Top Gear Rally
Reviewed by DiscoKing
In opening this review I will warn you of two quick things. One, this
is my first "professional" review and second, I'm baseing this
review of Top Gear Rally on a three day rental from Blockbuster video.
In my eyes this is a fair amount of time to review a game on it merits,
but I fully realize that some people find a lack of credibility in such
a short amount of gameplay experience. Here we go.
The first, and to some the most important, element of any game is the
graphics. Its kind of hard not to notice how a game looks and it can be
quite distracting if it is terrible. Fortunately, this is not a problem
with TGR. This game has incredible visuals, sharp vehicle models,
nicely textured with the common "rally" themes: bright colors,
enough pinstriping to put a gangster to shame, and logos plastered
everywhere. There even is a car with a "subtle" Nintendo marque,
including a Nintendo Power logo across the back - nice! If you
don't happen to like the supplied texturing that is not a problem,
just fire up the logo design option. Hell yeah, design you own logos
baby! This is a very cool option if you happen to possess the time or
artistic ability to use it efficiently, I don't.
The tracks are very well designed and the textures vary enough to keep
things quite interesting. The Mountain track is especially well designed.
The elevations of the tracks slowly go from relatively flat on the Seashore
to gut-wrenching on the Mountain course. Overall the graphics are extremely
solid, nearly beautiful in places, but they get the job done well.
This is usually something that I hardly notice in games, except in cases
where they are really bad. I guess that this is a game that has bad sound
because I noticed it. The sound effects are handled pretty nicely, except
for the cheap "clack-clack" sound that flies through the speaker every time
you strike something with your car. If your traveling at one-hundred
and fifty-five miles an hour down a barren gravel road and slam into a
parked car, I would guess the sound would be a little more drastic
than "clack." The place where this game's sound stands out, in a bad
way, is the background music - Super Nintendo quality all the way.
Luckily it isn't played too loudly and the sound effects cover it nicely,
if it gets too bad you can always turn it off in the options. Overall
the sound is average.
This element of the game plays a major part in the overall appeal of
the game, and it is handled perfectly in TGR. I have heard people
complaining that the control is bad, impossible to control, or stay
off the walls. The key is to use the Yellow steering selection and
practice. The steering quickly, within three or four races, became
second nature and my second nature is pretty picky, so it had to be good.
Powerslides play a major role in the race feel as they do in every rally
game and they are handled here the best I have ever scene, including
Sega Rally Championship. With the addition of a handy brake as well
as an emergency brake, pulling in and out of slides is as easy as A-B-C
and 1-2-3. Great, nearly flawless control overall; even my dad, who
as a rule sucks big time at any game more complicated than Pac-man,
was racing around the course with gusto after two or three laps.
The Overall Groovieness of Top Gear Rally:
This game is absolutely awesome. I loved every minute of playing it,
although there are a few glitches in the programing. Getting stuck
on the walls of the track becomes a big problem when it is happening
every half a lap. The Jungle level seems like the biggest offender of
the "wall stick", but it does happen in others. If this problem would
have been dealt with, I think that this game would have stolen the
N64 racing crown from Wave Race 64, but as it stands it comes
in a close second. The added bonus tracks and cars are great, too.
The added tracks are simply mirrored after the first five, but it
adds a lot to the overall staying power of the game. New cars are
added to your selection screen after each season and you even get to
drive a milk truck after the first year. That milk truck flies!! I would
recommend this game to anyone in the market for a racer, it is top
quality all the way. Groovy!!
Score for Top Gear Rally: 9.6 out of 10