Virtua Racing ( Nintendo Switch )
Posted: June 10th, 2020, 8:02 am
With groundbreaking visuals, exhilarating speed and play times short enough to encourage further attempts, Sega's 'Virtua Racing' was an arcade owner's dream in the early 90s.
Fast forward to 2020 and it's easy to look back on early polygonal games as being offensive to the eye, but Virtua Racing's visuals still hold up. Its simple, flat shaded, textureless models were a product of 1990s hardware restraints but this visual style is still implemented by developers today.
Visuals are nothing without gameplay however and thats where Virtua Racing shines!
With three tracks to choose from, first place is hard to achieve outside the beginner course and doing so deserves respect!
Though handling isn't realistic it requires nuance and takes considerable time to master.
Corners are hard to line up whilst navigating your way through 16 adversaries. If you get close to those in front you can take advantage of an opponent's slipstream and shave hundredths of seconds off lap times (crash into one and you'll most likely spin out).
A.I opponents approach racing lines well and are clever enough to move out the way of oncoming vehicles. A negative aspect of gameplay is that your adversaries cheat somewhat: at times they can pass through other drivers and will recover quickly from mistakes whilst the player will lag behind following a collision!
Whilst previous ports of Virtua Racing added additional content, M2 have stuck to the base arcade experience and beautifully polished the original. They've upped the resolution, increased the frame rate from 30fps to 60fps and offer a feature where up to eight can compete against each other locally.
Competing online is included but something I couldn't test due to a lack of players!
Nearly 30 years on from the original release, the minor drawbacks mentioned above do not detract from this racer's biggest selling point: easy to play yet hard to master. Virtua Racing is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed for 5 minutes or two hours straight!
Graphics :- 80%
Soundtrack :- 70%
Sound Design :- 68%
Playability :- 88%
Re-play Value :- 89%