Sega GT 2002 (Sniper)
Genre: Racing
Developer: Wow Entertainment
Publisher: Sega

Rallisport Challenge set the bar for graphics in racers to come. With that said, Sega GT 2002 falls short of this lofty standard. The game, for some reason, looks very blurry; I think it's because the track textures aren't particularily detailed. On the plus side, the car polygon counts are amazing, and the plastic look that plagued the cars from the original Sega GT is gone. Like the original, the presentation and feeling of quality is absolutely fantastic, which is also a positive. Despite any flaws, this is by far the prettiest GT racing game yet, holding a big lead over reigning champ Gran Turismo 3.

Fortunately, the great music from the original Sega GT makes a triumphant return here, producing another typical racing track that is the perfect blend between "this melody is kind of catchy" and "this melody is distracting me and I'm slamming into walls at 100mph." You can also record your own music to the hard drive and use that during races. The sound effects are probably the best ever in a racing game, engine noises, tire squeels, and even details such as the air pressure changes when using a turbo-charged engine. Very nice!

The most important aspect of a racing game: the physics engine! And to that end, Sega GT 2002 has the, bar none, best physics engine I've seen in a racing game to date. The nuances of different cars is noticable, but not to the ridiculous extremes of the original or the Gran Turismo series. Over and understeer feel much more realistic in this game as well. The tracks are also some of the best I've seen in a racing game, they remind me a little of the outstanding tracks from the original Need For Speed on the 3DO (except that these are circuits, not roads). This means no more tiny, annoying, hair-pin-turn-laden tracks like the original had! Yes!

This is a title I've been waiting for, and it doesn't disappoint. In fact, I love it, except for one, huge complaint: not enough cars! The gameplay engine is fantastic, the tracks are great, and the game has more character and atmosphere than any GT game since the original, legendary Gran Turismo. Both the Chronicle mode and, especially, the GT/career mode are a blast. But only 100 or so cars?! All these years later, and you can't have more cars than the now-ancient original Gran Turismo? If this game had 300+ cars, I would worship it. Unfortunately, the rating suffers because of this fault.

Sniper's verdict: