Genre: Racing Developer: AM2 Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1-2 Released: 1995
Virtua Racing Deluxe was way better than the Genesis version and was very close to the arcade Virtua Racing minus just a few features. Some new stuff has been added to make this a better overall game though, and while racing fans might not get all the features they expect from a racing sim, there are some things here that will keep them interested.
Some outstanding graphics can be seen throughout the game. The cars here are quite a bit sleeker than they were on the Genesis version. There are now three cars instead of the one you had before. The cars are formula one, the stock car, and the prototype. Granted, you may get a better selection in any other Genesis racing game, but at the time there weren’t any looked as good as this. Three types of cars to chose from really adds to the replay value as they each have different abilities and speeds. The control speed and response of the cars have been improved quite a bit from the Genesis version. The controls were pretty precise back then but are even more so here. The prototype is the fastest and when you play in the Sand Park or Big Forest stages you’ll want to let it rip and see just how fast it can go. It seems, however, that the speedometer never stop and you really can’t reach its top speed. Worse, the control is horrid and you can crash too easily. The stock car or formula one are best suited for control and not their speed, making them the ideal choices for serious play.
The graphics have been noticeably upgraded for this edition. Even the crashes look more realistic; instead of the few generic flips and turns cars did in the Genesis version, this time you can even see smoke coming from them after they crash. The backgrounds are great too. You get five tracks this time instead of just three. You also get the same views that you did from original Virtua Racing.
There are a total of four different camera views and, depending on your overall driving skill and preference, you’re bound to find one which is suited for you. The views are: behind the wheel, behind the car, overhead, and really high overhead. I would suggest the really high one for racing beginners because you can see a lot of track that way. Racing pros might want to take it behind the wheel or behind the car to test their skills. The difficulty is adjustable and there isn’t save or password feature. Not having this in the second home version of this game is inexcusable and really hampers efforts to improve scores. Why couldn’t it at least save times and scores?
The Genesis version gave you snippets of a song every time you passed a checkpoint. The songs were good but hearing the whole song would have been better. This has been fixed as now you get all the full songs when you drive plus a few more tunes not heard before. The announcer doesn’t say too much besides “time bonus”, and “final lap.” The sound department is the weakest part of the game but graphics as great as these surely make up for it.
Virtua Racing Deluxe is an immensely fun and challenging game. Though other Genesis racers may feature more tracks cars and even a “create your own car feature,” nothing out there at the time could compare to these graphics. Some would say they would rather have the more options and tracks over the graphics but I guess it all depends on the person. The replay value is still pretty low compared to the usual racing game, but ten times higher than the Genesis version. If you are looking for a good racing game for 32X look no farther than Virtua Racing.