Sega Classics Collection Part 3 - Virtua Racing (PS2)





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Published on Mar 23, 2011

Part 3 of this capture features Virtua Racing. After the great effort on the Genesis and even better on the 32X, I thought for sure they would have nailed the perfect or near perfect console port of Virtua Racing on the Saturn. No it was the exact opposite. The Saturn version is the worst port of the arcade in many respects even compared to the Genesis version. However that's a different video. So the Sega Classics Collection rolls out and has what appears to be the best console port of this game to date. At a glance the graphics appear to be identical to the arcade, but they are in fact better than the arcade. The game also runs at a constant 60 frames which is double the original arcade's framerate. We're off to such a good start here, what could be wrong? Two HUGE things. Awful gameplay and horrid sound effects. Let's examine the gameplay first.

One will notice that when I turn, the whole car goes into an instant fish tail. No matter how little you turn, the whole car just aims in that direction. The lack of precision steering causes you run into other vehicles simply while trying to pass them on even a slight turn. Because of this you must take your turns wider to prevent from hitting the other car in this situation. The formula 1 you're driving handles more like a rally car. They should have called this game Virtua Rally instead. Of course when you hit another car you will come to a complete stop and do a 360 which puts you even further behind in the race. Truth be told this doesn't happen a whole lot on the 3 arcade tracks, but happens a ton on the original tracks in the grand prix mode that have tight turns. I show me playing the last track in the grand prix mode and it was out of control because the car's handling is complete trash. On top of the garbage handling, you'll notice on the last track how incredibly big the track map is. The whole twisting the map perspective worked fine in the arcade tracks, but in the last track, the map is so huge that it obstructs your view of the entire right side of the screen and even your car when it twists all the way around. Plus you only race when it's overcast outside in the grand prix mode which means it's darker and even harder to see with that stupid map in the way. What also adds to the obstructions is the fact that your cars shoots sparks from the exhaust about every 2 seconds it seems and they don't dissipate. Instead they have no animation and blocks your view even further while looking terrible. I placed first in every track with the formula 1 accept the last track because of all these stupid annoyances.

So if you can look past all that, then there is the terrible sound. The car's engine sound is extracted straight from the arcade. The tire screeching sounds are not! The tire screeching. THE HORRIBLE TIRE SCREECHING!!!!!! I HATE IT! I had to play the rest of the game with the sound down so low I could barely hear the game because the tire screeching sound is CONSTANT!!!! It never stops! It makes me think violent thoughts! Other than that, your car never shifts gears. NEVER! Notice that you never once hear the engine sound shift with the gears. This is the only game I don't play on manual transmission because I can't hear my car shift.

Other things about this game you might notice is that since the car just fish tails all the time, the suspension on the car never shows the shifting of the weight of the car. The suspension is stiff as a board, but hey, I'm just splitting hairs now. This game is not even close to an accurate representation of the arcade. If you wanna see what Virtua Racing is supposed to play like, download MAME and the VR rom.

After you beat the grand prix mode with the formula 1, you get new and exciting vehicles like a 1970's formula 1 that handles the exact same as the last one and is SLOWER! The difficulty then gets ramped up as the AI all of the sudden drives at full speed making those wonderful fish tail collisions happen even more often. Yay.

In the end, do yourself a favor and play the MAME arcade version. Hell play the Genesis version or THE SATURN VERSION. The Saturn version has some horrible sound effects, but atleast the tire screeching doesn't give you a headache and the gameplay is actually quite good. As I said before though, that'll be a different video.


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