Written on: 17/11/2005 by TOMLEECEE (120 reviews written)
Hi res graphics
Great arcade conversion
Brilliant car handling
Awesome rock soundtrack
Great split screen
Very polished presentation
"Game over - Yeah!"
The Lancia Stratos handles like a dog
Sega Rally: the ultimate arcade rally experience, converted to the Saturn with outstanding accuracy by Sega's super talented AM#3 development team.
I'll get straight to the point with this review - Sega Rally is still the best arcade style rally game available on ANY home console. Forget V-Rally, forget McRae and you can even forget Sega Rally 2 - the original is by far the better game.
Both cars (Toyota Celica and Lancia Delta Integrale) have unique handling styles and each behaves very differently. The Celica is long and fast - good for straights; while the Delta is short and stubby and great for tight corners (the secret car, the Lancia Stratos, is a 4-wheel-drive beast, but will only present good results for the most seasoned of racers).
The number of tracks on offer may seem meagre at first, but with time you will learn that never has the phrase 'quality not quantity' seemed more appropriate. The initial circuits available (Desert, Forest and Mountain) are perfectly balanced and expertly designed tracks that feature a whole host of hairpins, tunnels, jumps and water hazards. Again, while 3 tracks may sound a bit tight at first, you'll soon realise that these are three of the most perfectly crafted tracks ever to grace a rally game - the desert one is even re-used and given a makeover in Sega Rally 2.
There is a fourth hidden track called lakeside, but it isn't a patch on the others (although it does feature a rather nice track texture and a lovely purple sky!).
Sega Rally flies along at a constant 30 frames per second, with no slowdown and very little pop up for a game from 1995. The overall look of the game is very polished, with good hi-res textures and solid looking vehicle models (although the Saturn's infamous transparencies are present in the form of net-curtain effect windows). There is no damage model, but this is pure arcade racing so that probably would have detracted from the overall feel of the game. Instead, when you crash, the over entusiastic co-driver shouts "WOAH!" which breaks ups the cries of "easy left," "easy right," or "over jump" - in actual fact I wouldnt be out of place in suggesting that Sega Rally was the first game of it's type to feature these audible driving aides.
There aren't really enough superlatives in the English language to express how highly I regard Sega Rally. The music is a string of top notch rock tunes, the game play is nigh on perfect and superbly balanced; and the feeling of satisfaction you get when you lick the cliff side hairpin on Forrest (bonnet toward the wall, back end spinning out under pure torque) is unmatched in ANY subsequent rally game.
If you own a Saturn, you really shouldn't be without a copy of this. I can clearly remember the first time I played it on Christmas Day 1996 - me and my brother were simply blown away. It didnt leave our Saturn's CD drive for about 3 solid weeks after that and I still play it today - truly a monumental game.
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