Mobil 1 Rally Championship is probably the best rally-racing game that I have played. The graphics are stunning, the controls are stellar, and the depth is unmatched.
When you start up Mobil 1 Rally Championship, you are presented with an options screen. Right away, you can select from tons of different modes, including time trial, exhibition, season, and more. You can also customize your driver to your own specifications. Change your car's number, your car type and many other options. There are a lot of areas in which Mobil 1 Rally Championship succeeds, and it's depth is definitely one of it's strong points.
The amount of cars that Mobil 1 Rally Championship has is another cool feature. From Ford to Renault to Peugeot, all of the popular rally-racing car brands are definitely present and in full-force. Furthermore, the cars all look incredibly realistic, down to the slightest detail. The cars are all plastered with the advertising that is always present during real races. It's cool to see the differences in the cars, as well, from their performance to the damage that they take.
Damage is definitely a good add-on. After crashing a few times, you will start to see your car getting banged up. First the front-bumper will get crushed in, then the lights will start to fail on you, and perhaps the engine will eventually even fail on you (only if your lucky, though...ha). This happens in both the simulation and arcade modes (which can be thought of as either a good or a bad thing, depending on how good of a driver you are), although it is definitely more prevalent in the simulation mode.
I like the fact that Magnetic Fields decided to include an arcade feature. For those that are not always interested in simply racing against the clock, the arcade mode is a good alternate. There are actually other cars along the track, and you must try to finish in as high a place as you can. Since this is a secondary feature, however, there are some drawbacks to it. First, there are fifty cars on the track and you are starting at the end! This is insanely ridiculous, and leads to many problems. Secondly, rally tracks are not wide enough for multiple cars to fit side-by-side. Trying to pass another car means that one of you is probably going to have to go off-road, and it usually is you. Thirdly, for some odd reason, there is no way to reverse in the arcade mode. Pressing the button that I had used during the simulation mode to reverse did not seem to do the job in the arcade mode. Very odd, indeed. The arcade mode is, again, secondary, so it is still worth its weight.
The controls of Mobil 1 Rally Championship are very good. They are loose enough to allow for error by the driver, but are tight enough so that you never feel out of control of your car. There is definitely a delicate balance that is reached.
The season mode is very cool, and allows for a lot of playback time. My one complaint is just how long each race actually is. It is a marathon to complete a race, taking upwards of ten minutes for novices, and certainly more than about seven or eight for better players. It is still quite enjoyable, however.
All in all, Mobil 1 Rally Championship is a fun, adrenaline-pumping game that is great to play alone or with others (via split-screen action or through a network). It is the best rally game to come along, and that is saying something.
Graphics: Beautiful backgrounds and realistic cars add to the realism.
Sound: The co-driver is helpful, although his accent is somewhat annoying. The music is good enough for a normal game, so it is above-average for a sports game.
Enjoyment: The controls are really good, so that helps this rating out. The racing is fast and furios, and although difficult, it is still addicting.
Replay Value: The season mode is very complete, and the multiplayer modes keep you coming back for more.
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Colin McRae Rally, Rallisport Challenge, Rally Trophy, Rally Championship, Richard Burns Rally, Need for Speed 5: Porsche Unleashed, Ferrari Formula One, Sega Rally 2 Championship
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