Replay Value: 8.6
Number Of Players: 1-4
Okay before you all think 'what the hell, this is so old', I just want to say that I have been holding off the V-Rally 2 review, because I wanted to compare it to Colin McRae Rally. Throughout the review I'll mention a winner for each category, so read the whole review to find out which rally racer is better (so here it goes). When EA introduced its first rally title, NFS: V-Rally around March of '98, I was a bit skeptical about the game. I decided not to purchase it and wanted to hold my money for NFS 3. Later when the critiques put their hands on the game, the results were 50/50. For two years nobody ever heard about a sequel to V-Rally until around July EA announces V-Rally 2. This time the game was under EA's development and Infogrames publishing. The title was mentioned to be released in November of '99, EA also stated that the game will be four players and indeed that was true. So now that V-Rally 2: Need For Speed has been released here in the US, how does it compare to other racers? For starters the game boasts some beautiful looking visuals, excellent gameplay and a hefty replay value.
For starters the game boasts some beautiful looking visuals, excellent gameplay and a hefty replay value. This is how a rally game should look like, not too much pop-up, near-perfect car models and lush scenery. Compared to Colin McRae's dated graphics and Test Drive: Off Road 3's semi-blurry visuals V-Rally 2 is by far the best looking off road game around, even edging out GT2's rally portion (maybe not, but damn close though). I don't know what EA did to make the cars look so smooth and real, but whatever it was, I hope the result would be like that with future racing titles for Playstation. Each car model resembles its real life counterpart flawlessly, everything from front to back. The courses are all full of sweet detail to add to the rally feel, and not only do you drive on dirt but you also get to drive on asphalt as well as snow. As for the frame rate, during a one player or two player match the frame rate stays silky smooth. The four player mode also hold a good rate but some details were sacrificed to speed up the multi player matches. In the 4 player mode, beam lights have been turned off and the windows are covered, which leads to the drivers being absent from view and pop-up increases very slightly. So EA took out the most non-significant objects and we all received a better looking and playing party game. So without a question of a doubt the results for the graphics definitely go to V-Rally2.
Okay, to be honest Colin McRae has the most realistic rally controls, but V-Rally 2 does come close. Starting with the basics V-Rally 2 features over 25 cars and about 80 different tracks. Not only that, but you can also create your own track with the "Track Editor" tool. The depth is very good, you start out building the track, you have the ability to either make your track a roller coaster ride (which means there are many, many ground lifts) or you can put as many sharp turns or corkscrews as you want. The maximum amount of miles a track go is about two miles, but in the game it's called blocks, you can put down about 50 blocks of asphalt and that totals to about two miles. After your done with your track you can race on it, or if you're not happy with the outcome delete it and make a new one.
Now that that is out of the way let me tell you a few manufacturers that are behind the cars in V-Rally 2. Some of them include Ford, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Hyundai and Toyota. Then we have the real-life locales such as Spain, England, Australia, and Finland. Like any other racing game, V-Rally 2 also has the usual Time-Trial, Championship, Arcade mode, all of that plus an excellent four player mode that packs more replay value. V-Rally 2 is a definite purchase for any racing fan or multi player fan.
The sound is just like EA, its soundtrack is a mix of Rock and Techno which has always been my choice for any racing game. They have been doing this since NFS 2 and the combination never fails to disappoint me. Some of the tracks surprisingly get my adrenaline rushing almost as if I was listening to Metallica. All songs have great beats to really keep the excitement up, and as for the announcer that directs me where to go, he isn't too hard to understand and provides some good help.
Steering a real Rally car is very tough, not only because you're on dirt and mud the whole time but because of the tight turns that you are expected to do. Controls in V-Rally 2 are pretty faithful to the real thing, when driving on asphalt the action feels more smooth and relaxed, but when driving on dirt then the action gets hectic and rougher. The Dual Shock is all there, every bump, scrape, jump etc., feels solid when playing with the vibration on. And the Analog feature is very sensitive with V-Rally 2, you can adjust the sensitivity within the game to suit your style of gameplay.
V-Rally 2: Need For Speed is definitely a rally enthusiasts' game. If anybody is the least bit interested in racing, rally racing, or multi player games, should without a doubt pick up V-Rally 2 because it is by far the most in-depth and thorough rally racer on the market. Its simulation aspects may not be as 'ooh la la' as Colin McRae Rally's but they are quite close and that is probably the only area where Colin excels in, the physics. Over 25 cars, 80 something tracks, a Track Editor, and a Multi Player Mode via Multi Tap, V-Rally 2 is the best rally game to date.