Review – Speed 3: Grand Prix

Lion Castle defied all odds when they released Super Street: Racer in late 2019, a game that, by all means, should have been terrible. It was hideous, it featured a really unfair progression system, and it had no licensed vehicles at all. Yet the developers succeeded at delivering a vigorous, albeit flawed, racing experience on a system devoid of many racing titles, at least at that time. It didn’t exactly make me look forward to their next racing title for the system, Speed 3: Grand Prix, but it made me consider that they could actually deliver yet another passable title if I gave it a chance. Sadly, I shouldn’t have been too optimistic. This one is a stinker.

Speed 3: Grand Prix

“For Rory”. Really…

Speed 3: Grand Prix is the Formula 1 game Switch owners have been waiting for. At least that’s what the elevator pitch might have sounded. This might have been the developers’ intention, but in reality, this is one of most half-baked and undercooked racing games I have played in a while. It’s a really bad game, but it’s the kind of bad game I love to tackle every once in a while, due to how freaking incompetent it is. Let’s dissect this foul beast together, shall we?

This is trying to be a F1 simulator and a Burnout clone at the same time, and it fails miserably at being both. It features a car roster as big as a budget title from the N64 era, with the difference that you could usually customize their colors in those old titles. They are all thrift shop copies of real-life F1 cars, with the Ferrari knockoff being called a “For Rory”, for instance. Yes, it’s that silly. You then race in some poorly-crafted circuits against a few other racers, and if you hit them hard enough, they’ll blow up. You will also explode if you dare to touch any nearby wall, as if your car was running on nitroglycerin.

Speed 3: Grand Prix

Nice background JPEG…

Avoiding crashing your car onto a wall is easier said than done. These controls, hoo boy. No matter which car you decide to play as, you’ll be greeted with stiff controls and a very severe amount of input lag. You can use your controller’s gyro functionalities to help alleviate your suffering, but you’ll basically get the same quality steering and responsiveness from your typical Wii racing game. No matter the control scheme, you’re not going to have a great time with Speed 3: Grand Prix. The ugly and uninventive tracks, all half a dozen of them, only add insult to injury.

Speed 3: Grand Prix

Shouldn’t we be turning left?

This is one ugly game. It’s really ugly. Lion Castle’s previous outing, Super Street: Racer, was far from being a visual achievement, but compared to this game, it looks like playing Forza Motorsport on Ultra settings. Speed 3: Grand Prix looks like a cheap mobile game from 2010, with really poor textures, near-absent lighting and shadow effects, and a ludicrous amount of pop-ins. Things only look worse if you decide to play the game on portable mode, for some weird reason. The game probably looks this poor in order to run at a somewhat stable 30 frames per second, but that framerate goes down the toilet as soon as a few more cars show up onscreen.

Get used to this screen. You’ll see it a lot.

Is there any silver lining in here? Well, the soundtrack doesn’t fit at with the game’s overall vibe, but it isn’t terrible, and there are some unlockable vehicles in here. But that would mean playing the game for a longer period of time just to get something definitely not worth the hassle. Speed 3: Grand Prix is a disaster. It’s ugly, its controls feel unfinished, it lacks content, and most importantly of all, it’s just not fun. Switch owners aren’t starving for racing games anymore. They don’t need to put up with stuff like this. Just ignore this title. It’s better for your sanity, as well as your finances.


Graphics: 3.0

There are many mobile games from a decade ago that manage to look better than this 2020 title. The framerate is somewhat stable… until any other car shows up onscreen.

Gameplay: 3.5

The controls occasionally work, but you’ll constantly struggle against the terrible input lag, stiff steering, and bad track design. The Burnout-esque mechanics make no sense whatsoever.

Sound: 5.0

Despite the poor audio mixing and mediocre engine noises, the soundtrack is actually quite good, even if it doesn’t fit at all with the game as a whole.

Fun Factor: 3.5

A rushed and half-baked racing game that doesn’t know if it wants to be a simulator or an arcade racer. It does have some unlockables, but you really don’t want to play it for that long until you get these new cars.

Final Verdict: 3.5

Speed 3: Grand Prix is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Speed 3: Grand Prix was provided by the publisher.