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Platform

Dreamcast

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Sega

 

Developer

Wow Entertainment

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q3 2000

 

 

- Challenges players to improve their skills

- Good visuals and sound effects

- Plenty of cars and tracks

 

 

- Weak controls

- Short on extra goodies

- Poppy soundtrack

 

 

Review: Crazy Taxi (Dreamcast)
Review: Sega Rally 2 (Dreamcast)
Review: Gran Turismo 3 (Playstation 2)

 

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Sega GT

Score: 7.1/10

 

With Gran Turismo I & II dominating the racing sim scene in the console arena Sega has finally brought their Dreamcast answer to the series: Sega GT. All and all itís a valiant effort at trying to usurp the racing sim crown, however, despite the pretty visuals and interesting track design the game is no match for Polyphony Digitalís racing tour de force. On itís own merits Sega GT is a respectable racer, but what prevents it from being truly great is the games weak control, a serious no-no for a racer.

 

Sega GT Review   Sega GT Review   Sega GT Review

The big problem with the gameís controls is that theyíre too darn touchy. All one needs to it tap the controller and the car makes a very pronounced turn in the direction tapped. Itís these extremely touchy controls that can really make the game frustrating. With smaller cars like the Integra, Prelude, and Miata, among others, the problem can be overcome with practice and developing a very gentle feather touch while playing. However, when using some of the larger, front engine rear wheel drive cars like the Viper and Mustang the handling is a real pain. These cars are already prone to drifting thanks to their weight but the touchy controls make it so that it is very easy to hit the wall. When negotiating turns where drifting can become a huge concern, as these cars need to handle these turns at the perfect speed and at the perfect racing line.

Despite the problematic controls, there are plenty of goodies at playersí disposal. First there are 130 real life cars to drive ranging from the Mitsubishi GTO, to the Nissan Skyline, to the Dodge Viper, and the Ford Mustang. If you play the Championship mode this also means that youíll have to buy your cars and later purchase upgrades to essential areas like the engine, suspension, brakes, and so on. On top of this players can make their own cars which is a pretty neat diversion, but not vitally important. Rounding out the extras is the games 22 tracks, which are quite varied and deceptively complex.

 

The track designs are a mix of twisting, turning routes, with some oval and almost oval tracks throw in. The tracks really push players to learn their racing lines, as it is very hard to skid around the corners and stay on the road like the Dukes of Hazard. Itís all outside, inside, outside here people. Even the oval tracks, which are normally the place to go tearing around with reckless abandon, require a very solid understanding of how to properly enter and exit a turn on a race track. If ever there was a training ground for videogame racers to hone their technical side this is it. The tests for getting higher grade licenses reflects Sega GTís emphasis on racing lines, as acquiring these licenses makes it essential to nail the lines.

 

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But whatís really surprising is how bright the computer-controlled cars are. They arenít pretty placeholders here, they can be quite ruthless in fighting for positions. Theyíll try and block you, juke and jive behind you, you name it, theyíll try it. If they could split their cars in half a la Herbie the Love Bug and flank you on both sides to pass you they would!

On the audio / visual side of things the game is very nice. The graphics are very sharp thanks to the Dreamcastís high-res abilities; also the models 

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of the cars are very well done, with plenty of detail put into each one. The tracks have a lot put into them, from sweeping mountain ranges in the backgrounds, to nearby city skyscrapers. The sound effects are exquisite as the sounds of the engines and exhaust systems are very distinct for each vehicle, and the change in sound to a more echoing vibe when passing through the tunnels is a nice touch. Unfortunately, the music is very poppy, wimpy fair, which just feels way too lighthearted for a racing game.

 

Sega GT Review          Sega GT Review

Although Sega GT has extra features a plenty, they still come nowhere near the level of comprehensiveness of Gran Turismo II. Also, factor in the gameís weak controls and thereís another blemish on its record. Sega GT is a nice start, but it still has a long ways to go to become the king of the hill.

Reviewed by Mr. Nash

 

(October 29, 2000)

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