Master Rallye
Genre Sport -> Racing
Today's Rank 17131
Date 2002-07-02
Publisher Microids
Date 2002-01-18
Publisher Microids
North America Retail 
Box ArtUnited Kingdom 
Retail Box ArtTaking its name from the infamous rally raid across Europe, Master Rallye is an arcade-style rally game with a difference. Rather than religiously following a narrow groove track as is so often seen, Master Rallye gives you certain freedom to cut corners and find your own route across over 30 different courses. This freedom is not complete and if you stray too far you'll see an 'Off Course' message and be firmly plonked back in the middle of the track losing valuable seconds, but finding the right path is one of the keys to success. The graphics, while not groundbreaking, are sumptuous, with a variety of courses covering lush countryside, small villages, mountainous terrain and desert. The cars are well modelled, with particular attention given to the suspension, which sees you bouncing around the many and varied circuits. There are a variety of modes available, but it is all in the vein of a console-style arcade game. Win a series of cups to unlock more cars and gain the right to enter the Master Rallye itself, which contains 10 long stages. Win the Master Rallye and you can move to a new vehicle class and repeat the process again. Win the three classes of Master Rallye and you can enter the invitation--the games toughest test. The only good news is that by this time you'll have access to Schlesser's buggy, one of the coolest vehicles around. For light relief you can also dip into a series of head-to-head challenges, time trials and more. Damage is modelled during each stage, with a colour-coded key to the state of various parts of your vehicle and as things get worse, the cars performance starts to suffer. Damage doesn't accrue, so there's no need to manage your repair time, as in other titles. There are a variety of car setup options available enabling you to vary your suspension, gearbox etc, but it's possible to complete the whole game without ever touching these settings which is a shame. This is compounded by the car's handling, which is good fun, if not overly realistic. Multiplayer options come in the form of four players on line, or two player split screen. Master Rallye is an entertaining, high adrenaline game for those looking for some console-style action on the PC, though it lacks the depth of competing rallying titles. --Jason Weston
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