The Colin McRae Rally series for PlayStation was by far the best rallying experience for the platform. Now, Codemasters has released a version of the highly successful game for the Game Boy Color. This is 2D rallying at its best.
Endorsed by the ultimate rally driver himself, Colin McRae Rally remains as faithful to its 3D counterparts as possible. A variety of real-life major rallying cars are available, including Skoda, Ford and the Subaru Impreza. After selecting a car, players can race one of 25 different tracks. Each track has its own unique features and is subject to a variety of weather conditions.
The main difference in graphics is the change from the first/third person perspective to an overhead 2D viewpoint. With a little experience, the change of perspective is not a big deal. The same racing techniques still apply: take the corners wide, dab the brakes, turn into the corners early and counter-steer to hold the power slide.
Three modes of play that comprise of Time Trial, Rally and Championship have been included, and the gameplay is as unforgiving as the original PlayStation classics. Quite often, bumping just one single corner in a race can knock you back several places. With rally games, the best strategy is often to learn the track at a slow pace and gradually pick up speed, perfecting corners as you progress. Colin McRae Rally for Game Boy Color is no different. The initial frustration with the difficulty is replaced with a satisfied feeling, as you master a course and put in a seemingly untouchable lap record.
Giving even further variety to the game, players are able to take damage in races, forcing them to make repairs in the games garage section. The damage adds to the realism and directly influences your driving style. Wall riding around tight hairpins is only faster in the short term, but the time you lose from damage could cost you the race.
If you like racing games, Colin McRae Rally impresses with its solid gameplay and digitised speech.