Virtua Racing

PC

Born in 1994

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  • SEGA

  • FormatVideo and arcade
  • TypeDriving
  • SystemConsole

Taking you into the world in 1994...where SEGA brought polygons into your home

Choose your transmission, track and away you goMatt (SoulFunk) Farrell

Video games today, I think, are quite reasonably priced. £35 to £45 isn't to bad for the content you get. Ask yourself then, would you pay £70 for a game today that wasn't a so called special edition. Well, £70 is the price you had to pay for Virtua Racing on the Sega Megadrive, and that was back in 1994. Do you know how many paper rounds that is?

So, do you get value for money? If your spending £70 its gotta be pretty spectacular, Right? Well, the game only had three tracks so were talking £23.3 per track. This though, was the price you had to pay to have the arcade in your living room. Sega’s SVP chip (Sega Virtual Processor) made dreams a reality. Being able to play this kind of game in my home back in the day made the price worth it, and it was much cheaper than buying the arcade cabinet I can tell you.

It was a simple arcade racing game. Choose your transmission, track and away you go. But it was the 3D aspect of the game which defined it. Being able to switch your views in real time is what wowed people the most. It just blew my mind.

Trying to replicate this sort of cutting edge software on the megadrive at the time did have some slight drawbacks. There was a lot of pop up everywhere as the track could only render a short distance ahead of you, and the frame rate wasn’t the best, but that didn’t matter. It was the most amazing thing i’d seen at the time and as I was more of a Sega fan than Nintendo, I loved to see my machine do something that even the Super FX chip would struggle to do.

If were judging it here and now as it is today, then we'd have to score the game low. Compared to the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo, it can't compete. If were adding nostalgia and time frame into the equation, then its a different kettle of fish. You have to remember that this was a game that came out in the early stages of 3D in the home. It was cutting edge. You hadn't seen anything like it. It was one of those games you'd show off to your mates to make them jealous. The Megadrive game can be picked up now for £2, which means each track now costs you a bank breaking 60p. It's worth just having a blast just to remind you how far games have come in such a short space of time.

Review by Matt (SoulFunk) Farrell

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  • SEGA

  • FormatVideo and arcade
  • TypeDriving
  • SystemConsole
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