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  • Platform: Xbox
  • ESRB: Everyone
  • Players: 1-4
  • Genre: Racing
  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Developer: Digital Illusions
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: A
  • Sound: A
  • Gameplay: A
  • Replay: A
  • Fun Factor: A
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: A


RALLISPORT 2 is still very much an arcade style racer like the previous game

By Troy Roberts     June 30, 2004

© Microsoft

The Xbox is one of those systems that has a lot of racing games on it, yet it can prove quite difficult to pick a proven best of the games available. A lot of people think that the PROJECT GOTHAM RACING series is the best, while others will argue for SEGA GT 2002. Of course, some gamers think that RALLISPORT CHALLENGE, which was released a few months after the Xbox's launch, is the best racing title. The latter group will feel even better about their favorite racing series after playing the newest game, RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2.

RALLISPORT CHALLENGE's controls were very arcade inspired, relying heavily on overstated physics and crashes. While RALLISPORT 2 is still very much an arcade style racer like the previous game, the developers at Digital Illusions have paid much more attention to the realism of the game. Basically, RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2 uses just a few buttons, mainly the triggers to accelerate and break, and the analog stick. While the game handles very well and more realistically, you will still notice the more arcade-like feel when you take huge corners and spin out a bit more than you would in a more realistic racing simulation.

Over 40 different cars are featured in RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2, with most of them handling quite differently than any other car in the game. Some cars are more sluggish than others, some are faster, and some handle much better than others. You also have the ability to tune your car before every race, ranging from tires to brakes there are quite a few options that you have the ability to change.

Of course, what racing game would be complete without the ability to wreck and destroy your own car and everything else in sight? While obviously crashing your car and losing the race isn't what you want to do, there is something quite fun about seeing your car fly 50 feet through the air before coming to a spectacular crash. Digital Illusions has upgraded the damage effects to the cars, with just about every part of your car being able to be destroyed. Your windshield will crack, tires and spoilers will break and fall off, and you can get huge dents in your car from slamming into anything. Just about everything else in the game can either be destroyed or destroy you. Signs will fly right up over your car when hit, but hitting a building at 90 mph doesn't cause it to move you just stop moving.

Graphically, RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2 is a

A screenshot from RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2.

huge step over its predecessor. The now picture-perfect car models look excellent, and the effects look just as well. Your shiny new car can easily be covered with dirt and mud, depending on the type of track you're racing on. Of course, there are multiple tracks (with variations included, there about 90 tracks in total) to choose from as well, with all of them looking spectacular; from the desert roads of Australia to the ice covered roads of Canada. Trees sway in the distance and water builds up on the screen in the rain. The only problem is that buildings and trees are not easily seen from a distance, and there are occasional jagged edges on cars.

As most Xbox games do these days, RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2 comes equipped with Xbox Live support, offering gamers the chance to go head to head with opponents around the world. RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2 also sports a fairly great soundtrack, with instrumental versions of licensed songs (even so, there is a custom soundtrack mode available), as well as some wonderful sound effects: car engines sound differently, and you'll hear realistic screeching tires and crashes.

Without a doubt, RALLISPORT CHALLENGE 2 is probably the best racer currently on the Xbox. While the game does have a few flaws here and there, if you have any interest in racing at all, don't look any further than this.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.


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