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Posted on Jan 27th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under racing, arcade, dreamcast, pc

Sega Rally Championship is one of the best arcade racing games of the mid-1990s. Since Sega's always got something in the pipeline for the arcade, it makes sense that a sequel would eventually follow. Sega Rally Championship was also one of the few bright spots for the company during their years supporting the Saturn. It's one of the most popular and common games for the system in all regions, mainly because Sega was pushing marketing behind their arcade ports. Most of these games were already hits in the arcade, so it's no surprise that they were also hits for home console owners.

Sega Rally Championship 2 was developed and released in the arcade by Sega AM5 in 1998. A year later, gamers received a home console port for the Saturn's follow up, the Sega Dreamcast. This Dreamcast port ended up being a launch title for the European release of the system. A PC version was also released later in the year, and just after the New Year for 2000 in North America.

Sega Rally 2 has many more options than the first game. You now have all kinds of cars, and the ability to play each with automatic or manual shifting controls. Instead of three tracks to beat in the main race (with a bonus fourth track for winning the rally), there are now four base tracks. You can play these tracks in practice mode to get your bearings on the course design and get yourself ready to race in the main arcade mode. The Desert track was remade with a few changes, with more tracks unlockable or available in different modes.

An extra option in the Dreamcast and PC ports is the 10 Year Championship mode. This mode has three extra tracks on top of the four from the arcade mode. Once you get the arcade tracks down, at least for the most part, then 10 Year Championship is a fun mode to play. I had not beaten the arcade mode when I first tried doing the first year of this 10 Year Championship, and there was plenty of time to get through the tracks I knew, as well as the tracks I did not. The game also features a Time Trial and a multiplayer mode. Most of the usual modes for racing games are present in the Dreamcast and PC packages.

The controls were changed from the first Sega Rally, which took me some time to get used to when I first started. Each car feels much more unique with its controls. The Toyota Celica felt like its tires were made from ice, its turn radius was so sharp. I ended up driving the Lancia Stratos more than any other car. Desert and Mountain did not take me much time to get down, so seeing those tracks in any mode is a breath of fresh air. Sadly, Joe Satriani does not return to shred his guitar in the background while you drift around curves that might be very easy.

Sega Rally 2 is a worthy follow up to Sega Rally Championship, but I still have a preference for the first game's Saturn port. The Dreamcast port adds more than enough to keep your attention. It's one of the least expensive and easiest games to find for your Dreamcast, so if you're looking for arcade action on your Sega Dreamcast, then keep an eye out for Sega Rally 2.

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Awesome article!  I don't have either of these games, despite them being very common.  I will have to check them out!
This was a great game. I played this game before the Saturn version which may be why I prefer it.  I remember this game being HARD but that may also have to do with my inexperience with the series.  great read!
Great article, SP.  Along with Midnight Club this is one of my favorite racing series.  I also had no idea that Rally 2 was released on the PC.  That is really cool.  Thanks, man.
I've played SEGA Rally 2, but I greatly prefer the original SEGA Rally.
I even have the Japanese exclusive PS2 arcade port of it. Smiley
@bombatomba: I'm actually looking forward to trying Dirt Rally when it starts coming down in price and I get a new rig built. I'm gonna try to get another racing wheel. It just doesn't quite feel right to play racing games without one.
Not a big racing game guy, but I've been on the lookout for a CIB copy of Sega Rally for the Saturn.  This looks really good though, so I might have to keep my eyes peeled for a copy of this as well.  Nice write-up!

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