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  1. #1
    NOT CONFUSING AT ALL Killer French Bread's Avatar
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    Default Sega Rally (Xbox 360)

    This is a Sega site so everyone knows that Sega Rally was one of the best games ever, Sega Rally 2 was alright until MSR turned up and then there was an obscure Japanese and PS2 only release of a 3rd game complete with a remake of the original that I think actually has windows in the cars instead of grids like on the Saturn version because that couldn't do transparencies.

    This game is made by an English company. That's what happens these days, Japanese developers throw money at some middle sized team from western Europe and get them to make the bloody game themselves because us ungrateful westerners obviously don't appreciate their oriental talents and if Sega made it themselves it would just be pearl before swine. I think the company is called Sega Racing Studios. Sega liked them so much they named them after themselves then fired everyone a few months after this game was released.

    The gameplay is similar to the old games, so not realistic at all. The handling has a whiff of it's predecessors and it has all those same situations such as a jungle, a desert, a muddy place where a load of birds fly out of the way just before you hit them and lakeside. Same cars as well; I think all 3 of the original's are here, as well as the ones you expect and are in every race game (yes, I mean a suburu with gold wheel trims and that red mitzazda or whatever it is). When you first have a go it feels a bit wild, the steering is all over the place and you hit the sides of the track all the time. I didn't like this either but if you go the cockpit camera all is well again. The handling grows on you; you need to get used to the way it's as if your car turns on a point going through the middle of it, there's not much of a feeling of wieght of grip at all.

    There's no damage to the cars, which is fair enough as it's an arcade game, yet they decided you should be able to damage the track itself. There's apparently a technology at work here that makes your car change the very surface under its wheels as you race. In practise this means everytime you go round the track the dirt will have slightly shifted if you took a dodgy line through a hairpin. I think you go faster following the tracks and have more grip in the untouched mud, possibly. It doesn’t make that much of a difference.

    It's really fast and action packed. The graphics are great and the music is rockin'. Blasting through the mud in your cockpit camera angle, there is a great sense of competition as you have to smash your way past all the other cars, dirt splashing up, dust bellowing out of every vehicle and that might have even been a guitar solo you just heard fizzing away under the kettle-like whine of your car's engine. It weaves a nice illusion of the chaos of a rally. And that's what it is, because rallying is supposed to be dangerous right? The last 2 British champions are both dead now, and yeah I know they didn't die in crashes, but it still shows the kind of crazy person on the edge of existence that would ever consider doing this sport in reality. This game doesn't ever get really dangerous. As well as no damage, there are invisible barriers everywhere that bounce you back without your co-driver so much as screaming for his life. I'd like to see a harsher punishment for bad driving, perhaps not a couple of stiffs in a burnt-out wreck, but at least a flat tyre. It reminds me of this story my mate at the pub told me of a woman who swam the Atlantic. I didn't believe it, and I was right. She didn't just dive off Land's End in a speedo swimsuit and emerge off the coast of Boston a couple of weeks later, she swam it in some tank stuck to a boat over a few months. May as well have not bothered then! I've probably swam the Atlantic if you add up all my hellish junior school swimming lessons (or at least it felt like it). That's what this game feels like, rallying in a bathtub. Those Hippos over the other side of the barrier will never eat you no matter how much you play.

    Not many modes here because it's a pretend arcade game (a coin-op version wasn't released until the carcass of Sega Rally 360 was a couple of years stale): championship, time trial, race and multiplayer. Multiplayer is alright, time trial is boring, a race is just a race, same as with every racing game - so onto the championship mode. In that you race in sets of three tracks and have to score points, such as 10 for a win, 8 for second etc. Everyone starts together for once and you aren't chasing cars down alone, it's a straight race this time. It doesn't matter if you win the 3 race tournament overall because you are hoarding points for the big world championship 4 RACE TOURNAMENT!!! If you win that you go onto the next car class, there are three of them, win all of them and you get to Lakeside. Win that and you've probably won the game. I don't know for sure because I haven't beaten it. And that is the game's biggest problem: it's too bloody hard.

    At the start it's alright, a bit of a challenge but you get enough points to squeeze into the next round often enough. Soon though the races get so hard and you need so many points it becomes stupidly difficult. The other cars simply disappear into the distance and no matter what you do you can't catch them. You take good lines through the corners but they are still toasting you. And I'm good at the first two games - I won the Stratos and everything! So it's like most arcade games: wooed by the simplicity at first, then forcible ejected for the slightest mistake. A bit like being a woman in a James Cagney film I'd imagine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXiRcUNn64o). I just don't know what this game wants from me anymore. And I'm old school, if I can't take this kind of severity how will people who watch films like Scot Pilgrim cope?

    So it's really hard, almost on rails and light on content. But it isn't crap. No, because there is nothing else like it on modern consoles. Even games which like to think they are a bit arcadey, like Ridge Racer 6 or PGR, aren't as single minded as this game. It's about jumping into a car and winning. No messing about with customisation, or tweaking the wheel pressure, or buying a better car. If you don't win it's because you were too crap. And the only way to get good is with skill.

    So, to summarise, I give this game:

    Nigel Mansell/10

    Most people will think it's a bit old fashioned and boring; some people will think it's a class act.


    Sorry if this review was crap, it was done in haste as much as jest.
    Tic Tac, sir?

  2. #2
    Real name,no gimmiks richarddavies's Avatar
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    I liked that review mate. Alot of detail into the game itself and alot of jest. And I give you an extra point for the great James Cagney clip.

  3. #3
    NOT CONFUSING AT ALL Killer French Bread's Avatar
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    Cheers. Why did it take over two days to appear though? It took so long I thought you weren't going to put it up, I've read the whole of that war book Birdsong since I wrote it.
    Tic Tac, sir?

  4. #4
    Member TF73's Avatar
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    Excellent review! You captured the spirit of the game with your words

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