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To be perfectly honest, Gallop Racer 2001 is the Gran Turismo of Horse Racing. It is an incredibly addicting game that pushes the envelope of realism in horse racing. I am still amazed at how well this game has been put together and actually has me interested in racing horses.
Gallop Racer 2001 is the only horse racing sim on the PlayStation 2; it's also the best horse racing game on the market today. One part arcade game, one part simulation, it blends the two into a wonderful package that horse racing fans simply should not miss. But even if horse racing doesn't sound too thrilling to you, Gallop Racer 2001 is still worth a look, as it's a fun game on its own merits.
Thus, Gallop Racer is worthy of attention if you'd like to try something different, not to mention its potential as a hot Ebay sale (Tecmo is releasing only a small print run). Just don't take out your frustration on the horse if it isn't your cup of tea, and please don't hassle me about it, either.
Gallop Racer 2001 isn't for everyone, and it can get monotonous during extended play sessions. If, however, you have an interest in the sport of kings, this game will last you for years.
I found the entire game quite refreshing and unique. The grace and beauty of the horses is something that cannot be experience in screenshots. You have to see these animals in motion. With the upcoming PS2 release of Kodiak Studios' chariot racing game, Circus Maximus, I can only hope that Tecmo lends them their horse models. I can't imagine anyone doing a better-looking horse racing game than this.
Tecmo's version of this passion for horse racing has made it to the United States in Gallop Racer 2001. If horse racing is the Sport of Kings, everyone who plays this game should get a crown. Play it too much, however, and you deserve a crown of thorns. That's not to say that Gallop Racer isn't a good game. It is. It has loads of style, especially in the front end. If you tally up the overall features of the game -- such as the complete design, the front end, the art, graphics, and animation -- instead of just the racing elements themselves, this game comes out way ahead. If you approach it as an action title that involves horse racing, however, you may be bitterly disappointed.
Even though Gallop Racer 2001 has some pretty cool features, it definitely won't appeal to everyone. Running around an oval time and again gets very repetitive. It's obvious that the game is geared toward the equestrian enthusiast, what with stats and breeding abilities and overall depth, but it won't convert the casual observer. The racing is strategic and toned down rather than an adrenaline rush, and this hurts game's crossover appeal. If the game intrigues you, but you're not a big horse racing fan, a rental might be in order. Hardcore track junkies, though, will find this a safe bet.
Gallop Racer 2001 is a game that is designed for a fairly specific audience--that is, horse racing enthusiasts. Those who do not have an interest in the minutiae of the sport of kings will likely find the gameplay to be dry and overly statistics-focused. Still, if you're looking for a change of pace in your racing game, there is certainly nothing else on the market quite like it.
Fans of the "Sport Of Kings" will probably find this game interesting, but the subject doesn't lend itself well to the videogame medium. While buying, breeding and racing horses can be involving, most gamers may find this one a bit slow-paced and difficult to be a permanent part of their libraries.