Game: Sega Rally Championship 2
Console: Sega Dreamcast
Developer: Sega (AM3)
Release Date: 31st October 1999
First seen in arcades, the follow up to Sega's hit rally game for the Saturn was released for the Dreamcast soon after. With arcade racing action, and added Time Trial, 2 Player and 10 Year Championship mode (a career mode, of sorts), the Dreamcast version brought a more of an experience into the home version. The game features 19 cars and 17 courses set across 6 locations, giving the player a good amount of choice.
Arcade mode features races through 5 different courses, in a bid to claim 1st place and complete the race before the time is over, replenishing the time left by passing checkpoints. You start in 16th place and work your way through the pack, race by race. There's adjustable difficulty options for arcade mode, giving players more or less time, depending on their skill level. No matter which level arcade mode is on when you come 1st, you'll unlock a car for doing so. In each race the cars have adjustable settings, as in most rally games.
10 Year Championship mode features 10 different sets of 4 courses, getting progressively more difficult as the player finishes them. Beating the set of races within the allotted time will unlock the next "year"s set of races and finishing first will unlock a new car. Challenge wise these are good, and almost like a variation of arcade mode, to give them game more replay value, it still feels like an arcade racer, and there's no attempt to simulate rally as a sport in a more "career mode setting". Personally I like this, and prefer the 10 Year Championship mode to a potential formula shake-up.
Time Attack and 2 Player mode both play pretty much as you'd expect them to, although in 2 player mode there's a nice option to balance out the cars if your opponent has picked something that'll give someone too much of an advantage eitherway. Another nice touch within the game is the option to read information and stats about each car featured.
Graphically the game looks a little dated nowadays, being almost 14 years old, but not in such a way as original Playstation games do. The graphics are good enough, and some of the backdrops in the stages are still nice to look at. There is a slight issue with a short draw distance in some races, but unless there's a massive straight up ahead it's not really too noticeable. Musically, the game is good and features background music that's not really intrusive but that you'll notice as being good, in quieter points during races.
Overall its a fast paced checkpoint racer, which is about as close to the arcades as you'll get on a home console. Both Arcade Mode and 10 Year Championship play nicely even if they are a little too similar, and there's a good 2 player mode for trying to re-create those multiplayer arcade battles. Graphically and musically good, its an enjoyable play, with great handling. The only real letdown is that there's no damage mechanic in the game.