The release of Sega Rally Arcade Online for XBLA got my blood pumping for some “arcade-style” racing, my favorite style, as I’ve mention in the past (see Quick Take-Ridge Racer). Not that I have anything against sims, but just popping a quarter (or 2, or 4) into a machine, squishing my ass into the driver’s seat meant for a teenager, grabbing the grease-smeared steering wheel, and hitting the accelerator (what’s a brake petal?), is what video game racing is to me.
Having recently acquired Sega Rally Championship 2 for the Dreamcast, I’ve finally found a little time to see it in action. Being a port of an arcade game, I wanted to see how the DC hardware would compare….and luckily, I immediately felt like I had an arcade cab in my home.
The graphics of SRC2 are tremendous. Jumping right into a game, I noticed the frame-rate is top notch and the backgrounds move fluidly. Didn’t really notice any slowdowns, shudders, or jumps. I was a little worried how it look, but pleasantly surprised. The weather effects look nice, and handle accordingly. Being a hater of the brake petal, I learned quickly that I’ll have to adapt to the elements (ice, gravel).
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the options:
There are a great number of tracks (a lot will have to be unlocked), but it seems like just under 20. Also, a number of themes, including desert, city, mountains, snow, rainy, etc…. 8 cars to start (some reason I like the Celica), each with their pros and cons, and there will be a number more to unlock (again, somewhere around 20). Add all of that together, and that’s a lot of options. One of my Ridge Racer complaints was a lack of variety, SRC2 doesn’t disappoint there.
You can use the 1st-person or behind-the-car looks, as well as split-screen for the head-to-head competition
There’s the Time Trial mode, the regular Arcade mode, and a 10-year Championship mode that I haven’t yet tried.
You can also choose your “co-driver” who shouts out when there’s going to be a turn or jump, a feature that I found cool and fun. And for those of you who like to tinker with your rides, you can do that as well… modding your tranny, brakes, tires, etc…
I’m just getting into the game, so this is a very “quick” take, but I’ve played enough to know what I like…
To summarize, SRC2 is a beautiful port of a very fun arcade racer, with smooth gameplay, and enough variety in vehicles/courses to keep you coming back.
Old Game Reviewer reviews classic and retro games, you can check out more of his great work on his blog here – Old Game reviewer.