Name: Sega GT (10.00% in 1 votes)
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku
First off, I can tell you that I didn't like cars at all. I hated the concept of people suping up their cars with spoilers, fenders, stickers, mufflers, etc. However, after I played Sega GT, I began to see through this thick wall of ignorance and laugh at the people who just supe up their cars only in appearance. Sega GT is the Dreamcast's answer to battle the Playstation driving simulator; Gran Turismo. Although, Sega GT doesn't break any barriers or produce any innovations in terms of driving simulation, the game still performs excellently. That should make sense anyway since driving has always been the same anyway. Now I haven't played Gran Turismo, but somehow Sega GT appealed to me more; perhaps I'm just a bigger fan of Sega's arcade driving sims.
Anyway, there is so much in Sega GT to do that it's mind numbing. On equal grounds with Soul Calibur in terms of features, Sega GT is made for those hardcore car freaks who want to race with factory made cars. There is a feature in the game though which allows you to build your own cars; in fact, it's more than half the game. The game is in Japanese, though I have stumbled my way through it by catching onto rare English phrases to determine what the game actually wants from the player. Thankfully, all the menus and selection items are in English so it made things much easier. Of course, all numbers are in roman numerical symbols, so it enabled me to just look at numbers rather than trying to translate the Japanese description of what a particular car part did.
There are the common modes like single player, versus, championship, etc, but when you enter the championship mode; it's a whole new world. Basically the game is structured exactly like reality; you have to get licenses for everything you want to do. There are basically 4 license levels which you have to get, but you have to get 8 different licences in order to access everything in the game. The list as; E, B, A, and SA, E being the lowest while SA is the highest. All 100 cars (and a slight bit more) are divided into each of these classes and will give a definite clue of how well the car performs in speed, handling, etc. I have to say that this help me perceive cars in a different way and can laugh at most cars on the road. Why? Well I now know that many of the cars which are seen to be powerhouses on the road are actually pretty wimpy.
Basically 4 of the licenses you have to get are for actual driving in each class of cars, and then other 4 licenses are for scratch building your own customized car. You can pick from different sets of colors, what type of engine it can be, (ie. straight 4, straight 6, boxer, V6, V8, etc.) whether it's turbo, standard, or super charged, where the engine is placed, and what kinda wheel drive it is. What sort of disappointed me was that you couldn't totally customize the body kit. But there are many, many different shells to pick from; each with varying attributes of weight, tread, and balance. In the 100 plus cars (I haven't counted but it seems like it) that you can choose from, it ranges from the suped up Civic R to the really annoying NSX. I personally like the Lancer Evolution IV over any SA car because of it's handling and top speed. Though, it's acceleration from 160 to 220 can be improved; you need a super long straight away to get up there!
With all these dandy variables which can affect how you drive and play the game, do they really do the job? Well in a simple answer; yes. Everything is truly remarkable as all the variables like weight, balance, speed, RPM's, etc. really do affect how your car will perform during driving sequences. I basically chose a really clunky body kit for one of my A class scratch builds; it was totally unbalanced at the back end. When I raced with it, and power slid around the corners, my car's tail end whipped out of control. It's quite a different experience if you drove something like a Cappuccino; seriously there really is a car by the name of Cappuccino. To keep it short, let's just say that the game handles like the real thing.
For the actual courses/tracks, they are ingeniusly created. Why? Well depending on which car or class you drive in, the tracks will vary in difficulty. For example, if you took a E class car around a track called "Sky Peak Hill", it'll be easy riding. If you take a SA car around the same track, you'll be totally frustrated that the car won't meet those tough corners. Although this may be the case, it is still possible to beat any track with any class car within a respectable time frame. Speaking of time, the course times are somewhat easy to defeat. I found that in earlier car classes, the time frames are difficult to beat due to the low top speeds E and B have. (although I do have a E class car which tops 220 kmph) Though in A and SA classes, the times are pretty easy to defeat even if you bump around the course a bit, but the enemy drivers are the ones to beat in these higher classes. The courses have a lot of variety in them, and put to shame many other driving games. In fact, I believe that each track teaches you something about how to drive more efficiently. In fact, if you don't drive "efficiently" (like how real racers do), then you'll have no chance of progressing through the game.
For the graphics end, the cars are modelled extremely well, textured, and chrome shined. During night tracks, your tail lights will stream red lines across the road while you speed past your opponents, or vice versa; which ever comes first. The tracks are detailed as nicely as the cars; lights, lens flares, and even the painted lines on the road are peeling. This makes it all the more realistic. What I found to be a bit of a drab, was that all the spectators were flat textured onto the spectator stands. This made them look really flat (it's flat textured what do you expect), but bareable because since you're going at least 160 to beat your opponents, you're rarely looking at your side lines to see if you're girlfriend is cheering you on. (joke, the girlfriend simulator was left in another Dreamcast game) Lighting is also done quite nicely as it equals what you see on the PS2 with Gran Turismo 2000 running. The only thing that Sega GT is missing relative to GT2k, is the overwhelming sunshine effect that inhibits driving vision. (remember driving on a bright sunny day with the light gleaming in your eyes, or at least sitting in a car with someone driving you around)
As for sound, it sounds like a car. Car engine sounds do vary somewhat, but since they're mostly all suped up Japanese cars; they sound the same anyway. You have your classical "can't do without" screeching tires gig, as well as your "smashing against other guy ah!!" sounds. There isn't any screaming or swearing in the game, so it remains quite civil and doesn't detract from the actual essence of the game. For music, I believe it to be much better than Gran Turismo's tracks as your speakers will pump out a lot of "down to earth" techno which THANKFULLY, will not get boring after hours and hours of play. The music is done in such a way that it provides good background support, but is noticeable enough that you won't get sick of it after many times around the track.
All in all, Sega GT is my first driving sim game so I don't really have extensive experience with this genre. However, I can tell you that any of the Gran Turismo games didn't impress me or lure me to play any of them. Sega GT got me into cars, and taught me a lot about them; even though I don't even know Japanese. I highly recommend that if you buy this game, get a steering wheel, or at least a rumble pack for your controller. There is a vibration feature in the game which allows you to set to "engine" or "shock". "Engine" being a rumble simulation of the engine and "shock" being when you hit something, you'll feel the rumble. The engine setting truly enhanced the experience for me; as my engine roared when I accelerated, and died down when I braked. This game can be for everyone and has been designed in such a way that it can be enjoyed by various types of people. This game isn't just for car freaks.
Graphics (technical) - 4.5/5
Graphics (creative) - n/a
Sound (technical) - 4.5/5
Sound (creative) - n/a
Technical Gameplay - 5/5
Fun Factor - 5/5
Diversity of Features - 5/5
Story - n/a
Overall Value - 5/5
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