Sega Rally Online Arcade announced... but isn't it just Revo all over again?

This isn't an OutRun-style HD update of the original, sadly

A new Sega Rally game is headed for PSN and Xbox Live Arcade later this year, cherry picking the best cars and features from the arcade version of Sega Rally 3 and the console version of Sega Rally Revo. Thing is, the arcade-only Sega Rally 3 is little more than an enhanced version of the console game that came out in 2007, which is already available as a digital download. So what gives?

Viva La Revolution! Literally

The new game will feature 13 cars and 6-player online racing, as well as Championship and Time Attack modes. Take a look at the screenshots and you'll instantly recognise the visual style from the most recent console release (which I'll refer to as 'Revo' here for clarity's sake - it was just called 'Sega Rally' in the UK).

Above: Even the first game had birds on the track, which my dad swore you could hit with the car. Lies!

Above: The feeling of driving over snow was great in Revo, and the 3D tyre tracks are the real deal

Above: Track design and car handling were excellent in the previous Xbox 360 game, so this should be fun

Sega Rally 3 in the arcades (which I played in Germany - never seen it in the UK), is almost identical to the Xbox 360 and PS3 version of Sega Rally. Same engine, same graphical style... even some of the same tracks. They were developed in tandem, so they're virtually the same game. The press release for the new game says:

"SEGA%26rsquo;s arcade and console favorite will include a collection of new features, including the ability for gamers to race their friends online!"

...which Revo could do already. The press release also says:

%26ldquo;We%26rsquo;ve blended our hit arcade racing series with the best elements from the console versions to bring our fans the SEGA Rally experience in compact, downloadable format,%26rdquo; said Haruki Satomi, Vice President of Digital Business at SEGA.

...Which, again, Revo can do already. What's more 'compact and downloadable' than a downloadable package on PSN and Xbox 360? Hmmm.Looking at the name and the content, logic suggests that this will be a bite-sized, quick-play oriented version, much like having an online-enabled arcade cabinet in your console.If it's cheap, it could get some gamers interested who don't feel like taking the plunge and buying the full-fat Revo experience.But for everyone else, it's not offering much that's new. Ah, but...

Lick of paint

It looks like the graphics have been tweaked slightly if the press shots are anything to go by - take a look at this comparison between Sega Rally Revo and the new game and you can see much smoother-looking scenery. The Jungle tracks were always the best looking, but now they look even better.

Above: Geek in me says better anti-aliasing. Geek in me also asks for 60fps this time, please

Wouldn't it have been better...

I always seem to be asking Sega for more, don't I? Problem is, the name 'Sega Rally Online Arcade' got me instantly excited as I imagined this:

Above: Sega Rally Championship - freakin' awesome since 1995. Will any of this be present in the new game?

Being given the same treatment as this:

Above: OutRun Online Arcade - a straight conversion to XBLA and PSN, with HD graphics and multiplayer

But that's not happening. Again. One halcyon day, I'm certain we'll get the original Sega Rally and the original Daytona (probably with a different name, mind you) on XBLA and PSN, with full online multiplayerand up-rezed HD graphics. I can butdream.

01 Feb, 2011

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The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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