STAFF REVIEW of Rallisport Challenge (Xbox)

Thursday, March 7, 2002.
by l Maximus l

Rallisport Challenge Box art My overall appeal of this game is: "WOW!" This game is exactly what my XBox game library needed! Rallisport Challenge introduces hours of fun and huge replay value in regards to multi-player. The realistic terrain, the graphics, and the gameplay are exceptionally outstanding! This is the "Halo" of the racing genre, hands down! Also, keep in mind that this is an XBox exclusive!

Oh man...the gameplay...the gameplay...THE GAMEPLAY!!! This game has outstanding gameplay! There are four different terrains you will face in Rallisport Challenge. Each terrain actually causes the vehicle to respond differently...from extremely slippery to rock solid handling, this game really takes someone who likes a challenge to fulfill their racing crave. The car handles beautifully and there is an assistant who sits next to the driver telling you what is ahead... He will say things like "slight right", "medium left", "hairpin right", "jump ahead", and several other things to prepare yourself for what's ahead. And, the timing of the assistant's help couldn't be better! Absolutely ingenious!

If you even slightly enjoyed Project Gotham Racing, you will absolutely LOVE Rallisport Challenge! The controlls are very similar in that the default settings have the right trigger as the gas and the left trigger as the break + reverse. The actual car is controlled with the left joystick or D-pad.

Visually, this game is superior of any racing game I have ever played. When your highly detailed rally car is racing in gravel, for example, the car starts to get dirty in the correct locations on the body of the car that it would in real life! And, get this: it is so gradual, that you won't notice the car actually getting does it so gradually and so slowly that by the time you finish the race after starting with it all nice and clean, it will be as filthy and dirty as can be! Amazing graphica innovation with this!

Also, the terrain is exceptional! In the ice levels, you will notice the imperfections of ice as it sits on the street...just as it is in real life. In other words, in real life, driving up to a mountain pass with ice on the road, it does not have a consistent look...and this game reflects that same concept beautifully! Also, on the ice levels, there is exceptional detail while racing in the evening time where you can see the reflections of the sunset gleaming off the ice! It's very impressive!

Also, in the mediterranean levels, on a couple it actually rains. And, the rain is breathtaking! It looks like real rain!

Also, the replays are excellent. In fact, they even throw in a few extra things on the replay to make them even more interesting than they really are. One time, I watched a replay and there were three Zebras watching me fly down the gravel road...and the camera was focussing strictly on the Zebras and the road running perpendicular on the screen (the road was going left to right with the Zebras on the other side of the road, facing the road and the camera on the opposite side of the road). And, as I drove by at 150+ miles per hour, they all turned their heads watching me! It was hilarious! You'll have to wait and see ;) But, WATCH THOSE REPLAYS!

Other graphical things include smoke coming out of the tail pipe, mostly when starting out...and a flame coming out of the exhaust when the car switches gears! It's too cool :)

The sound is nearly perfect especially considering that you can rip your own personal CD collection and listen to your music while playing the game! I'm so happy they included this option! I find that the default music suits the game well, but, there's nothing better than listening to some screaming hard rock while flying 150+ miles per hour!

Because Rally car games are huge in Europe, your assistant speaks with a British accent...which is a nice touch! Of course you can turn his voice completely off if you wanted to as there are several different sound settings you can adjust to make it exactly the way you prefer it. The cars sound very nice, too. When you switch gears, as I mentioned before, your car lets out a flame through the exhaust pipe and it even makes a "pop!" sound when you are driving...and, when you slow down, it will "pop! pop! pop!" rapidly just like in real life Rallisport racing games. It's truly something to hear!

The only suggestion I would like to make is to add a System Link option as we have been spoiled by this, therefore, eliminating the need for split screen gaming. I really like how you can race 4 people simultaneously, but, it would be even better if you had the entire TV screen during multi-player. And, another thing: KEEP UP THE STELLAR WORK!!

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10


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