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In the final analysis, if you’re not sure whether you’ll like it, then please just rent it and remember, this is not an arcade experience. This game is more for serious sim lovers of an equine bent. If you’ve ever played (and liked) any games of this series, you’ll probably like this latest version and its requisite additional bells and whistles. In that case, “let ‘er buck”.
I continue to be hooked on Gallop Racer for one simple thing: its depth. Like I said, this is going to be a niche game that isn't for everyone. But for the niche that likes horse racing games, or who are avid followers of the sport, this is your game. There is so much to Gallop Racer 2004 that reading about it would bore you. You'll just have to play it. Also - and I didn't think of this until I played this year's game - this is a nice game to play on a Sunday afternoon when you're done with the latest sports game or FPS, if you just want to sit back and play something a little more relaxing for a change. Give it a rental; see if you like it. You just might.
Fans of the series will find everything they know and love, although you won’t be able to help feeling that your looking at the same game as years past. The gameplay features everything we look for in our sports sims, things such as accuracy, challenge, and most importantly fun. You don’t necessarily need to have an interest in the sport to find enjoyment in the game, but it will certainly help. With the sport growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the Triple Crown runs of horses like Smarty Jones and Funny Cide, as well as the popularity of Laura Hildebrand’s excellent Seabiscuit book and the movie, expect this excellent series to continue to stick around and burst from the confines of “fringe” gaming.
It may be horse racing, but Gallop Racer once again proves to be a surprisingly irresistible and incredibly deep play.
Overall, this game is excellent and probably one of the most overlooked just because of its genre. If you are running out of games and need a new one, this is an excellent sim and gets more fun over time, especially when you can create your own horse and breed. You can play until you achieve a perfect stable and set some insanely incredibly record. If you are a horse fan, this may be the best game available at this time.
The core of Gallop Racer 2004 is the result of years of selective breeding, offering a thrilling experience even for the racing neophyte, though with a high learning curve, unhelpful help options, and a sometimes far too narrow margin of success, it stumbles just short of the finish line.
As I mentioned above, Gallop Racer 2004 isn’t likely to win over new fans to the genre. I suspect that most PGNx Media readers fall into this category, hence this short but sweet review. However, fans of the genre should have a rather fun time since Gallop Racer 2004 is a adequate entry to the franchise.
Aside from the addition of the extra boost power-up the other big change is that the speedometer now shows two arrows instead of the normal circular bar filling up. One arrow will show the speed that you're asking from the horse and the other will show the speed that he wants to run at. Combined with a cartoonish image of the horse's current condition, this helps to get a good grasp of the situation during the race. If the horse is content, then things are going well. If you bash into other horses or run him ragged, then you'll see him get furious or even cry. Of course, the proof is in the pudding and an unhappy horse will likely lose the race.
If, perhaps you're one of those who get wrapped up in what Gallop Racer has to offer, you'll be pleased with its in-depth career mode and extensive breeding options. I will say that this is a quality piece of software for fans of the series. I'm sorry I'm not one of them.
Six fairly successful games have earned Gallop Racer a strong, core audience. This group of stat-managing enthusiasts will get its money's worth out of Gallop Racer 2004, because these folks are probably willing to endure a certain amount of tedium in exchange for the hokey, marginally rewarding experience Gallop Racer provides. Most players, however, will find this game to be a quaint cultural artifact--and not one that warrants a great deal of sustained interest. If you've avoided the Gallop Racer series thus far, it's best to stay the course.
As such, I recommend that newbies with an interest in horseracing games seek out Gallop Racer 2003 -- still my favorite title in this sub-genre -- as it better guides you into its gameplay. For those of you who have lodged dozens of hours with 2003 already, the news isn't much better. I just can't find enough new content here to recommend that you pick up this year's model. This old horse needs to learn some new tricks, or at the very least not forget the ones it's already learned.
I just can't figure this game out, and even after studying the tutorial twice, I find myself coming in dead last every time. I actually fared much better when I just set the controller on the floor and just watched. Unreal! Sometimes I think Gallop Racer 2004 is just an elaborate practical joke played on every gamer in the entire world.