If you’re into racing games for the PC, and unless you have been living underneath your computer desk, you have probably heard about Microsoft’s latest port from the X-Box, Microsoft Rallisport Challenge. When I first got the game I was surprised that it’s a whooping 3 CDs, and after a full install it takes up 1.74 GB of disk space. That’s quite a bit of room, but there is a lot of diversity in the game that justifies the disk space.
As soon as you start the game, you can pick your saved profile, or just choose Instant Action. If you load your profile, you can pick from Career, Single Race, Time Attack, and Multiplayer modes. The career mode is a combination of Rally, Hill Climb, Ice Racing and Rallycross race types. I will give you a summary of what to expect in Career mode:
Rally Mode wasn’t too bad, but I found that the navigator yelling the turns and jumps to you wasn’t very accurate. Sometimes he would yell something like “medium left” but it would be sharp as hell and I’d end up in the ditch. Other times he would yell “medium left” and it would be a nice straight stretch that I could have been gunning it on, but I slowed down because he told me about the turn. Also, if you want to cut corners, he will yell things like “That’s going to cost you some time” and “Concentrate!” when you stray off track. Even though you are actually shaving seconds off of lap times, the stupid announcer always has something crafty to say.
Hill Climb is fun. It is a deviation of Rally Mode except you’re headin’ uphill. It’s really cool hitting some of those corners with no guard rails or anything to hold you in, one stupid move and you’re flying off the side cliff like Wile E. Coyote.
Ice Racing I sucked at and I avoided at all costs! This is just like Rallycross, where you are racing against 3 other AI opponents. It was fun, but I just couldn’t get the hang of the physics on the ice. The AI was really unforgiving here, too.
Rallycross is where it’s at! I had a blast duking it out against the 3 other AI opponents, and the tracks are really cool. You could get going to fast on some of those tracks. On one map, Lakepoint Ring, I could go around the whole course only letting off the throttle once. This is a more “Arcade” style racing mode, though, so really hardcore rally fans might not find this so amusing.
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