Review by clarkisdark
"Online won't help"
Sega GT Online is actually an updated version of Sega GT 2002, the main difference being an online mode. I have not played Sega GT 2002, nor have I been able to try out Sega GT Online's online capabilities. So I will review it under those conditions. If you are like me, you bought this game, because it was $4 at a used game store. If you are like me, you will take it back right away and get something better.
If Sega GT has any real selling point, it's that the game looks good-- but don't play it because of that. The car models are cool, and any car fanatic should appreciate the selection available (which even includes some old-timies). The race tracks also have their moments of realistic awe with some decent weather effects. I get this visual strangeness, however, at certain times when the car on the track looks completely cartoony and out of place. And with the implementation of a damage meter, why the heck doesn't the car get visually damaged?
All Sega games have a distinct audio quality to them-- or is that a lack of audio quality? The keyboard/guitar mixes have carried through F-Zero GX, Beach Spikers, and even Super Monkey Ball, and the same has remained in Sega GT. Standard. Generic. Don't get too excited.
Sega GT is a racing sim, if that means anything to you. It doesn't me. All right, so that entails being given $13,000 and access to a car catalogue. Once you buy your first beauty (a.k.a. piece of junk), you're off to compete in several event races. By placing in the top three in these races, you can score some extra cash or even a new car. That money is then used to buy you a better ride or upgrade the parts in your current vehicle. I'm more a fan of over-the-top racing, but a premise like that sounds promising enough. I thought I'd give it a try. What I found was something so slow and dull, I couldn't stay awake playing it. Sega GT has a terrible sense of speed. It has no sense of speed. That 100 mph flashing on the screen means nothing. It doesn't feel like 100 mph at all. Have I made my point? Slow, slow, slow.
If I wanted realistic control, I'd just go get in my real car and drive around the block. I'm sorry, but I'm not a fan of dedicated realism. I like a certain amount of disbelief in my video games. That's why I play video games. The controls in Sega GT are stiff, clunky, and very difficult to work with. Turning a corner is not some super slick process involving any kind of drifting whatsoever. There is no drifting, and there is very little leeway for turning. For most corners, you have to come to a near stop to be able to pivot enough to head onto the next straightaway. But then you come out of a turn and find your car sliding back and forth, unable to get it aligned again. This is not fun.
Money. All our problems always fall on money. You are expected to buy super expensive cars and parts, but then you are expected to earn that money by winning repetitive races. Winning isn't a problem. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn't. That's how all racing games go. What makes me mad about Sega GT is the damage meter. It is very easy to take damage, and damage, as we all know, costs money to fix. So if you max out the damage meter, you can expect a good share of your winnings to go towards fixing your car. Thus, it'll take hours before you have enough for a major upgrade.
I forced myself to play the main game in order to review it fairly, and I hated it. Earning enough money to buy a better car is a time-consuming and tedious process involving multiple races of the same tracks. In fact, the "great" selection of tracks all feel the same, and it gets old riding around identical levels over and over and over and over and over... Buying a faster car does improve the speed of the game marginally, but this comes at the sacrifice of control. The faster cars are so hard to steer, you're almost better off sticking with the slower engines.
Luckily, you can go into Quick Battle where several cars and tracks are already unlocked for 1-4 player matches. Do your friends a favor, however, and don't make them play this game. Unless they are dedicated Sega GT fans, they won't have any fun at all. Because this is Sega GT Online, you could find those needed fans somewhere around the world. Various game journals have cited that this online mode is glitchy, though, and probably isn't worth investing in anyway considering how boring the game already is.
Sega GT has all the makings of a good racing sim: a slick interface, nice graphics, lots of cool cars, plenty of customizable parts, and huge multiplayer support. Unfortunately, two key components are missing from that list: a good sense of speed and some tight control. Sega GT is plain boring and dull-- when it isn't frustrating. You can take the time to slowly desensitize yourself to this game and find a glimmer of fun here, or you can jump right into a plethora of better racing games. Personally, I'd go with Plan B.
+ Promising specs
-- No sense of speed
-- No control
-- Repetitive racing
Reviewer's Rating: 1.5 - Bad
Originally Posted: 11/14/05, Updated 11/15/05
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