There are, of course, some players who would prefer this incredibly narrow design path. Such people will be few in number, but their passion will probably compensate for the clumsier peripheral elements, meshing neatly with the game's apparent disinterest in anything not directly connected to the physics of a vehicle in motion. The sparse multiplayer options provide a haven for such players to congregate, but for a series with such a niche audience the online portion of the game doesn't attempt to offer anything out of the ordinary to help foster a community.
It is, sadly, these devotees who will suffer most from the second-hand air that surrounds too much of the game. Anyone tempted by the prospect of a full SuperCar line-up following last year's Ferrari-only offering should be warned that of the 44 cars on offer here, only nine are from other manufacturers. This is still a game that looks to Fiorano for inspiration and this vehicular bias is even more troubling when you consider that the ambitious DLC plans for Ferrari Challenge never came to pass thanks to mysterious "licensing issues", which left loyal fans waiting for almost a year for just one small collection of cars and the Nurburgring course.
The tracks don't dispel the feeling that this is more like an expansion disc for last year's title either. Of the 16 available, more than half have been carried over. There's always going to be a finite amount of real-world racetracks to use, of course, but the presence of one nominally original course - Riviera, an own-brand Monaco by any other name - suggests that there's no reason why the roster couldn't be enhanced with even more fictional locations.
Even the presentation is all but identical. Tiff Needell is back for the tutorials, cajoling and prodding you to improve, and the game once again opens with a showroom-porn glide around a randomly selected SuperCar, to the soaring strains of classical music. This time it's Carl Orff's O Fortuna, better known as the music from The Omen and the kitsch Old Spice adverts, a choice so pompously over-the-top that it threatens to tip the game into the realm of parody before it's even started.
Ferrari Challenge was a decent enough game that failed to capitalise on a potentially great simulation engine. SuperCar Challenge sadly makes the same mistake, focusing so much attention on the minutiae of car physics that the actual gameplay feels like an afterthought. It's less easy to be forgiving the second time around, and the outrageously Ferrari-centric roster makes a mockery of the SuperCar claim, with too many cars and tracks feeling like hand-me-downs from last year's game. SuperCar Challenge is serious enough in approach to placate the demanding hardcore few, but as part of an ongoing series it really needs more time in the garage.