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Sega Rally Discussion

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Eurogamer is reporting on a feature in a recent issue of Famitsu magazine that reports SEGA is looking to bring Sega Rally to the PS2 in the form of Sega Rally 2005, due for release, shockingly.... in 2005.






*Greetings from the future! Direct your eyes here for the discussion that has now evolved to a new version of Sega Rally for 2007 that might actually be good!*

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Having sat at the computer a moment ago I thought to myself "haaaaaaaang on, wasn't the new Sega Rally on PS2 meant to show up at TGS again?" I did a bit of research and sure enough it was there, in playable form. Now re-branded Sega Rally 2006 due to its delay (Japan get it in January) according to Gamespot it'll boast no fewer than 200 tracks.


Sega Rally 2006 will feature time attack, career, and arcade modes of play, which doesn't sound like a lot until you find out just how deep the career mode is going to be this time around. You'll start your career as a novice driver behind the wheel of a standard production car, and then, as you progress, you'll be able to improve its performance by spending money on upgrades. You'll eventually be invited to meet with sponsors, who, in exchange for you allowing them to cover your car in logos and such, will give you more money to spend. Ultimately, if you're good enough, you'll be invited to drive for a works team.


Playing Sega Rally 2006 with a GT Force wheel, we found that the handling was very responsive, and the implementation of the force feedback was superb--especially when we landed after a jump or hit the gas pedal. The sense of speed was also quite impressive, regardless of which camera view we chose to play with.


Here is their Hands on preview in full:



They also have a trailer. It's looking good! It'd be nice if it can take back the crown Ralisport 2 stole (one has to wonder if that's partly why the new Sega Rally was delayed a year in the first place).


IGN also have TGS hands on impressions here along with the same trailer as Gamespot, plus some shaky-cam footage of the game in action from the show floor.



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1up also did a preview just a few days ago:



The sample version of Sega Rally 2005, which made its public debut yesterday at the Tokyo Game Show, retained the series' arcade-style sensibilities while wowing the audience with some truly amazing PS2 graphics. Only two cars (a Subaru Impreza and a Citroen Xsara) and a small subset of tracks were available for play, but what we saw was already amazing -- in fact, equal to or above both the Colin McRae series and Sony's own World Rally Championship games, with only RalliSport as its superior. That's no mean feat for a company that's disappointed far more often than it's amazed with its racers as of late.


Despite the arcade values, Sega Rally does have one feature that more rally games could stand to implement -- a random course generator. In a move to recreate the experience of traversing an unknown route with the help of your navigator co-pilot, Sega Rally 2005 has an engine that can create courses with random structures, weather, and times of day. There's an infinite number of variations possible with this engine (available in all modes except for Career), and if you run into a track you like in particular, you can save it to a memory card for later reuse. It goes to show how Sega is genuinely trying to do something different with rally games



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Sega Rally 2006 will include a port of the original arcade game!




A curious note in the article:


The game will, according to the magazine, support the GT Force, GT Force Pro and a mysterious device called "GT Force Pro For Sega Rally." This steering controller will be released along side the game at a cost of 14,800 yen. There's no word yet on the changes being made for the "For Sega Rally" version of the Logitech steering wheel device, although it will be available in limited quantities.



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There are some mixed feelings floating around the old interweb from those who have imported the new Sega Rally. Many are claiming the game suffers from hideous pop up and the main game sadly lacks 480p support, although the port of the 1995 game has it. Perhaps the main game will see some improvements for its western release.

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IGN pwn3d this game pretty badly:


Sega Rally 2006 was originally scheduled to appear last year as Sega Rally 2005, marking the 10th anniversary of the series in the home. Obviously, something went horribly wrong, and the result is a rally racer that, in 2006, has none of the significance of its 1995 Sega Saturn and 1994 arcade counterparts, especially compared to the strong lineup of rally racers already available for the PS2. Sega would've done better to have released Sega Rally Championship as a budget Sega Ages title, and reworked this so-called "Next Sega Rally" into something more worthy of the name.


Sega just doesn't have it anymore.

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Sega just doesn't have it anymore.

They haven't "had it" for a long time now when it comes to thier internal development team. Though Ryu ga Gotoku is supposedly stellar, and of course has no US announcement as of yet.:( Though, they've been making some pretty nice publishing decisions. I will be ever thankful of them for Condemned (and very thankful for the two Otogi games on the Xbox). They've also outsourced some fantastic games to outside studios.

