Much like its playstation counter parts, Sega GT is track racing in vastly souped up cars. The bulk of the single player game has you starting with no career and just ten grand to your name. So little money limits the capabilities of your first car, but once you start to prove yourself as a driver you earn cash and sponsor bonus’s. More money means customization or a wider choice of cars, essential so that you can enter races specific to a certain make, model or size of car. The rather open ended game style theoretically means that you could be on sega gt for months. Taking part in the same race, time and time again, as you attempt to save up enough money, to splash out on a major improvement. Even to get a top of the range vehicle from the number of license manufacturers. But the downside is that you have to be patient from the very start of the game because even if you are a veteran driving fan your limited budget means that you probably will not have a hope of coming in so much as the top three for most of your early races. Gran turismo’s strength, apart from its depth and originality, is that it feels far more realistic than any other playstation racer. This does not hold true for this dreamcast contemporary, though. The whole engine has been messed and mucked about in an attempt to make the game deliberately tougher. Many of the courses benefit from full throttle throughout the race. Although this is supposedly a simulation and you need to slow down for corners, you can dramatically reduce your momentum by simply turning the steering wheel. Even a slight change in front wheel angle seems to be enough to lose about 20 per cent of your speed, forcing you to adopt a wooden approach to every circuit. You have to find the straightest line and smallest turn through every corner to get a good lap time. This is a good discipline, but it's hardly entertaining, and seems to go against every established racing game. I loved play
ing on this game and got quite addicted to it. The graphics are very good and some of the sound tracks were reasonable. I would recommend this game to most people who like racing games but also have allot of patience.
Sega have got a huge catalogue of A-grade gaming titles under their belt. You only have to look as far as the likes of Virtua Tennis, Sega Rally, Sonic and Shenmue. Of course, everyone makes a mistake from time to time and one of Sega’s more recent mistakes is this – the truly average Sega GT. One of those games that you will pick up in the shop, have a look at some of the specs and screen shots and think ‘Wow, this looks like it’ll be pretty good’. Yep, and that’s pretty much exactly what I did too. It was being plugged as ‘Sega’s Gran Turismo’, heck, even the title ‘Sega GT’ just happens to have those magic Gran Turismo capital letters in the title. Well don’t bother getting excited any more because comparing this title to Gran Turismo is a bit like comparing the Teletubbies to Bob The Builder. Bob The Builder is MUCH better as we all know. Oops, erm, that’s what the kids say anyway... In essence this really could have been the game that was the Sega version of Gran Turismo but this title fails to come even close at every single part. Graphics: I’ll quite happily admit that visually this isn’t too bad. It’s certainly not an oil painting and it doesn’t come even close to matching the graphical prowess of other Dreamcast racing titles such as F355 Challenge and MSR. In fact MSR almost makes this look like a Saturn game. Almost. They’re functional though, the cars are presented in a fairly acceptable manner with reflective bodywork, nicely modelled panels and the wheels move realistically. Something about the cars doesn’t look entirely convincing and I still can’t quite put my finger on it. The courses are much worse. Apart from the advertising boards and odd glimpse of buildings you’ll find that you may as well concentrate on the driving because you’re not going to miss any
thing if you stop to look at the scenery (or rather the lack of it). In Metropolis Street Racer I found myself crashing on a fairly regular basis at first as I was constantly looking at the scenery around me. To be fair MSR did go the whole hog when it came to the driving environment but it’s something that other game producers can quite easily achieve if the intention is there. In the case of Sega GT they clearly decided to make do with what we’re presented with here. Graphically it is average, that’s not being cruel and graphics should not be the biggest point of any game. In this case though you can’t help feeling that with just a bit of extra ‘spit and polish’ this could have been improved to a pretty decent level. The main feeling is that it’s unfinished. Audio: Things aren’t quite so bad here although you’re still not exactly getting any award-winning sounds. Oh, I’m so harsh aren’t I? Tough. The engine sounds here are the crucial part – forget about music and crowds cheering, the engine sounds are good. You can tell the difference between the small and more powerful cars. There’s certainly nothing groundbreaking in terms of accuracy but the biggest part is that you can at least be convinced that you’re hurtling along in a powerful machine. Playability: In theory this is the strongest part of the game and heaven forbid that there should be any comparison to Gran Turismo but there is SLIGHTLY. The same game structure applies. As with Gran Turismo you have to start at the bottom in the Robin Reliant class with the absolute dregs of society (in car terms) and work your way up to the more powerful beasts that await you. You start with $10,000, you have to buy a car (and don’t kid yourself – you’re getting nothing faster than the average Fiat Cinquecento!) and get yourself a racing licence. Yes, as
