V-Rally 3 Review

Developer: Atari Publisher: Atari
Release Date: October 17, 2002 Also On: PS2

The GBA has a couple of good racing titles, but most of them are kart-racing games. So if you’re one die-hard fan of NASCAR, you’re probably not really a big fan of the GBA. However, there are only a couple of games I can suggest to that NASCAR/European car fan out there. One of those games is V-Rally 3.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

V-Rally 3 is pretty much your average racing/rally game for GBA, with some customization features to make playing this game an enjoyment, not a job. There are a good number of cars, but no where near the number of cars in GT Advance 3. However, I did notice that the cars in V-Rally 3 are pretty different, so at least you don’t have 10 cars that are exactly the same.

A very interesting thing about this game is its use of physics. While not totally perfect, it is still pretty good. I also liked the idea of the damage meter. The more times you crash into walls or other cars, the more your damage meter goes up. If it gets too high, then your car will stop working. You can fix your car by going to a service station, but it will cost you some time.

There are four game modes. They are the V-Rally mode, V-Rally Cross mode, the Time Trial mode, and the multiplayer mode. The V-Rally mode is probably the hardest mode in the game, but I wasn’t whining about it. You start off by choosing your car, then choosing which company to sign a contract with (I found that part to be pretty cool), and then feel the other guys eat your dust! You start off with only 2 cars, but the more seasons you win, you start to get more powerful cars.

The V-Rally Cross mode is where you need to get more licenses to progress. There are five licenses in the game. They are the Departmental, Regional, National, European, and International licenses. You start off with the Departmental license. To get a license, you need to finish a track in first or second place. Each track has 3 laps, and you go against 3 other cars. The more licenses you get in the V-Rally Cross mode, the more tracks you unlock in the Time Trial mode.

In the Time Trial mode, you simply try to beat your own time. I played a lot of this mode. I tried a ton of times to beat my previous high score. If you ask me, this mode is pretty addictive.

In the multiplayer mode, you get to play with one (not three) friends. You and your friend get to race with two other computers in either the V-Rally Cross mode or the Time Trial mode. I did notice a little bit of a slowdown, but nothing to really complain about.

Unlike other racing games, V-Rally 3 doesn’t use a simple rotating 2D image. It has one of the best graphics engines to hit the GBA. V-Rally’s engine is actually all 3D. With this 3D engine, you get to see authentic looking bridges, beautiful canyons, blind corners, and immense hills. And at 30 FPS, you could look at all that with ease. You could even choose a number of different camera angles (including first person view). I really have to hand it to the graphics designers, they really outdid themselves.

As far as the audio goes, nothing to really brag about. I couldn’t recall any music, but is there any music on NASCAR? The car noises weren’t all that bad, but like I said, it wasn’t all that good.

The real flaw of this game was really the lack of difficulty. After a while, you could actually win each track with ease. I really wished that there would be some super-hard mode to keep me playing, but the sad fact is there is none. That is what really hurt the replay value.

While it really lacked difficulty, more cars and tracks would have also been appreciated. In about a month or two, you might find this game on your shelf collecting dust. Any newbie at racing games will probably enjoy this, but I might actually go so far and say play Mario Kart or F-Zero to get your speed cravings instead. Those two games have yet to bore me. However, a NASCAR/European car fan will want to play as a driver of a Ford Focus RS or a Renault Clio instead of a driver of some dinosaur’s car. If you do buy this game, I also suggest that you show off to your friends the awesome graphics engine.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7.8
Written by Simon Review Guide

Leave a Comment