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Sega Rally Championship Reviewed by Tom Lenting on . Rating: 92%
Sega Rally Championship
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I can like a game for minor, but refined details. That's why I liked Sega Rally in the first place. It had a helicopter hovering about the first circuit and was the first racing game I played which actually had brake lights. That kind of stuff impressed me a lot when I initially played this now-famous Sega Saturn title.

The overall game experience is excellent as well, but it took me a while to get into it. I was just too used to the controls of Daytona USA (which I thought was quite tight), but in Sega Rally Championship the player really has to have precision to make it through corners neatly. I was cursing a lot at first at the controls, but by practicing, my championship car became somewhat more controllable.

While Sega Rally was a little too hardcore for my sake, Sega sure made up for the 1995 Daytona USA, which disappointed a lot of fans of the arcade racer (despite the cheesy sing-a-longs!). Sega Rally is one of the best looking Saturn titles and set new standards for racing games to come. For a Saturn (racing) game there is a minimum of pop-up of scenery and the visuals are really impressive.

Besides setting a new standard for professional racing games, Sega Rally showed what the Saturn was really capable of. If you've never been good at racing games, like me, you may have a though time racing in Sega Rally Championship ... but you'll still be blown away by the graphics. Also important to note is that Sega Rally has a 2-player mode. I feel that a 2-player mode is a necessity for every racing game, but strangely enough game producers don't care what an eminent reviewer of Defunct Games thinks, since it was lacking from games as Daytona USA and WipEout XL.

There is only one critical comment I can be justified for making about Sega Rally Championship, a remark that applies to almost every racing game of the period it was released in. There just isn't enough in the whole package: only four tracks (one of which has to be unlocked), two different cars (plus an extra secret one) and two different viewpoints. Positive aspect about this is that you can practice a lot on the same circuits, which I quite needed to improve my skills for handling the control more accurately. I won't say I perfected it entirely, but good enough to really enjoy both the graphics as well as the gameplay of Sega Rally.

If you are a racing purist or a fan of Sega's arcade racers, Sega Rally Championship is worth getting a Saturn for. If you're not, then Sega Rally still is, next to NiGHTS and Fighters Megamix, the most necessary title for your Saturn collection. Just remember to practice, and if you're still bumping into the sides of the road just don't forget to check that helicopter!
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