M2 does it again. To be honest, i'm not surprised about the quality, as those people at M2 are very passionate about their jobs, and everyM2 does it again. To be honest, i'm not surprised about the quality, as those people at M2 are very passionate about their jobs, and every time they release a game, it shows and you can feel it. Lets dig in!
Virtua Racing started the polygonal racing game craze. I know Atari had Hard Driving / Race Driving, but that game had such a low poly count and frame rate, it never actualy gave me a good sense of speed, and i still preferred the sprite scaling games above Atari's effort. When Sega released VR for the arcade, it really felt special due to the smooth frame rate (30 frames per second was really smooth for a polygon based racing game), tight game play with things that also can be found in simulation racers, like drafting, and improving your times by actually following a proper racing line. After a few reasonably good and a few just decent versions of VR, it's time to review this classic, and find out what's so special about it.
Graphics: Somehow this art in polygonal racing games has still not lost its charm. The arcade may have a bit of pop in, due to the limit of the amount of polygons on screen, not so on this switch version. Here, the whole track has been loaded into memory, and is visible all the time, so no more pop in can be found. Combine this with a double frame rate (60 frames per second in single player game) and a much higher resolution (1080P) with no frame drops or other small things that might get you out of the flow. This game moves fast, smooth, and still delivers that adrenaline shot the arcade version gave you.
Sound: Just as the arcade, there's not much of a full song in there, but at each checkpoint, you get a catchy jingle that changes every lap you drive. At a sertain moment, you will recognize the tune, and know what lap your in by just listening to those jingles. Also the passing car sound is rather meaty. The only small letdown (but that's because the arcade also sounded like this) is the engine sound. It has that "vacuum cleaner" feel to it that a lot of racing games suffers from. This does not distract you from the game, and to spice things up, M2 gave us a full song during a replay (your's, or one of the top leaderboards players) that came from the 32X version, but with instrument sounds that has the same quality as the arcade game, so it matches the game perfectly.
Gameplay: M2 really gone above the call of duty and gives us 2 steering mode choices: Normal (Digital, like Virtua Racing on the Megadrive/Genesis), and Arcade (Analogue, feels like driving the original arcade game). Back in the times, i was really impressed with the Megadrive version, and i played that game so much, that the control grew on me. Now on the Switch, i play much better on the default setting (Normal, so digital input) than i do on Arcade mode. Thanks to giving us a choice, i am enjoying the game even more than i would have if they stuck with just one setting. But if you really want a chance to be with the top players in the leader board, you got to use the arcade mode, as the real pro players just are so much faster trough corners using arcade mode.
Lastability: If you love improving on your times, and don't mind the game only having 3 tracks, just like the arcade, then you can have fun for as long as you enjoy a trip down memory lane with no consessions. It surely would have been nice if they included the Saturn or 32X tracks as an extra, but the price would have been higher, and their goal was to give us the definitive version of Virtua Racing, and they did manage to do that, and still deliver more than most developpers would give you. With modes like "Helper mode on or off" you can play with or without colision (turning the game into a real time trial, and also with colisions off your times won't be shared online) and there are hall of fames for each seperate mode (witch you see when you leave the game in "demo mode"). For me, this game is one i return to once in a while just to have fun, just like with OutRun. This is a game from a time when Sega ruled the arcades, and now they do on the Switch.
Does this mean this game has no flaws or small things that i would love to see changed in a update? Yes it has. I would love to see (just as in OutRun) a seperate dificulty setting for the amount of time you get, and also for the AI drivers. As now, even on the most easyest setting, if you're not a pro player, you are only able to finish the first track in 1st place, as the top 3 drivers on the medium and dificult track are super fast. You have to drive each lap flawless to have a chance of passing them. Also, when you enter a corner and use the acceleration off, and then acceleration on trick to slow down, the horizon jumps up and down every time you release and apply the gas. So with some corners, you really get a jarring horizon line because of this. So here's hoping for a update that fixes this.… Expand