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     " Rallisport fills my need to weave like few games in history "

      Title: Rallisport Challenge by Microsoft

      Format: Xbox Racer

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: Rally racing is arguably the best of all car motor sports events and Rallisport claims to bring it to you in spades. Hill climbs, rallycross, ice racing…it's all here for a new generation of consoles.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: Without a question, Rallisport looks wonderful. It's bright, the scenery is gorgeous, the lighting is outstanding, and the terrain is superb. That all being said, however, I don't know for sure that it's superior to rival games like Gran Tourismo 3 and suffers all of the same limitation as other games of its genre; like invisible barriers and limited texturing. There are few things more annoying in gaming than to be oohing and ahhing the pretty graphics to then find yourself suddenly halted in mid air because you happened to drive into the level's invisible boundaries. Add to that the generally limited object and area displayed and you end up with the equivalent of a flashlight in the dark. Sure, what you see is great, but there's so much more you don't that it gets old fast. Now, I grant you, it is a track based racing game and so it makes a certain amount of sense to limit your environment, but my feeling is that it should either have a lot more free roaming (who cares if you lose the race) or what you do see should just be that much better. 4 out of 5

      Sound: Is it just me or is it getting more and more difficult to judge racing games? I mean, really, there's only so much you can do with the growling of an engine and a generic rock soundtrack. Still, that being said, Rallisport's fair is solid and, though not memorable, and will likely go down in the fair but essentially average annals of history. 3.5 out of 5

      Playability: I love rally racing. I mean I love it with my whole being. At night, in abandoned gravel parking lots, my Saturn and I peel, roll, and burn like a bat slowly meandering it's way out of purgatory. Now, mostly that's all because I'm a geek- still, it shows that I have a sincere love of the sport. That being said, Rallisport fills my need to weave like few games in history ever have. Solid courses, variable terrains, killer competition, and a bad ass physics engine all combine to give you a really nice and solid racing experience. Unfortunately however, not to be all praise, I have to point out the games two biggest failings: limited control schemes and car customization. I don't know what it is about the Xbox, or for that matter a lot of console games in general, but what the heck is with all the "pre-programmed" control schemes? I don't care what it takes, or how much extra effort might be involved, but developers have to go back to giving us free reign over making or buttons and sticks do what we want. Never more relevant than it is in a driving game, I HATE having to learn a new control scheme every time I change games because they're all different and none of 'em will let me have it the way I actually want it. Add to that a very limited options as far as tweaking out your ride and you end up a leaning a little too close to "arcade" for my taste. 4 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: I hate answering this question for racing games. Why? Because how much enjoyment you're going to get out of them (in comparison to me) is totally speculatory. Still, all things considered, this is a really solid entry into the genre and, at least for me, won't get old for quite a while…especially with the up-to-4-player action. Probably not until Rallisport 2 comes out. 4 out of 5

      Story/Dramatics: It's a racing game, so there ain't none. And while personally I feel that's a cop out I guess I'm outvoted. NR

      The Verdict:

       All in all, Rallisport is a good, solid- if not quite fantastic racing game. Lots of race modes, sharp graphics, and a killer feel all roll together nicely and give a good strong showing in the genre. While unlikely to go down as a classic, it's definitely a worthy addition to the Xbox catalog.

      The Good: Nice graphics, cool tracks, and a great rally racing feel.

      The Bad: Fixed controls, limited car customizations, narrow maps, and nothing truly innovative.

      The Overall Ugly: A good racing game and one of the best rally games I've seen.

      What it's Worth: Market.

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