Review by Viper

Reviewed: 01/29/00 | Updated: 01/29/00

Another Sega arcade to home conversion with enough features to make it worthy

Sega Touring Car Championship was one of the last driving games for the Saturn, ported from the arcade original (which I have seen, but never played) with a few extras that make it quite a good racer.

At first the game may not seem so great, only 4 cars, 3 tracks, and a weak number of racing modes make it lack depth. In fact when I started playing the game, I thought I had wasted the cash I spent on it, the framerate is horrible, the graphics are bland, and the courses are somewhat boring. The turning is also a little too realistic, which may turn off the people expecting Sega Rally style turning. The 4 cars are nice (with a bonus one), and can be customizied to your liking. The 3 tracks are kind of uninteresting though. There is a normal circuit track, a circuit track in the mountains, and a race through a brickwall town. The brickwall town course is somewhat nice, but the other 2, like most real raceways, won't make you cheer at how it looks (though they are nice tracks). There are Arcade and Saturn Sides with different features, but there are only 3 race modes: Time Trial, VS race, and Championship. The lack of a single race mode is baffling (well, you kind of get one...)

Like I said before, the framerate stinks, but I don't mean slow, it just may be a little too fast for people. After a couple of races I had to turn my eyes away from the TV because they hurt so much. The graphics are also somewhat dull and bland, but they don't get in the way. The music is nice and is usally accompined by voices (if you can make them out) and the cars sound real enough.

So far the game sounds pretty bad huh? Why did I give it an 7? Simple: Depth, and lots of it. This game has a bonus car, some bonus tracks, some bonus modes, and even an online ranking! Even if you don't have a netlink, you can still post online via your PC, so you can compete to see who is the best (even though the top spots are usally Japanese gamers). The bonus tracks are quite nice, along with the car. There are also a good number of modes to unlock (the manual only tells you about the Gran Prix mode, but there are more). There is also special global events, play the game on a certain date (or be a cheater and adjust your internal clock) and you may find yourself playing something new!

This game really does grow on you, you will soon get used to the framerate and may even grow to like it, the steering will become second nature, and you will keep competing to get a better time to show everyone who is the best. A rental just won't do with this game, besides Saurn games are cheap enough anyways. So if you see Sega Touring Car Championship someday for a great price (I would imagine $15 dollars or lower would be the price nowadays) buy it, at first you may regret it, but you will soon enjoy this game in a big way.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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