per Gran Turismo. It’s a formula that worked for them and it’s a formula that could have worked here too and it does quite well but only to a point. As with Gran Turismo you will have to be fairly patient and you’ll have to learn from your mistakes if you want to progress to those higher levels. I found that I just became annoyed at times – a challenge is fine but some aspects can become irritating rather than challenging. Gran Turismo had a fine balance between making it too easy and making it impossible. If you’ve played Gran T you’ll know what I mean. Some of the licences seem impossible to attain. Once you have a licence things start to pick up a little and you’ll soon be actually getting in to the game. Features: At last some good points!! Yes, it’s got plenty of life in it at least. Just going though the basic stages (getting your licences and engaging in initial races) can take plenty of time. Getting to the real guts of the game when you can access the power house vehicles can take you quite some time even if you are a reasonably competent driving games fan. Sadly that’s not just due to the challenge of the game, it’s also to do with the handling but we’ll come to that in a moment my impatient friends. There are four licence classes for you to progress through. The basic one that you start with is the B class, then the A class and finally the SA class which is where things become much more interesting as by now you’ll have the seriously fast cars at your fingertips. You won’t be able to get this far if you haven’t acquired a fast vehicle – you’ll only see the back of other cars if you aren’t prepared. Oh, you spotted that I only mentioned three racing classes didn’t you? Well done, no I’m not pulling a fast one – the fourth class is a bonus one where you can race import cars. Not wildly
exciting but it does add a little something on top of a fairly solid principle. Cars are of course a key point and there are enough to keep even the die-hard racing fans happy. You have access to over 130 cars ranging from classic to up-to-date models. They all handle differently although don’t assume that this means they handle like their real life counterparts. If you aren’t happy though you do have the option to make your own personal modifications to get things just the way you like them. You can even build cars from scratch and although this isn’t particularly difficult to do you may find that it’s not the sort of thing you’ll bother with more than a few times. Unless of course you’re a mechanic or something along those lines. Plenty of courses appear though, 22 in total. Add that to the five racing seasons with 3 different game modes and you’ve got a fairly substantial package. As mentioned already the courses aren’t anything to write home about so you can expect a few good ones but it’s really the typical stereotype affair. Nothing new to add to the racing genre in terms of ‘exciting’ courses. If you’re really a sucker for bad games then you’ll be pleased to know that you can put any friends you may have through the same pain by engaging in a two-player race. It adds a little more again to the plus side but two player racing games aren’t exactly uncommon, it’s a pretty standard feature of virtually all games now. Replays also make a welcome appearance but whatever you do don’t expect any Gran Turismo style experiences here. They’re here to serve a purpose and apart from the occasional trackside camera shot you won’t be watching these replays with any real excitement. Sadly. If you’ve played Gran Turismo or Moto GP on the PS2 you’ll be aware of how good replays CAN be. Handling: I
saved this until last on purpose and you can probably imagine why. If you lose control of your vehicle (and you will) you will be forgiven for thinking that you’ve suddenly been transported from the confines of a racing car to playing a pinball machine. Yes, you’ll be bouncing from side to side as you try to regain control of the car and all the time you’ll probably just be making matters worse. The control method should be absolutely spot on thanks to the sensitive analogue joystick but this really is the final straw in a long line up of bad points. I have no idea who playtested this game and how long for but one thing is clear: either it was tested for half an hour by a non-driving game player or they have absolutely no idea how to simulate the handling. It truly abysmal and if you don’t believe me you’re quite welcome to find out for yourself. On the whole this game has so much potential to be a worthy rival to Gran Turismo but it falls short at every single point. We can take average graphics and average sound but add to that below average handling and the whole thing goes down the drain. It’s a real shame, this could have been a top game but sadly it’s bargain bin fodder.
It had been a long wait for DC owners to get their hands on a decent driving game. There was the mad antics of crazy taxi, but what we really wanted was a game that would match some of the quality driving titles on Playstation. And so this is supposedly Gran Turismo on the DC. Supposedly. While the game is almost identical in structure and game styles it lacks something. With Metropolis Street Racer, Ferarri F355 and Le Mans all apperaring at the same time, Sega GT unfortunately falls in to last place. While trying to create a Gran Turismo like experience, Sega GT almost succeeds, but playing the game is no fun. The cars seem slow, even at 150mph and it is by no means the most rewarding game to play. Cars are awarded frequently and can be purchased from real manufacturers, but the fact that the cars themselves handle from one extreme to the next, ranging from corner hugging to impossible makes it less fun to become accompanied with your shiny new vehicles (there are a few gems in there though). There is no variety in the gameplay and there is nothing urging you to go to the next race or championship. The games backdrops and courses are obviously beautiful, but on the minus side, the car models are pretty dull and dont add much to the feel of the game. Some of the lighting effects are amazing but unfortunately this doesn't save it from being an average game. So a year ago Sega GT would have been very welcome on DC but unfortunately there are now too many quality driving titles available, and I feel it will be ignored. It was a nice idea but it needs more work, wouldn't say no to a sequel. . .