Sega knew how to make arcade games. There is no dispute to that fact of gaming. Their driving games in the arcade were second to none. The problems arose when they brought them home. It is hard to replicate the arcade experience in the living room. Sega did their best in the early days. The Genesis was able to do alright but the Saturn was able to do so much better. Still, not arcade perfect. Sega Rally Championship hit 20 years ago today and it gave fans more than a few good times. While not perfect, Sega Rally Championship didn’t have to be. Gamers ate it up anyhow.
Featuring three unique scenes for the races, Sega Rally Championship certainly offered variety. With the transition to the home there were some major changes. First, the game is nearly new versus what fans were used to in the arcade. This was due to the limitation of the Saturn hardware. Fans win out in the end because the home version is almost a new game with familiar scenery.
Development of Sega Rally Championship is elevated a bit by Ridge Racer. Kenji Sasaki directed the development of this rally game. Previously he worked on Ridge Racer in a notable position. This helped give Sega Rally Championship a bit of an upper edge had he not been involved. This release is unique in that it does not use the Sega Graphics Library. Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtua Cop both used this library to their advantage.
The lineage of Sega Rally Championship is strong. Retro Gamer named it the best racer of all time. Magazines back in the day gave it a majority of good scores. Even by today’s standards, the game holds up rather well- sure it has been surpassed graphically but for fun factor, it is tough to pass up a chance to sling some mud.
Sega Rally Championship on either PC or Sega Saturn could be yours, just hit Ebay and show us some support while you are at it.