David Klein On July 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Sega Rally Online Arcade ScreenshotWhen you think of a Sega racing game I doubt Sega Rally is the first game that comes to mind. What probably jumps to mind first is one of the most successful arcade racing games of all time, which is Daytona USA. Both came out around the same time in 1994 with Daytona sky rocking up in popularity. While Sega Rally never got the same popularity what it did have going for it was its range of different terrains found throughout a single track which was revolutionary for it’s time. Now the question begs does a revolutionary game from 1994 hold its own on the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network with this 2011 sequel.

The single player mode is pretty limited in it’s options you can run a championship mode which you race in a series of three races starting in last place and trying to move up to first, you can run a quick race on a track of your choice against 5 CPU opponents, there’s a time attack as in trying to finish a track in the fastest time on record and classic which you race against a single famous car with your own. There’s nothing to awe inspiring to be had here. The only mode with any sort of substance would be the Championship mode where it randomly picks three of the less than half a dozen tracks in the game. The gameplay itself might have been revolutionary for 1994 but it doesn’t really stand up now. It feels “arcady” to point that your car takes no damage, rarely slows down much and it handles quite loosely. You have a time limit for you to finish the race, which increases as you pass checkpoints like any arcade racing game. The problem is unless I play really terribly the time limit never gets anywhere near done. The tracks are pretty boring and I’m disappointed there are no surprises like maybe some shortcuts now and then.

There’s a two-player split-screen mode for those inclined to play with a friend. It’s definitely not as grand as the 6 players gaming promised with Xbox Live. None of the modes you can play in are truly enticing, the only difference between Race and Dominator is Dominator has CPU opponents and the other is 1 on 1. Knockout is the same as Dominator except one the six cars will be eliminated each lap and makes the race last way too long. The time lag mode has you both racing against the clock, where the second person to hit the checkpoint gets the remaining time of the person in first place but just like in single player it does nothing because time doesn’t matter. There’s a multiplayer classic battle that’s just like the single player mode but with a human second player. Finally there’s a touring mode, which is multiple race against your friend where if one of you doesn’t finish the race within the time you the other wins, I like the mode for the fact you have a change of scenery though ultimately I could just set up multiple single races since time doesn’t matter.

There game also features a six-player online multiplayer mode. I’d like to comment about the Xbox Live portion of the game but since I’ve started to review the game I haven’t been able to find a single person to play with using the online mode.

The game sounds like a game from 1994 with the same sound effects and music that you’d hear in the arcade version. This could be a good or bad thing depending on who you are and what you want. Personally I don’t really want to feel like I’m playing an arcade game unless I’m actually in an arcade with a steering wheel and have a gas pedal at my feet so I’d have liked something a little more modern. If you can think of generic 90s arcade game music you should have a solid grasp on what it’s like. The game goes as far as giving you the obnoxious game-over sound effect whenever you finish or lose a mode that I just found annoying. As for the graphics, there’s not really anything special and just feels like a Saturn version that was given an HD makeover, which is probably, isn’t too far from the truth. They don’t strike me as anything horrible but they’re nowhere near pushing the capabilities of the 360. Though I can say none of the textures look too terrible or out of place.

When it comes right down to it I don’t think you really get your money’s worth in Sega Rally. The game feels dated at this point and I can think of better racing games to be had for $15. The main selling point is the online mode has nobody using the service as far as I can tell so there’s no reason to get it for that either. If you’re really wanting to play some Sega Rally you can find the 1997 360 title used for half the price of this.


When you’ve got game’s like DIRT or Burnout to play, there’s little reason to go for 2 decades old gameplay.


They are on the passé side except now HD resolution.


It feels like a 90s arcade game … but I don’t really want that.


Sega Rally doesn’t really offend the senses but it does little to justify it’s existence.

2 Responses

  1. Aaron says:

    Sega Rally didn’t come out until 1995 in arcades. Then it hit the Saturn in late 1995.

  2. Justin Lee says:

    I’ve double checked our records, it shows 1994. Wikipedia also shows it as 1994 in the arcades. “Sega Rally Championship is a 1994 arcade racing game developed by AM5”.