SEGA Rally Online Arcade hands-On Preview -- Vroom Vroom!By Stephen Johnson - Posted Mar 03, 2011
In the continuum of racing video games, Mario Kart, with its cartoonish, ridiculous graphics and silly power ups is on one side and Gran Turismo 5, with its focus on photo realistic graphics and simulation style driving, is on the opposite side. Sega Rally Arcade is squarely in the middle. The graphics lean toward GT 5, with a ton of details in the cars and the various settings, but the driving itself has a definite Mario Kart feel. This is an arcade game that’s been created for you to have fun with your friends as opposed to have a “real” experience of driving in Rally Race.
The arcade focus is understandable; the game is built on the same engine as arcade cabinet game Sega Rally 3. Luckily, you won’t have to find a functioning arcade to play Sega Rally Arcade; it will be available on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.
I tried out the single player mode for a bit, tearing around various tracks, including a lush, jungle environment, a frozen alpine level and a desert, canyon level. It’s an engaging racer, with very easy to understand controls and gameplay, and enough variety in backgrounds to keep things interesting. You can compete, single-player in a world tour, time trials or individual raced.
The game’s single-player is fun, but Rally really needs the human touch of another player. Rally allows you to play against up to five friends over the net, or one person split-screen. Playing an actual person as opposed to computer AI is what makes this game super-fun. Picking the perfect line and defeating the time of your friends (or strangers) is a timeless video game classic, and Sega Rally Arcade offers this joy up in spades, while not adding anything of note to the genre. This is a game that is exactly what it sets out to be: A good looking, no frills arcade racing game, and, really who doesn’t like that?
Sega Rally Arcade features 13 cars, six unlocked at the start with seven more you can “earn,” and 5 tracks, four available at first, with last one requiring an unlock. It will be released in Quarter 2 of 2011.