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Firstly, let us cast our minds back to April of 2006 when this was announced:




SEGA Redefines the Rally Racing Genre with Revolutionary Track Deformation Technology


SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (April 28, 2006) - SEGA? of America, Inc. and SEGA? Europe Ltd. today announced SEGA RALLY™ REVO. This genre-defining competitive racing game will be the first title developed by the newly-formed SEGA Driving Studio, and will be racing onto the PLAYSTATION?3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360™, and PC in 2007.


With revolutionary dynamically deformable terrain, proprietary next-generation graphics, bone-jarringly realistic physics, and competitive bumper-to-bumper racing, SEGA RALLY REVO will set a new benchmark in its genre with a high-tempo driving experience that is every racing fan's driving fantasy.


"SEGA RALLY REVO shifts into high gear with revolutionary track deformation technology, skill-demanding gameplay and dazzling graphics on the next-gen systems," said Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. "We're redefining the genre with SEGA RALLY REVO, using next-gen power to guarantee our place in the winner's circle."


Vehicle selection affects driving strategy in SEGA RALLY REVO, as race course surfaces dynamically deform upon repeated contact with vehicle tires and changing weather effects. SEGA RALLY REVO features a variety of fully deformable surfaces, from gravel-littered tracks and smooth tarmac roads, to snow-covered mountain passes. This means no two laps will ever be the same, and drivers can skillfully lower their lap times as they hurtle their chosen world-renowned rally vehicles down photo-realistic courses only made possible on next-generation hardware.


Driving skills will also be tested by SEGA RALLY REVO's advanced AI which allows NPC drivers to dynamically adapt their driving style to the varied racing surfaces. Players can enjoy a comprehensive single-player campaign as they travel the globe racing the best drivers in the world. SEGA RALLY REVO also features online capabilities, with multiplayer splitscreen modes offering an extremely competitive rally experience against drivers around the world.



And now for the recent news which appeared yesterday thanks to IGN screaming that they have “OMG EXCLUSIVE SCREENSHOTS……… but not actually screenshots” from the game, which at least confirm it is still coming.





SEGAs UK driving development studio is doing the game which will hopefully result in it actually being really good and not a mess like Sega Rally 2006.

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Interesting bit of information about the new SEGA Rally:


"The key philosophy behind the new Sega Rally game is that it's a multiplayer arcade game on looping tracks," Wilday said. "By the time you're down to the last laps, the track's going to look completely different. It's going to be much more deformed."


The team made this happen by layering two very different surfaces over one another and then letting you grind through the top layer to the bottom as you drive over them. If it's a gravel track, the upper, more slippery layer is worn off and your tires will bite into the track that much more easily. On the other hand, the cold-weather tracks will actually become icier the more you erode them.




PS: Can a mod rename this thread 'All things SEGA Rally' or something befitting this jumbled discussion for what was the 2005 game, which then became the 2006 game, and is now firmly focused on the brand spanking new 2007 game.

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Encouraging preview courtesy of good ol Dave McCarthy at Eurogamer:


The finished game will include over 30 cars: four-wheel drive, two-wheel drive, classic cars, and some bonus cars. But each one will be available in various different liveries, and most will have different variants (set up for driving on tarmac, or gravel, or safari, for example). Although SEGA remains coy on the subject, judging by the demonstration, you'll be able to relive the boxy glamour of the original vehicles, and as you'll know if you've been following Eurogamer's previous coverage, races will take place across various videogamey environments, from deserts to arctic wastes, with each environment home to three courses.


The course in the demo looks lovely. Taking place in a tropical idyll, it boasts swaying scenery, lush palm trees, lagoons with boats bobbing on the surface, and the occasional local villager cycling around. And the detail is staggering: the engine throb is the dictionary definition of throaty; all the environments and vehicles are self-shadowing; you can see the suspension of each wheel bouncing independently; and the dust haze and mud that splatters the cars matches the surfaces that they're driving through - which means they'll even wash off when you splash through puddles.


Apart from the up to date visuals, the major innovation over the original game is in the persistent surface deformation - but this will surely bring it closer to what AM5 was trying to achieve all those years ago. What it basically means is that when you drive around on surfaces, they deform, pretty much as they would in real life. And they stay deformed, pretty much as they would in real life. In fact, they tested it by setting up six AI cars to drive around a track for 12 hours: they left behind a quarry. So when you drive through wet mud, you'll make thick trenches. Drive across more solid surfaces and you'll leave shallower skid marks. You can even go down to the water table, creating puddles that weren't there before.


