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Review: Rally Master Pro 3D - Plus Video Review

November 12, 2009

Rally_main

Overview

Rally Master Pro 3D is a brand new racer in the App Store, but this time it’s Rally Racing. The game provides a realistic driving simulation out in the environment, rather than laps on a race track. You goal is to drive the road in the fastest time, with every participant going at a different time. Rally_score

Features

Three different racing environments are included. You race in a rural city, a dirt road through a rural city, or up in the mountains. There are three difficulties in rally mode: amateur, professional, and expert. You don’t play the next difficulty until you beat the previous. The rally is set up so that you race three different roads in each of the three environments, totaling 9 courses per rally. In total there are 27 different tracks that are alterations of the three environments. The differences are that you’re racing in different parts of the three main environments, and there are more curves, harder curves, etc. As you race your car will degrade if you run off the road, or scrape against the wall. You will need to repair your car, either automatically, or do it yourself. Doing it yourself gives the possibility for much better results, and is completed by playing mini games. Rally_replay Each of the environments has different terrain that changes the handling of your car. Every race gives random weather from clear to thunderstorm with a couple in between. The weather impacts the terrain as well, and you will need to change tactics accordingly. After each race there is an auto replay that you can watch, fast forward, or skip all together. You can play time trial of any course, or play adrenaline mode where you try to minimize damage. Online high scores are included for your overall rally time for each difficulty.

The Good

Rally Master Pro 3D has a bunch of good, and the top of that list is the rally racing gameplay. We’ve all played regular racing where cars drive a certain number of laps, with other opponents all around. Rally racing though provides just a path forward rather than laps, and you’re all by yourself. Rally_sharpturn The game is all about time, so you need to drive well to achieve that. Rather than directly seeing people in front of you, instead there are three checkpoints and the finish line telling you your time status. You cross a checkpoint, and it pops up +0.92 in green meaning you have the lead, or -0.56 in red meaning you have catching up to do. The game is surprisingly fun as you try to cut corners, and go as fast as possible without spinning out. The only thing I have to compare it to is watching slalom skiing, and I love it. It’s great to see a time pop up so you know what you need to do going forward. Rally Master Pro 3D may be the best looking game yet to grace the iPhone. The backgrounds are rendered beautifully, and the varying particle effects from dirt kicking up to rain hitting your windshield. The game flows brilliantly, and the car design looks like you could be standing next to it. Rally_mountains Actually driving the car, I found the game to have the best handling of any driving sim yet. Tap the brakes as you’re approaching curves, and tilting the iPhone worked perfectly. It just felt so graceful going in and out of the curves. It felt like actually driving a mountain road from the scenery to the handling. The rally game is set up, so there is a ton to do. Each rally circuit, amateur to expert, provides nine races, where each one combines to your overall time. Online scores are added in as well, but I don’t need to have anything online to have a great time playing this wonderful driving sim. Rally_finish

The Bad

The game is outstanding in what it set out to do. The only thing lacking when comparing to its main competitors is online play. There is no local or online connectivity to rally over Bluetooth, wifi, or online. That’s one problem, which was actually something missing. Everything included is executed brilliantly. One minor concern is that you have a partner driving which works as you navigation co-pilot. He’s like the British voice on Tom Tom. He gets quite annoying quick, with sayings like “hard left coming up”. Though the super authentic sounds of the roaring engine, and skidding car more than make up for it.

The Verdict

Rally Master Pro 3D is one of the very best racing experiences on the iPhone. The game features the best handling, best looking, and most fun of the three main racing games. The only thing it lacks is online connectivity, but it is really unnecessary in this game. Real Racing, Asphalt 5 and now Rally Master Pro 3D are all outstanding racing games that each provide something different. You can't go wrong with any of the three racing games, but if I had to pick one it would be Rally Master Pro 3D. This is the only driving game in the App Store where I actually felt in control of the car, and it’s oh so smooth. If you pirated this game you never should have, but now you don't have to because Rally Master Pro 3D is an absolute must for $4.99.

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