Pielikey takes a left 2 at the speed of a left 6 and reviews Xpand Rally Xtreme

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Pielikey takes a left 2 at the speed of a left 6 and reviews Xpand Rally Xtreme

Post by Pielikey on Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:18 pm

It's a SulksMagon Folf! And no, the car names really are that wafer thin in this game.

Colin McRae Rally was made pre-2007 and was probably the best selling hardcore Rally Simulation out there. With 30+ Cars, 20 tracks and over 500 Individual stages on each, Colin Mcrae 2005 was a wonderfully popular Rally Simulator. This game was released as actual competition to Mr. McRae's simulators. So, does it stack up to the competition?

+Weather and Nighttime Runs:
Being someone who learned most of his rally simulating from DiRT, this was the first time I had ever driven off road at night and the first time I had ever driven in any type of Weather in a video game. It's very thrilling and kind of horrifying to tear through a jungle when you can only see about ~30 feet infront of you. Weather also really affects the gameplay, making a simple stage crippling because of how much more slick the Gravel or tarmac is.

There's a horn, and you can mess with the headlights:
Come on. Any game that lets you drive through the whole track blaring your horn and rapidly spazzing out with the headlights earns points in my book.

= Setup was a bitch: For a game that actually sold on the 360, this thing was a pain in the ass to set up correctly with the 360 controller I have. The deadzone does fuck-all unless you really max it out, and at that point you might as well use the keyboard. After about 30 minutes I perfected it to mostly playable Condition. However, you might have better luck if you're using a different controller.
= Graphics...?! The game's graphics have beautiful effects, like beams of light coming through trees and the grass realistically glistening when you shine your headlights on them. However, the models are ass even on the cars and the textures are something like 640 x 480, so it looks very odd. It's almost like if gaming had a "retro" setting that you can't turn off.

- Very small replay value: Eventually the game feels less like fun and more like a grind. The Japanese "SUPA SPESHAA" stages feel like a grind because they put you on very narrow tracks and expect you to go at full speed in corners that can kill you very, very easily. The only thing the tracks seem to be missing is the fact that they aren't bright orange and have giant loops to go through. You'll find a lot of time is spent upgrading the car you bought to the point that you can easily beat the stages, and move on.

- The Subtleties
There are very small things that could of made the game a lot better. Deer and Moose crossing the road can't actually be run over, and running into photographers that stand in the road means that you will be reset back onto the track with a 5 second penalty. The setups allow for an extreme lack of choices, like differential settings and power transfer settings only have like 3 settings. I don't know if it's realistic or not, but I do know that it feels like a serious downgrade from other games. The physics engine also has it's own share of glitches, like the car stopping suddenly and killing your driver instantly. Also, no brand-name cars? Really?

This game is a pretty tough one to review. I ultimately had fun the times the car wasn't getting eaten by the ground and the time I wasn't driving straight through deer. The small things would get to just about anyone, especially Rally fans. If you want a good rally game, I'd hold out until 2011 when DiRT 3 comes out. If you really can't wait, then DiRT 2 is a good alternative. If you can't wait AND you don't have $40 laying around AND your computer sucks AND you don't have a console, then this is the rally simulator for you!

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