Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sega Rally Championship for GBA...A Little Bit Of The SEGA Saturn (On The Go!)

Hi Folks! Father Krishna here! You may remember me from such websites as The Dreamcast Junkyard, The Saturn Junkyard, Retro Treasures and Gnome's Gaming On The Go...

Yes I know it's been bloody ages since I showed my fat, white, old ass round here, and I'm grateful to my boss Gnome, and colleague NebachadnezzaR for not kicking me off the team... So, tonight, as an appreciation of their patience, I'm going to try and compensate by sharing a little piece of Sega magic with you all.

One of my favourite video games of all times is Sega Rally, perhaps for me the definitive driving game of all time. Originating in 1995 and coming packaged with the Saturn, it took me into the heady world of 32 Bit gaming when I was still in my twenties... Ah! great times.

Imagine my delight then, when I stumbled across a port of this classic, for Nintendo's lovely hand held, the Gameboy Advance! (Playable of course on your shiny DS...) . Assuming you have one of those lead thingies, you can play against an opponent on his Gameboy, but I've only ever played it as a single player...

There are two modes available to you, 'Championship' or 'Time Attack'. Championship sees you racing against AI opponents. You start off in the Amateur Championship, choosing you car from the following selection: Mitsubishi Lancer, Subaru Impreza, Ford Focus, Peugeot 206 or my own favourite, the Toyota Corolla... Obviously each of these cars has different speed, acceleration, handling etc. and it's up to you which one suits your gameplay best. As usual in driving games, you get to choose between automatic and manual transmission (choose automatic.)

Before each race you are treated to an information screen showing your pole position (you start off at 13th of 13) Course layout, length, undulation etc, and then away you go!

Like the Saturn original, you have a cheesy voice counting down your take off, and your co-driver shouts instructions at you to prepare you for the upcoming twists and turns. He tends to come over all camp if you spin out, with a slightly 'lavender' "Oh no!" if you spin off the track or bang into the wall. The legendary "Fiiiiiinnnnniiisssshheeed!!!" is heard as yo cross the line.

The original cheesy music found on the Saturn game is also found here too! Happy Days!

The initial track is a desert environment and if you qualify, you progress to the next (slightly harder) stage, Mountain, followed by Village stage, followed by a slippy and slidey Snow stage, involving some lovely drift!

Unlike it's Saturn predecessor, each stage is easily beatable. The replay fun then only exists in honing time off your lap records. Record times gain you points, which can in turn allow you to unlock the RC Rally mini game, purchase Sega Rally artwork from a gallery, or bonus cars that you can race with.

The real pleasure from owning this game comes from the kick of having a piece of Saturn history on a handheld, theirs little else to sustain you. The graphics are extremely pixelated, and the handling and repertoire of features don't hold up well against DS titles such as Ridge Racer or Burnout Legends. PSP owners who use their shiny handhelds for racing games would probably piss themselves at Sega Rally Championship GBA's lack of sophistication...

Still, I love it and regularly give it an outing. For a much more objective review, look here...

Related posts: Motocross Chalenge/Thrust Advance review, Turok Evolution GBA, Astro Boy Omega Factor GBA


  1. Excellent review, great graphics and one of the cheap GBA carts I've seen lying around Athens. BTW, never knew I were yuor boss... In that case, you come here after Cyprus and I take out ...

  2. Of course your the boss Gnome! Take out what?

  3. Oh, sorry, forgot them precious little words that would help the sentence make sense... "Take you out for food & drinks" that was...

  4. Jeez! Thats a very tempting offer my friend, the reality of the whole scenario is that after the wedding, I'll be on some budget flight back to the shit hole that is the UK...

    Please lets try and secure even a weekend in Athens... And I'm buying!

  5. Actually you come here and I'm definitely buying; no discussions there... Oh, and airplane tickets to both London (especially) & Manchester from Athens are dead cheap.

  6. Now that I think of it, I also haven't posted anything here for a long time. I'll try to fix that in the near future!

    As for the game, well, I played it sometime ago and I didn't quite liked it.

    Maybe because a couple of years ago I was already playing Sega Rally in the streets in full 3D glory!

    That's right, N-Gage power, baby!

  7. Hoorah! Everyone's back then! N-Gage... think I'll try eBay-ing for one...