Pros:The game engine is fairly solid. Does maintain the feel of the console version.
Cons:The championship mode becomes repetitious after time. Lack of online competition. No car damage.
The Bottom Line: While Sega Rally Revo lacks the depth of better rally titles out there, it's fine as an arcade racer and suits to the PSP well.
If you are a PSP owner, and a fan of racing titles, you have pretty much noticed that the rally sub-genre is poorly represented on the PSP. Really, aside from Sega Rally Revo, your only other option is WRC from Namco, and it was average at best. Sega Rally is a much better option in terms of rally racing on the PSP, but the skewering towards arcade style racing and lack of variety will leave hardcore fans in the cold. But if you just want a GOOD racing game in general, Sega Rally Revo isn't the worst PSP option out there.
Recommend this product?
The game is developed by Bugbear Interactive, which is responsible for the FlatOut franchise, and they certainly prove that they can make a great racing game that isn't about demolition or ejecting your driver out of the windshield. Taking what Sega Racing Studio had done with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, Bugbear has crafted an experience that is very close to the console edition, right down to the menu style. The game is broken down into championship, arcade, time trial and multiplayer modes, which is fairly standard for a racing title. The championship mode is broken down into different series of race events where you can unlock more cars the further you progress. While it's fine for what it is, after an hour or so, the championship mode becomes monotonous since you're doing the same thing over. It's the same thing the console versions had as well. Compared to DiRT (which is only on the 360, PS3 and PC), there's a lack of variety in the race events. Every race is a circuit race, and you're always against five other opponents. If you grow tired of racing against CPU opponents, there is online play, but a lot like OutRun 2006 for the PSP, there is never anyone online to play against.
The racing engine is fairly solid, and that's expected considering the developer. While the cars handle looser that what you would find in Gran Turismo, the game is accessible enough for almost anyone to get into. There are some drawbacks to the racing, though. Notably, you can't deviate from the course. Every course is walled in, and you can just bounce off of the walls without much consequence, which leads to the other issue: no vehicle damage. How can you have a rally game without vehicle damage? Games like DiRT, RalliSport Challenge 2 and V-Rally 3 let you trash the hell out of the licensed vehicles, but Sega figured that cars are indestructible and didn't include any car damage in ANY version of Sega Rally Revo. It makes racing easier and more careless than it should be.
The visuals are very well done for the PSP version of the game. The texturing is solid, there is a great deal of detail and the car models are crafted very well. The framerate is solid and the sense of speed is great. The only knock I have on the graphical aspect of the game is the dithering, which is something many PSP games do. It's a trade-off to get more detail in the game, but the dithering makes the game seem a little "dirtier" than it should be. But even so, the game does look good enough to be a PS2 game.
The audio portion is only okay. The music is fine, but generic, which seems to be something Sega is known for. The sound effects are decent, but are lacking compared to Burnout Dominator or Need For Speed Carbon. You wouldn't kick yourself for leaving the headphones at home for this one.
Overall, Sega Rally Revo is the best choice for rally fans on the PSP at this moment, but it isn't like you're flooded with options. But you really don't have to be a fan of off-raod racing to enjoy this game. It's accessible enough for any racing fan to enjoy, but the game becomes repetitious quick. If you enjoyed the console version, the portable version won't offer any new surprises, but for something on the go, it works fine. It's an arcade racing game through and through, and any PSP owner looking for a decent arcade racing game should consider giving Sega Rally Revo a shot.