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Top Gear Rally 2

Rated E for Everyone


Nintendo 64 (N64)






December 1999

ROM Size:

96 megabits


One to Four Simultaneous




Controller Pak (6 pages)


Rumble Pak



> Final Rating: 3.7 out of 5.0


The original Top Gear Rally, released in 1997, was both lambasted and loved by critics alike. Some praised its realism, its graphics, and its physics. Others blasted its sensitive control, its lacking multi-player capabilities, and its initial slow speed. Undeniably influenced by criticism of the original is Top Gear Rally 2, which addresses all of the original game's problems.

Gameplay & Control

For starters, the game features the ability to tighten or loosen the control before racing. Additionally, the Control Pad can be used as well as the Control Stick. As expected, the A button is gas and the B button is brake. If manual transmission is selected, Z shifts down and R shifts up. Bottom C is the emergency brake, Left and Right C switch views, and Top C lets you look behind.


A big difference between Top Gear Rally 2 and the original is that this one features point-to-point racing rather than laps. So just like real rally racing, you're racing against the clock, not against other cars, although they can still get in your way. A total of four cars is always on the track.


Top Gear Rally 2 contains three modes of play: Championship, Team Championship, and Versus. A big criticism of the original was the lack of a two-player Championship mode, and that has been fixed this time. Hence, Championship is for one player and Team Championship contains a two-player, split-screen mode.


In the Championship modes, you race for a team. Remember, since cars start one at a time and there are multiple legs (you can make changes between each leg) for each course, your goal is to achieve the best overall time. For your efforts, you will receive sponsorship decals, credits, and championship points. As you acquire more of these, you can open up new cars and tracks, you can join new teams and you can upgrade parts on your vehicle.


Speaking of which, you have to contend with real-time car damage in the Championship modes. There are six status indicators at the bottom of the screen—engine condition, electrical power, temperature, tire condition, shocks, and muffler—that change from green to yellow to red. If a status indicator turns red, then some part in that category broke. You can still finish the race, but your top speed may decrease or your control may become gaffled. Then you have an allotment of time to fix that part between legs. The menus to do this are a little confusing initially, however.


The Versus mode differs in that damage is non-existent. In fact, you're actually more concerned with beating the other drivers in this mode. Versus also can be played by up to four players simultaneously.


Two cool features of Top Gear Rally 2 are its random track generation system and its ARSG Rally School. The random track generation system opens up limitless possibilities when it comes to terrain, weather, jumps, and turns. The ARSG Rally School teaches you rally driving techniques and is your ticket to enter more advanced cups.

Graphics & Sound

Top Gear Rally 2 isn't as visually striking as the original. In fact, it's nothing more than solid. But that tradeoff has enabled the developers to make the game move quickly and smoothly from the beginning. In addition, it's technically sound with a distant horizon, little fog, few clipping problems, no pop-up, and a smart camera. On top of that, there are many nice graphic touches (most of which are only in the one-player mode), such as mud accumulation, bug splats, snow paths, dust trails, and more.


Sound is the game's lowpoint. The music is 100% generic. There's nothing catchy here; it's just filler, and the sound effects are average. There are different navigator voices depending on your team (one-player mode only), and while there is a variety of sound effects, but there isn't anything special.


As a whole, Top Gear Rally 2 is a great racing game. The Team Championship mode is worth the price of admission alone. And the fact that it's a realistic yet forgiving racing game, along with the true point-to-point racing, makes for a fresh Nintendo 64 racing experience.
















Not available.


Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: January 16, 2000

Appendix Added: N/A




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