Sega's Genesis wasn't exactly known for it's racing games. Football games? You bet. Baseball? They invented the talking Baseball game. Just about every sport was covered, but not racing games. We were stuck with B.C. Racers, OutRun sequels, and much, much worse.
It's for this reason that Virtua Racer for the 32x is so impressive. It's the first GREAT racing game to hit a Sega system. But it doesn't quite match the high quality racers on the Super NES, and this, I'm afraid, is the rub. For a system that costs TWICE as much as the Super NES, Virtua Racing for the 32x should be a whole lot better.
It's not that the game is bad, in fact it's one of the best controlling racing game pre-Ridge Racer. On the 32x it's extremely easy to pick up, and actually rather comfortable. Being as it's based on a arcade game, the races are very simple, and you won't crash too much as they are fairly easy to navigate. You'll find yourself at top speed a lot of the time, and I'm happy to say the controls hold up. As an arcade game this has some of the best controls.
However, the graphics are another matter. If you are one of those people who notice those "jaggies" on PlayStation 2 games like Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, then you need not read any further. This game has "jaggies" like you wouldn't believe. And there's so much draw in (or pop up). Actually, you can't see all that far ahead, unless you change camera angles.
For as poor as the graphics really are, the speed holds up, even in the two player mode. The game may actually run as fast as it's arcade counterpart, even if it looks WORLDS different.
The game also features a rather interesting collision detection. Gran Turismo fans who like to take corners by bouncing off of traffic will not have luck here, since most of the time you drive right though opponent cars. There's not a lot of banging, or pushing, or interaction with the other cars, which is a little odd, I must admit. If you can get past these "ghost" opponents you'll find a pretty fun game here.
This version of Virtua Racing is deeply flawed, but not without merit. It's a fun one, and two player game, and does a good job of bringing a lot of levels (hey, there are more than five at least), a few cars (three), and the arcade fun to your 32x. It's easily trumped by PlayStation and Saturn racers, but for it's brief life Virtua Racing was king.