Ten years later and 2004 still stands as one of the best years in racing games. Every sort of racer imaginable saw at least one entry that year across every platform. Between Gran Turismo 4, Burnout 3, Colin McRae 4, Richard Burns Rally, the original FlatOut, TOCA Race Driver 2, Need for Speed Underground 2, and imports such as Kaidou Battle 2 there were no shortage of great games to play. Perhaps more than most, however, it was RalliSport Challenge 2 that really hit it big with racing fans.
Digital Illusions CE, or DICE as they are more commonly known, was a developer that was committed to the Xbox pretty early on. While they started off with the release of the mediocre Shrek back in 2001 it was only one year later that we received the glorious Rallisport Challenge. Hearkening back to the days of Sega Rally with an extra touch of realism for good measure, RSC was one of the fastest and most exhilarating racing games on the system offering remarkable visuals, sublime handling, and a fast frame-rate. Two years later DICE returned with one of the most finely polished sequels of the generation; Rallisport Challenge 2. Now sporting full Xbox-Live support and offering a huge selection of tracks and events, RSC2 remains a game which many racing fans still look back on with fond memories. After putting the game back in for ourselves it became clear why; the handling is incredible. Within the first 10 seconds those memories of carving up corners and sliding around hairpin turns come flooding back.
DICE has become very well known for Battlefield and, of course, Mirror’s Edge but we continue to lament the fact that they will probably never again work on a top tier racing game. While PGR at least made the trip to Xbox360, where it unfortunately will remain, Rallisport Challenge never even had the chance to take on a new generation. To commemorate the games 10 year anniversary (I know, we’re a couple months late) we have a selection of high quality 60fps videos ready to go.
The videos below were captured using a Micomsoft XRGB-Mini using two different settings. The videos displayed in a smaller window take the original 640x480 image from the Xbox and simply scale those pixels to 1280x960 without any additional filtering. The result is a crisp, but more pixelated, image that more accurately represents the raw output from the system (or as close as one can get using the component output). The widescreen videos engage the zooming features in conjunction with the games anamorphic widescreen mode to deliver a fullscreen presentation. In this mode integer scaling is not possible so an extra filter is required to achieve a decent picture. The end result is a slightly blurrier image as a trade-off for a full 16:9 presentation. Let us know which type of video you prefer for any low resolution games that offer a 16:9 mode.
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