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Time Warner Interactive's VR Virtua Racing (SEGA Saturn)

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Written by  :  Mik_1_ (18)
Written on  :  Sep 22, 2009
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

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Summary

Sega goes Virtua again

The Good

Time Warner's version of Virtua Racing isn't just a conversion. First (and most important) thing you'll notice is the Gran Prix mode, an interesting career mode which puts you in control of several different cars aiming for a certain score to upgrade to next class. First you'll be racing with Go Karts, then with Coupè, Dragsters, Prototypes and good ol' F1 car. You can go through 10 different tracks to gain points for upgrading, although if you have enough you can skip the rest of races and go directly to the next class. Even so, it's really challenging, and practice is definitely required to master every turn. That makes the game really enjoyable and rewarding, because it's simply easy to know when you're performing well and when you're not. Gameplay is, like the arcade version, well-balanced and yet very deep, keeping you in front of the screen for hours just to lower your best times. Of course, the original arcade mode is present, and well, plays just like the original, except you can use a control pad this time (or an arcade racer, if you have one).

The Bad

The graphics are simply unacceptable. Sega showed not much later that Saturn could handle a full textured, 30fps, perfectly-playable version of Sega Rally, even with some extras like a new circuit. V.R., for some reason, runs at a choppier 20fps, and even without texture you can notice a really bad pop-up effect. Plus, further polygons seem to lose color, making difficult to see who are you trying to pass in gp mode. Another minor issue is the A.I., which sometimes completely forgets fairness letting opponents run into your car and causing incidents. It could be avoided, though, but at the risk of losing some precious time.

The Bottom Line

Time Warner's Virtua Racing is an entertaining game: Arcade Mode is funny as usual, Gran Prix is long and enjoyable, and is very satisfying learning how to handle every single turn to make faster laps. However, graphics can be a major let down, and some best racers are available on Sega Saturn. But it would be an error letting this down just because of the graphics, so I can definitely recommend it.