Back in the 32-Bit era, arcade perfection was the Holy Grail of game development. It was the question on everybody’s lips: “yeah yeah yeah, that’s great, but tell me – is it arcade perfect?” It’s a strange term looking back, now that consoles have spread their wings and arcades the world over die a slow and painful death, but ‘arcade perfect’ was once the highest praise you could lavish on a home conversion. I’d say we’ve come a long way since then, but by demanding more than mere perfection (and getting it), we’ve eroded away the canal that birthed games like Sega Rally.
Sega Rally Championship for the Sega Saturn is arcade perfect. But it’s more than that – it’s just plain perfect. Some may find this hard to believe approaching it retrospectively – sure, polygon counts and texture maps have improved since then – but mark my words, no rally game since has even touched its handling or track design.