American and European releases. It is the fifth and final game in the Human Grand Prix / F1 Pole Position series (with the F1 Pole Position branding skipping over the previous III and IV editions), featuring Formula One branding.
F1 Pole Position 64 is based on the 1996 Formula One season, and remains the only console game in history to depict that season.
The game features all the tracks from the 1996 season, at a time when the racing began in Australia, and ended in Japan. Teams are set up with relevant drivers, however there is a roster-feature included, which allows the player to reassign drivers to different teams (including assigning the same driver to more than one role), and even removing a real driver and replacing him with unknown drivers named "Driver <1~6>" (Driver 2's image, date of birth and nationality all match that of Ralf Schumacher who did not begin his F1 career until 1997). If the player finishes overall first in the World Grand Prix mode, they can change engines between teams as well. Both driver and engine swapping will significantly effect the performance of the car.
The main Grand Prix Mode allows players to progress through the racing calendar, with each race being ten laps; there are also battle mode (single race format) and time trial modes. Battle mode allows the player to choose what drivers to race against as well as standard options like laps and weather options. The game features internal vehicle damage (see bottom left of screen shot) but no external, apart from smoke that would appear if a driver blew their engine. The game only allows players to drive by default a maximum of 10 laps on every track, however by holding down a button when one is selecting how many laps to do, the player can exceed that limit and race up to 30 laps.
F1 Pole Position 64 is considered to have some of the best customization options in any Formula One game to date, but with "primitive" graphics and sounds. Another complaint was that the tracks only somewhat resembled their real world counterparts, though this is a common trait of the Human Grand Prix series.
F1 Pole Position 64 received poor rating from IGN being given 4.1 out of 10 overall. IGN criticised the presentation of the game, saying that "the tracks look almost nothing like their real-life counterparts." Glenn Rubenstein, writing for GameSpot, gave the game a 4.2/10, concluding that "it looks good, but that's the only thing it has going for it."