Review by dancer62
Bounciing Off The Walls!
OK! I admit it! I'm a Sega fangirl. Master System, Genesis, 32x, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast. And Sega's spiritual successor, the Xbox. Sega GT, Sega Rally, yeah! So, Sega Rally Revo for the PSP should be a winner, yes?
OK, no frills. It boots up, after the obligatory disclaimer screens, push start. No intro movie? Menus, Quick Race, Championship, Time Trial, Options, Leaderboards, Profiles. A decent selection of tracks to start with, Safari, Alpine, Tropical, Canyon, Arctic, each with a variety of surfaces including pavement, sand, gravel, mud, snow, ice. A decent selection of cars to start with, too, from current to classic rally cars, and more unlocked during career mode.
Pick a race, or start a championship, nice graphics, it could be a PS2 game. Good shading, dust and water kicked up by the cars, sun glare, animated waterfalls, cablecars, aircraft. Tracks are sufficiently detailed that you can clearly see the corners, but the navigator is helpful in providing voice prompts too. The cars handle predictably, e-brake drifts are easy. Gameplay is definitely arcade, there is no damage, and although you can cut some corners, usually fences, walls, etc. keep you on the course. You can use the walls to bounce from, for braking and cornering, but there are the occasional obstacles that will stop you dead. You start last, and play catch-up with five other cars, which are not shy about blocking your path or ramming you off the course. The opponents can also be sticky, and you may find yourself pushing another car sideways for some distance before you can get free from it. There are no listed specifications for the cars, so you have to experiment with cars and tires to find the best combination for each course.
Replays are available after each race, and are fun to watch. The detail is good, and the deformable track and scenery are more obvious in replays, cars skid, dust flies, road signs, traffic cones, and drums get clipped and bounced into the road, cars become caked with mud. There is no option to save replays, but the leaderboard does save fast lap times for each course.
Progress is easy to monitor, each race awards points depending of finishing position, each series of races is unlocked based on points. New cars are unlocked based on races won, but on an irregular basis, often enough to keep interest high. Career mode provide enough progress that it never becomes tiresome. The final championship unlocks a unique bonus car and a new track.
Multiplayer provides ad-hoc, infrastructure, and game sharing modes. Game sharing works nicely, loads and transmits starting data reasonably quickly, and plays smoothly.
The music is unremarkable, not obstrusive, but neither does it add particular excitement to the racing. The navigator commentary is clear and helpful. The sound effects are functional, but not special.
Sega Rally is definitely arcade-oriented, with pinball physics, but the cars handle reasonably well, the courses are interesting, career progression is compelling without being overly difficult, and there are a lot of interesting bonus cars to be won (1987 Lancia ECV1, anyone?) It's not in the pulse-pounding category of Arctic Edge, but definitely a fun racer, and worthy of interest. 34 cars and 16 tracks, sometimes it's good to be bouncing off the walls!
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Sega Rally Revo (US, 10/09/07)
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