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Top Gear Rally

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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.

The Control:

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

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