RalliSport Challenge is not only Microsoft's first rally racer, but I believe
it's also the first rally racer for the Xbox. Even if there was competition from
future players such as Rally Fusion and V-Rally 3, it really still can't compete
with the visual spledor and level of accessabillity RalliSport has. While not a
perfect racing game, RalliSport may be one of the best rally racing games I've played
yet, and I've played my fair share of them.
RSC plays out like many other rally racing games available. You have a number
of cars to choose from, events and championships to compete through and try to
keep your self from rolling over as many times as possible because you didn't
listen to the directions your co-pilot was giving you. A slight difference in RSC's
modes come in the racing events. While many rally racing games such as V-Rally and
WRC offer many point-to-point courses, RSC offers that, plus ralli-cross, hill-climb
and ice racing events. There's a little more variety in the racing modes in RSC
than other rally racers. But for some reason, this comes at a price. There's not
as many courses found here as you would in some other games in this genre. Granted,
there's over 40 courses overall in the game, but they do tend to be repeated
in championship events. Those looking for veriety in the course layouts for the
long term may be a bit disappointed, especially where the "classic" rally events
are concerned. With only three different areas to compete in, it pales in compairson
to the V-Rally series, where you can race in 12 different locales. Sure, there
are different locations in the other events, but again the story is the same,
you'll only have 3 or so different locales for that event.
The game's design is fairly accessible when it comes to the car's handling.
It's not overly loose, but not really tight either. Those who like racing sims
may not find a lot of complexity in the car's handling or within the tuning options.
That really shouldn't stop you from having fun racing, but if you're expecting
to finely tune your car, this isn't your racing game. The difficulty level, at least
on normnal, is prety challenging, much more than the novice difficulty. Those
who find themselves losing often on the normal game setting may want to dumb it down
by going to novice. I know I had to, and I'm usually pretty good at racing games.
So, for those who want some challenge in their racing games could give this one
The gameplay modes you should expect (like what you can participate in) are
pretty much standard fare. You have a championship mode, a single race mode, a
time trial mode and a multiplayer mode. It's what you expect to find in a game like this,
and nothing more. It would hav been nice to see a course editor like the V-Rally
series, or at least a championship editior like the Colin McRae series or Rally Fusion.
It's basically when you finish the championship mode, there's not much else to do
besides single races or time trials, if you feel like it.
The visuals of the game is pretty much why you and I bought an Xbox. RSC is by
far the best looking rally racer I've ever played. There is such a difference
when you come off the offerings on the PS2 and move on to the Xbox, such as
better texturing, better lighting, more detail, less slowdown, less pop-up,
more car detail and more particle effects. RSC is a visual delight, and if there
was one game to show off what the Xbox could do in terms of visuals, besides Halo,
this game would be it. The ice glistening effect used on the the ice racing events
is worth the price of admission alone, it's gorgeous.
The sound is also pretty good, but can be customized to your liking. The developers
of RSC actually put music in the game, unlike quite a few rally racers I've played.
It's mostly comprised of techno sounds, so if that's not your cup of tea, you can
use the custom soundtrack function and find your own jam. The sound effects are
pretty much what I expect for the game. The engine sounds are good, but may run
a bit similar across all cars. There's some ambient sounds, as well as a good number
of crunches, smashes and what not when you crash your car. The co-piolt is pretty
understandable, with no thick accent that may confuse you (like McRae rally).
RalliSport Challenge is pretty much the first rally racer on the Xbox, but
it's also one to take note of. The visuals are fantastic, the gameplay is fairly
accessible, and it definitley has what it takes to stand up to the competition.
While it does lack the sim elements, like car tuning, I think this could be
a racing game that anyone can get into, no matter where you stand on the racing game
spectrum. It is a bit short, though, so for those who are looking to spend 30-40
hours racing may be a little disappointed. Even so, this is a great first effort into
the genre by Microsoft, and are proving themselves to be quite a force in the