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Rally Fusion

Score: 70%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Climax Group
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

It's interesting to see the new car racing simulations that are coming out for the Xbox, because the hope is that the next one will be better than the last. Rally Fusion, unfortunately, doesn't exceed previous efforts like Microsoft's own RalliSport Challenge, or even EA's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. It has good graphics, better than some of the car racing games currently available, but generally not as sharp or crisp as those just mentioned. It does have a rock solid frame rate though, and some interesting special effects, including fantastic looking snow and ice. The graphics are almost garish though, and don't seem as realistic as other games.

Sound effects are well done, with forgettable rock style music while selecting from the menus, but solid in-game sounds. Engines, the voiceover from your partner, as well as ambient sound effects are all well done. Besides the annoying music in the menus, there is also an awful beep as you select items, which distracts somewhat from the entire game.


Rally Fusion offers a dizzying array of options, from Race of Champions mode, which includes both the 'Race of Champions' as well as the 'Nations Cup' sub-modes, to Custom Championship, ROC Challenge, and Quick Race modes. How these all differentiate from each other is hardly explained in the game's manual, and in practice it's hard to pinpoint the differences.

One big difference between modes is the available tracks, though, which for the Race of Champions mode is simply the small, though fun, Gran Canaria track. Custom Championships allow users to choose the tracks and number of races they wish to participate in. ROC Challenge mode is played over a number of tracks, and includes specific challenges for players to participate in. It is probably the most interesting mode, as it provides an enormous amount of game play and can take some time to complete.

Rally Fusion includes 19 licensed cars from manufacturers like Audi, Lancia, and Toyota, and 9 tracks that range from desert to artic, tropical and metropolitan. It also includes 41 real-world drivers, from world class rally drivers to motorcycle riders. This all adds to the longevity of the game somewhat, although many will just find the game a little too lacking in focus, as none of the core elements are that strong, including basic things like car handling, or the immersiveness of the game's environments.


Difficulty in the game is ramped up as you win races, as only the easiest level, Class C, is initially available, and one must unlock other classes in order to compete against better drivers. Even at Class C, though, racing is difficult, so even those looking to find a less challenging rally game than RalliSport Challenge won't find it here.

Game Mechanics:

Rally Fusion's main menus, unfortunately, are laid out poorly, and it can be quite confusing just navigating through them. This makes picking the game up for a quick ride somewhat more difficulty than it should have to be. The game offers a number of controller options, and some of the layouts are excellent. Overall, the game's interface is ugly and unfriendly, although to be fair, other car racing games suffer from similar problems.

If you have to have every rally game available, then by all means pick this one up. If you just want something with good graphics and sound, and the actual game play isn't that important to you, then this game also should serve you well. But if you want a really outstanding car racing game, then you are better off getting one of the ones already available, or holding out for one of the many coming out in the near future. Rally Fusion, for all its virtues, just isn't really that good a game, and can't be recommended except maybe as a rental title.

-Gordy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Gary Lucero

Microsoft Xbox RalliSport Challenge Microsoft Xbox The Simpsons Road Rage

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