At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Screenshots
Matt Bailey Xbox Sega Europe WOW Entertainment 1-4 (Split screen), 2-6 (System Link), 2-12 (Live) Here
Requirements Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Xbox Live subscription for online play Click here to buy Sega GT Online.

Sega GT Online review

Sega GT originally made an appearance on the Dreamcast, back in the days when Sega was not a third-party multi-platform publisher. It received a sequel on the Xbox, Sega GT 2002, which is probably owned by many because of it's inclusion in the popular console bundle, with Halo and Sega's own Jet Set Radio Future.

Sega GT Online, however, isn't a sequel. In fact, to it's credit, it doesn't pretend to be; offering you the full Sega GT 2002 with some extra Xbox Live functionality for just £29.99 (although not as great value as in the US where it released for $19.99 - or just over £11). The game is so similar, in fact, that I will point you towards are own Sega GT 2002 review in order to give you the low-down on all which has been previously seen. In fact, you can even transfer data from Sega GT 2002 across to the new title but, rather strangely, only cash and the goodies you've earned - none of the lap times, cars, or their customisations make it across - which is odd when the full original game is included. It may have levelled the playing field initially, but it also manages to display many loyal Sega GT fans.

Added in this new version are 40 new cars, some extra tracks and new weather effects, but the main addition is, of course, the Xbox Live functionality. The modes available to play are unique to the title - aside from the Quick Match and Optimatch options, there is Battle for 12 (a special race that pits 12 Live players against each other), Competition (a monthly updated rank-based competition that rewards you for entering, and being in the top 20), and create your own room. When doing a custom room by creating one, Quick Match, or Optimatch, there are multiple ways to race; first there's Free Battle - which has a strange catch whereby you finish in the position you are in when the winner crosses the line, then there's Team Battle - which allows you to work in groups of two or free, and then there's Navigation Battle - which is an oddball mode where the driver of the car's view is severely hampered, but a human co-driver (who has a perfect view from all angles) has to shout out directions in order to succeed. An interesting idea, but an ultimately frustrating, and sometimes rather boring (particularly for the co-driver). The game also features the ability to trade cars, parts, goodies, and cash in what is a good example of what was meant to be included in Gran Turismo 4's cancelled online play.

With the only major new addition being the game's online play, it of course rests on how good this is to weigh up how good the game is in comparison to it's now cheaper parent title. Unfortunately it doesn't bode well; aside from lag, there's the issue with being kicked back to the menu after each race, the ranking doesn't take into account the rank of your opponent (so beating low ranking players allows you to rank up as quickly as beating high ranking players), the lack of online players (which has been an issue for months, now), and the fact that ultimately, despite being varied, the game is simply not as fun on Live as Burnout 3 or Project Gotham Racing 2.

Ratings

Graphics Relatively the graphics have improved in this new version. Despite looking the same as Sega GT 2002, the bar has been raised since the release of titles like Project Gotham Racing 2. 6/10
Gameplay Plays well, but it's enjoyment is limited when there are faster and more enjoyable racing game titles out there. Burnout 3 particularly comes to mind. 7/10
Value Included the full offline component was a good idea, but the title could have been cheaper (especially compared to the US price). 6/10
Lifespan Plenty of cars to race with, tracks and goodies to collect, and online play should keep you going. The monthly competitions should bring fans back, but they aren't enough to bring large numbers back months on. 7/10
Audio Still sounding very good, and custom soundtracks are still present. 8/10
Overall Overall, it's still a fairly good racer - but ultimately, the Live play fails to deliver what the title sets out to do, and racing game fans - unless desperate for online functionality - will probably do better picking up Sega GT 2002 at a bargin price. 6/10

Click here to buy Sega GT Online from Amazon.co.uk.

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