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     " None of this pussy Nascar crap… "

      Title: Colin Mcrae Rally 3 by Codemasters

      Format: Xbox Rally Racer

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: No question about it, Rally racing is the best car racing there is. None of this pussy Nascar crap…real men take fast four wheelers both on and off road on wavy courses filled with loose packed dirt and unstable terrain. Thus, Codemasters takes one of the most esteemed rally racers of all time and brings a third version of a game sporting him to Xbox. But will it make the grade or slide tragically through the barriers and into the stands, killing hundreds of European spectators? Read on, my monkeys…read on.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: Damned, but if this isn't a pretty game. Certainly, it is not near what the Xbox is truly capable of, but when you compare it to a lot of what we've seen on any of the consoles lately it ranks in the upper 80%. The environments are lush and attractive, the cars are nicely detailed and reflect accurate crash damage, the tracks are laid out wonderfully, and the colors are all incredibly vibrant (something I think is very important in a game like this). Really, the basis for any negativity comes from the lack of thoroughness in the graphics- i.e. the pixalization of some terrain features (like sign posts) and the lack of generic level details…but overall it really is a nice presentation. 4 out of 5

      Playability: If you didn't guess from the intro, I'm a huge rally race fan. I think the combination of strategic skill and aggressiveness the racing calls for is amazing and the addition of significant skid factors and variable terrain really put it over the top for me. That being said, I count Colin Mcrae 3 in among the best rally games ever created. Offering a variety of control and navigation options so you can make the driving experience exactly the way you want it, the racing is about as real as you can get without hitting the track yourself. The physics and cars are wonderfully represented, the courses are (I'm told) taken from actual prime rally races, and they used Colin Mcrae's actual navigator to call the track for you. My only 2 gripes are the fairly limited play options (there aren't many just "go race for fun" tracks) and the fact that the cars aren't customizable the way they should be. Still, it's a fun enough play that you probably won't notice them a lot. 4.5 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: As with most of these types of games, replayability comes in how often you can re-race the same tracks. For me, that's just about endless…but you may be different (freak). Still, the addition of a very strong multiplayer component will help out a lot…even if there is no Xbox Live support. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       All in all, this is one of the best rally racers of all time and may be the best Xbox racer ever. If the genre appeals to you at all you need this game.

      The Good: Great physics, levels, and controls

      The Bad: No Xbox Live and limited customizability

      The Overall Ugly: A truly great rally game.

      What it's Worth: Market

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