More here:


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Eurogamer have a new preview:


To begin with you're all over the place. It's still fun, but as you clamber up mountain roads, transition into wading through slush and then skating across snow, or glide round sandy turns down by the beach, you throw the back end of the car out too far, you overcorrect on the steering and snag the sides of the track, and you regularly plough straight into the wall at the peak of a hairpin. As you get a better grasp of the relationship between braking, the accelerator, and powerslides, you're able to concentrate on keeping a good line and showing sharp turns a sensible amount of respect, rather than baring your arse to the spectators in blind fear and losing a couple of seconds in the process.


What's interesting though is that the most frustrating thing - smacking walls - starts to disappear from your laps quite quickly. You make mistakes, and they cost you, but the tracks seem to bulge in the places where you make them. It's subtle, and once you've graduated beyond learner lines and started rutting the optimal approach, you won't even notice the run-offs. We put it to Wilday that perhaps they've deliberately designed the tracks to catch newbies when they fall. He laughs. "Motivation from the start was that SEGA Rally's about throwing the car sideways and powersliding round corners, so having the ability to do that is enormously important, so it's quite forgiving. If you make a mistake and go wide on a corner, the penalty is that you've taken a longer line - you're not necessarily penalised by hitting a wall."


"One of the key things is that they've got to adapt to what's happening with the track; the track's changing, you're having to drive differently because of that, and they're going to have to do exactly the same thing," Wilday observes. "We've got a fairly sophisticated AI system that is adapting to how the race is changing." In practice they have a tendency to roar off at the start and then need to be pegged back while you're getting to grips (apologies) with the surface. But they pay their AI colleagues the same sort of attention you might expect to see reserved for you; on one occasion I entered a tunnel glancing nervously at a Peugeot and a SKODA in my rear-view, and upon exiting they were both gone - victims of a tightening bend and their own mutual stubbornness. Even over the course of a few hours it's hard to confirm Wilday's comments about their adaptiveness, but they certainly put up a good fight.


Wilday says his goal for each environment is "basically to have extremes of surfaces and extremes of gameplay"; for them to be characteristic both in terms of the make-up of their surfaces and the distribution and transitions between them, as well as aesthetically. There's plenty of evidence of that already: Alpine's gradual ascent into slush and then snow forces you to brake sooner, reconsider the apex and be more mindful of those around you; and probably the most satisfying part of the entire game can be found in Canyon, as you powerslide through a 90-degree right-hander that leads onto a bridge and the dust transitions to tarmac, with the sudden burst of friction wrenching you forward and saving you from crashing into the barrier. It makes me smile every time.


As you've gathered, it left us very upbeat as we exited Blythe Business Park at the end of the day. We wanted to see more. We wanted to see the other environments (they won't tell us what they are, but we spot "Coastal" and "Arctic" mood-boards lying around the studio), we wanted to check out the other car classes (there'll be more than 30 vehicles - including "Classic" and "Bonus" ones, with new liveries unlocked by accumulating mileage), and of course we wanted to go online. Both PS3 and 360 will offer 6-player competitive racing, with Time Attack as mentioned and downloadable ghosts to go with each leaderboard. In fact, Wilday says the two versions are identical in every respect, and they seem to be. The Xbox 360 version might end up with PC-Xbox cross-play on Vista ("I'm not sure that's going to make it in. We'll see."), but apart from that and the lack of rumble in the PS3 pad, "you'd be hard-pushed to tell them apart". So that's nice then, and in deference to the developer, the best way to celebrate this seems to be downing tools and heading off to the Quack & Pheasant.






...and word of plans for a pre-release demo:


SEGA Racing Studio's new vision of SEGA Rally should be arriving on Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network in demo form prior to release.


Racing Studio boss Guy Wilday also told Eurogamer that the team is currently targeting a September release for the game across PS3, Xbox 360, PC and PSP.


"We'll look to do potentially 360 and PS3 downloadable demos before release," Wilday said of the demo, although he admitted that content plans weren't locked down.


"We're looking at exactly how the demo's going to work and what we're going to do. The balancing act with demos is always obviously not to give too much away," he explained.


"We want people to get the experience of the game without giving the game away. So that's our challenge - we'll get some more bits of the game finished and then we'll make the final decision as to exactly what we're going to do."





Sounds like it’s all coming together nicely. I’m excited!

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