Top Gear Rally
|Top Gear Rally|
Cover art of Top Gear Rally
|Developer(s)||Boss Game Studios (Nintendo 64)
Tantalus Interactive (Game Boy Advance)
|Release date(s)||Nintendo 64
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Top Gear Rally is a rally game for the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. The Game Boy Color version was released under the name Top Gear Pocket, although the European release uses the original name. It features five tracks. It has a feature that allows the user to give their virtual cars custom paint jobs. Although the name stayed the same, the developers changed between consoles. As a result, the games are very different depending on the platform, but they often have similar features such as the paint shop.
On the Nintendo 64, Top Gear Rally features a realistic physics model with functioning suspension. At the time, this was an impressive new gameplay development. Road surfaces, including their imperfections, were accurately modeled to give the player the feeling of actually driving a car.
The performance of each vehicle in the game was unique. Not only with respect to engine power, but also areas such as tire grip, suspension stiffness, steering tightness, and between different drive-trains such as front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive. The game also features the possibility of damaging the vehicles, although the damage does not affect performance.
The game's graphics were considered quite advanced for a home console system, being better than the PlayStation's then-available offerings. Smooth, non-pixelated, texture-mapped surfaces, highly detailed cars, and complex environments were displayed at a generally smooth frame rate. However, the number of on-screen vehicles couldn't exceed three without game speed being impaired.
Because neither Kemco or Boss Games Studios had licenses to use the real car names, the car names are somewhat disguised within the game. One can identify the cars either by looks or by the fact that the disguised names are often reminiscent of the real names.
A noted game-play flaw with the Nintendo 64 version of the game is that it is possible for the player to gain an immense advantage over the computer players by riding the rails on the sides of the road in most tracks. The rails don't slow the car down nearly as much as normal cornering or drifting, allowing the player to maintain top speed even through very sharp turns. Boss Games' later N64 title, World Driver Championship, did not have this oversight.
The Japanese and European releases of Top Gear Rally had a different title tune than the North American version. The Japanese and European releases used hardcore dance music while the North American version was more mild and dramatic, produced by Barry Leitch.
Top Gear Rally was also ported to the PC and released in 1999 as Boss Rally.
Game Boy Advance
The game scored considerably high with critics. Then-popular website Nintendojo gave the game a 9 out of 10, while IGN scored it 8.4 out of 10.
- Top Gear Rally GBA Review - Gamespot