For those of you that haven’t been following the Sega Rally 3 saga over the past few months, the game was originally location tested under the name “Super Challenge” (in fact, the name still makes a cameo on the final cabinet, as you’ll see later on). Users of the test machine quickly identified some striking similarities to Sega Rally Revo (or just Sega Rally in Europe), a series update for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC by the UK-based Sega Racing Studio. As I found out today, Sega Rally Revo and Sega Rally 3 were developed side by side, and as a result they share many of the same assets - the music is largely the same and art is shared between the two. The game is an important project for Sega Amusements Europe, as the software has been wholly developed in Europe and is the first attempt by the branch at creating a motion cabinet. However, I’m pleased to say that Sega Rally 3 stands out as an individual game, thanks to a variety of new features and some more subtle changes.
Detailed impressions and some photos after the post break!
The most immediately obvious changes are in the technology and consequently the graphical performance. Sega Rally 3 runs on the brand new and extremely powerful Europa-R board, which sports a dual core Intel processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM and an 8800 series NVidia graphics chipset. This allows the game to run at 60 frames per second at a 720p resolution, as opposed to the 30 frames per second of the console game. I’m used to the X360 version of the game, and played the PS3 version for a quick comparison. The difference is actually quite staggering, and the higher framerate allows for the design of the game to really shine through - from blue skies and sandy beaches to little flourishes like a rocket launch in the Canyon stage. I really would go so far as to say that it is the best looking arcade game that I have yet seen, and that includes Sega’s own efforts on the Lindbergh board.
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