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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Racing

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Climax

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

 

- Large amount of game modes

- Beautiful Graphics and Special Effects

- Excellent physics

- Car Damage

- Addictive split screen multiplayer

 

 

- Lengthy loading times

- No automatic respawn

- Menu screens not so user friendly

- AI can be cheap at times

- No 4-player split screen racing

 

 

Review: Rally Fusion (XBox)

Review: Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec (Playstation 2)

Review: Ridge Racer V (Playstation 2)

 

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Rally Fusion

Score: 8.3 / 10

 

Rally racing has been a sports phenomenon that has gripped the Europeans, but not North Americans. Recent efforts include GTC Africa, Colin McRae’s Rally by Codemasters and now Activision wants to take a swing with Rally Fusion (RF). How does Activision fare with their racing debut?  

 

rally-fusion-ps2-1.jpg (26922 bytes)          rally-fusion-ps2-2.jpg (20972 bytes)

 

RF has a large amount of game modes, which range from normal Rally racing to Career modes but most of the modes are locked to begin with (and unlocked as you progress through career mode).

 

The game supports multiplayer as well. Two-player split screen is the main mode but eight-player turn-based games are available. The split screen multiplayer is good fun. (Modes include Follow the Leader, Hill Climb, knockout style game matches, and Circuit Challenges.) Four players split screen would have been better though.

 

The game includes everything from car licensing to car damage. The car damage is one of the coolest aspects of the game and is perhaps the best in any PS2 game to date. You’ll see tires falling off, hoods popping up, and bumpers smashed. And these actually have an affect. When you lose a tire you have to keep centering your car using the left stick.

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- Playstation 2 Game Reviews

- Racing Game Reviews

- Reviews of Games Developed by Climax

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The driving physics are realistic, but RF maintains a somewhat arcade style racing game with a small amount of simulation. Even with the modest amount of realism the physics cause the gameplay to become a little difficult when learning the controls. Each of the nine environments has their own natural physics, which range from sandy tracks to icy roads. The coolest part is how the road condition affects the driving, especially on narrow roads.

 

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At the heart of the game the ROC challenge offers players the most enjoyable and repayable game mode. The ROC Challenge gives players the challenge to unlock new vehicles, tracks, and challenges.

 

One problem is that on some tracks it’s really difficult to see whether or not you’re on the correct path. Another problem is the AI difficulty levels. The AI almost never screws up and makes you pay for poor driving – it can take awhile to win some races. The final problem I have with RF is lack of auto-respawn. If you flip your car you have to hit the select button in order to get back on the track.  Minor I know, buy annoying nonetheless.

 

The graphics are excellent throughout RF. The special effects are incredible. In the desert courses you’ll see the blazing sun causing heat waves on the road and an excellent long range blur effect. The weather effects are another area where this game shines. In the Inca stages the weather is very foggy and rainy and raindrops streak across your windshield. Of course, this comes at the cost of some lengthy load times, which will have you waiting for a while before you can dive right in.

 

rally-fusion-ps2-3.jpg (22724 bytes)         rally-fusion-ps2-4.jpg (31342 bytes)

 

The menu music is excellent and the voice acting is done quite well. In Single player races your navigator sidekick does get repetitive after playing for a lengthy period of time. (Granted, Rally racing doesn’t really emphasize conversation.)

 

The controls are laid out almost identical to other racing titles such as Gran Turismo 3 and Wreckless. Although the game is set at a much higher difficulty and car physics play a major role. (The beginner will soon learn that using the braking button in moderation will help a great deal especially during the Arctic missions. )

 

Arcade fans or even simulation fans should be intrigued by what Activision has to offer in their latest racing game. It’s deep and highly entertaining but a few flaws and misses hold it back. Activision has proven themselves with their latest installment and hopefully this racing series continues. Overall Rally Fusion: Race of Champions is definitely worth checking out.

 

- Siddharth Masand

(January 25, 2003)

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